Student Engagement Network Grants can fund a wide range of student projects

March 1, 2024

Undergraduate students from all campuses and majors can now apply for a Student Engagement Network Grant to support a variety of engagement experiences during Maymester and summer 2024. Engagement experiences can take many forms and grants of $1,000 to $2,000 can help students cover many kinds of costs.

Common plant could help reduce food insecurity, researchers find

February 16, 2024

An often-overlooked water plant that can double its biomass in two days, capture nitrogen from the air — making it a valuable green fertilizer — and be fed to poultry and livestock could serve as life-saving food for humans in the event of a catastrophe or disaster, a new study led by Penn State researchers suggests.

Penn State Extension to host webinars on the impact of war on forests in Ukraine

February 15, 2024

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is affecting human lives and the environment. Penn State Extension will explore these impacts during its webinar series, “The War in Ukraine: Impacts on the People, Forests, and Environment,” scheduled for noon to 1:30 p.m. Fridays, beginning March 1 and continuing through May 3.

No place like Antarctica: Students take study abroad trip of a lifetime

February 7, 2024

For the first time, Penn State students could experience Antarctica’s wonders through an embedded course, “Antarctica: Human Impacts on a Fragile Environment,” offered this past fall.

Aspiring natural resource professionals showcase skills in Dendro Cup contest

January 30, 2024

On a brisk afternoon in December, students in a forestry course in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences ventured into a wooded field on the University Park campus, eager to discover woody plant specimens and claim bragging rights in the second annual Dendro Cup competition. Designed by instructors Eric Burkhart and Calvin Norman, the competition evaluates the expertise gained by students in the morning and afternoon sections of their fall semester field dendrology course.

Six researchers recognized with Institute of Energy and the Environment Awards

January 29, 2024

Six Penn State researchers who were nominated by the Penn State community for their collaborative, interdisciplinary research efforts were recognized with Institute of Energy and the Environment’s Research Awards.

Research to help private forest owners manage woodlands for ecosystem services

January 17, 2024

Funded by a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a team of forest ecologists and social scientists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will conduct research aimed at helping owners of small- to medium-sized forest tracts manage their woodlands for ecosystem services they deem desirable.    

Novel, interdisciplinary training program launched for doctoral degree students

January 16, 2024

A team comprised of faculty from five departments in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and the Department of Biology in the Eberly College of Science, funded by a $262,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has created a novel program to train doctoral degree students to conduct interdisciplinary research on the relationship between soils, plants and consumers.

College of Ag Sciences student aspires to drive innovation in climate solutions

January 4, 2024

The environmental resource management major offered by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences helps to prepare students for impactful careers centered on environmental protection and sustainability. Demonstrating a commitment to addressing climate challenges, fourth-year student Katherine Chu has embraced the opportunities that the program provides to contribute to innovative solutions.

Q&A: Why small organisms can make big impacts on climate, emissions

December 15, 2023

Mary Ann Bruns, Penn State professor of soil microbiology and biogeochemistry, co-authored a new report that advocates for greater recognition of the microbial processes involved in methane production and consumption as society seeks solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.

Crab-eating monkey one of Florida’s greatest threats to ecosystems, human health

December 15, 2023

A first-of-its-kind study for North America accumulated a list of potential invasive species for the state of Florida, with 40 species determined to pose the greatest threat to residents’ well-being. One species received the highest possible ranking for likelihood of invasion and threat to human health: the crab-eating macaque monkey.

NSF program takes environmental resource management student to Montana

November 29, 2023

Second-year student Sylvie Alexander, an environmental resource management major in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, spent last summer conducting research on the Flathead Indian Reservation located in western Montana. Her work was sponsored by the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

College of Ag Sciences recognizes faculty, staff for research achievements

November 21, 2023

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences lauded outstanding accomplishments in research during the 2023 Research Awards Ceremony, held Nov. 1 at the Hintz Family Alumni Center on the University Park campus.

NASA awards multi-institutional team $1M grant to inform US forest management

November 15, 2023

A research team led by a Penn State ecologist has received a $1 million grant from NASA to integrate satellite data into predictive modeling to anticipate change in recruitment — the process by which new trees emerge — within forests across the eastern United States.  

College of Ag Sciences hosts first-generation college student networking event

November 6, 2023

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences recently hosted a networking event for first-generation college students and advocates as part of the inaugural ERM 197: First Year, First-Gen Engagement seminar.

Collaborative landscape design approach may improve resiliency, human well-being

November 6, 2023

A framework called regenerative landscape design may improve how complex, interconnected environmental and social challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, are addressed, according to a new study led by Penn State researchers.

'Growing Impact' examines landscape restoration in Malawi

November 2, 2023

The latest episode of the "Growing Impact" podcast discusses landscape restoration as a potential natural climate solution for Africa.

Penn State team to help local groups reduce pollution in lower Susquehanna basin

October 27, 2023

To accelerate conservation and reduce water pollution, a Penn State team composed of outreach staff and extension educators will build upon existing partnerships with organizations in the lower Susquehanna River basin. The watershed is plagued by runoff of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from agriculture.  

Trip to Uganda has a profound impact on Penn State graduate student

October 27, 2023

For doctoral student and agricultural educator Mia Sullivan, traveling to Uganda this past summer with Penn State’s Global Teach Ag Network will be the foundation for her studies and future career.

USDA grant awarded for study on soil health, weed control in organic operations

October 17, 2023

A nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded to Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will support research on soil health and weed suppression in organic farming.

Grants awarded to Penn State faculty for tropical ecosystems research in Belize

October 16, 2023

A collaboration among scientists from Penn State and the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education is aimed at developing agroforestry systems for Belize and Central America to support sustainable development while conserving the rainforest. As part of the initiative, three teams were awarded seed grants to pursue research on agricultural and ecological sustainability, preservation of tropical rainforest ecosystems and sustainable development in Belize.

Cultivating connections: Penn State students make global bonds working in Uganda

October 5, 2023

Penn State faculty and students were part of a team that worked with smallholder farmers and policymakers in Uganda through the Collaborative Learning School, a two-week field workshop led by U.S. and African scientists and practitioners as a part of the SustainFood Network, funded by the National Science Foundation’s Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations program.

Ruffed grouse population more resilient than expected, genetic study finds

October 4, 2023

Despite decades of decline, a genetic analysis of ruffed grouse reveals that Pennsylvania’s state bird harbors more genetic diversity and connectivity than expected. The findings suggest that the iconic game bird could be maintained in persistent numbers if appropriate protections are implemented. The study, led by Penn State and Pennsylvania Game Commission researchers, published in the journal Molecular Ecology.

College of Agricultural Sciences names 2023 Harbaugh Scholars

September 25, 2023

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has awarded three faculty members with funding to support the development of innovative course curricula through the college’s Harbaugh Faculty Scholars program.

College of Ag Sciences student interns at the U.S. State Department

September 21, 2023

Ava Klink, a senior majoring in environmental resource management in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, admits that getting a coveted internship with the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., is unusual for someone with her educational background.

Penn State-led team to study climate-threatened Colombian Paramos’ soil microbes

September 14, 2023

Some scientists believe the Paramos, a grassland ecosystem found in the northern Andes Mountains of South America, are “the world’s fastest evolving and coolest biodiversity hotspot,” according to Estelle Couradeau, assistant professor of soils and environmental microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. This ecosystem — which is the prime headwater for lower tropical ecosystems and downstream urban centers in the Andean and the Orinoco-Amazon regions — is in jeopardy, she explained. Couradeau will lead a National Science Foundation-funded international team conducting research on how climate change will affect soil microbes in the ecologically fragile and important Paramos ecosystem in Colombia’s Andes Mountains.  

Course at Penn State gives students hands-on wildland fire management training

September 7, 2023

This spring, five students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences traveled to North Carolina and Florida to learn about wildland fire management and fire ecology techniques.

One Health Microbiome Center honors creativity and mentoring with award series

September 7, 2023

The One Health Microbiome Center (OHMC) in the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State has named eight recipients for its 2023-24 Inaugural Award Series, which reflects on a profound year of impacts and achievements and recognizes the talents of the OHMC community.

Cover crops project provides fertile ground for USDA graduate fellows

August 21, 2023

Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences graduate students received more predoctoral fellowships from the U.S. Department of Agriculture than any other institution over the last five years. This year, five of the 11 recipients worked in the college’s long-term cover crop cocktails experiment. 

Students pursue research passions through NOAA’s Hollings Scholarship

August 8, 2023

Four students in the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences were recently awarded the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to advance their research ambitions. The Schreyer Honors Scholars  are Jackie Kiszka, Asha Spencer and Mallory Wickline, all third-year students majoring in meteorology and atmospheric science, and Bridget Reheard, who is also a third-year student and double majoring in geosciences and wildlife and fisheries science.