Keith Lynch grew up in the small town of Dill City, Okla. After originally attending college to take advantage of the ROTC program and become a military officer, asthma kept Lynch out of the military. He decided instead to continue his education at Oklahoma State University. A friend introduced Lynch to Glen Durrell, the Forestry Department Head at OSU, whom Lynch calls “a true father figure.” Lynch began his studies in Forestry shortly afterward.
After receiving his undergraduate degree in 1967, Lynch decided to stay at Oklahoma State University and work on his Master’s in Forest Genetics and Tree Improvement. He then took a job at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. as a research associate, where he did a fair amount of traveling. During this time, Lynch also had a lot of control over his schedule and was able to take a few courses per year at Auburn. After 10 years, Lynch received his doctorate from Auburn University in Forest Genetics and Plant Breeding. In 1977, Lynch took a job at K-State where he worked exclusively for K-State Research and Extension Forestry off-campus. In 1980 he was asked to teach a dendrology course for only one semester. At that point, Lynch discovered he enjoyed teaching, took a faculty position and moved his office on-campus. “I’ve been in a temporary position for nearly 30 years!” Lynch says with a smile.
“The diversity is the best part of the HFRR Department at K-State,” Lynch states. “We’ve got four major divisions: one encompassing all aspects of horticulture, the recreation resources where I am, the new Wildlife Outdoor Enterprise Management program and the Kansas Forest Service, which is an integral part of the department. It’s neat that we cover so many areas.”
Outside of teaching, Lynch enjoys hunting and most related activities, including reloading his own cartridges, camping and archery.