Donor Profile: Steve Boles and Vicki Giere

Steve Boles spent the last part of his professional career working in the river studies program for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He joined the agency in 1996 and retired in 2015. There was one thing he noticed about his agency colleagues, and now he and his wife, Vicki Giere, want to do something about it.

“There needs to be more women in the ranks,” said Boles. “It’s definitely gotten better over the years, but there is still room for improvement, and we want to do what we can to encourage more women to get involved in conservation careers.”

That’s why Steve and Vicki set up a scholarship fund at Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation that others may also support. The Women in Conservation Science Scholarship Program advances conservation by encouraging and supporting female undergraduate and graduate students pursuing studies related to natural resource conservation. The scholarship is open to female students who are interested in a career in the fields of range science, forestry, biology, botany, earth science, wildlife management and other majors related to conservation science.

“Last year we decided to do some estate planning, and since we don’t have any children, we decided we wanted to leave a legacy and support a cause that is meaningful to us,” said Giere.

Boles and Giere live in San Marcos on a few acres away from town and enjoy hiking around and watching wildlife on their land. They also enjoy trips to the mountains in New Mexico.

“I’ve always enjoyed time outdoors, but unlike Steve, I spent my career indoors as a computer programmer,” said Giere. “I’ve always been very interested in wildlife and exploring natural areas. San Marcos has grown so fast, as have many other areas of Texas, and you can see how native habitat for wildlife has been slowly eaten away. It’s important to us both to preserve what we have into the future.”

Boles hopes the scholarship will result in more women choosing professional careers in the fields of conservation and earth sciences.
“We hope this will help more young women achieve master’s degrees in conservation,” said Boles. “We need more advocates for the environment and we hope future scholarship winners will use their education and their skills and knowledge to help further conservation of fish, wildlife and natural habitats.

As Boles and Giere thought about the best way to make a difference, they decided to set up the scholarship through a planned gift to Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation through their will.

“Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is a really good organization, and especially with Steve’s connection to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, we just have really positive feelings about it,” said Giere.

The application period for the new scholarship opened on April 1, 2021.

Learn more about the scholarship HERE.

If you are interested in supporting the Women In Conservation Science Scholarship Program
you can make a donation to the scholarship fund by contacting Kate Potts at 214.720.1478 or by email at info@tpwf.org

Find out more about how you can make a planned gift to TPWF and leave a wild legacy for Texas.