Amplifying expertise through purposeful engagement and collaboration within the broader Penn State community

SAFES is housed within the College of Agricultural Sciences, situating it at the epicenter of research that is tackling the extraordinarily complex, interconnected challenges of predicting vulnerabilities in systems, feeding a growing population, environmental resilience, and economic sustainability. Collaboration within the context of agricultural sciences brings together expertise that encompasses the use and productivity of working landscapes and natural resources as well as the intersecting economic and sociological drivers and obstacles.

Read more about the development of the SAFES vision.


Providing an interdisciplinary infrastructure and platform to address complex landscape-level challenges

SAFES employs a synthesizing science-to-practice platform for a collaborative community of researchers, students, and stakeholders in their discovery of responsible and sustainable policy options, business management solutions, and best practices. The institute's mission emphasizes a balance of productivity, resilience, and regeneration for agricultural and natural landscapes as an approach to finding solutions to some of the most vexing problems confronting Pennsylvania as well as landscapes worldwide.

Programmatic Areas


SAFES integrates agriculturally- and environmentally-related disciplines to allow for holistically approaches for tacking "wicked" challenges.


SAFES trains the next generation of researchers, educators, practitioners, and policymakers in integrating information from across domains and using science-based data for decision making.

Partnerships and Engagement

SAFES shortens the distance between science and practice by actively connecting biophysical scientists with sociologists, communication scientists and educators.


Associate Members of the institute have faculty appointments in the College of Agricultural Sciences, can serve on operating committees, benefit from the technical infrastructure, and are permitted to request the use of resources and services provided by institute staff.

Affiliated Members of the institute are collaborators on institute-sponsored research projects and can benefit from the institute's resources, services, and infrastructure through affiliation with an Associate Member.