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
Karen (Brzezinski) Beatty MS Student, Ecology
Marc David Abrams, Ph.D. Nancy and John Steimer Professor of Agricultural Sciences 814-865-4901
Tarik Acevedo-Gonzalez PhD Student, Ecology
Daniel Allen Assistant Professor of Aquatic Ecology
Katherine Altamirano MS Student, Ecology
Denise Alving PhD Student, Forest Resources
Naomi Anderson MS Student, FOR R
Kathleen Arrington PostDoc
Julian D. Avery, Ph.D. Assistant Research Professor
Robert Baldwin, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus 814-865-7541
Eva Barr MS Student, Ecology
Sarah Batchelor PhD student, Ecology
Douglas Beegle, Ph.D. Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Agronomy 814-863-1016
Alice Belskis MS Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
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
Todd Bowersox, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus 814-865-7541
Elizabeth W. Boyer, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Ecosystem Science & Management 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. 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 814-865-3951
Katharine Butler Senior Lecturer in Soil Science 814-865-2119
Nina Rose Camillone PhD Candidate, Soil Science and International Agriculture and Development (INTAD)
Bradley J. Cardinale Department Head, Ecosystem Science and Management
John E. Carlson, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Molecular Genetics
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
Avery M. Corondi MS Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Estelle Couradeau Assistant Professor of Soils and Environmental Microbiology 814-863-1615
Christopher Custer 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
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
Patrick Drohan, Ph.D. Professor of Pedology & Graduate Program Chair 814-863-4246
Jonathan M. Duncan, Ph.D., M.P.A. Assistant Professor of Hydrology 814-865-7554
Jessie Edson Genetics Laboratory Manager
David Eissenstat, Ph.D. Professor of Woody Plant Physiology 814-863-3371
William Elmendorf, Ph.D. Professor and Ibberson Chair in Community and Urban Forestry 814-863-7941
Margarita Fernandez PhD Student, Ecology
C. Paola Ferreri, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Fisheries Management 814-863-2095
Jennifer R Fetter Extension Educator, Water Resources 717-921-8803
Sara Fern Fitzsimmons PA - American Chestnut Foundation 814-863-7192
Suzanne Fleishman PhD Candidate, Ecology
Daniel Fritton, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Soil Physics
Jeff Grimm Research Assistant
Tyler A. Groh, Ph.D. Assistant Research Professor 814-865-6726
Dana Grove Proposal and Awards Generalist 814-865-8384
Daniel Guarin PhD Student, Soil Science & International Agriculture and Development (INTAD)
Katie Gundermann MS student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Jill Hamilton Director of the Schatz Center and Associate Professor
Brent Harding Director of Forestlands 814-865-7422 or 814-865-6272
Sarah A. Isbell PhD Student, Ecology
David R. Jackson Extension Educator, Renewable Natural Resources 814-359-7480
Michael Jacobson, Ph.D. Professor of Forest Resources 814-865-3994
Daniel Johnson, Ph.D. Assistant Teaching Professor of Soil Science 814-867-0542
Jacob Johnson PhD Student, Forest Resources
Joshua B. Johnson Wildlife Biometrician
Jason Kaye, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Soil Biogeochemistry 814-863-1614
Margot Wilkinson Kaye, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Forest Ecology 814-865-4841
Jason Keagy, Ph.D. Assistant Research Professor of Wildlife Behavioral Ecology
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
Melissa M. Kreye, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Forest Resource Management 814-867-1237
Jaedyn Lalonde MS Student, Ecology
Kirk Lawson PhD Student, FOR R
Laura P. Leites, Ph.D. Associate Research Professor of Quantitative Forest Ecology 814-865-4244
Whitney Lisenbee PostDoc
Joanne Loose Administrative Support Assistant 814-865-7541
Doua Jim Lor MS Student, Ecology
Madeline Luthard PhD student, Ecology
James Lynch, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Forest Hydrology 814-865-7541
Marjorie Grace Macknight PhD Student, Ecology
Melinda Marsh PhD student, SOILS
Matt Marshall, Ph.D. Adjunct Assistant Professor of Wildlife Conservation 814-863-0134
Evan C Mascitti PhD Candidate, Soil Science
Erynn Maynard-Bean Postdoctoral Researcher
Larry McCormick, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus 814-865-7541
Marc E. McDill, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Forest Management 814-865-1602
Devyn McPheeters MS Student, Ecology
Robert Meinen Senior Extension Associate 814-865-5986
Michael G. Messina, Ph.D. Former Head and Professor Emeritus, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management
David A.W. Miller, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Wildlife Population Ecology 814-863-1598
Diane Monteith Graduate Program Coordinator 814-863-7221
Brian Morris MS Student, Soil Science
Sara Mueller PhD Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Allyson Brownlee Muth, Ed.D. Director, Center for Private Forests 814-865-3208
Wayne Myers, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Forest Biometrics 814-865-7541
Robert Neiderer Senior Research Technologist 877-722-4724
Kripa Neupane PhD Student (Forest Resources)
Richard Novak MS, Ecology
Alexandra Orr PhD Student, Forest Resources
Abigail Owens MS Student, Soil Science
Britta "Wren" Patton PhD Student, Ecology 814-865-3155
JeriLynn (Jeri) E. Peck, Ph.D. Research Associate 814-234-2898
Gary Petersen, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Soil and Land Resources 814-865-1540
Michael Powell Senior Research Technologist 814-863-1113
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
Arun Regmi PhD Candidate, 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
Andrew Ross MS student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Gary San Julian, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Wildlife Resources 814-865-4287
Zachary Paul Sanders Research Technologist
Vishnupriya Sankararaman PhD Student, Ecology
Larry Schardt Natural Resource Conservationist 814-865-1138
Mary Jo Schillings Department Head Assistant 814-865-0172
Zachary M. Schumber MS, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Christopher Scott Maurice K. Goddard Chair of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, Professor 814-867-4384
Barb Sellers Administrative Support Assistant 814-863-0401
Sadikshya Sharma PhD Student, Forest Resources
William Sharpe, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Forest Hydrology 814-865-7541
Sina Sinai Research Assistant, Leites Lab
Sugjit Singh PhD student, WFS
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
Cassie Stark MS student, Forest Resources
Sydney Stark MS student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Jay Stauffer, Jr., Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Ichthyology 814-863-0645
Richard Stehouwer, Ph.D. Professor of Environmental Soil Science
Charles Strauss, Ph.D. Director and Professor Emeritus, School of Forest Resources 814-865-7541
Morgan Stum MS student, WFS
Jon Sweetman Assistant Research Professor 814-865-1143
David Sylvia, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus 814-863-6726
Qicheng Tang PhD Student, Soil Science
Michael Toolan MS student, Forest Resources 814-865-8080
Ryan Trexler PhD student, Ecology
Sarah Troisi MS student, Soil Science
Walter Tzilkowski, Ph.D. Associate Professor Emeritus of Wildlife Science
Tyler Wagner, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor of Fisheries Ecology 814-865-6592
Mallory Wahlstrom MS student, FOR R
W. David Walter, Ph.D. Adjunct Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology 814-867-4763
Tyler Walters MS student, Ecology
Andrew Warner Director, Penn State Water Initiative (814) 863-6441
Jennifer Weld Assistant Research Professor 877-722-4724
Paris Werner MS Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Joshua Wisor PhD Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Michelle Zavala Paez PhD student, Ecology
Eric K. Zenner, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Silviculture 814-865-4574
Tetyana Zhebentyayeva Associate Research Professor 814-863-9164