Experience and expertise in the Pacific at Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Image courtesy of The World Factbook 2009. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2009.

Image courtesy of The World Factbook 2009. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2009.

For further information, please contact Deanna Behring, director of international programs.


Dr. Ted Alter, Professor of Agricultural Economics, is starting his second three-year term as as Adjunct Research Fellow in the Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law, School of Law, University of New England.  Thanks to Dr. Alter’s leadership, the College signed an MOU with University of New England in 2014, building on years of collaboration.  Since 2010, many initiatives have evolved and we have a growing record of joint publications and funding  and a network of relationships.  A few highlights:

  • An international Soils Governance workshop and research consortium to advance natural resource governance collaboration; 
  • Establishment of an i2A (“ideas to action”) center at UNE as a vehicle for innovation/engagement/extension collaboration ( Dr. Alter is on the Advisory Committee for this entity);
  • Content sharing arrangements in Community and Economic Development at the graduate level;
  • A funded program evaluation, Australian “Caring for Country” investments in invasive animals control;
  • A funded engagement and community action program, Cooperative Research Centre for Invasive Animals Control.

David R. Huff, Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics, PSU, performs research and breeding on grass species that are foundational to the agricultural and landscape markets of Australia and New Zealand.  In 2002, Dr. Huff performed a sabbatical in order to teach and perform collaborative research in the areas of plant breeding and genetics at Agriculture Victoria’s Plant Biotechnology Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, with Professor German Spangenberg, and at the University of Melbourne with Dr. David Aldous resulting in six publications.  In addition, through the generous financial support of the Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association (AGCSA), the New Zealand Sports Turf Institute (NZSTI), and the Bayer Corporation, Dr. Huff was able to present educational workshops and collect breeding germplasm in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Tazmania, Auckland and Palmerston North.  Ever since this experience, Dr. Huff has been repeatedly invited back to share his expertise and visit his long-time collaborator, Dr. Rod Peakall, Australian National University.

Dr. John Becker, Professor Emeritus, has worked with a number of colleagues at the University of New England since 2005 on issues that involve sustainability education, management of water access and water quality, the regulatory environment of production agriculture, regulatory structure design and evaluation, development of a behavioral theory of law and regulation, and small farm business succession planning.  Past and current work has been conducted with Paul Martin, Miriam Verbeek, Amanda Kennedy and Jacqueline Williams of the Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law at the University of New England, Robyn Bartel (Geography and Planning) and Donald Hine  (Psychology) of UNE.  Robyn Bartel heads the undergraduate and graduate programs in Sustainability and I serve as an advisor to that program as part of an Honorary Adjunct appointment.  Through these contacts, Dr. Becker has also worked with Donna Craig of the University Of Western Sydney School Of Law.

Dr. Jayson Harper, Professor of Agricultural Economics, spent a six month sabbatical at the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Pest Management, University of Queensland (Brisbane) in 1997 and Provided economic analysis on various IPM projects involving tropical agriculture.  In 2005, he had an eleven month sabbatical at Massey University (Palmerston North) where he developed an orchard replacement model for Pipfruit New Zealand, Ltd.

Student Programs in Australia/New Zealand

  • Robert Shannon and Tammy Bennett - Embedded Course to Lincoln University in New Zealand focusing on Environmental Resource Management, new course beginning winter break 2014-2015.
  • Joy Pate - Semester program to Australia working with University of Melbourne and Charles Sturt University
  • A number of our students have participated in the RPTM courses to Australia, NZ, and Fuji with Angela Rothrock (not in CAS)
  • Dale Olver - Dairy Science Club winter break trip to NZ in 2007

Over the last 5 years, CAS Students have studied for a semester abroad:
1. Perth (Fremantle) - Ecology, Conservation and Sustainability with CIEE
2. University of Wollongong, Arts and Sciences with CIEE
3. Faculty-led semester program with Joy Pate (see above)
4. Lincoln University
5. Victoria University of Wellington
6. University of Sydney with IES
7. Perth, Murdoch University - the Arts and Sciences program and the Sustainability & the Environment program, both with CIEE
8. Australian National University in Canberra
9. University of Melbourne

University of New England (2014)
University of Sydney (2010)
Agriculture Victoria (2001)
Agreements—New Zealand
Lincoln University (2012)