Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science (SAFES)

An interdisciplinary, science-to-practice platform to study landscape-level challenges

The Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science (SAFES) establishes a novel environment for accelerating solutions to persistently "wicked" landscape-level challenges centered on agriculture, food, and the environment. The science of agricultural sustainability underpins the mission of SAFES and provides a comprehensive approach to the complexity of challenges which integrates natural and social sciences with technological advancements, human behavior, economics, and policy.

Latest News

July 25, 2022

Torrey pine genetic research may benefit efforts to save chestnut, ash trees

A new genomic study of the rarest pine tree in the world, the Torrey pine, aimed at bolstering the case for a genetic rescue of the species barely surviving in the western U.S., revealed the complexity and risk associated with the endeavor. However, a tree geneticist at Penn State who oversaw the research suggests it may benefit efforts she is involved in to save other species in the East.

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July 19, 2022

Agricultural engineers design early step for robotic, green-fruit thinning

Penn State agricultural engineers have developed, for the first time, a prototype “end-effector” capable of deftly removing unwanted apples from trees — the first step toward robotic, green-fruit thinning.

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July 18, 2022

Researcher gets grant to study biofilters to reduce livestock facility methane

Juliana Vasco-Correa, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has received a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lead a team conducting research on using biofilters to mitigate methane from enteric emissions produced in livestock facilities. She and her team will use the three-year award from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to fund a study of the causes of nitrous oxide formation in biofilters used for methane abatement of enclosed livestock systems.

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June 27, 2022

Fowler named interim chief sustainability officer, institute director

Lara B. Fowler, assistant director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) and a senior lecturer at Penn State Law at University Park campus, has been named the interim director of the Sustainability Institute and University chief sustainability officer, effective July 1.

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