It's a long way between central Pennsylvania and Greenland — at least 2,000 miles — but Laura Radville came to Penn State so she could study climate change in the "Iceberg capital of the world." However, the research conducted in Greenland by the Boston native did not deal with ice at all, but rather plants — arctic shrubs to be specific. Her work focused on how rising air temperatures are affecting the growth of leaves and stems much more than the growth of roots, perhaps "uncoupling" aboveground and belowground plant development, or phenology.
A $3.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation will support a new research project aimed at pinpointing the genes that confer disease resistance in cacao. The ultimate goal of the four-year study is to develop a new approach that plant scientists and breeders can use to identify the genetic basis for disease resistance in a variety of perennial crops, according to lead researcher Mark Guiltinan, professor of plant molecular biology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
“Improving environmental health has grown to be one of my biggest passions. It’s concerning to me that many people are so unconcerned about taking care of the world they live in,” said Chris Valdez, a biological engineering senior at Penn State. Valdez’s research focus is to take care of soil and water and preserve it for future use. He hopes to be a part of solutions that ensure mankind doesn’t abuse Earth’s natural resources, since humans depend on them so heavily.
A series of lectures and performances, hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State, will commemorate the 25th anniversary of both Ukrainian independence and the University's partnership with Ukraine in 2016 and 2017.
The World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue is an annual event held in Des Moines, Iowa, in mid-October to celebrate World Food Day. This year the College of Agricultural Sciences sponsored two Penn State students to attend.
A network of computers fed a large image dataset can learn to recognize specific plant diseases with a high degree of accuracy, potentially paving the way for field-based crop-disease identification using smartphones, according to a team of researchers at Penn State and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Penn State and the Peace Corps have finalized a new partnership that will help returning Peace Corps volunteers pursue their graduate education in the School of International Affairs, Smeal College of Business, or the College of Agricultural Sciences.
On the surface, trees may look stationary, but underground their roots -- aided by their fungal allies -- are constantly on the hunt and using a surprising number of strategies to find food, according to an international team of researchers. The precision of the nutrient-seeking strategies that help trees grow in temperate forests may be related to the thickness of the trees' roots and the type of fungi they use, according to David Eissenstat, professor of woody plant physiology, Penn State. The tree must use a variety of strategies because nutrients often collect in pockets -- or hot spots -- in the soil, he added.
Penn State Plant Science majors Casey Baxter and Mikaela Hermstedt may know all there is to know about the Irish potato famine. This past spring, they took HORT 499H Walking in the Footsteps of the Irish During the Irish Potato Famine: Examinations of New World Crops in Old World Societies. The honors class included a 10-day trip to Ireland after a semester of lectures on the potato and other essential crops of both the United States and Ireland.
Gender researchers from around the world converged at Penn State in June to discuss the importance of incorporating gender concepts into international agricultural research. Sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences' Gender, Agriculture and Environment Initiative, the events kicked off June 6-7 with the initiative's inaugural event, the Gender, Agriculture and Environment Symposium, which provided participants with an opportunity to learn from gender researchers and practitioners who are leaders in gender scholarship and policies.
Deanna Behring, director of international programs in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, recently received a distinguished service award from the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development. With almost 30 years of diverse, globally oriented service in the international arena, Behring has dedicated her career to public services that stimulate broad-based economic growth and sustainable development, and to improving the quality of life for people by enhancing global capacities to eliminate poverty, improve food security, and conserve and protect the environment, according to the association.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." (Margaret Mead). Brett Abele often thought about that quote during his time in Africa. The biological engineering major — who just graduated this month — spent last summer in Zambia. He went with 17 other students in the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship program. For three weeks, Abele worked as part of a small team of six people to build greenhouses to improve food security.
Climate change, pests and diseases, unimproved planting material and growing consumer markets especially in Asia, present major challenges to sustainable cacao production. World plant biologists are developing and applying new integrative approaches to address these challenges. This symposium, “Frontiers in Science and Technology for Cacao Quality, Productivity, and Sustainability”, will bring together scientists working at various levels to develop solutions for cacao agricultural systems of the future. The symposium will take place from May 31st to June 3rd, 2016 at the Penn State University campus.
Spring is a season of new growth, with buds on the trees, green grass and flowers beginning to bloom. It’s also a prime time for pollinators such as honey bees, as they begin to feed off of the pollen from the newly blooming flora. But recently, the bees have been creating a different kind of buzz. About 10 years ago, beekeepers began to notice a significant decrease in the North American honey bee population—and that decrease can have big implications beyond your backyard.
This past year has brought about some significant changes in the Office of International Programs with the addition of team members Daniel Tobin, Ruth Mendum, Ann Stone, Paige Castellanos, and Blair Cooper. Join us in welcoming them to the office!
We are excited to announce a new program at Penn State University -- the Gender, Agricultural, and Environment Initiative (GAEI) -- that aims to enhance scholarship at the intersections of gender, agriculture and the environment.
Penn State students Alanna Kaiser, Nathan Larkin, and Jaden Rankin-Wahlers are being honored respectively for their work in social & environmental justice; organizing efforts to address climate change; and combatting stigmas associated with poverty and homelessness. The Penn State Rock Ethics Institute created the Stand Up Award in 2008 to honor Penn State undergraduate students who have the courage and fortitude to take an ethical stand for a person, cause or belief and thereby demonstrate ethical leadership. You can learn more about each awardee and their story by watching their Stand Up Award Video Story.
Olivia Murphy-Sweet was alone when she ventured into San Jose Succotz, a rural village in the Central American country of Belize. To supplement her coursework as an agricultural and extension education major and international agriculture minor, the senior made the five-week trip last summer to conduct research under the guidance of one of her professors.
The massive global livestock industry holds the key to mitigating greenhouse gases from the agriculture, forestry and land-use sector, but actual reductions in the foreseeable future likely will be just a fraction of what technically is possible. That's the conclusion of a study conducted by an international team of researchers that included Alex Hristov, professor of dairy nutrition in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Hristov oversaw key components of the report assessing the potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by improving animal nutrition and management and by using feed additives to curb enteric methane emission from ruminant animals.
A team of researchers, led by scientists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, will launch a project designed to improve nutrition and empower women in Cambodia by promoting their production and marketing of horticultural crops and rice produced via sustainable intensification practices.