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Eric Burkhart, Ph.D.

  • Faculty Instructor, Ecosystem Science and Management Department
  • Plant Science Program Director, Shaver's Creek Environmental Center
Eric Burkhart, Ph.D.
3400 Discovery Road
Petersburg, PA 16669
Email:
Work Phone: 814-865-3951

Areas of Expertise

  • Field botany and plant identification
  • Plant husbandry and horticulture
  • Wild plant conservation, management and policy
  • Agroforestry practices and applications in temperate ecosystems
  • Economic botany and ethnobotany
  • Non-timber forest products (maple syrup, wild fungi, medicinal plants)
  • Invasive plant identification, ecology and management

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Education

  1. B.A., Economic Botany, Idaho State University (1999)
  2. M.S., Horticulture, Penn State University (2002)
  3. PhD., Forest Resources, Penn State University (2011)

About Me

In addition to teaching for ESM, I have a research and outreach program that is focused on developing sustainable forest crop management and production systems for non-timber forest products including American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), ramps (Allium tricoccum) and other native forest plants (and fungi) through the use of agroforestry cultivation and plant husbandry. 

Courses that I Teach at Penn State

Fall Semester

  • FOR 203 Field Dendrology (w/ Margot Kaye)

Spring Semester

  • FOR 303 Herbaceous Forest Plant Identification, Ecology and Ethnobotany
  • FOR 403 Invasive Forest Plant Identification, Ecology and Management 
  • FOR 418 Agroforestry: Science, Design and Practice (w/ Mike Jacobson)

Selected Recent Publications

Burkhart, E.P. and Zuiderveen, G. Documenting the source of wild ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) in Pennsylvania: six years of surveying provides insights into forest farming and husbandry. Manuscript in development for summer 2018 submission.

Burkhart, E.P. and Zuiderveen, G. Wild goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.) root alkaloid content in relation to colony and harvest date. Manuscript submitted to the Journal of Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants. Submitted December 2017.

Burkhart, E.P. 2013. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) floristic associations in Pennsylvania:guidance for identifying calcium-rich forest farming sites.  Agroforestry Systems 87 (5): 1157-1172.

Burkhart, E.P., Jacobson, M.G. and Finley, J. 2012. Stakeholder perspective and experience with wild American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) conservation efforts in Pennsylvania, U.S.A.:limitations to a CITES driven, top-down regulatory approach. Biodiversity and Conservation 21 (14): 3657-3679.

Burkhart, E.P. and Jacobson, M.G. 2009. Transitioning from wild collection to forest cultivation of indigenous medicinal forest plants in eastern North America is constrained by lack of profitability. Agroforestry Systems 76 (2): 437-453.

Extension related

Burkhart, E.P. and Jacobson, M.G.  2017. Opportunities from American ginseng husbandry in Pennsylvania (revised and expanded). The Pennsylvania State University College of Agriculture, University Park, PA. 16 p.

Burkhart, E.P.  and Jacobson, M.G. 2006. Non-timber forest products from Pennsylvania.  Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). The Pennsylvania State University College of Agriculture, University Park, PA. 16 p.

Burkhart, E.P.  and Jacobson, M.G. 2004. Non-timber forest products from Pennsylvania.  American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). The Pennsylvania State University College of Agriculture, University Park, PA. 12 p.