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Cody Scott: West Texas ‘Ranger’

March 03, 2008

His affinity for the livestock, plants and wildlife of West Texas has helped make ASU animal science professor Dr. Cody Scott one of the top range management professionals in the entire country.

He is the 2007 recipient of both the state and national Outstanding Young Range Professional Award from the Society for Range Management.

“You’re looking at brush control, increasing forage production, increasing biodiversity, increasing animal gains and even improving the habitat for wildlife,” Scott said. “The distinction of range management from wildlife management or ecology is that we are dealing with systems that have livestock involved in them.”

“That is not always the case now,” he added, “but the issues are still the same. We’re still trying to improve soil stability, increase vegetation production and improve the aesthetics of the land.”

A West Texas native, Scott has been on the ASU faculty since 1995. Outside the classroom, he conducts his own research, advises graduate research projects, consults with area landowners and directs the public draw hunts at the ASU Ranch. He is also responsible for all range management decisions at the ranch. But, what he likes best is indoors, inside the classroom.

“I really like research and I wanted to leave my mark as a research scientist,” Scott said. “Since I’ve been here, that has changed. When I first came here, if you asked me what I enjoyed most, it was the research part and then teaching. Now, no matter what else is going on, when I walk in the classroom everything is fine. The teaching part is what I enjoy more now.”

Fittingly, it was the accomplishments of a student, Corey Owens, which provided Scott with the highlight of his teaching career. Owens was recognized as the outstanding graduate student at ASU in 2007, only the second time the designation had ever been awarded. He has since joined Scott on the faculty of the ASU Agriculture Department.

“I advised him for most of his undergraduate career and then I was his master’s thesis adviser,” Scott said. “We got to be close friends during that time. Working with him and seeing him come along, seeing him advance, that was one of the coolest things.”

In his spare time, Scott enjoys golfing, hunting, fishing, raising horses and sheep, and watching his son, Brian, play sports for Veribest High School. Brian is following his dad to ASU in the fall and hopes to play football for the Rams. Scott’s mom, Susan Farr, and wife, Bridget, hold degrees from ASU, where Scott also received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

“I think most people would like to go back to work for a university they went to school at,” Scott said. “It is great for me to get to do it. I enjoy it and I love my job. I really do.”