About the Department

Our vision is to forge a sustainable future where ecosystems and people thrive.

Our mission is to create a bright future for humanity by keeping forests healthy, waterways clean, soils fertile, and native wildlife and fish abundant.

Our diverse and inclusive community fosters new discoveries, pioneers cutting-edge science, prepares students for meaningful careers, inspires the next generation of leaders, and builds partnerships to devise innovative management solutions to the greatest environmental challenges of our time.

We proudly serve with our communities locally to globally to better steward Earth's ecosystems.

We accomplish our mission through Teaching, Research, and Extension.

Our teaching provides undergraduate students hands-on experience with real-world applications, excellent internship experiences, and robust scholarship opportunities. Our graduate education offers master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees rooted in research through our core science and management disciplines.

Research programs focus on generating the new knowledge needed to restore, conserve, and better manage ecosystems to be more sustainable. Research includes all areas of natural and agricultural ecosystems, wildlife and fisheries sciences, forest sciences, hydrological sciences, and soil sciences.

Extension programs led by the Department help people make informed decisions that improve their own well-being and ensure clean water, viable populations of native wildlife, recreational opportunities, attractive communities, and the sustainable production of wood and paper products.

Meet our faculty, staff, and students, and learn more about our academic home. Welcome!

Latest News

July 15, 2024

Discovery of a hybrid lineage offers clues to how trees adapt to climate change

The discovery of a hybrid population of poplar trees in western Wyoming has provided insight into how natural hybridization informs the evolution of many plant species, according to a team led by Penn State researchers. They also said their discovery, which was published in the journal Molecular Ecology, suggests that genetic exchange between species may be critical for adaptation to environmental change.

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June 26, 2024

Penn State students’ project designed to uplift Nepal and protect wildlife

The Himalayan ShePower project, created by graduate students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, is designed to help smallholder farmers in Nepal earn extra income by producing paper from rhino waste.

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June 26, 2024

College of Agricultural Sciences course supports first-generation students

When Sloan Householder, of Richmond, Virginia, decided to pursue higher education in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, she was understandably nervous about navigating a large university. A first-year seminar class created with first-generation students like her in mind made all the difference during Householder’s first year.

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June 13, 2024

Pennsylvania private forest landowners value fire as tool to manage woodlands

Fire can help shape ecosystems, and after a century of suppressing naturally occurring fire that has thrown forests out balance, some states — including Pennsylvania — are using controlled burns to help manage forests on public lands. Now, a new four-state study by a team of Penn State researchers shows that many private landowners in the Keystone State value controlled burns and are willing to pay for them on their woodlands, too.

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Department of Ecosystem Science and Management


117 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802