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2020

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.