Yes, Penn State works directly to maintain and extend existing ecosystems and their plant and animal biodiversity, including ecosystems under threat.
The university owns and manages land where ecosystems and biodiversity are maintained and extended. These include:
- an Arboretum on the University Park campus;
- the Penn State Experimental Forest, 8,000 acres of forest that supports water resource and environmental investigations focused on sustainability of hardwood forests, water yield, and water quality;
- Shavers Creek Environmental Center which supports a field laboratory and active research projects related to the conservation of ecosystem biodiversity;
- Musser Gap, a 355 acre parcel which stewards, celebrates and protects regionally unique natural resources including the local water supply, plant and animal species; and
- 62-acre Millbrook Marsh, a World Database on Protected Areas IUCN management category III Natural Monument or Feature which is owned by the university, managed by Clearwater Conservancy, and operated by Centre County Parks and Recreation. All of these projects work directly to maintain and extend existing ecosystems and their plant and animal biodiversity.
The university also works to maintain and extend existing ecosystems and their biodiversity through research and teaching. For example:
- Penn State’s Center for Pollinator Research prioritizes developing and implementing integrative, multidisciplinary approaches to improving pollinator health, conservation, and management for ecosystems services through research, education, outreach and policy.
- The Ecosystem Science and Management department engages in research, teaching, and service about maintaining and expanding ecosystems and ecosystem biodiversity. Undergraduate programs such as the Forest Ecosystem Management program combines in-depth, hands-on science education for all students to participate in meaningful research in Forest Health, Restoring Ecosystem Function and Service, Scaling Up Ecosystem Management, and Watershed Resilience.