New AI app predicts climate change stress for farmers in Africa

September 23, 2019

A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool available for free in a smartphone app can predict near-term crop productivity for farmers in Africa and may help them protect their staple crops — such as maize, cassava and beans — in the face of climate warming, according to Penn State researchers. The team will unveil the new tool — which will work with their existing AI assistant, called “PlantVillage Nuru” — to coincide with the United Nations Climate Action Summit held today (Sept. 23) at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City.

Penn State Extension aids in identifying high-risk areas for spotted lanternfly

September 23, 2019

Identifying potential spotted lanternfly stomping grounds beyond Pennsylvania’s current 14-county quarantine zone is the focus of a survey now being carried out by Penn State Extension.

Penn State's Great Insect Fair imagines a world without bugs

September 19, 2019

Appreciating insects' role in agriculture and the environment will be the focus of Penn State's 2019 Great Insect Fair, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Snider Agricultural Arena on the University Park campus.

New project to evaluate the effects of adoption on older children

September 19, 2019

Penn State researchers recently received a $3.8 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to explore successful post-adoption development in children.

Penn State Microbiome Center's DAWG chews on microbiome data sets

September 17, 2019

All scientific research requires the collection of data, and lots of it. But any collection of information is meaningless until it’s organized, analyzed and interpreted. The Penn State Microbiome Center’s Data Analysis Working Group seeks to facilitate this process, so that more members of the Penn State community can produce research deliverables related to microbiomes.

Novel use of laser technology reveals interactions between roots, soil organisms

September 16, 2019

A novel use of a custom laser system — developed in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences eight years ago — allows researchers to see how soil organisms affect plant roots. The discovery has implications for future breeding of more resilient and productive crops, according to an international team of scientists.

Drawdown Scholars returning to Penn State for international conference

September 13, 2019

Undergraduate students from across the country are returning to Penn State next week for the first international conference on the science of drawdown, the point at which greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begin to decline. The students, participants in this past summer’s Penn State Drawdown Scholars Research Experience for Undergraduates Program, will present results from their summer research projects from Sept. 16-18.

Animal, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Building project advances

September 12, 2019

The Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning today (Sept. 12) recommended approval of the final plans and authorization to expend funds for the Animal, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Building at the University Park campus at a cost of $98.5 million. The project will be presented to the full board for a vote on Friday, Sept. 13.

Land-use webinar to focus on municipal stormwater utilities

September 11, 2019

Establishing municipal stormwater utilities will be the topic of a web-based seminar to be presented by Penn State Extension at noon on Sept. 18

New method of analyzing networks reveals hidden patterns in data

September 10, 2019

A new way of measuring how relationships in a network change over time can reveal important details about the network, according to researchers at Penn State and the Korean Rural Economic Institute. For example, when applied to the world economy, the method detected the greatest amount of network change during 2008-09, the time of the global financial crisis.

Student Farm Club looks forward to a semester of growth

September 10, 2019

Members of the Penn State Student Farm Club are looking forward to a busy semester. Their first event of the year, the fourth annual Harvest Festival, will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Student Farm.

Webinar to cover regional and national natural gas production trends

September 9, 2019

Natural gas production trends, both regional and national, will be the subject of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26.

Ash tree species likely will survive emerald ash borer beetles, but just barely

September 7, 2019

“Lingering ash." That’s what the U.S. Forest Service calls the relatively few green and white ash trees that survive the emerald ash borer onslaught. Those trees do not survive by accident, and that may save the species, according to Penn State researchers, who conducted a six-year study of ash decline and mortality.

Penn State entomologists join project to track historical parasite populations

September 6, 2019

Supported by a $4.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, a multi-institutional project will draw on Penn State entomological expertise and collections to document and digitize the historical population dynamics of arthropod parasites, such as ticks, lice and mosquitoes.

Climate conference to feature Penn State researchers Sept. 16-18

September 5, 2019

More than 20 Penn State researchers are participating in the upcoming climate solutions conference Research to Action: The Science of Drawdown. Overall, more than 70 speakers will be presenting at the event, which will take place Sept. 16-18 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.

Climate conference to be livestreamed

September 5, 2019

Research to Action: The Science of Drawdown, the conference focused on climate solutions being hosted at Penn State from Sept. 16-18, will be livestreamed online for free. Interested viewers can see the conference agenda for what is planned during the three-day event, which is sold out.

Berkey Creamery partners with Meats Lab to promote Penn State-grown products

September 4, 2019

Penn State tailgaters and students alike have new products to enjoy thanks to a partnership between Berkey Creamery and the Penn State Meats Laboratory. The Creamery now carries five flavors of salami, five flavors of beef jerky and three flavors of meat snack sticks, all made at the Meats Lab.

Penn State Environmental Resource Management program rated among best in nation

September 4, 2019

Penn State’s Environmental Resource Management program is one of the top five environmental science programs in the nation, according to, a student resource website that evaluates colleges and degrees from a student’s point of view.

McGraw receives 2019 Excellence in Academic Advising Award

September 4, 2019

Ben McGraw, associate professor of turfgrass science, has received the Excellence in Academic Advising Award from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences for 2019.

New animal science class offers insight into Irish equine industry

September 4, 2019

Students who have always dreamed of traveling to the Emerald Isle and have an interest in horses, now may have the chance through an embedded course, Animal Science ANSC 499. “Ireland’s Equine Industry: A Global Perspective into the Horse World” will be offered for the first time in the spring 2020 semester.

Livestock disease risk tied to herd management style in Tanzania

September 3, 2019

A new look at the prevalence of the widespread and often fatal sheep and goat plague virus in Tanzania reveals that livestock managed in a system where they are the sole source of an owners’ livelihood are more likely to become infected.

Deer browsing is not stopping the densification of Eastern forests

September 3, 2019

Selective browsing by white-tailed deer has been blamed by many for changing the character and composition of forest understories in the eastern U.S.; however, its impact on the forest canopy was previously unknown.

Helping Alaskan coastal communities adjust to global warming

September 3, 2019

Penn State researchers have been awarded a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation in a multi-institutional effort to assist Alaskan coastal Indigenous communities with foreseeable environmental challenges due to global warming.

Penn State researchers lead the way in Water-Energy-Food research in Africa

September 3, 2019

Three Penn State researchers — Rachel Brennan, in the College of Engineering, and Mike Jacobson and Brian Thiede, in the College of Agricultural Sciences — recently received $250,000 in University Strategic Plan seed funding to address global Water-Energy-Food (WEF) challenges.

Penn State asks visitors to help 'stop the spread' of spotted lanternfly

August 30, 2019

This is the time of year when thousands of students, families and football fans are coming to University Park, and Penn State officials want to make sure those visitors are not transporting the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that is threatening the northeastern U.S., especially southeastern Pennsylvania.

Penn State launches new online sensory and consumer science graduate certificate

August 30, 2019

Penn State’s newest online certificate combines the study of sensory and consumer science with statistics, with an eye toward preparing students to obtain, analyze and describe product and consumer insight, provide clear recommendations on optimizing the quality of products, and increase the market success of those products.

Penn State Extension educator discusses the use of insecticides on lanternflies

August 29, 2019

When it comes to using insecticides to control spotted lanternfly populations, homeowners might be tempted to take a “more is better” approach. But that is a flawed — and potentially dangerous — way of thinking, noted a Penn State Extension educator who has been immersed in the spotted lanternfly saga from the start.

Alumni honor former professor with graduate award endowment

August 28, 2019

For many students, there is a class or subject they are nervous to take. Sometimes, however, it is in those classes that a student finds an inspirational teacher — a teacher who makes learning what may be a difficult subject a joy to learn. For alumni Louis Swanson and Carol Gertsch, that subject was statistics, and the teacher was Fern “Bunny” Willits, professor emerita in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education.

Penn State, Monash University announce second year of joint projects

August 28, 2019

In 2018, Penn State and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia launched the Joint Collaboration Development Program, a jointly financed seed-fund program with the aim to collaborate on research projects. The first round of seed funding saw 23 projects funded. The two institutions have committed these seed funds for a second year, around the intersection of health and the environment.

Penn State employees traveling in lanternfly quarantine zone must take training

August 27, 2019

Stopping the spread of the spotted lanternfly, one of the most destructive pests to hit the U.S. in years, is a priority for Pennsylvania. And it’s a priority at Penn State, too. With hundreds of employees traveling daily to and from the southeastern part of the state — the epicenter of the invasion — University officials want to make sure that employees are not inadvertently transporting the insect to unaffected regions.

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  • Public Relations Specialist/Science Writer