Ken Kramer, Ph.D., Editorial Board Member

Ken Kramer, Ph.D., is a writer and Texas water policy specialist. He currently serves as the public representative on the Region H Water Planning Group, which conducts water supply planning for the 15-county area that includes Houston. Dr. Kramer is also an environmental representative on the stakeholder committees on environmental flows for both the Brazos River Basin and the Trinity and San Jacinto River Basins and Galveston Bay. In addition, he is a member of the board and Treasurer of the Texas Water Foundation.

Dr. Kramer received a B.A. in history with a minor in government from Texas Lutheran University in 1969. He was awarded an M.A. in political science from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1971 and then served in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Rice University in 1979. His dissertation focused on the implementation of federal air and water pollution control policy in Texas. Dr. Kramer was on the government faculty at Angelo State University in San Angelo in 1977–1980 and was a visiting assistant professor of political science at Texas A&M University in 1980–1982. At Texas A&M, he taught upper division special topics courses in agricultural policy and Texas water policy and politics.

For 45 years — from January 1978 to January 2023 — Dr. Kramer was a volunteer or professional advocate for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Texas state arm of the national environmental organization. He began his association with the Sierra Club as an elected member of the chapter executive committee and as its volunteer legislative chair and water resources shair. He then served for over seven years as a contract lobbyist for the chapter at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. He became the first director of the Lone Star Chapter in January 1989 and served in that capacity through July 2012. Upon his retirement as director, he again became the chapter’s volunteer water resources chair for over 10 years. Currently he serves as the volunteer history Chair for the lone Star Chapter.

Over his long involvement in Texas environmental and water policy, Dr. Kramer has served on numerous advisory committees to Texas state and local agencies and officials, including the following:

  • Governor's Task Force on Hazardous Waste Management (1984)
  • Municipal Solid Waste Management & Resource Recovery Advisory Council (1983–1991)
  • Joint Select Committee on Toxic Air Emissions and the Greenhouse Effect (1989–1990) – a legislative study committee to which he was appointed by House Speaker Gib Lewis
  • Task Force 21 [Co-Chair] (1991–1995), the committee that advised the state’s major environmental protection agency on air quality, water quality, and waste management
  • Waste Reduction Advisory Committee [Co-Chair] (1990s), the committee that advised the state environmental agency’s pollution prevention efforts.
  • The state’s Water Conservation Advisory Council (served from its creation in 2007 until 2021)
  • The Advisory Council for the Environmental Science Institute at the Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin (2010–2020)

Dr. Kramer has also been the recipient of the following awards and recognitions, including:

  • Texas Lutheran College Distinguished Alumni Award (1991) for his work for the environment
  •  Orrin Bonney Award (1985), the highest award presented by the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club
  •  Sportsmen Conservationists of Texas award as Air and Water Conservationist of the Year (1993)
  • Governor's Environmental Excellence Award (1993) for his work as co-chair of Task Force 21
  • Earth Day 1995 Excellence in Environmental Awareness Award in the individual category from the League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund (He was the first recipient of that award)
  • Virginia Ferguson Award (2005), a national Sierra Club award given to an employee who has demonstrated consistent and exemplary service
  • Conservation Leadership Award from The Nature Conservancy (2005)
  • Maxine Johnston Distinguished Service Award by the Big Thicket Association (2015) for work on water

Dr. Kramer is the editor of The Living Waters of Texas, published by Texas A&M University Press in 2010.