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In the Media

Christian Science Monitor
Diana Donlon
In bone-dry California we are counting the days until October when the rainy season should begin. When wells run dry in the Central Valley, fires rage in Big Sur and pine forests in the Sierra Nevada die off, you can’t help but wonder where all the water has gone. But what if we asked a slightly different question: where should the water be? To answer this it helps to know that soil hydrologists classify fresh water as either blue or green. According to Henry Lin, Professor of Hydropedology / Soil Hydrology at Penn State University, "Blue water refers to water collected in rivers, lakes, wetlands and groundwater. Blue water is available for withdrawal before it evaporates or meets the ocean. Green water refers to water absorbed by soil and plants and is then released back into the air. Green water is unavailable for withdrawal.”
Centre Daily Times
Birttany Milazzo
Chris Uhl urges students in his environmental science class at Penn State to look at nature differently. The goal, he said, is to use all senses to explore the environment.
Sara Lajeunesse
Genetically engineered (GE) crops are no different from conventional crops in terms of their risks to human health and the environment, according to a report published in May 2016 by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Leland Glenna, associate professor of rural sociology and science, technology and society in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, served on the committee that authored the report.
Drought conditions in parts of Pennsylvania, particularly in the north-central region, are likely to dampen the fall foliage display, according to a forest ecologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
The Washington Post
Chris Mooney
The new study is co-authored by Rob DeConto of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and David Pollard of Penn State University, who recently published a new ice sheet model of Antarctica that predicts the ice continent can melt and raise sea levels by nearly a meter, on its own, during this century.
The Daily Collegian
Antonia Jaramillo
Diseases such as malaria, West Nile, Lyme and others have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, and for a long time, researchers did not know how to contain them or how they started — until now. A group of Penn State researchers recently finished a five-year project designed to investigate whether land use in specific regions of Africa affects the spread of diseases like malaria and Buruli ulcer.
Lancaster Farming
Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade
Ask dairy farmers about their cows’ feed intake, and they can probably give a detailed accounting of their rations, including forage test results and how they monitor nutrient uptake. Yet the largest, cheapest ingredient a cow consumes is water, said John Tyson, a Penn State Extension educator. Cows consume more than 300 pounds of water per day. “If they are going to produce maximum milk, they need to drink,” said Extension water specialist Bryan Swistock.
The Daily Collegian
Antonia Jaramillo
Quirky, queer Quaker, Peterson Toscano, shed light on topics such as homosexuality, transgender issues, religion and climate change last night at 7 p.m. in Freeman Auditorium in the HUB-Robeson Center. “Peterson is a person who is so many of the issues that are being discussed in today’s society — LGBT issues, religion issues and climate change — and he’s so relatable and so approachable that he’s able to make the divisions in our country seem irrelevant,” said Peter Buckland, the Sustainability Institute’s academic programs fellow.
9 News
Kenneth Keiler and Sarah Ades
An FDA ruling on Sept. 2 bans the use of triclosan, triclocarban and 17 other antiseptics from household soaps because they have not been shown to be safe or even have any benefit. The FDA is currently evaluating the use of antibacterials in gels and will rule on how those products should be handled once the data are in.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Diana Nelson Jones
Washington Boulevard in Highland Park has had this problem over the years and, after a flash storm in late August, its floodgates failed to function. Advocates of green infrastructure have been calling for years for green solutions to flooding and to combined sewer overflows caused by heavy rain, and green plans have resulted. But plans are about as far as it’s gone; mitigation so far has been negligible. “The question ‘Who owns this problem?’ is fundamental to the answer,” said Deno DeCiantis, director of the Penn State Center. The center is an extension of Penn State University that works on public projects, using students in related fields.
The Progress
A group of young people interested in careers focused on wildlife conservation or research visited Penn State DuBois on Monday to learn about educational opportunities that could interest them. A total of 19 high school age students visited as members of the Wildlife Leadership Academy, based in Lewisburg, PA, and they learned more about the Penn State DuBois Wildlife Technology degree program during their visit.
John and Aimee Good run a 200 member CSA on 8 acres of land leased from the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, PA. In this video, John Good discusses weed management practices on their farm.This series of videos is designed to give new farmers ideas and advice from experienced producers.
Scientific American
Erika Bolstad
A bipartisan group of defense experts and former military leaders are calling on the next administration to consider climate change as a grave threat to national security. “I hope that both policymakers and those in the public who care about this issue will see that this is really not a partisan issue; this is really an apolitical issue, it’s an issue of security,” said retired Navy Rear Adm. David Titley, now the director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Pennsylvania State University.
CBS News
Arctic sea ice this summer shrank to its second lowest level since scientists started to monitor it by satellite, with scientists saying it is another ominous signal of global warming. “What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic,” Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann said. “It looks increasingly likely that the dramatic decrease in Arctic sea ice is impacting weather in mid-latitudes and may be at least partly responsible for the more dramatic, persistent and damaging weather anomalies we’ve seen so many of in recent years.”
Eric Pickard
Arctic ice pack levels have receded to the second lowest level ever recorded in an ominous sign of global climate change. The Arctic ice pack, or the amount of solid ice that has formed in the Arctic Circle, fluctuates in size with the seasons. The summer low point this year was the second lowest recorded in history, exceeded only by the record low of 2012. The Arctic ice pack, a barometer for climate change worldwide, does not only affect the Arctic itself but the entire world, as pointed out by Michael Mann, a senior climate change scientist at Pennsylvania State University.
The Daily Collegian
Lauren Lee
Chocolate bark with a cricket drizzle and cricket flour chocolate chip cookies were just some of the unique snacks fairgoers at the "Insect Deli" feasted on. On Saturday, Penn State's Department of Entomology and the College of Agricultural Sciences hosted their annual Great Insect Fair at the Snider Agricultural Arena. This year's fair was mainly focused on entomophagy — the human practice of eating insects.
Elissa Hill
The Penn State Board of Trustees on Friday approved final plans and a $144 million budget to demolish Fenske Laboratory at the University Park campus and build a new, state-of-the-art research and instructional laboratory at the same site. In campus master planning, a “greenway” was established that includes the site of Fenske. Building design will reflect this policy. Other site work will connect the building to the campus sidewalk network and preserve “significant existing trees.” The building will also feature a first-floor green roof, and its design will allow for future expansion to this campus location.
Planting a multi-species mixture of cover crops—rather than a cover crop monoculture—between cash crops, provides increased agroecosystem services, or multifunctionality, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. That was the conclusion drawn from a two-year study of 18 cover-crop treatments, ranging in diversity from one to eight plant species. Cover crops were grown at the Penn State Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center preceding a corn crop. The researchers measured five benefits provided by cover crops - ecosystem services—in each cover crop system to assess the relationship between species.
The Huffington Post
Joseph Erbentraut
Just because a food is labeled “non-GMO,” for example, doesn’t mean it is organically grown, a fact apparently lost on some consumers. Further confusion abounds when it comes to foods that are labeled as “natural,” a distinction that has become so muddled in meaning that the FDA is getting involved. Sometimes it is key to question which details are omitted from how a food is labeled, said Jonathan Marks, an ethics professor at Penn State University. “We tend to assume that it is good to eat something that is labeled low in fat, sugar, or salt,” Marks told HuffPost. “But it may be high in something else that the label does not mention. Or it may be better to avoid this food for reasons other than health.”
Total Landscape Care
Jill Odom
The emerald ash borer is a threat to every ash tree it has not already killed, and there hasn’t been much good news on slowing the beetle’s spread across the country since it arrived in Michigan in 2002. One breakthrough, however, could result in earlier detection. An international team of researchers, including entomologists and engineers from Penn State, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Forest Research Institute in Matrafured, Hungary, and the USDA, has been working for years on creating a female EAB decoy that could successfully attract the males.