Africa and agroforestry — defined as agriculture that incorporates the cultivation and conservation of trees — are in Penn State professor Michael Jacobson's blood, and the combination has helped shape his career. In turn, the forest economist has played an important role in launching a tree-based biofuel initiative that has major implications for the continent and its millions of subsistence farmers.
The issues facing international students and scholars in the United States at a time of potential changes in immigration and visa regulations, along with the University’s strong commitment to supporting its students, were the topics of a Penn State town hall meeting on the University Park campus Thursday (Feb. 16) evening.
A program developed by Penn State food scientists is training students in Armenia on food safety practices and procedures, with an eye toward improving the safety of the country's food supply chain — from crop production and processing to packaging, handling, marketing and consumption. Catherine Cutter, professor of food science in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and Siroj Pokharel, postdoctoral researcher in food science, partnered with Virginia Tech to bring the Food Safety Systems Management Professional Certificate Program to the Agribusiness Teaching Center at the International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education in Yerevan, Armenia.
Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, to design a low-cost, integrated system that can identify and screen for high-yielding, deeper-rooted crops. The interdisciplinary team, led by Jonathan Lynch, distinguished professor of plant nutrition, will combine a suite of technologies designed to identify phenotypes and genes related to desirable root traits, with the goal of enhancing the breeding of crop varieties better adapted for nitrogen and water acquisition and carbon sequestration.
On January 27, 2017, the President of the United States signed an Executive Order (EO) on immigration. Several aspects of the EO will impact members of our Penn State international community. Global Programs is committed to serving our Penn State international students, faculty and scholars. This website summarizes the latest information pertaining to this Executive Order. As more information becomes available this information will be updated.
The goal of eliminating malaria in countries like India could be more achievable if mosquito-control efforts take into account the relationship between mosquitoes and cattle, according to an international team of researchers. "In many parts of the world, the mosquitoes responsible for transmitting malaria are specialist feeders on humans and often rest within human houses," said Matthew Thomas, professor of entomology, Penn State. "We found that in an area of India that has a high burden of malaria, most of the mosquitoes that are known to transmit malaria rest in cattle sheds and feed on both cows and humans."
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.