TAEP History


The Texas Association of Environmental Professionals (TAEP) is the premier organization for environmental professionals in the State of Texas. Committed to achieving the highest standards of ethics and competence within the environmental professions, TAEP was incorporated as a non-profit organization and chartered as the Texas chapter of the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) in 1988. The Association was originally formed by seven environmental professionals who worked on the project for more than a year to get it off the ground. Now, with nearly 300 local members and a total of four chapters state-wide, TAEP has helped to fill a void by providing the environmental professional with active organizations that focus on multi-disciplinary issues and whose primary aims are the advancement of the environmental profession and the establishment of a forum to discuss important environmental issues. TAEP is currently a member of the Citizens Environmental Coalition (CEC) and has previously been a member of the Galveston Bay Foundation, and the Engineering, Scientific, and Technology Council of Houston.

All members of the TAEP adhere to the NAEP Code of Ethics and Standards and Practice for Environmental Professionals. When qualified, a member may apply for certification as an environmental professional (CEP - Certified Environmental Professional). The certification process is a rigorous, peer-reviewed examination that is nationally recognized and has been in place since 1979. The CEP recognizes professionals in the field who have proven expertise through education, experience, and examination.

TAEP usually meets during the lunch hour on the third Thursday of each month. Each meeting features a guest speaker addressing one of the most pertinent environmental issues of the day. The meetings include excellent networking opportunities for members and guests. We also sponsor seminars and have joint meetings with other related organizations.

TAEP initiated a quarterly newsletter in 1991 that featured a calendar of upcoming Association events and passed on news relevant to the environmental professional. With the establishment of this web site in early 2000, publication of the newsletter was suspended.

TAEP helped to establish subchapters in other parts of the state to provide its more distant members with the same advantages to meet and network as enjoyed by the membership in Houston. A vibrant subchapter of TAEP has been established in Austin. The North Texas Association of Environmental Professionals has been established in the Dallas / Fort Worth area and the South Texas Association of Environmental Professionals serves the Austin / San Antonio area. TAEP also supports student chapters of the NAEP by offering discounted TAEP memberships and meeting fees.

One of the guiding principles of the Association when it was founded was the promotion and fostering of environmental education. Consequently, a large portion of the Association's revenues is given back to the community in the form of scholarships and grants. TAEP provides scholarships to full-time students seeking both graduate and undergraduate degrees in environmentally related disciplines from Texas colleges and universities. TAEP has funded a scholarship endowment at the University of Houston Clear Lake, and has provided scholarships to students at Texas A&M Galveston, Stephen F. Austin University, University of Houston Main Campus, and Texas Southern University. TAEP also supports the Texas Envirothon (for high school students) and the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston (for middle and high school students). TAEP is a special awarding agency and a Friends-level contributor to the Science Fair.

TAEP has also provided grants to nonpolitical Texas organizations whose work is dedicated to the restoration or preservation of the environment. Previous recipients of these grants include the Texas Nature Conservancy, the National Wildflower Research Center, the Houston Zoological Gardens, and the Houston Advanced Research Center. TAEP contributed to the American Red Cross for disaster relief in the Houston area after Tropical Storm Allison in 2001.

Originally, the TAEP bylaws required members to qualify for both TAEP and NAEP and to retain active membership in NAEP. In early 1994, however, after many requests by potential members around the state, the bylaws were amended to allow environmental professionals to join only TAEP so that those interested only in state activities can also enjoy the benefits of membership.