UH Coastal Center


Resident armadillo. Photo credit: Chelse Prather
Welcome to the University of Houston Coastal Center (UHCC)! UHCC is an environmental research and educational center about 14 miles northwest of the Gulf Coast, which contains about 300 acres of threatened coastal tallgrass prairie. UHCC aims to support environmental research on the Texas coast by providing researchers with access to field sites, equipment and facilities. The UHCC also seeks to broaden public awareness about science and the environment by supporting outreach activities with public groups and educational activities. If you would like to arrange a visit for research or for educational purposes, please contact us.

Current research (see Research for more information) at the UHCC includes:

  • Prairie ecology
  • Coastal ecology
  • Micrometeorology
  • Geophysics
  • Experimental evolution


Prairie in the morning. Photo credit: Carolyn Fannon
Prior to World War II, the UHCC was dominated by tall-grass prairie. The area was used by the military (Camp Wallace) during the 1940s, resulting in human disturbance to portions of the prairie and the introduction of non-native species. Go to “documents”/”history” for more information about this time period.

Current land management goals include maintaining the areas of pristine prairie, and, when possible, restoring areas invaded by exotic species or disturbed by human activity.

The UHCC has been managed by the University of Houston since October, 1960. From 1971 to 2010, it was administered by Dr. Glenn Aumann. Drs. Steven Pennings (Biology and Biochemistry) and Barry Lefer (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) assumed responsibility for administration of the UHCC in September 2010, with Pennings serving as Director and Lefer as Assistant Director.

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