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.
Penn State Global Programs is issuing advice to travelers about the risks of mosquito-borne illnesses, like Zika, based on the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Penn Staters are currently traveling to affected areas and are likely to continue to do so. Officials, however, say Zika is not the only concern, as travelers should take simple precautions to prevent all mosquito-borne illnesses — such as Zika, dengue or chikungunya viruses.
Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has a long history of helping to fulfill the University's land-grant mission by providing educational outreach to dairy farmers and other producers in Pennsylvania and beyond. Now, utilizing the latest educational technology and methods, the college is poised to offer "Dairy Production and Management," the world's first dairy-related "massive, open online course" (or MOOC to the tech savvy).
With the help of Keirstan Kure, Penn State Food Services created the Green2Go container, a reusable takeout box that replaces the need for Styrofoam cartons in campus dining halls. Kure, a senior plant sciences major with minors in international agriculture and geography, worked as the sustainable food programmatic intern at the Sustainability Institute on campus.
Gaby Garzon’s love of food extends far beyond the kitchen or campus dining hall. With a prestigious internship at Frito-Lay in Mexico last summer, the junior biological engineer in the food and bioprocessing option is working to be an innovator in the food industry. Garzon, who was born in Ecuador and grew up in Mexico, moved to the United States three years ago to pursue a degree at Penn State. She said Penn State seemed like the perfect fit because of the University’s renowned engineering program and close proximity to family in Queens, New York.
Agriculture is a human endeavor that is practiced in every corner of the world. That's why consideration of human behavior in an international context is necessary to gain a complete picture of agricultural problems. According to Deanna Behring, director of international programs in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, the International Agriculture and Development (INTAD) dual-title degree program does just that.
Robby Ost took his passion for business and the environment abroad last summer. The sophomore Environmental Resource Management major in the College of Agricultural Sciences traveled to Jerusalem, Israel, where he spent three months working for an environmental consulting business.
On January 8th, 2016 over one hundred participants logged on to a virtual meeting room to learn more about globalizing agriculture education.