We are fortunate to work toward improving the understanding and responsible management of soil and water, productive forests, a diversity of fish and wildlife species, and places where people can enjoy nature’s beauty.
For more than a century, Penn State has prepared forestry and soil science professionals with a sound scientific background and practical, hands-on skills. Newer degrees developed to continue the tradition of applied education are those in Wood Products and Wildlife and Fisheries Science. In July 2012, the School of Forest Resources was blended with nine soil scientists from the former Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and one plant ecologist from the former Department of Horticulture to become the new Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.
Our department was designed to meet the challenges of a growing global population and the subsequent demands and strains on natural resources. As population and affluence increase, we must become increasingly efficient in our natural resource use, while concurrently maintaining ecosystem services derived from working lands.
The natural resource problems we address may change through the years, but our commitment to excellence in all of our missions remains constant.
Our students benefit from a faculty committed to providing the best education. Our faculty are world class, with cutting-edge research programs that bring us international recognition for our innovation and leadership in a wide array of disciplines.
Our students work with faculty in state-of-the-art labs addressing issues of current importance to natural resource management. Our campus is ideally located with ready access to a variety of ecosystems in central Pennsylvania that serve as outdoor classrooms and laboratories for instruction, research, and outreach to our myriad stakeholders.
Students enjoy a wide range of educational opportunities and a variety of student organizations that foster their professional development, such as the Society of American Foresters, The Wildlife Society, and the Penn State Soil Judging Team.
Graduates of our school solve problems using the best mix of science and management techniques.
The department's superior outreach programs are critical to the well-being of Pennsylvanians and address matters that touch many aspects of our lives. Our Pennsylvania Forest Stewardship Program provides the more than half a million Pennsylvania forestland owners with information and assistance to promote healthy and productive forests. These landowners control more than 70 percent of the commonwealth’s forests, so their activity heavily influences both the short-term and long-term condition of Pennsylvania’s forest resources. Our success is facilitated by valuable relationships with our partners and alumni, and we work hard to maintain these alliances.
In these early years of our second century of service to Pennsylvania and beyond, we continue our legacy of providing outstanding education, research, and outreach.
We invite you to peruse our site to inspect our impressive variety of programs and our commitment to excellence in fulfilling our many missions. Feel free to contact us, or better yet, visit our department. I am certain that you will be impressed.
Dr. Michael G. Messina
Head, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management
The Pennsylvania State University
121 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802