Eric Burkhart, Ph.D.

  • Faculty Instructor, Ecosystem Science and Management Department
  • and
  • Plant Science Program Director, Shaver's Creek Environmental Center
Eric Burkhart, Ph.D.
3400 Discovery Road
Petersburg, PA 16669
Work Phone: 814-863-2000

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
  • Invasive plant identification, ecology and management

Connect with Eric Burkhart, Ph.D.



  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

I am a Faculty Instructor at Penn State and the Plant Science Program Director for Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center. In addition to teaching, I maintain an active research program dealing with non-timber forest products, especially American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), in Pennsylvania. I also provide landscape and forest management leadership at Shavers Creek and conduct educational outreach/ extension workshops for the general public and agency personnel on topics relating to all of my interests listed below.    


Courses that I Teach at Penn State

Fall Semester

  • FOR 203 Field Dendrology (w/ Margot Kaye)
  • FOR 403 Invasive Forest Plant Identification, Ecology and Management

Spring Semester

  • FOR 303 Herbaceous Forest Plant Identification and Ecology
  • FOR 418 Agroforestry: Science, Design and Practice (w/ Mike Jacobson)
  • RPTM 297G Interpreting Maple Sugaring to Families (w/ Laurie McLaughlin)

Selected Recent Publications

Peer-reviewed journal articles


Burkhart, E.P. and Knight, M. 2014. 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.

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.  2013. 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.