Community Resilience and Capacity

Helping communities improve their economic resilience, create sustainable infrastructures, and promote their local economy through value-added opportunities and new business development.

Highlighted Research Activities

  • Social, demographic, economic, and policy issues facing communities
  • Human activity intersecting with natural and agricultural systems
  • Impacts of local and regional food systems

Research Expertise

Research Videos

Introducing the UNESCO Chair
This is a brief introductory video from the UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development at Penn State.

Research Centers and Initiatives

Center for Economic and Community Development
Penn State's Center for Economic and Community Development helps create new opportunities for people living throughout Pennsylvania.
Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD)
One of four federally-funded regional centers coordinating rural development research in the U.S., the NERCRD coordinates the initiatives of the rural development faculty from the 15 land-grant institutions in the Northeast region.
Social Science Research Institute
Addresses critical human and social problems at the local, national, and international levels by bringing together researchers from different disciplines.


Weather patterns, farm income, other factors, may be influencing opioid crisis
February 2, 2018
The overprescribing of opioid-based painkillers may be the main driver of the increased abuse of opioids in rural America, but new research by Northeast Center Director Stephan Goetz and Meri Davlasheridze (Texas A&M) suggests that other factors, including declining farm income, extreme weather and other natural disasters, may affect a crisis that is killing thousands of citizens and costing the country billions of dollars.
United Nations organization renews UNESCO Chair program at Penn State
April 24, 2017
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has renewed for another five years its support for the UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development at Penn State. Mark Brennan, a faculty member in the College of Agricultural Sciences, will continue in his role as chair and provide leadership to the program.
Researchers recruiting citizen-scientists for 'Great Pumpkin Project'
April 24, 2017
A researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is reaching out to Master Gardeners, teachers, students and other interested parties to participate in a citizen-science project that ultimately could benefit growers, crops, pollinators and the environment. "The Great Pumpkin Project" is aimed at describing the geographic distribution of important crop plants and the insects and microbes with which they interact.
Penn State to mentor youth researchers in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
April 13, 2017
Encouraging youth to have empathy for others is the goal of a research initiative spearheaded by a graduate student at Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Adding grads and going green can brighten economic outlook
March 31, 2017
Attracting college graduates and improving natural amenities -- parks, hiking trails, cleaner air -- can combine to boost economic growth. Penn State researchers suggest the factors may reinforce each other -- a clean environment attracts college grads who want to improve the environment.