Kent S. Butler papers,
Kent S. Butler, born in 1951, was an urban, rural, and regional planner; community activist; and educator. He completed bachelor's (1973), master's (1976), and doctoral (1977) degrees in environmental science, land and water resources management, and land resources, respectively, at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He began his academic career as an assistant professor at The University of Texas at Austin in 1978, and took a two-year sabbatical from 1986 to 1988 to help create, and serve as director of, the Natural Resources Division for the Lower Colorado River Authority.
Butler was the director of the graduate Community and Regional Planning program at UT from 1993 to 1997, and again from 2004 until 2011, when he also served as associate dean for research and operations for the School of Architecture. He was known as an effective and engaging speaker with broad expertise in community planning and resource management. He was committed to collaboration and received his certification in mediation and training in public policy dispute resolution through the University of Texas School of Law.
He was widely published and wrote hundreds of reports and analyses as a professional consultant, as well as hundreds of papers for symposia and conferences. Butler co-edited the student edition of Planning and Urban Design Standards, a fundamental text for the planning profession. He spoke internationally in France, China, Mexico, Italy, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Butler's perhaps best-known achievement was the creation of the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. The Balcones Canyonlands Habitat Preservation Plan represented the first functional application of the Federal Endangered Species Act and set the standard still used today. Other noteworthy projects include the regional vision for the Galveston Bay Estuary Program, the creation of a system to evaluate proposed large-scale coastal erosion and control, the promotion of the Texas Triangle as a megaregion, and water planning for the establishment of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District.
Butler died in a hiking accident on May 13, 2011, in Yosemite National Park. A section of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve was named in his honor in September 2011. He was survived by his wife and four children.
The collection includes research materials and notes; applications, proposals, and permits; transparencies and presentation notes; newsletters and clippings; project and research files; workshop materials; surveys; correspondence; reports; and documents relating to Butler's administrative faculty positions. These materials document his teaching, consulting, and community projects.
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Kent S. Butler papers, Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin
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