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

June 5, 2024

Bruns receives the 2024 Commonwealth Award from the One Health Microbiome Center

Mary Ann Bruns, professor of soil microbiology and biogeochemistry in the College of Agricultural Sciences, received the Commonwealth Award from Penn State’s One Health Microbiome Center on May 30.

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May 21, 2024

Penn State Sustainable Labs Program concludes second year, expands on successes

The Sustainable Labs Program provides educational support and networking opportunities to labs across Penn State, helping them implement changes to become more energy and resource efficient. Actions taken by participating labs are estimated to result in over $155,000 in savings for the University and reduce about 490 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

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May 16, 2024

Industry fellowship provides real-world experience for doctoral student

Xialing Zhao, a doctoral candidate in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, participated in the college's first-of-its-kind summer fellowship pairing Penn State graduate students with industry mentors to help students navigate the transition from academia to careers in industry.  

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May 3, 2024

Surviving ash trees may hold key to saving multiple species of the trees

The invasive insect emerald ash borer is killing ash trees at an unprecedented rate in the United States, and now five North American species of ash are considered critically endangered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. But a small percentage are surviving, and research by Forest Service scientists suggests that those trees may hold the key for saving the species. In an effort to unlock the answer, researchers in the Louis W. Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics at Penn State are working with The Nature Conservancy and the USDA Forest Service to conduct genomic analysis of range-wide collections of green ash, white ash and black ash.

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Department of Ecosystem Science and Management

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117 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802
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