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2013

Companies Could Make the Switch to Wood Power
December 6, 2013
The conversion to wood-powered burners would make the most sense for larger commercial and industrial operations in areas that have access to large timber resources and a friendly regulatory environment, said Charles Ray, associate professor of wood products operations at Penn State.
Extension Looking to Expand Statewide Education for Private Water Supply Users
November 12, 2013
"We need a large number of trained volunteers who are willing to provide basic education about the proper construction, testing and maintenance of private drinking-water supplies," said Bryan Swistock, extension water resources specialist.
Ruffed Outdoors Launches Crowd-Sourcing Financing Campaign
November 6, 2013
W F S undergraduate student Torin Miller is a one of four partners in Ruffed Outdoors, a new, student-run business venture that in early November launched a crowd-sourcing financing campaign on Kickstarter.com. On the campaign’s second day, 29 backers had pledged $2,880 toward the company’s $15,000 goal.
Diefenbach Receives Award for Excellence in Wildlife Research
November 4, 2013
Duane Diefenbach, adjunct professor of wildlife ecology and leader of the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit based at Penn State, received the Caesar Kleberg Award for Excellence in Applied Wildlife Research during The Wildlife Society's recent annual conference in Milwaukee.
Pennsylvania's Forest Cover Remains Stable at 59 Percent
November 3, 2013
Despite continuing development, urban sprawl and changing land use, Pennsylvania's forest area has remained stable in recent decades, according to James Finley, Ibberson Professor of Forest Resources Management
Penn State Soil Judging Team takes 1st at 2013 Northeast Regionals in Adamstown, MD
October 29, 2013
"The team’s commitment to furthering the soil science profession and soil science at Penn State is something they can be very proud of. Students in the ERM soil science option have 100% job placement over the last 5 years" said Coach Patrick Drohan, associate professor of pedology.
Hen Turkey Study Yielding Reassuring Information
October 28, 2013
What level of fall wild turkey harvest by hunters causes population declines? That's what lead researcher Duane Diefenbach, adjunct professor of wildlife ecology, and others are learning midway through a five-year study of the birds.
SAF Student Chapter Announces Fall 2013 Clothing Sale
October 21, 2013
SAF Student Chapter has hats, hooded sweatshirts, and short- and long-sleeve T-shirts on sale. Orders and payment are due by November 6, 2013.
Explained in 90 Seconds: How Climate Change Fuels Wildfires
August 28, 2013
Matthew Hurteau, assistant professor of forest resources, explains how warming temperatures, prolonged drought, and a century’s worth of fire suppression policy are “priming the system to make it more flammable.”
Aquatic Playground Can Turn Water Tanks into Fish Schools
July 31, 2013
"We are very good at rearing fish, but we're really not very good at releasing those animals in the wild such that they survive," said Victoria Braithwaite, professor of fisheries and biology.
Student Stories: Wildfire Studies in West Spark Senior's Interest
July 26, 2013
After studying wildfire in a year-long independent research project, Brian Crooks last summer journeyed to the West for the first time to see the effects up close in the Sierra National Forest. The senior forest science major saw his textbooks come to life on the trip.
Grad Researcher Studies Impacts of Marcellus Shale Development on Wildlife
July 25, 2013
Forest fragmentation caused by drilling infrastructure is measurable, and may alter bird communities. "Some species -- robins and chipping sparrows -- are attracted to forest edges. Others -- scarlet tanagers, for example -- require a more dense forest to breed," says Penn State graduate student Lillie Langlois. "Pennsylvania is very important for a lot of migratory neo-tropical birds coming from Central and South America that depend on large tracts of forest for breeding."
Drought Response Identified in Potential Biofuel Plant
July 23, 2013
Jatropha currently grows best in tropical countries and is already being cultivated as a biofuel on a small scale in India, Southeast Asia and Africa. "It is thought that Jatropha's future lies in further improvement of Jatropha for large-scale production on marginal, non-food croplands through breeding and/or biotechnology," said John E. Carlson, professor of molecular genetics
Like-Minded Rivals Race to Bring Back the Chestnut Tree
July 18, 2013
Capping decades of research, two groups of plant breeders and geneticists appear to have arrived independently within reach of the same arboreal holy grail: creating an American chestnut tree that can, at long last, withstand the devastating fungus blight that wiped the trees out by the billions in the first half of the 20th century.
Professor Brings Classroom to the Natural World
July 8, 2013
Matt Hurteau, assistant professor of forest resources, leads the Earth Systems Ecology Lab, which includes a team of both undergraduate and graduate researchers and postdoctoral scholars. The two main undertakings of the lab are forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Student Stories: Wildlife Major Helps Animals Soar Again
June 27, 2013
She may not have her own show on the Discovery Channel, but Wildlife and Fisheries Science student Blanca Lopez de Juan Abad is doing her part to save wild animals. The Caracas, Venezuela, native interned last year at the Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Asheboro, N.C.
Graduate Student Spotlight: Sarah Tzilkowski - “Passionate about All Things Water”
June 26, 2013
Sarah Tzilkowski earned her master’s degree in Forest Resources in May 2013 after completion of a project that started with the help of Ray Bryant and Anthony Buda of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and collaborators at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Researchers to Focus on Factors Affecting Forest Regeneration
June 24, 2013
Over the next several year, working collaboratively with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Duane Diefenbach, adjunct professor of wildlife ecology and leader of the U.S. Geological Survey's Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State, and Marc McDill, associate professor of forest management, will study multiple factors affecting forest regeneration in Pennsylvania.
State Forest Products Companies Support Penn State Woodsmen Team
June 12, 2013
The Penn State Woodsmen Team has received $1,000 from the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association to help pay for the team’s equipment and travel to future competitions.
Research Shows River Dredging Reduced Fish Numbers, Diversity
June 10, 2013
"Understanding and untangling the complex effects of human activities on aquatic ecosystems present a challenge to ecologists and resource managers," said lead investigator Jonathan Freedman. "While the physical impacts of dredging have been relatively well studied, less is known about the ecological impacts, particularly on large-river fish populations."
Forest Science Major Immersed in Emerald Ash Borer Research
June 8, 2013
Forest Science student Chelsea Kyler is studying the effects of the emerald ash borer on an ash plantation that was established years before she was born.
Volunteers Aid Effort at Penn State to Bring Back American Chestnut Tree
June 5, 2013
The American Chestnut Foundation already is evaluating sixth-generation trees planted in the wild, and is close to producing blight-resistant specimens, said Sara Fitzsimmons, a research technologist in Penn State’s Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.
Ag Sciences Researchers Part of Award-winning Africa Research Team
May 28, 2013
The team won the research competition for its proposal, "Youth Employment and Income Enhancement Project: Haymaking as a Business Opportunity."
Study Confirms U.S. Amphibian Populations Declining at Rapid Rate
May 23, 2013
The landmark study indicates that the amphibian declines first recognized by researchers in the 1990s are ongoing and that things have not stabilized, noted David Miller, assistant professor of wildlife population ecology.
Pedology Key to Understanding Our Changing Earth in the ‘Age of Humans’
May 21, 2013
A field of soil science that is in a unique position to encompass and understand the variety of factors affecting earth today is pedology. Pedologist Patrick Drohan says in his profession, “you have to understand how the parts of the ecosystem interact, not just in the present time period but through past time periods...”
Timber 2013
May 20, 2013
Timber 2013, June 7-8 at the Ag Progress Days site, showcases high-quality exhibitors with a focus on forest product harvesting and processing, value-added services, land clearing, and emerging biomass markets. This year's show includes active equipment, in-the-woods harvesting demonstrations, and the Penn State Woodsmen’s Team.
Student Stories: 'Bird Scientist' Does Unique Work in Hawaii
May 8, 2013
The 2005 Penn State alumnus currently is involved in a groundbreaking conservation project at the Ka'ena Point Coastal Reserve in Hawaii. The effort targets the decreasing population of native seabirds, namely the Laysan albatross and the wedge-tailed shearwater.
Penn State Places 6th in U.S. National Collegiate Soil Judging Contest
May 3, 2013
Penn State had seven students compete in the National contest, which was hosted Apr. 20 to 27 by the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. They finished six, with 2,630 points. The University of Maryland, coached by Penn State alumnus Dr. Brian Needelman, won the contest with 2,738 points.
'Lumberjills' Shine for Penn State Woodsmen Team
April 19, 2013
Two women from the Penn State Woodsmen Team placed first in their events at a competition in Syracuse, N.Y., on March 23, defeating their opponents in the women's obstacle course and women's stock saw.
Student Stories: Fisheries Grad Swims with Sharks
April 15, 2013
Jenifer McAndrew, class of 2011, works as a husbandry aquarium technician at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island near Manteo.
Changes to Fall Turkey-hunting Season Urged to Bolster Research Project
April 2, 2013
Informally dubbed "the hen study," the project aims to generate information that will allow the Pennsylvania Game Commission to more effectively set fall wild turkey season lengths.
Forest Science Major Studies Aussie Ecosystem
April 1, 2013
Now a senior studying forest science, Darcy McKinley Lester wanted to travel to Australia because she considers the ecosystem Down Under to be fascinating.
Deer Dispersal Research and Chronic Wasting Disease
March 18, 2013
In a four-year study, Duane Diefenbach, adjunct associate professor of wildlife ecology and leader of the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, documented deer dispersal behavior that provides insight into how far and how fast chronic wasting disease (CWD) could spread among wild deer.
Penn State Arboretum to Feature Children's Garden
March 16, 2013
“The Children’s Garden will help foster an appreciation for nature through experiences that may spark a deep and lasting interest in plants and their environment,” said Kim Steiner, director of the Arboretum and professor of forest biology.
Keynote Speakers Named for Private Forest Landowners Conference
March 4, 2013
A well-known conservationist and a prominent ecologist will offer keynote addresses at Penn State's first statewide Private Forest Landowners Conference.
Key to Cleaner Environment May Be Right Beneath our Feet
February 18, 2013
The ground plays an important role in maintaining a clean environment by serving as a natural water filtration and purification system, said Henry Lin, professor of hydropedology and soil hydrology. Understanding the components that make up this integral part of the ecosystem can lead to better groundwater management and smarter environmental policy.
WCO David L. Grove Memorial Run - March 30
February 15, 2013
The Conservation Officers of Pennsylvania Association (COPA) is hosting a 5-K Run on March 30, 2013. All proceeds from the race will benefit the WCO David L. Grove Scholarship Fund at Penn State.