ESSM News & Events 2016 Texas Forestry Association recognizes ESSM facuty member & former students During the annual meeting of the Texas Forestry Association in October 2016, two former ESSM students and an ESSM faculty member received awards. Dr. Tom Byram, Director of the Texas A&M Forest Service Western Gulf Forest Tree Improvement Program and Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, was presented with the Forestry Innovation Award for his work in forest genetics and tree improvement and for his work with molecular markers in forestry, a relatively new development in forestry. Award presented by Ron Hufford. Justin Penick ’97, owner of Acorn Forestry in Lufkin, was presented with the Communicator of the Year Award for testifying and working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality staff to make changes that would set a new standard for those certified to perform prescribed burns. Award presented by Ron Hufford. Brandon Prehn ’16, a December 2016 graduate in Forstry and Spatial Sciences from ESSM, was presented with the TFA W. Goodrich Jones Scholarship for Texas A&M University. Brandon is a senior double majoring in forestry and spatial sciences. He has worked with several professors in his department of Ecosystem Science and Management on current research, including the PINEMAP Undergraduate Fellowship program last summer, where he studied the effect of drought and fertilization on loblolly pine root biomass. Award presented by Misty Bowie.