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

December 4, 2023

NSF program takes environmental resource management student to Montana

Second-year student Sylvie Alexander, an environmental resource management major in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, spent last summer conducting research on the Flathead Indian Reservation located in western Montana.

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November 20, 2023

Researchers predict climate change-driven reduction in beneficial plant microbes

Bacteria that benefit plants are thought to be a critical contributor to crops and other ecosystems, but climate change may reduce their numbers, according to a new study by an international team of researchers. They published their findings in Nature Food.

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November 16, 2023

$1.45M NSF grant to fund new research into how grasses thrive in dry climates

Microscopic pores on the surface of plants, called stomata, allow the plants to uptake carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and facilitate the transport of water from their roots up to their leaves where it exits through the pores as water vapor. Generally, the pores open during the day, when the plant uses sunlight and CO2 in the process of photosynthesis, and close at night to conserve water. These processes are not only vital for the plant’s health and survival but are also key drivers of global carbon and water cycles, according to Penn State Professor of Biology Charles Anderson, who received a $1.45 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study how to improve these processes.

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November 15, 2023

NASA awards multi-institutional team $1M grant to inform US forest management

A research team led by a Penn State ecologist has received a $1 million grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to integrate satellite data into predictive modeling to anticipate change in recruitment — the process by which new trees emerge — within forests across the eastern United States.

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