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

November 22, 2022

Students in College of Ag Sciences course support 'Plant the Moon' Challenge

Students enrolled in a course offered by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences this fall explored the possibility of growing food in space as part of NASA’s Plant the Moon Challenge.

Read More

November 21, 2022

Building on the Life’s Work of a Revered Scholar, Educator, and Forestry Practitioner

Back in 2011, the late Professor Emeritus and Ibberson Chair Jim Finley co-founded the Center for Private Forests at Penn State with Allyson B. Muth, Ed.D. and other colleagues within the College of Agricultural Sciences. A legendary professor, Jim served for many years on the faculty of the Department and also co-founded the dual title degree program on Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment. Following his unexpected death in October 2021, and the University’s subsequent decision to rename the Center in his honor, the work of the Finley Center has taken on new urgency for its staff and volunteer Council.

Read More

November 17, 2022

Ag Sciences student named 2023 National Veterans Leadership Foundation fellow

John Buckley, a U.S. Navy veteran and a senior majoring in forest ecosystem management in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, is one of a select number of military-connected students nationwide to be named a 2023 National Veterans Leadership Foundation fellow in recognition of his service and leadership potential.

Read More

November 17, 2022

Muth, Powell, Finley named 2022 Pa. Forestry Association award recipients

Allyson Muth, Michael Powell and Linda Finley in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management were honored for their contributions to the conservation of Pennsylvania’s natural resources at the Pennsylvania Forestry Association’s Annual Symposium on Nov. 5.

Read More

Department of Ecosystem Science and Management


117 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802