Penn State Energy and Environment News

Geologist breaks down what leads to sinkholes, after Palmer Twp. sinkholes spark concerns


Work is underway to fill a 50-foot-deep sinkhole in Palmer Township. It was supposed to be done Friday, but PennDOT says inclement weather pushed that date back. This Lehigh Valley broadcast TV segment features Sanjay Srinivasan, professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering and the John and Willie Leone Family chair in Energy and Mineral Engineering.

Hundreds of thousands of people will descend on Erie for the solar eclipse. Here's how the city is preparing.


Long in the shadow of its southern neighbor, the mid-size town along the shores of Lake Erie is expecting to attract up to 250,000 visitors next week. This article mentions events happening at Penn State Behrend and quotes Tracy Halmi, associate teaching professor of chemistry.

Butterfly-inspired AI technology takes flight


When it comes to mating, two things matter for Heliconius butterflies: the look and the smell of their potential partner. The black and orange butterflies have incredibly small brains, yet they must process both sensory inputs at the same time — which is more than current artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can achieve without significant energy consumption. To make AI as smart as the butterflies, a team of Penn State researchers has created a multi-sensory AI platform that is both more advanced and uses less energy than other AI technologies. 

Growing Impact: Youth climate leadership

| Featuring Mark Ortiz, Rasha Elwakil

The global push to involve youth in climate action is gaining momentum, harnessing their innovative spirit, deep investment in the future, and strong collective voice to combat climate change. Getting young people involved ensures that climate policies are forward-thinking and geared towards sustainable development, while their global solidarity and use of digital platforms amplify the call for urgent action. At the forefront of this movement, Penn State's Global Youth Storytelling and Research Lab aims to become a pivotal transnational research hub, empowering young leaders to shape the future of climate and environmental justice.

Nobel laureate Ben Feringa to present spring 2024 Allcock Alumni Group Lecture


Ben L. Feringa, the Jacobus van ‘t Hoff Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Groningen and recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, will present the Allcock Alumni Group Lectureship in Polymers and Materials Chemistry at 3:30 p.m. on April 10 in 101 Thomas Building. The lecture, titled “The Art of Building Small from Molecular Switches to Motors,” is free and open to the public. 

Applications now open for CTSI Implementation Science Fellowship Program


Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Implementation Science Core is accepting applications for the Implementation Science Fellowship Program now through May 24. The program provides training and a mentorship network to scientists interested in advancing their implementation science expertise across Penn State campuses.

April brings Earth Month takeover across University Park campus and others


Penn State students, staff, faculty and community members have the chance to participate in activities across campus during the month of April, when Earth Month takes over the University Park campus and several Commonwealth Campuses.

Will ticks be worse this year after another mild winter in the Lehigh Valley?


Tick season is upon us, but in a mild winter like the one we've just had, they can be out looking for something to bite well in advance. This article quotes Emily Struckhoff, vector-borne disease program specialist with Penn State Extension.

Susquehanna Valley agriculture business reacts to Port of Baltimore closure


Farmers are concerned about the fertilizer supply. This article quotes Leon Ressler, agronomy educator with Penn State Extension. 

Leader in Intersectional Environmentalism to visit Penn State


The Penn State student group U-Belong will host Diandra Esparza, executive director of Intersectional Environmentalist, for a keynote talk on Wednesday, April 3, from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. in 10 Sparks at the University Park campus.

Penn State startup developing spatially targeted cancer therapy


Penn State startup Illuminate Therapeutics is working to create a potent and targeted treatment for head and neck cancers that would cause minimal damage to healthy surrounding tissues. The potential treatment leverages Illuminate’s Light Activated Drug Delivery and Release platform, or LADDR.

Melting ice in the polar north drives weather in Europe


Influxes of meltwater into the North Atlantic eventually lead to warmer and drier conditions over Europe. This article quotes Melissa Gervais, assistant professor of meteorology and atmospheric science.