Dr. Eugene J. Kamprath

Dr. Eugene (Gene) J. Kamprath was a distinguished faculty member in the Department of Soil Science from 1955 through 1996. He was an exceptional scientist, mentor and leader.

Dr. Kamprath grew up in the farming community of Seward, Nebraska. He received his BS (1950) and MS (1952) degrees in Agronomy from the University of Nebraska and his PhD degree in Agronomy (Soils) from North Carolina State University in 1955. He joined the faculty of the Agronomy Department at NC State University in June 1955 as Assistant Professor and was promoted to Professor in 1963. He also served as Director of the Soil Testing Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture from 1958 to 1963. In 1981 he was named a William Neal Reynolds Professor of Soil Science. The University of Nebraska awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1987. He was appointed as Head of the Soil Science Department in January 1990 and served until his retirement on August 31, 1996. He continued to serve on a volunteer basis as a substitute instructor and as a member of various departmental committees. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 90.

He was named a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy in 1972 and the Soil Science Society of America in 1976. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Soil Science Society of America Journal from 1969-1975. He served as President of the Southern Branch of the American Society of Agronomy 1980-81. He received the first Applied Soil Research Award of the Soil Science Society of America in 1986 and was given the Soil Science Award for Distinguished Service in 1997 by the Soil Science Society of America. The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Alumni Association of the University of Nebraska named him the Alumnus of the Year in 2000 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to agriculture.

As a member of the Soil Science Department at North Carolina State University, he taught the undergraduate and graduate soil fertility courses and he co-taught the Senior Crop and Soil Management course. His research projects dealt with soil fertility studies with corn, soybeans, and cotton. He was involved with the Agency for International Development Project on Tropical Soils and with research in Brazil and Indonesia. He served as the committee chair for 26 PhD and 17 MS degree recipients. He was very pleased that many of the students he mentored went on to distinguished teaching and research careers in the United States and abroad.

The Eugene J. Kamprath Endowment was established in his honor when he retired and his legacy will continue to support students into perpetuity.

Note: Most of this information is from Dr. Kamprath’s Obituary.