ESSM Awards & Merits 2015 Ryan Mushinski receives three competitive travel awards Ecosystem Science and Management doctoral student Ryan Mushinski received three competitive travel awards to support his trip to Minneapolis, MN, for the ASA-CSSA-SSSA annual meeting in November 2015. The three awards are the TAMU Office Graduate and Professional Studies Graduate Student Research and Presentation Travel Award, the TAMU Graduate and Professional Student Council Travel Award and the Robert Luxmoore Graduate Student Award from the Soil Science Society of America. At the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America meeting, Ryan will present on a project titled “Nitrifying community and N-cycle activity are reduced by increasing forest harvest intensity in surface and subsurface soils in the western Gulf Coastal Plain.” Ryan is a McMillan-Ward Memorial Graduate Fellowship holder and TAMU Graduate Merit Fellowship recipient, pursuing a Ph.D. with Dr. Tom Boutton. His research is aimed at understanding the effect of disturbances, such as timber harvesting, on forest productivity, by looking at fluctuations in soil productivity [soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN), NH3/NH4+ and NO3-- pool sizes, and bacterial and archaeal amoA] in surface and subsurface soils under several harvest scenarios (no-harvest, bole-only harvest and whole-tree harvest plus forest floor removal). His study is based at the Long-Term Soil Productivity site near Groveton in a Pinus taeda L. forest in eastern Texas. Ryan earned a B.S. in Biology at Texas State University, San Marcos. During the summer of 2012, he participated in the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates at Texas A&M through the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, before joining the ESSM graduate program in 2013.