Rangeland Profiles

Mort Kothmann

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Texas A&M University and Utah State University
College Station, Texas

What is the name of the degree you completed?

BS- Range Management MS- Range Science PhD- Range Science

How did you discover your passion for range? What inspired you to work in the field of range ecology and management?

I was born and grew up on a ranch in central Texas, the 5th generation in a family that had ranched in the area for 100 years (1846- ). I enjoyed living, working, and recreating on the ranch and it only seemed right that I choose a profession like Range Management. I still own the home ranch and enjoy working on it.

What was your first range ecology and management position, after completing your college degree?

I continued my education directly from BS to PhD and at the completion I accepted a research position of Assistant Professor and Project Leader on the Texas Experimental Ranch with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in Throckmorton, County.

Who do you currently work for? And, what is your current job position?

I am Professor and Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Programs at Texas A&M University. In 1970, I left the research position in the field and transferred to the campus in a teaching and research position.

What have you done with your range career to improve the planet?

I have educated several thousand undergraduate students in the courses I have taught (Principles of Range Management, Vegetation Inventory and Analysis, Range Analysis and Management Planning, Herbivore Plant Interactions, Fire Ecology and Natural Resources Management, and Senior Seminar). I have also educated hundreds of graduate students in the graduate courses I have taught (Principles of Rangeland Management, Grazing Management and Range Animal Nutrition, Range Research Methods, and Analysis of Natural Resource Systems) and served on over 180 graduate student advisory committees and chaired 46 graduate committees. I have presented hundreds of talks at local, state, national, and international meetings, conducted workshops, and provided individual consultation to producers. I have traveled and consulted internationally. Lastly, I manage the family ranch that has been in my family for 150 years.

What is your favorite outdoor place and why?

 I like all of the outdoors and have difficulty picking a "favorite" place. I suppose that I would choose my family ranch as my favorite place because of the many happy memories that are associated with it over the past 72 years. Q12: What tips do you have for students interested in range? Enjoy learning about plants, animal, soils, the environment, and their interactions. Nature is beautiful and fascinating in its complexity and interrelatedness. Appreciate both the land and the people who work with it and play on it. Our land is a living, dynamic, natural heritage that must be managed. It cannot be maintained without informed, active management. Become informed and spread and apply your knowledge, while always seeking to expand your own understanding of the land and its ecology.