The Department of Ecosystem Science and Management is a tight-knit, welcoming community of learners united by their passion to protect, manage, and use natural resources for sustained benefits.

We conduct research to create new knowledge about Pennsylvania's forests, wildlife and fisheries, soils, and watersheds, and we disseminate that knowledge through the classroom and through extension education programs serving professionals, landowners, policymakers, and other stakeholders.


Our mission is to build and disseminate knowledge for the conservation and management of natural and human-dominated ecosystems. We focus on applications in fisheries, wildlife, soils, forestry, water, and agriculture. With global population projections of 10.9 billion by 2100 and increasing consumer demand for goods, the need for smart, scientifically trained managers and efficient use of natural resources is greater than ever. Our department was designed to help meet this challenge.


Our more than 40 faculty members include federal agency scientists housed on campus. These faculty members teach and advise 110 graduate students and 225 undergraduates. In addition, more than 25 staff members provide administrative support, help carry out faculty research, and conduct statewide extension education programs in renewable natural resources.


Undergraduate Programs

The department offers undergraduate degree programs in Forest Ecosystem Management and in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. Faculty in the department also teach soil science classes as part of the Soil Science option in the College of Agricultural Sciences' Environmental Resource Management major.

Graduate Programs

Graduate degrees are granted in Forest Resources, Wildlife and Fisheries Science, and Soil Science.

Our graduates learn the science and how to apply it on the ground to real problems. The programs prepare students for careers in natural resources management for government agencies, associations, nongovernmental organizations, and private companies, or for additional research.


Through key partnerships and cooperation with nonprofit organizations, government, and industry, the department exposes our students to real-world applications and plays a central role in addressing natural resource issues.


Students, faculty, and partner scientists collaborate in modern classrooms and state-of-the-art teaching and research labs in the Forest Resources Building and in the Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building.

The Forest Resources Building opened in September 2006, earning a silver certification in the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Its exposed beams and trusses showcase the beauty of Pennsylvania hardwoods. A 4,700-square-foot green roof puts sustainability concepts into practice. A rooftop patio is available for groups or individuals to use for classes or meetings.

The department also offers opportunities for hands-on learning in a variety of local ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and urban and agricultural sites. Two professional foresters oversee more than 8,000 acres of University-owned forestland that serves research and teaching goals.

Visit the Forestland Management Office.


Research areas range widely, but include acid deposition effects on regeneration, soils, water resources, and fish and wildlife; timber harvesting impacts on water quality; human-wildlife interactions; fisheries ecology and management; wastewater disposal; biodiversity conservation; habitat restoration; invasive species; emerging diseases and pests; and bioenergy.

This level of intellectual diversity enables us to tackle complex environmental problems in a wide array of ecosystems. It also equips us to train students, citizens, and youth to be skillful natural resource stewards who are proficient with an advanced ecosystem management tool kit.

Extramural research funding exceeds $10 million per year, and research is strongly interdisciplinary, including work with groups such as the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment. Graduate students can pursue research as part of several interdisciplinary and intercollege graduate degree programs, such as Ecology, Environmental Pollution Control, Genetics, Materials Science and Engineering, and Plant Biology.


The department has a strong statewide focus on extension education dealing with forest resources, urban and community forestry, water resources, wildlife and fisheries, wood products, and soil conservation.

Members of the Penn State Extension faculty work closely with field-based extension educators and partner agencies to deliver educational programs that emphasize youth education, bioenergy, and natural resource management.

Professional development

Professional development programs are offered annually in diverse topics such as GIS/GPS in forestry, forest taxation, and wood products. The Goddard and Ibberson Forums are held periodically to discuss current resource management topics of interest to a wide audience.

Name Title Email Phone
Marc David Abrams, Ph.D. Nancy and John Steimer Professor of Agricultural Sciences 814-865-4901
Tarik Acevedo-Gonzalez PhD Student, Ecology
Denise Alving PhD Student, Forest Resources
Kathleen Arrington PostDoc
Laramie Aspegren MS Student, Soil Science
Julian D. Avery, Ph.D. Assistant Research Professor
Robert Baldwin, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus 814-865-7541
Sara Banker
Samuel Bayuzick MS, Soil Science
Douglas Beegle, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Agronomy 814-863-1016
Jhony Armando Benavides Bolaños PhD Student, Soil Science
Taylor Blackman PhD Student, Forest Resources
Paul Blankenhorn, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Wood Technology 814-865-7541
Vicki S. Blazer Research Fish Biologist
Jean-Marc Bollag, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Soil Biochemistry 814-863-0843
Brianna Bonshock MS Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Todd Bowersox, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus 814-865-7541
Elizabeth W. Boyer, Ph.D. Professor of Water Resources 814-865-8830
Brosi Bradley Research Technologist 814-429-9242
Margaret C. Brittingham, Ph.D. Professor of Wildlife Resources 814-863-8442
Mary Ann Victoria Bruns, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Soil Microbiology and Biogeochemistry 814-863-0779
Ray Bryant, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor of Agronomy, USDA-ARS 814-863-0923
Anthony Buda, Ph.D. Research Hydrologist, USDA-ARS 814-865-6623
Frances E. Buderman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Quantitative Wildlife Ecology 814-867-3378
Eric Burkhart, Ph.D. Associate Teaching Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management Department 814-865-3951
Katharine Butler Senior Lecturer in Soil Science 814-865-2119
Nina Rose Camillone PhD Student, Soil Science
John E. Carlson, Ph.D. Professor of Molecular Genetics 814-863-9164
Xin Chen PhD Student, Forest Resources
Jonathon G Chester MS Student, Forest Resources
Holly Chittum PhD Student, Forest Resources
Edward Ciolkosz, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Soil Genesis and Morphology 814-865-1530
Angela Clark Administrative Manager 814-863-7093
Kyle Clark PhD Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Mara Lee Cashay Cloutier PhD Student, Soil Science
John W. Clune PhD Student, Forest Resources
Estelle Couradeau Assistant Professor of Soils and Environmental Microbiology 814-863-1615
Alexander C. Curtze MS Student, Forest Resources
Samuel Dannenberg MS Student, Forest Resources
Courtney Davis PhD Student, Ecology
Rick Day, Ph.D. Emeritus Associate Professor
Curtis Dell, Ph.D. Adjunct Associate Professor of Soil Science, USDA-ARS 814-863-0984
Chelsea DeMarco MS Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
David R DeWalle, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Forest Hydrology 814-863-3532
Duane Diefenbach, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor of Wildlife Ecology 814-865-3992
Carli Dinsmore MS Student, Ecology
Patrick Drohan, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Pedology 814-863-4246
Linda Duerr Coordinator of Children's Educational Programs 814-867-4813
Sjoerd Duiker, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Soil Management and Applied Soil Physics 814-863-7637
Jonathan M. Duncan, Ph.D., M.P.A. Assistant Professor of Hydrology 814-865-7554
Shari Edelson Director of Horticulture/Curator 814-865-8080
Jessie Edson Genetics Laboratory Manager
David Eissenstat, Ph.D. Interim Head and Professor 814-863-3371
William Elmendorf, Ph.D. Professor 814-863-7941
Margarita Fernandez PhD Student, Ecology
C. Paola Ferreri, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Fisheries Management 814-863-2095
Jennifer Fetter
James Finley, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Forest Resources 814-863-0402
Sara Fern Fitzsimmons PA - American Chestnut Foundation 814-863-7192
Suzanne Fleishman PhD Student, Ecology
Daniel Fritton, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Soil Physics
Henry Gerhold, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Forest Genetics 814-865-7541
Tess Gingery Research Technologist I
Timothy Gould Public Programs Manager 814-867-4262
Ephraim Muchada Govere, CPSS Director, Soil Research Cluster Laboratory 814-865-1143
Jeff Grimm Research Assistant
Tyler A. Groh, Ph.D. Assistant Research Professor 814-865-7541
Dana Grove Financial Assistant 814-865-2050
Daniel Guarin PhD Student, Soil Science & International Agriculture and Development (INTAD)
Brent Harding Senior Forester 814-865-7422
Joseph Harding Assistant Teaching Professor 814-865-6272
Yuting He Smeglin Assistant Research Professor
Jeff Hershey MS Candidate, Biorenewable Systems
Caitlin Hodges PhD Student, Soil Science
Brennan Holderman Research Technologist II
Rebecca Horwitt Volunteer Program Assistant 814-867-4262
Sarah A. Isbell PhD Student, Ecology
David Jackson
Michael Jacobson, Ph.D. Professor of Forest Resources 814-865-3994
Abigail Jamison MS Student, Forest Resources and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment
Fei Jiang PhD Student, Soil Science
Daniel Johnson, Ph.D. Assistant Teaching Professor of Soil Science 814-867-0542
Jacob Johnson PhD Student, Forest Resources
Joshua B. Johnson Wildlife Biometrician
Rebecca Teal Jordan MS Student, Forest Resources
Jason Kaye, Ph.D. Professor of Soil Biogeochemistry 814-863-1614
Margot Wilkinson Kaye, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Forest Ecology 814-865-4841
Jason Keagy Assistant Research Professor of Wildlife Behavioral Ecology
Armen R. Kemanian, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Production Systems and Modeling 814-863-9852
Emily Kerstetter MS Student, Forest Resources
Peter Kleinman, Ph.D. Adjunct Associate Professor of Soil Science, USDA-ARS 814-865-3184
Sridhar Komarneni, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Clay Mineralogy 814-865-1542
Marissa Kopp PhD, Ecology
Jesse K. Kreye, Ph.D. Assistant Research Professor 814-863-2509
Melissa M. Kreye, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Forest Resource Management 814-867-1237
Emily Lavely Postdoctoral Fellow
Laura P. Leites, Ph.D. Associate Research Professor of Quantitative Forest Ecology 814-865-4244
Emily Lesher MS Student, Soil Science
Whitney Lisenbee PostDoc
Doua Jim Lor MS Student, Ecology
Fiona Lunt MS Student, Ecology
Madeline Luthard PhD student
James Lynch, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Forest Hydrology 814-865-7541
Jonathan Lynch, Ph.D. Courtesy Professor of Plant Nutrition 814-863-2256
Marjorie Grace Macknight PhD Student, Ecology
Matt Marshall, Ph.D. Adjunct Assistant Professor of Wildlife Conservation 814-863-0134
Evan C Mascitti PhD Candidate, Soil Science
Danielle Massie MS student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Erynn Maynard-Bean Postdoctoral Researcher
Catherine McClure MS Student, Ecology
Curt McConnell PhD Student, Ecology
Larry McCormick, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus 814-865-7541
Marc E. McDill, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Forest Management 814-865-1602
Andrew McNitt, Ph.D. Professor of Soil Science 814-863-1368
Devyn McPheeters MS Student, Ecology
Robert Meinen PhD Student, Soil Science 814-865-5986
Catalina Mejia MS Student, Soil Science
Michael G. Messina, Ph.D. Former Head and Professor Emeritus, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management
David A.W. Miller, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Wildlife Population Ecology 814-863-1598
Doug Miller, Ph.D. Professor of Geography 814-863-7207
Diane Monteith Graduate Program Coordinator 814-863-7221
Sara Mueller PhD Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Asia Murphy PhD Student, Ecology
Allyson Brownlee Muth, Ed.D. Director, Center for Private Forests 814-865-3208
David Muñoz PhD Candidate, Ecology
Wayne Myers, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Forest Biometrics 814-865-7541
Robert Neiderer Senior Research Technologist 877-722-4724
Jennifer Nieves MS Student, Ecology
Richard Novak MS, Ecology
Kelly Oleynik Development Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator 814-867-2591
Lauren Ann Onofrio MS Student, Ecology
Alexandra Orr PhD Student, Forest Resources
Abigail Owens MS Student, Soil Science
Nathaniel Scott Parkhill MS student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Britta "Wren" Patton PhD Student, Ecology 814-865-3155
JeriLynn (Jeri) E. Peck, Ph.D. Research Associate 814-234-2898
Michael D. Perkins PhD Student, Forest Resources
Gary Petersen, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Soil and Land Resources 814-865-1540
Danielle Pierone MS Student, Wildlife Fisheries and Science
Monique Pipkin MS Student, Ecology
Michael Powell Senior Research Technologist 814-863-1113
Edward Primka PhD Student, Ecology
Cathryn Pugh MS Student, Forest Resources
Charles David Ray, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management 814-865-0679
Brian Redder PhD Student, SOILS
Warren Reed PhD Student, Ecology
Kate Reeder Event and Marketing Coordinator 814-865-9118
Arun Regmi PhD Student, Forest Resources
Joshua Rittenhouse MS Student, Forest Resources
Bruna Rodrigues Do Amaral MS Student, Ecology
Ellen A. Rom Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs and Alumni Relations, and Assistant Teaching Professor 814-863-0362
Gary San Julian, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Wildlife Resources 814-865-4287
Zachary Paul Sanders PhD Student, Soil Science
Vishnupriya Sankararaman PhD Student, Ecology
Larry Schardt Natural Resource Conservationist 814-865-1138
Mary Jo Schillings Department Head Assistant 814-865-0172
Max Schlossberg, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Turfgrass Nutrition/Soil Fertility 814-863-1015
Nathaniel Schmidt MS Student, Forest Resources
Zachary M. Schumber MS, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Bobbi Jo Scovern Administrative Support Assistant 814-865-4511
Barbara Sellers Administrative Support Assistant 814-863-0401
Sadikshya Sharma MS Student, Forest Resources
William Sharpe, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Forest Hydrology 814-865-7541
Yuning Shi Assistant Research Professor 814-865-7393
Sina Sinai Research Assistant, Leites Lab
Rachel Smith Undergraduate Administrative Assistant 814-865-4237
Sanford S. Smith, Ph.D. Teaching Professor in Forest Resources and 814-865-4261
William Sopper Professor Emeritus of Forest Hydrology
Sasha Danielle Soto PhD Student, Center for Private Forests
Laurie Sparks Financial Assistant 814-865-8384
Jay Stauffer, Jr., Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Ichthyology 814-863-0645
Richard Stehouwer, Ph.D. Professor of Environmental Soil Science
Kim Steiner, Ph.D. Professor of Forest Biology 814-865-9351
Charles Strauss, Ph.D. Director and Professor Emeritus, School of Forest Resources 814-865-7541
Bryan Swistock Extension Associate 814-863-0194
David Sylvia, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus 814-863-6726
Ismaiel Szink MS Student, Ecology
Qicheng Tang PhD Student, Soil Science
Michael Toolan Natural Areas Program Assistant 814-865-8080
Kalaia Tripeaux MS student, Forest Resources
Walter Tzilkowski, Ph.D. Associate Professor Emeritus of Wildlife Science
Amanda Van Buskirk MS Student, Ecology
Myriah Wadley MS Student, Forest Resources
Tyler Wagner, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor of Fisheries Ecology 814-865-6592
W. David Walter, Ph.D. Adjunct Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology 814-867-4763
Jack Watson, Ph.D. Professor of Soil Science / Soil Physics / Biogeochemistry 814-863-6714
Jennifer Weld Assistant Research Professor 877-722-4724
Paris Werner MS Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Charlie White Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management 814-863-1016
Patrick Williams Director of Development 814-865-0441
Joshua Wisor PhD Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Shannon Wray MS Student, Soil Science
Eric Zawatski MS Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Eric K. Zenner, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Silviculture 814-865-4574
Huaibin Zhang MS Student, Soils
Yuhui Zhou Financial Coordinator 814-865-9118