David Schmidly, Ph.D.
Topics: Wildlife, Habitat, Biology, Science, Education
Trained as a biologist with a special interest in
the taxonomy and natural history of mammals, David Schmidly has taught
at Texas A&M University and
Texas Tech University, and served as
President of the Texas Tech and Oklahoma State University. Dr. Schmidly recently published Texas Natural History: A Century of
Change, an annotated reprinting and updating of A Biological Survey of
Texas, the landmark 1905 study of the state by Vernon Bailey and a
team of 12 other federal biologists. Dr. Schmidly notes that the
pressures on wildlife at the turn of the 20th century were basically
limited to overhunting; impacts now include habitat fragmentation,
introduction of non-native animals (such as feral hogs) and plants
(such as Chinese Tallow), ignorance of wildlife among a burgeoning
urban human population, and reductions in free-flowing surface water.
Dr. Schmidly has not only looked at this historical change, but has
also considered the future ecological challenges that face the state.
He coordinated a 2002 report entitled Texas Parks and Wildlife for the
21st Century, which concludes that Texas state and local governments
must acquire a great deal more public land, on the order of 2 million
acres, in order to give the public sufficient access to outdoor
recreation and to ensure the long-term viability of wildlife
October 10, 2002