A Study in Place

With the advent of spring comes the desire to get outside, into nature. Central Pennsylvania has many places—state and national forests and parks, hiking trails, rivers—for recreation. One of the best places is Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, part of Penn State’s 7,000-acre Stone Valley Experimental Forest. And the perfect introduction … Continue reading

Specifying Specimens

Papua New Guinea is quite a distance from western Pennsylvania. No one knows that better than Andrew Mack, grants and contracts coordinator for Penn State Altoona’s Academic Affairs. It wasn’t that long ago that Mack was deep in the South Pacific rainforest searching for cassowaries and working as executive director … Continue reading

The Flavors of Life

Wet-bottom shoofly pie from Lancaster County, cheesesteaks from Philadelphia, and pierogis from Pittsburgh—just a few of the many regional delicacies in Pennsylvania. And then there’s what’s grown here: mushrooms from Kennett Square, apples and peaches from Adams County, and sweet corn from just about anywhere across the state. Pennsylvania has … Continue reading

Birds of Fire

“This is not a new discovery,” says Mark Bonta, assistant teaching professor of earth sciences at Penn State Altoona, when asked about the firehawks. But it is significant. Only relatively recently have Westerners came to understand what Aboriginal people have known for tens of thousands of years: some species of … Continue reading

The Power of Place

“A house divided against itself cannot stand” —Abraham Lincoln The National Park Service was created in 1916 to protect our national parks and monuments—both those that had been put in place since the designation of Yellowstone as the first US national park in 1872 and any future areas. The Act … Continue reading

A Distant Pair of Wings

Monarchs are often the first butterflies a child learns to identify—the orange and white edged in black on their wings is unmistakable. We know their life cycle—larvae to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly—and that they migrate thousands of miles during the fall and spring. And we love to watch these … Continue reading

Discovering Your Discovery System

Twenty-first-century students have the world at their fingertips when it comes to finding material for research papers. Librarians know very well that the challenge is in finding the right resources—the most useful and the most credible—but convincing students well experienced in a world of Google that better search engines and … Continue reading

Connecting Over the Airwaves

It’s not often someone can say doing research is “like diving into an old movie.” But that’s what Shaheed Nick Mohammed experienced while writing his latest book, Distant Voices Near: Historical Globalization and Indian Radio in Trinidad and Tobago (University of the West Indies Press, 2017). “You sort of get … Continue reading