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Source: Gary Pierzynski, 785-532-7137, gmp@k-state.edu
Pronouncer: Pierzynski is Pier-zinn-ski
News release prepared by: Steve Watson, 785-532-7105 or swatson@k-state.edu

Thursday, May 20, 2010

K-STATE'S GARY PIERZYNSKI TO HEAD NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL SOILS SOCIETY

MANHATTAN -- Gary Pierzynski, interim dean of the College of Agriculture and professor of agronomy at Kansas State University, has been chosen as president-elect of the Soil Science Society of America.

Pierzynski's term as president-elect begins Jan. 1, 2011; he assumes the role of president Jan. 1, 2012. He will be the third K-State agronomy faculty member to serve as president of the Soil Science Society of America, succeeding another K-State agronomy faculty member.

"My term will immediately follow that of K-State's Chuck Rice, who serves as president of SSSA in 2011," Pierzynski said. "It is a tremendous honor for our department and K-State to have two consecutive presidents of the national professional society. It is a testament to the outstanding quality of the program at our university.

"During my term, I'm looking forward to raising awareness of our profession at all levels," he said.

Pierzynski was named a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America in 2002.

Prior to becoming interim dean of K-State's College of Agriculture in March 2010, Pierzynski was head of K-State's department of agronomy. He has been a K-State faculty since 1989. A professor of soil and environmental chemistry, Pierzynski is an active researcher who has worked with the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and more. He has published three books and more than 60 articles in refereed publications, in addition to contributing to numerous book chapters and other publications.

Pierzynski has received numerous teaching and research awards, including K-State's Commerce Bank Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2007, and was named a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy in 2001. He also is a member Sigma Xi scientific research society, International Union of Soil Sciences, Worldwatch Institute, International Society Trace Element Biogeochemistry, Gamma Sigma Delta agricultural science honorary and Phi Kappa Phi national collegiate honor society. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Michigan State University, and a doctorate in soil chemistry from Ohio State University.

The Soil Science Society of America is an international scientific society with more than 6,000 members. It is dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling and wise land use.