Institutes partner to connect researchers with computing resources

April 19, 2021

The Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science (SAFES) in the College of Agricultural Sciences has announced a partnership with the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences to help faculty leverage the computing services of the Research Innovations with Scientists and Engineering (RISE) team.

USDA grant to support expansion of online tool for pollinator conservation

April 16, 2021

A Penn State-led research team has received a nearly $950,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to create the next generation of an online decision-support tool designed to help conserve pollinator populations across the United States.

EarthTalks: Sir Dieter Helm to discuss carbon pricing as tool to reach net zero

April 15, 2021

Technology is not the only means of achieving net-zero carbon emissions. Economics can also supply the needed incentives for individuals and businesses to reduce their carbon footprints. Sir Dieter Helm, professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and fellow in economics at New College, Oxford, will discuss the need for a carbon price as a means of lowering emissions at a talk at noon on Monday, April 19. The seminar, which is free and open to the public, will be broadcast via Zoom.

Penn State wastewater testing shows potential for future coronavirus monitoring

April 7, 2021

While most students are aware of Penn State’s walk-up and randomized coronavirus testing, there’s other testing strategies happening beneath the surface of campus. Wastewater testing for the coronavirus has been part of Penn State’s layered testing strategy since before the 2020-21 school year. Starting in July 2020, a team of university professors and experts began sampling wastewater from both on-campus and off-campus areas in State College, according to Heather Preisendanz, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering.

Kaye Named Distinguished Professor

March 4, 2021

Faculty who are awarded the Distinguished Professor title are acknowledged leaders in their fields of research or creative activity, have demonstrated significant leadership in raising the standards of the University, and have demonstrated excellent teaching skills, contributing significantly to the education of students who subsequently have achieved recognition of excellence in their own careers.

Thriving Agricultural Systems in Urbanized Landscapes

March 1, 2021

The Thriving Agricultural Systems in Urbanized Landscapes project, funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, is working to create economically thriving and environmentally beneficial agricultural systems in urbanized landscapes.

Chiques Creek, Conewago watershed in Lancaster County to undergo extensive cleanup effort

February 26, 2021

As Dellinger Run wends its way toward Chiques Creek, it stretches through 56 acres of farmland in Rapho Township, where owner Mark Heller enjoys watching the ducks and fish that swim in the stream.

Ambitious Conservation Program Covers Total Costs for Farmland Improvements

February 26, 2021

A million-dollar grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will pay the total costs of riparian buffers and other conservation practices on farms in three contiguous watersheds in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster, Lebanon and Dauphin counties.

Climate change reduces the abundance and diversity of wild bees, study finds

February 19, 2021

Wild bees are more affected by climate change than by disturbances to their habitats, according to a team of researchers led by Penn State. The findings suggest that addressing land-use issues alone will not be sufficient to protecting these important pollinators.

Researchers develop new tool for visualizing vulnerabilities in supply chains

February 19, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically exposed the economic vulnerability of U.S. businesses, primarily because they are so interconnected: when one region experiences a labor shortage or supply interruption, adverse effects reverberate throughout the global economy. Researchers at Penn State and the Korea Rural Economic Institute have developed a model to help visualize the interconnectedness of businesses and industries over geographic space, which potentially can show supply-chain vulnerabilities to future shocks, such as pandemics or climate-change impacts.

The business of bees

February 19, 2021

The economic value of insect pollinators was $34 billion in the U.S. in 2012, much higher than previously thought, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State. The team also found that areas that are economically most reliant on insect pollinators are the same areas where pollinator habitat and forage quality are poor.

Summer weather conditions influence winter survival of honey bees

February 19, 2021

Winter survival of honey bee colonies is strongly influenced by summer temperatures and precipitation in the prior year, according to Penn State researchers, who said their findings suggest that honey bees have a "goldilocks" preferred range of summer conditions outside of which their probability of surviving the winter falls.

Changing cropping systems in impaired watersheds can produce water quality gains

February 19, 2021

Growing the right crop in the right place within an impaired watershed can achieve significant water quality improvements, according to Penn State researchers, who conducted a novel study in the drainage of a Susquehanna River tributary in an agricultural area in southeastern Pennsylvania.

SAFES Announces Spring Workshop Series: Catalyzing Your Research

February 4, 2021

SAFES' Spring 2021 workshop series will take place on Thursdays at 3 p.m. The series supports faculty researchers and administrators in expanding their knowledge of external funding opportunities and internal Penn State programs that can support new interdisciplinary research collaborations.

Grozinger receives National Academy's Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences

January 22, 2021

Christina Grozinger, Publius Vergilius Maro Professor of Entomology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, will be honored by the National Academy of Sciences for helping the world understand how to address the crisis of global declines in pollinator populations.

Researchers encouraged to apply for 2021-22 Seed Grant Program

December 17, 2020

The Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) is accepting applications for its 2021-22 seed grant program aimed at funding projects that can leverage artificial intelligence — AI — to advance transformative research, as well as use the technology to enhance the process of scientific discovery itself.

'Windows of opportunity' crucial for cutting Chesapeake nutrient, sediment loads

December 17, 2020

The vast majority of nutrients and sediment washed into streams flowing into the Chesapeake Bay are picked up by deluges from severe storms that occur on relatively few days of the year. That is the conclusion of a new study led by Penn State researchers, who say it offers clues for cleaning up the impaired estuary.

Research to Action: Science and Solutions for a Planet Under Pressure

December 11, 2020

Students: Consider this great conference opportunity during break. Student admission fees are complimentary. The NCSE Drawdown 2021 Conference will feature everything our community values from past NCSE Annual Conferences with the addition of an exciting new collaboration with Project Drawdown. Given the staggering pace of change in the world today, combining the NCSE 2021 Annual Conference and the 2nd Global Drawdown—Research to Action Conference will exponentially amplify opportunities for collaboration and progress.

Researchers aim to 'upcycle' nutrient waste on farms

December 7, 2020

With a $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Penn State researchers will investigate how duckweed could be grown on Pennsylvania farms to limit nutrient pollution into the Chesapeake Bay.

Sophomore puts her education into action

November 30, 2020

Isabella Briseño, an environmental resource management major, already has built an impressive resume for a future career in environmental policy.

Spring symposium, seed grants to promote transdisciplinary biodiversity research

November 17, 2020

The Sustainability Institute at Penn State is hosting transdisciplinary symposia on biodiversity throughout the spring 2021 semester. The virtual series, "Mainstreaming Biodiversity in the Decade of Action," aims to expand collaborative networks and to inspire creative strategies to promote biodiversity in urban, agricultural and natural areas in order to improve human and ecological health and well-being.

More precise nitrogen recommendations for corn to help farmers, cut pollution

October 15, 2020

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have developed an important component of a new system that corn growers can use to adjust nitrogen fertilizer applications based on site-specific measurements of cover crops and soil organic matter.

Harvesting vegetation on riparian buffers barely reduces water-quality benefits

October 2, 2020

Allowing farmers to harvest vegetation from their riparian buffers will not significantly impede the ability of those streamside tracts to protect water quality by capturing nutrients and sediment — and it will boost farmers’ willingness to establish buffers. That is the conclusion of Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences researchers, who compared the impacts of six riparian buffer design scenarios over two, four-year crop rotations in two small central and southeastern Pennsylvania watersheds.

SAFES is Hiring!

September 9, 2020

SAFES is currently hiring three new positions: Research Initiatives Associate, Administrative Support Coordinator, and Program Financial Assistant. Read more about these exciting new roles in the institute and follow links to apply.

Announcing the Fall 2020 Water Insights Seminar Series

September 8, 2020

Water Insights is an interdisciplinary seminar series on water science, water management, and water policy sponsored by the Environment and Natural Resources Institute. Speakers include researchers, water managers, and water policy makers from Penn State, other universities, government agencies and non-governmental organizations. Join the seminars via Zoom every Tuesday from 12-1 pm.

Insect Biodiversity Center to promote insect conservation, healthy ecosystems

September 8, 2020

A newly launched center at Penn State will create a focal point for the study and conservation of insects and the ecosystems with which they interact. The Insect Biodiversity Center brings together faculty researchers and educators from eight Penn State colleges, with a goal to celebrate insect diversity in science and practice.

Student completes virtual internship with state Fish and Boat Commission

August 26, 2020

Junior Matthew Bellia, an Environmental Resource Management major in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, spent his summer completing a research-based internship with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

SoAR FedByScience Blog: Rapid Response To COVID-19

August 5, 2020

Today, as our nation and the world struggle to fight COVID-19, medical professionals are working tirelessly to understand the virus, heal stricken people, and develop an effective vaccine. At the same time, agricultural professionals are rapidly responding to protect our farmworkers and the food system. Penn State University recently ran an internal grant competition through the newly formed Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science (SAFES), asking faculty to think about the impacts of the pandemic on agriculture and the environment. The response was strong.

Researchers aim to create thriving agricultural systems in urbanizing landscapes

July 29, 2020

Agricultural systems in metropolitan regions and in adjacent, nonmetro counties account for more than two-thirds of U.S. net farm income and 97% of net farm income in Pennsylvania. But can food systems in these urbanized landscapes remain economically and environmentally sustainable in the face of development pressure and perceived disamenities associated with agriculture? A team led by Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences researchers is almost a year into a five-year study aimed at providing answers to this question.

Harnessing biomass, manure to fuel farms through multi-institutional project

July 21, 2020

Transdisciplinary research team aims to create new value chains on U.S. farms, with emphasis on the generation of renewable natural gas, improved rural economic outcomes and protection of the environment.