Summer/Fall 2010

Far from home, recent horticulture graduate Curtis Frederick takes his education and experience to South Africa to manage the Ukulima Root Biology Center. His skill and hard work enable him to juggle myriad responsibilities so that researchers can successfully pursue their goals.

Jon Oatley

Stem cell researcher Jon Oatley seeks to better understand general stem cell biology in hopes of finding ways to advance the treatment of disease.

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.

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.


A research team including Catherine Cutter, associate professor of food science; John Floros, professor and head of food science; and Valentina Trinetta, a visiting scholar from the University of Milan, Italy, explore the use of pullulan films to control food pathogens.

High Tunnel

To help Pennsylvania growers, researchers are looking at portable high tunnels, or “hoop houses,” which can help Pennsylvania farmers extend their growing season, expand crop variety, and increase yields—all while reducing pesticide use and retaining vital soil nutrients.

Bob Cameron

Penn State horticulturists use discarded materials and a combination of plant and bacterial communities to treat wastewater. Plant roots enmeshed in layers of discarded materials can purify dirty water, making it suitable for other uses.

Fred Gouker

Fred Gouker gains valuable knowledge as a plant researcher through internships and study abroad experience.

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.

Lisa Rankin

Lisa Rankin demonstrates that valuable experience is waiting outside the classroom and beyond the borders.

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.

Master Gardener Molly Sturniolo (right)

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


Find valuable information such as college publications and Webinars.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Judy Schwank

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

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?

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.