DATE:  January 22, 2004
CONTACT: Jorge A. Ramirez, Assistant Vice President for Communications, (361) 825-2427; Lillian Riojas,Port of Corpus Christi, (361) 885-6158

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Joins the Port of Corpus Christi in Presenting Americas Unidas 2004
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the Port of Corpus Christi announce the 2004 Americas Unidas Conference to be held Feb. 23-25 at the Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center.

Leaders in the fields of energy, monetary policy, agriculture and ocean research will participate in the second bi-annual conference to explore cooperative opportunities between the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. Strong emphasis will be placed on energy, issues impacting the Gulf of Mexico, intra-Americas trade with Cuba, and travel in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Dr. Sylvia Earle, program chair for the Harte Research Institute for the Gulf of Mexico Studies and a National Geographic explorer in residence, will serve as chairperson for this year’s event. Other key speakers and discussion leaders include Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee; Robert D. McTeer, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas; Bill Greehey, president and chief executive officer of Valero Energy Corporation; and Antonio Rivero, executive vice president of CITGO Petroleum.

During the conference, A&M-Corpus Christi professors will facilitate panel discussions on environmental, health and productivity issues of the Gulf of Mexico and explore the balance between human needs and the sustainable management of this dynamic waterway. Topics to be addressed include changing coastal demographics, environmental challenges and economics, and the ecology and environment of the Gulf of Mexico. Scheduled participants are Dr. John W. Tunnell Jr., associate director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies; Dr. Quenton Dokken, associate director of the Center for Coastal Studies; Dr. Dave Yoskowitz, associate professor in the College of Business; Dr. Ian McDonald, professor in the College of Science and Technology; and Dr. Jo Marie Rios, assistant professor, College of Arts and Humanities.