Field Research

Research News

Read the latest news about research conducted by investigators in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Our faculty and students are continually advancing technology, creating solutions and expanding knowledge with new and innovative research.

Climate dynamics professor co-authors report assessing cost of climate change

Chris Forest, associate professor of climate dynamics at Penn State, was co-author of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report recommending new methods for estimating the social cost of carbon emissions worldwide. According to the report, new practices would strengthen the scientific basis, provide greater transparency, and improve characterization of uncertainties over the current estimates.

Big Ten’s Geospatial Data Portal connecting access to GIS, historical map data

The Big Ten Academic Alliance Geospatial Data Portal Project, of which Penn State University Libraries is a contributor, has launched an online spatial data discovery tool called the Big Ten Academic Alliance Geoportal. The project and geoportal aim to provide discoverability, facilitate access and connect scholars across the Big Ten Academic Alliance to often scattered geospatial data resources.

Fulbright takes researcher to Sweden to study new transistor materials

Joan Redwing, Penn State professor of materials science and engineering, chemical engineering, and electrical engineering, spent time at Lund University in Sweden as part of the Fulbright Scholar Program, through which she conducted research into semiconductor materials that could be used to power cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices in the future.

The effects of melting glaciers on tropical communities

A Penn State professor is researching the trickle-down effects that melting tropical glaciers have on food security and biodiversity, and what regional communities, like Cusco and Huaraz in Peru, can do about it.

Conservation practices may leave African indigenous populations behind

Conservation and logging groups in Central and West Africa are failing to fully incorporate local concerns into management, marginalizing the livelihoods of the local population, according to Nathan Clay, doctoral candidate in geography, Penn State.

Project to develop computational tools for coupled human-natural systems

Penn State researchers have received a $20 million, five-year project with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) looks to create a state-of-the-art framework of computational tools that will help to assess the impacts of weather-related variability and change.

South American fossil tomatillos show nightshades evolved earlier than thought

Delicate fossil remains of tomatillos found in Patagonia, Argentina, show that this branch of the economically important family that also includes potatoes, peppers, tobacco, petunias and tomatoes existed 52 million years ago, long before the dates previously ascribed to these species, according to an international team of scientists.

New approach captures the energy of slow motion

A new concept in energy harvesting could capture energy currently wasted due to its characteristic low frequency and use it to power next-generation electronic devices, according to a team of Penn State materials scientists and electrical engineers.

Big data approach to water quality applied at shale drilling sites

A computer program is diving deep into water quality data from Pennsylvania, helping scientists detect potential environmental impacts of Marcellus Shale gas drilling.

Apartheid’s lingering effects on HIV and AIDS

Geography researcher's long-term study analyzes impacts of HIV/AIDS, food security and spatial dynamics on quality of life in rural South Africa