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As the new year begins the college is planning for change. It faces a budget crisis and the University is also engaged in significant program review across all campuses. Recommendations as a result of those reviews will touch the college.

Ann Tickamyer

Ann Tickamyer, an award-winning researcher and rural sociologist, has been appointed head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. She succeeds the retiring Stephen M. Smith as department head.

Pie chart showing job opportunities

As nationwide unemployment rate hover above 9 percent, many college graduates struggle to find jobs. But graduates in food, agricultural, and environmental sciences are in demand, according to Associate Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences Marcos Fernandez.


Seven members in the college receive an award from the USDA for their efforts to help eradicate the plum pox virus in Pennsylvania. Prior to its eradication, the aphid-spread virus had threatened to wipe out the state’s $25 million annual production of stone fruit, which includes cherries, peaches, plums, and apricots.

Hand on computer keyboard

Two online programs are offered in community and economic development (CEDEV) for professionals seeking to expand their knowledge and skills, and for those interested in a new career in community and economic development.


After decades of research investigating whether fish are capable of experiencing pain, whether humans cause them to suffer, and whether it even matters, Victoria Braithwaite examines this question in her new book, "Do Fish Feel Pain?"

This computer-generated image represents the root system of a common bean plant at 40 days after germination. (Digital rendering by Johannes Postma)

Plant nutritionist Jonathan Lynch and his research team work to identify maize and bean lines that are genetically predisposed to be water and nutrient efficient, specifically in their root systems. Root biology will play a role in a post–Green Revolution world.

Cat Bird

Students begin gathering at 7:30 a.m. in The Arboretum at Penn State for an ornithology lab. The class, WFS 406, is part of the wildlife and fisheries science program.

Educating students is part of the college’s fundamental mission. While working with them I discover in many cases their education stretches beyond the classroom and prepares them for careers and professional life. I'll share just a few of those stories here.


Find valuable information such as college publications and Webinars.

Participants in the 2010 Grad Expo

Robert Cameron, Matthew Ryan, and Ezra Schwartzberg, graduate students in the College of Agricultural Sciences, have been honored with University-wide awards recognizing excellence in teaching, outreach, or research.

Scott Brickman

Faculty and students had the chance to discuss the challenges and opportunities of turning an idea into a commercial venture with four successful entrepreneurs.

Tom Murphy

Since 2005 Tom Murphy has met with more than 40,000 people in more than 200 public meetings. He is no stranger to Marcellus shale issues, and his work in this area has brought recognition from the governor of Pennsylvania.

Illustration by Rafael Lopez for

Looking at ways to bring high-speed Internet access to 2.8 million rural residents and businesses that still can't get to the information superhighway.

Master Gardener Molly Sturniolo (right)

An army of volunteers makes it possible for Penn State Cooperative Extension to deliver on their educational goals.

Exam (image courtesy of

As science and practice constantly grow, the challenges undergraduate students face do as well. Where better to mark those challenges than in final exams?

Judy Schwank

Judith L. Schwank becomes dean of agriculture at Delaware Valley College.

Flowers at the H. O. Smith Botanic Gardens

The Arboretum at Penn State is growing. If you haven't had a chance to visit the H. O. Smith Botanic Gardens, you can view a collection of Arboretum images online.

Barley Seed

More than 1,400 seed banks, large and small, store seed around the world as a safeguard against disease or a catastrophic loss of genetic diversity. Should an entire crop be wiped out, planters could use seed reserves to start again.