Dr. Rick Hammer


Dr. Rick Hammer, a plant conservation biologist and ecologist, teaches undergraduate courses in general botany, general ecology, tropical biology of Costa Rica, astrobiology, and environmental ethics. He is Chair of the HSU Faculty Go GreenCommittee, which seeks to promote and coordinate environmentally sustainable practices on campus. He serves as a HSU Faculty representative to the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, a Christian-based biological field research station located in Michigan. Hammer recently became a member of the Au Sable faculty and will teach Restoration Ecology in summer 2015 at the Au Sable Michigan campus.

Hammer enjoys working with students outside of the classroom and is the faculty advisor for the Environmental Service Club, which was formed in 2013 and has sponsored and participated in clean up projects and environmental awareness outreach activities.

Dr. Hammer studied evolutionary biology at Texas A&M University with a research focus on the taxonomy, molecular systematics, conservation, and evolution of plants. His current research focuses on the conservation of rare and endangered plant species, and he is currently conducting field research on a rare plant currently known from only three counties in Texas. He also collaborates with faculty at Texas A&M and Penn State University on ecology education research. More info on Dr. Hammer's research can be found on his lab research page.

Hammer is the member of several professional academic and research organizations including the Ecological Society of America (ESA). He is a member and secretary of ESA's Environmental Justice Section and is an active participant in the Section's efforts to launch a Scientists' Speakers Bureau for Outreach to Faith Communities. In 2015 he will begin serving on the advisory board of Texas Interfaith Power & Light and will assist them in providing a faith-based response to climate change.

Outside of academia he has worked as an information technology consultant for Lockheed Martin in the F-16 Fighting Falcon program and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

Hammer serves as a deacon for his congregation, First Baptist Church Abilene. He is an Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 206 in Abilene. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and writing. He has written articles for Christianity Today (the Behemoth) and Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. Follow him on Twitter @RickLHammer.

Degrees Earned

  • Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting and Information Systems, University of Texas, Permian Basin, 1983
  • Master of Science, Forest Science, Texas A&M University, 1993
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Botany, Interdisciplinary Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Texas A&M University, 2010


  • A Princeton Review Best Western College
  • Council for Christian Colleges & Universities  
  • Center for Student Opportunity: Promoting a College-Bound Culture
  • US News Best Colleges
  • Military Friendly
  • Colleges of Distinction
  • College Choice Best Christian Colleges and University
  • University and College Accountability Network