Thompson to Head Texas Tech Plant and Soil Science

News Release

DATE: May 22, 2006
CONTACT: Norman Martin,
(806) 742-4108


LUBBOCK – Nationally recognized soil scientist Tom Thompson has joined Texas Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources as the new head of its Plant and Soil Science Department. He will take the helm Sept. 1.

“I’m looking forward to working with an excellent group of faculty, staff, students and administrators at Tech,” said Thompson from his office in Tucson. “My goal is to contribute to making this one of the best departments focused on plant and soil science in the nation.”

The Abilene native will lead a diverse mix of research programs at the university, ranging from agriculture genomics and biotechnology to the economically important studies of soil, water, and other environmental resources. He hopes to enhance the educational, research and outreach missions of the department.

As a department chairman and professor at Texas Tech, he will oversee instruction for the department’s 154 undergraduate and graduate students, whose majors include agronomy, horticulture and plant biotechnology.

“Dr. Thompson has the vision, experience, energy and leadership qualities that will enhance the department as it continues its quest for excellence,” said Marvin Cepica, dean of Texas Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Thompson joins Texas Tech after a 15-year stint at the University of Arizona, where he was a professor and extension specialist with the soil, water and environmental science department. Thompson’s research program has addressed soil-plant relationships in agricultural and non-agricultural systems.

A particular focus has been efficient water and nutrient management with subsurface drip irrigation. Many of his studies were conducted at the University of Arizona’s Maricopa Agricultural Center near Phoenix.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Abilene Christian University and a master’s degree in soil chemistry and fertility from Texas A&M University. His doctorate in soil chemistry is from Iowa State University.

Thompson currently is associate editor of the Soil Science Society of America Journal, and has previously served as president of the Western Society of Soil Science. Also, he is a member of American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America.


CONTACT: Marvin Cepica, dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, (806) 742-2810 or,