Larger streams are critical for wild brook trout conservation

June 4, 2020

The Latin name for brook trout — Salvelinus fontinalis — means "speckled fish of the fountains," but a new study by Penn State researchers suggests, for the first time, that the larger streams and rivers those fountains, or headwaters, flow into may be just as important to the brook trout.

Keeping tabs on neighborhood wildlife may hook you on all the action

May 27, 2020

Watching wildlife outside your window can boost your mental well-being, and it’s something lots of people have been doing a lot more of lately. This article by Dr. Julian Avery recently appeared in The Washington Post and was originally published on

Changes in cropping methods, climate decoy pintail ducks into an ecological trap

May 26, 2020

After a severe drought gripped the Prairie Pothole Region of the U.S. and Canada in the 1980s, populations of almost all dabbling duck species that breed there have recovered. But not northern pintails. Now a new study by a team of researchers suggests why — they have been caught in an ecological trap.

Breath of fresh air: Environmental student’s internship fixes on climate action

May 20, 2020

Leaving her footprint on the natural world — in a reduced-carbon kind of way — has been a long-held aspiration for Sarah Schanwald. The recent Penn State graduate, who holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental resource management from the College of Agricultural Sciences, is well on her way to doing that based on the strength of her experiences at the University.

Three honored for commitment to diversity in College of Agricultural Sciences

May 15, 2020

Three individuals have received the Dr. William Henson Diversity Achievement Award from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, an honor that recognizes distinctive and outstanding teaching, research, extension or creative work that advances diversity in the college.

Don’t Blame Bambi

May 3, 2020

Scientists Brice Hanberry, USDA Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station, and Marc Abrams, Penn State, decided to explore whether white-tailed deer populations are a key driver in changing eastern forests. Based on their research, it appears that deer are not the culprits.

Mayapple, the most harvested plant in Appalachia

April 17, 2020

Dr. Eric Burkhart talks about mayapple in this piece from West Virginia Public Broadcasting's "Edible Mountain," a digital series that showcases some of Appalachia’s "untapped and understudied natural resources."


April 13, 2020

This recent article in the Pittsburgh Quarterly highlights the research of Dr. Eric Burkhart, botanist and ramp expert.

Congratulations Daniel Wesdock on Being Selected Ag Student of the Month

April 13, 2020

Ag Student of the Month is an award given by the College of Ag Sciences Student Council to a student who demonstrates actions that benefit the college and a student organization. Daniel Wesdock is a graduating senior enrolled in the Soil Science option of Environmental Resource Management; he is also completing a minor in Wildlife and Fisheries Science.

Jacobson named recipient of 2020 Kopp International Achievement Award

March 27, 2020

Michael Jacobson, professor of forest resources in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is the recipient of the 2020 W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award. Established in 1995, the award recognizes faculty members who have contributed significantly to the advancement of the international mission of the University. It is named for the late deputy vice president for international programs.

Congratulations Bailey Kleeberg on Being Selected Ag Student of the Month

March 16, 2020

Ag Student of the Month is an award given by the College of Ag Sciences Student Council to a student who demonstrates actions that benefit the college and a student organization. Bailey Kleeberg is an outstanding junior studying Wildlife and Fisheries Science at Penn State University Park.

It’s OK to feed wild birds – here are some tips for doing it the right way

March 5, 2020

In this popular article, Julian Avery, Assistant Research Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, addresses how humans influence bird populations, whether feeding poses risks to wild birds, and how to engage with birds in sustainable ways.

Andra Johnson named associate director of Penn State Extension

February 29, 2020

Andra Johnson, vice chancellor for research and technology development at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been named associate director of Penn State Extension, effective July 1. He is a Forest Resources alumnus.

New book examines how environment can foster intergenerational connections

February 28, 2020

Ways of thinking about, planning and designing intergenerationally enriched environments are explored in a new book co-edited by Matt Kaplan, professor of intergenerational programs and aging in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Forest 'duff' must be considered in controlled burning to avoid damaging trees

February 21, 2020

Many decades of forest fire prevention and suppression has resulted in a thick buildup of organic matter on the forest floor in many regions of the United States, according to a Penn State researcher, whose new study suggests that the peculiar way that these layers burn should be considered in plans for controlled burns.

Forest soils release more carbon dioxide than expected in rainy season

February 14, 2020

Current carbon cycle models may underestimate the amount of carbon dioxide released from the soil during rainy seasons in temperate forests like those found in the northeast United States, according to Penn State researchers.

Citizen scientists may be an untapped resource for water quality improvement

February 11, 2020

Raising awareness and offering technological tools to the thousands of citizens groups in the U.S. that monitor water quality might help community leaders tap these volunteers as a way to improve access to plentiful, clean water and possibly avoid water-related crises, according to a team of researchers.

Executive director of the Student Farm Club reflects on her time at Penn State

February 4, 2020

Jessica Chou, a senior majoring in environmental resource management, has been an active member of the Student Farm Club since she was a freshman. She now is the executive director of the club.

All things considered, wooden pallets are more eco-friendly than plastic pallets

February 3, 2020

Weighing in on a debate that has raged for decades, Penn State researchers, after conducting a series of ultra-detailed comparisons, have declared that shipping pallets made of wood are slightly more environmentally friendly and sustainable than those made of plastic.

Emerging organic contaminant levels greatly influenced by stream flows, seasons

January 30, 2020

Flow rates and time of year must be taken into account to better understand the potential risks posed by emerging organic contaminants in rivers and streams, according to Penn State researchers who studied contaminant concentrations and flow characteristics at six locations near drinking water intakes in the Susquehanna River basin.

Demand for ginseng is creating a ‘wild west’ in Appalachia

January 28, 2020

Dr. Eric Burkhart assisted a National Geographic writer with this story, which also references his ginseng research and outreach program. National Geographic requires readers to provide an email to access the piece.

Wildlife Technology student's work garners University-wide sustainability award

January 16, 2020

Penn State DuBois Wildlife Technology student Eli DePaulis recently received the John Roe Student Sustainability Award from the Council of Sustainable Leaders at the Sustainability Institute at University Park. He earned the award for his work to eliminate an invasive species of shrub honeysuckle from wetlands near the Penn State DuBois campus.

Distinguished professor of ichthyology making 50th trip to Africa to study fish

January 9, 2020

When Jay Stauffer made his first trip to Lake Malawi in 1983, just before joining the faculty in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, he never dreamed that the trip would be the genesis of his career focus and that it would yield valuable partnerships for the University.

Penn State Extension program to help private forest owners use prescribed fire

January 6, 2020

Using low-intensity fire to help manage forests offers many benefits, according to Jesse Kreye, assistant professor of fire and natural resources management in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Among those benefits are promoting desired tree species such as oak, spurring new growth that provides food and cover for wildlife, controlling invasive plants, and suppressing ticks, which often carry pathogens such as the one that causes Lyme disease.

Penn State scientist shares knowledge of soil science during visit to Ukraine

January 6, 2020

Ukraine is called the “breadbasket of Europe,” a moniker earned because of the fertile, black soils that blanket its landscape. As a longtime professor of environmental soil science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Rick Stehouwer has studied this famed “chernozem” soil, knowledge he acquired through books, lectures and lab samples.

College of Agricultural Sciences forest technology wins $10K pitch competition

December 11, 2019

Innovators from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences upheld a winning tradition recently at the TechCelerator pitch competition hosted by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania. The team was awarded a $10,000 investment for their fledgling enterprise, RealForests. Their victory makes RealForests the sixth team from the college to win one of Penn State’s most prestigious pitch competitions.

Grant to fund workshops on conservation-based forest land estate planning

December 11, 2019

A Penn State project aimed at advancing conservation-based estate planning for forest landowners in two key regions of Pennsylvania is the beneficiary of an $80,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Forest farms could create market for ginseng, other herbs

November 25, 2019

A transition from wild collection of herbs to forest farming needs to occur in Appalachia to make the opaque, unstable and unjust supply chain for forest medicinal plants such as ginseng sustainable, according to a team of researchers who have studied the market for more than a decade.

International ag expert, Drohan, gives keynote address at conference in Ireland

November 25, 2019

Patrick Drohan, associate professor of pedology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, gave a keynote address at the Catchment 2019 conference in Wexford, Ireland, in early November.

Much-anticipated Pollinator and Bird Garden underway in Arboretum at Penn State

November 21, 2019

"Following an intense collaboration between Penn State scientists and our design consultants, Didier Design Studio, we believe we have successfully married aesthetics with state-of-the-art knowledge about the biology of pollinators and birds," said Kim Steiner, director of the Arboretum and professor of forest biology in the College of Agricultural Sciences.