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Environmental Resilience

Providing innovative research to enhance and protect managed and natural ecosystems, ecosystem services and human well-being.

Our scientists examine the ability of natural systems to recover from disturbances and to tolerate or adapt to changing climate. In addition, members of the college work to improve our understanding of the risks facing both natural and managed systems as a result of global change factors, such as climate change, land-use change and nutrient pollution.

As a land-grant university, it is Penn State’s charge to address the challenges posed by climate change, nutrient pollution, forest fragmentation and other land-use practices. To do so, researchers in the College of Agricultural Sciences are investigating the resilience—the ability of a natural system to respond to a disturbance by resisting damage and recovering quickly—of Pennsylvania’s ecosystems, as well as the factors that impact resilience, such as invasive insects and pathogens.

Research Expertise

Research Videos

The Phosphorus Paradox
Developed by the Penn State Center for Nutrient Solutions, this is the story of phosphorus, the first element isolated and discovered by modern science.
The Sustainable Watersheds Program at Penn State
Funded by a Reinvention Fund grant from the Sustainability Institute, the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center is spearheading an effort to develop a Sustainable Watersheds Program at Penn State, which will engage local watershed partners and provide increased engaged scholarship opportunities for Penn State students.

News

Conservation dairy farming could help Pa. meet Chesapeake target
September 13, 2018
If the majority of dairy farms in Pennsylvania fully adopt conservation best-management practices, the state may be able to achieve its total maximum daily load water-quality target for the Chesapeake Bay, according to researchers.
NSF funds $3 million graduate training program focused on Food-Energy-Water
September 10, 2018
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $3 million grant to an interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers to create a new graduate program that will train students to find solutions to real-world problems facing Food-Energy-Water (FEW) systems.
Surviving large carnivores have far-reaching impact
August 8, 2018
Anywhere large-bodied mammalian carnivore species are present, other, smaller carnivores are less likely to occur, according to an international team of researchers that conducted the first global assessment of carnivore interactions using camera trap data. "Large carnivores are imperiled," said David Miller, associate professor of wildlife population ecology, Penn State, whose research group in the College of Agricultural Sciences led the study. "We were able to see that this finding, with large-bodied-carnivore species, held around the globe."

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