Jim Finley: Forest protector, private forest center founder, professor emeritus

October 19, 2021

Jim Finley long will be remembered for his simple but powerful message: take care of the woods. And in conveying that idea to thousands of people across Pennsylvania and the nation over a five-decade Penn State career, the professor emeritus of forest resources persuaded many.

Warm, wet autumn could mute and delay foliage display in Pennsylvania

October 5, 2021

Because of the warm, wet summer, trees in Pennsylvania are mostly in great shape. But for the state’s forests to exhibit their most vibrant colors, conditions need to be cooler and drier in the next few weeks, according to a Penn State expert.

College of Ag Sciences senior finds path in environmental academics and action

September 24, 2021

Penn State senior Elka Hoelsken is exploring environmental and natural resource issues as a student in the Environmental Resource Management program.

Software tool that finds spots for water-quality devices will work in Northeast

September 14, 2021

A computer software package widely used in the Midwest to strategically position riparian buffers and other structures aimed at protecting water quality on agricultural land can be used effectively in the eastern United States, with some limitations, Penn State researchers report in a new study.

Urban stormwater study finds little difference between managed, unmanaged flows

September 14, 2021

At a time when many municipalities are seeking to control urban stormwater by investing heavily in green infrastructure — such as water-quality ponds, infiltration basins, porous pavement and riparian plantings — a new study suggests that these expensive efforts may not have much of an impact.

By reducing forest floor temperature, invasive shrubs stifle native species

August 31, 2021

Invasive shrubs in Northeastern forests that sprout leaves earlier in the spring and keep them longer in the fall not only absorb more sunlight than native shrubs, but their foliage lowers air temperatures on the forest floor, likely giving them another competitive advantage.

Researchers help track the growth of ginseng forest farming in Pennsylvania

August 19, 2021

There is good and bad news about ginseng collection and production in Pennsylvania, and likely much of Appalachia, according to a new study conducted by Penn State researchers.

Nitrous oxide emissions, coming from legume cover crops, manure, can be reduced

August 2, 2021

The application of manure after the growth and demise of legume cover crops in rotations is a recipe to increase nitrous oxide releases during ensuing corn growth, according to a team of Penn State researchers who conducted a new study. They suggest that innovative management strategies are needed to reduce these emissions.

When fawns perceive constant danger from many sources, they almost seem to relax

July 14, 2021

Burnout. It is a syndrome that is said to afflict humans who feel chronic stress. But after conducting a novel study using trail cameras showing the interactions between white-tailed deer fawns and predators, a Penn State researcher suggests that prey animals feel it, too.

Water resources professor receives 2021 Black Award for excellence in research

July 8, 2021

Elizabeth Boyer, professor of water resources in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, is the 2021 recipient of the Alex and Jessie C. Black Award for excellence in research.

Loss of biodiversity in streams threatens vital biological process

July 1, 2021

The fast-moving decline and extinction of many species of detritivores — organisms that break down and remove dead plant and animal matter — may have dire consequences, an international team of scientists suggests in a new study.

Pioneer in tree molecular genetics, John Carlson, retires after four decades

June 25, 2021

John Carlson, professor of molecular genetics in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics, is retiring this month after a career spanning four decades of pioneering research with forest trees.

Ag Sciences student finds research, extracurricular opportunities abound

June 21, 2021

Alyssa Curry, a junior majoring in environmental resource management, with minors in environmental engineering and entomology, is gaining various experiences at Penn State, including research and study abroad opportunities.

Novel study looks at nitrogen credit trading to spur growth of riparian buffers

June 9, 2021

Watershedwide nutrient credit trading has been suggested as a mechanism for reducing pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay, but a new study by Penn State researchers suggests that the high cost of producing nitrogen credits through the establishment of riparian buffers on Pennsylvania farmland currently does not provide an incentive for buffer establishment.

CT scans offer new view of Lake Malawi cichlid specimens in Penn State museum

May 18, 2021

Computed tomography — CT scanning — which combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around an organism and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images of its bones, is providing new insight into an old initiative to characterize fishes in Africa’s Lake Malawi.

Forest-products professionals and vendors to gather, safely, for Timber 2021

May 12, 2021

Forest-products business professionals, students and workers interested in forest-related careers, and vendors of equipment and supplies will gather for commerce, education and networking at the 2021 Forest Products Equipment and Technology Exposition, June 4-5 at Penn State's Ag Progress Days site at Rock Springs.

Environmental Resource Management program, alumni celebrating 50 years of impact

April 13, 2021

Penn State’s Environment Resource Management program — referred to as ERM — was established in 1971 to meet the demand for people with the scientific and leadership skills needed to address the enormous environmental challenges that had become so apparent in the 1960s.

Researchers ask anglers' help with study of brook, brown trout colors, patterns

March 25, 2021

Penn State researchers, who are evaluating the colors, pattern variations and genetics of wild brook and brown trout across Pennsylvania, are asking anglers to help with their study.

Uniform drying time for goldenseal to enhance medicinal qualities of forest herb

March 22, 2021

Developing a standardized drying protocol for goldenseal could lead to more predictable health applications and outcomes by preserving the alkaloids found in the plant, which is native to Appalachia, according to Penn State researchers, who conducted a new study of the medicinal forest herb.

College of Agricultural Sciences faculty member to host Marie Curie Fellow

March 19, 2021

Estelle Couradeau, assistant professor of soils and environmental microbiology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, will host a Marie Curie Fellow. The award will fund postdoctoral scholar Jose Raul Roman to study for two years in Couradeau’s Penn State lab.

Young white-tailed deer that disperse survive the same as those that stay home

March 8, 2021

Juvenile white-tailed deer that strike out to find new home ranges — despite facing more risks — survive at about the same rate as those that stay home, according to a team of researchers who conducted the first mortality study of male and female dispersal where deer were exposed to threats such as hunting throughout their entire range.

Lake turbidity mitigates impact of warming on walleyes in upper Midwest lakes

February 26, 2021

Because walleyes are a cool-water fish species with a limited temperature tolerance, biologists expected them to act like the proverbial “canary in a coal mine” that would begin to suffer and signal when lakes influenced by climate change start to warm. But in a new study, a team of researchers discovered that it is not that simple.

Unique study of isolated bobcat population confirms accuracy of extinction model

February 18, 2021

The reintroduction of 32 bobcats to an island off the coast of Georgia more than three decades ago created an ideal experiment to examine the accuracy of a genetic-modeling technique that predicts extinction of isolated wildlife populations.

Songbirds' reproductive success reduced by natural gas compressor noise

February 18, 2021

Some songbirds are not dissuaded by constant, loud noise emitted by natural gas pipeline compressors and will establish nests nearby. The number of eggs they lay is unaffected by the din, but their reproductive success ultimately is diminished. That’s the conclusion of a team of Penn State researchers who conducted an innovative, elaborate study.

College of Ag Sciences faculty member, Jason Kaye, named distinguished professor

February 17, 2021

Penn State's Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs has named Jason Kaye, professor of soil biogeochemistry in the College of Agricultural Sciences, as a distinguished professor.

Upon retirement, Arboretum's founding director leaves growing legacy

February 16, 2021

Kim Steiner's decades of contributions to planning for an arboretum, and the work he has guided since the 1990s to make it a reality, have changed the landscape of the University Park campus forever. The founding director of The Arboretum at Penn State will retire from the University in June after nearly five decades on the faculty.

Changing cropping systems in impaired watersheds can produce water quality gains

February 9, 2021

Growing the right crop in the right place within an impaired watershed can achieve significant water quality improvements, according to Penn State researchers, who conducted a novel study in the drainage of a Susquehanna River tributary in an agricultural area in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Levels of stress hormone in saliva of newborn deer fawns may predict mortality

January 11, 2021

The first-ever study of the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the saliva of newborn white-tailed deer fawns yielded surprising results, and that has Penn State researchers suggesting that predation on very young fawns may not be limiting deer herds.

Bradley J. Cardinale named head of Department of Ecosystem Science & Management

December 16, 2020

Bradley J. Cardinale, professor and director of the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, has been named head of Penn State's Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, effective Jan. 4, 2021.

Penn State botanists get state grant to study ginseng in Pennsylvania

December 16, 2020

Two Penn State botanists have received a grant from Pennsylvania to study wild ginseng population genetics, morphology and human influence through seed planting in the state.