Changes in cropping methods, climate decoy pintail ducks into an ecological trap
May 30, 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.
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
Three honored for commitment to diversity in College of Agricultural Sciences
May 16, 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
Using forests as a place to bring generations together is the focus of a chapter written by Sanford Smith, teaching professor of forest resources at Penn State, in collaboration with Matt Kaplan, one of the book's co-editors and professor of intergenerational programs and aging at Penn State. In it, they discuss using historical interpretation through reenacting, sometimes referred to as "living history," for building the interest, knowledge and engagement of children and youth in forest landscapes.
Forest 'duff' must be considered in controlled burning to avoid damaging trees
February 24, 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.
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 10, 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.