Climate Action at Penn State

Sarah Eichler
Postdoctoral Scholar, Sustainable Agriculture and Plant Production Systems, Penn State
Making farming better is good for everyone, including farmers. These improvements to farming can reverse global warming and improve a farm's efficiency, profitability, and harvest. Read Better Farming Means a Better Climate.
William Bahnfleth
Professor, Architectural Engineering, Penn State
Indoor air quality affects human health. By reducing the energy used to run ventilation systems, buildings can become healthier for the occupants as well as the environment. Read Inside Out: Buildings and Climate.
Klaus Keller
Professor, Geosciences, Penn State
Don't let the unknowns conflict with finding and applying sound climate solutions. Read Why Uncertainty is not an Excuse for Inaction on Climate Change.
Jacqueline O'Connor
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Penn State
Creating stable, efficient, and clean gas turbines have an important role to play in addressing climate change. Read Engines: Clean, Efficient, Stable.
Chris Forest
Professor, Climate Dynamics, Penn State
A study looking at the dairy sector in agriculture revealed some "udderly" astonishing data that could lead to a significant reduction of the planet's future warming. Read Burping Cows: Researching How Farms can Help Cool the Planet .
Jonathan Brockopp
Professor, History and Religious Studies, College of the Liberal Arts, Penn State
Penn State has been working for years, successfully, to reduce its carbon footprint. But recently, the University has embraced a larger role: Be a leader in creating comprehensive solutions to mitigate the dangers of climate change. One method to do this is to teach students the science of climate change. Read Teaching the Ethics of Climate Change.
Peter Buckland
Academic Programs Manager, Sustainability Institute, Penn State
By investing my time in three key areas, education, policy, and the arts, I am working to change the energy mix, and therefore tomorrow's climate, through purchasing, policy, politics, pedagogy, and play. Read If the Climate is a Concert, What Part do I Play?.
Susan Stewart
Associate Teaching Professor, Aerospace Engineering and Architectural Engineering, Penn State
I educate students on real-world implementations of wind energy applications, providing skills which are directly applicable to renewable energy project development as well as working with energy systems broadly. Read Renewable Energy Research and Education.
James Freihaut
Professor, Architectural Engineering, Penn State
While working on a DOE-sponsored program, which was initially intended to promote the use of combined heat and power (CHP) technology in single buildings or integrated campuses, for the last seven years, it became apparent that a more universal implementation of the technology needed to be pursued.  Read A New Energy Infrastructure Paradigm.
Christopher Gorski
Assistant Professor, Environmental Engineering, Penn State
Electrochemistry is a foundation for our transition from fossil fuels to carbon-neutral life. Electrochemistry is the basic science underlying batteries, solar cells, fuel cells, and the conversion of CO2 into useful products. This science is necessary for us to seriously achieve a sustainable energy future. Read Electrochemistry’s Relationship to Climate.

Penn State has funded a multi-year initiative to harness the University’s vast and wide-ranging activity in the area of renewable energy research. Penn State researchers are working on methods to capture carbon dioxide, including transforming it into a liquid and injecting it underground. Penn State received a $3 million grant from the Department of Energy to create intelligent vehicle networks that reduce fuel used by trucks and other heavy vehicles.

Penn State has created a Living Lab where Penn State students, faculty, and staff use on-campus buildings, grounds, and expertise as resources for learning. Penn State is offering a new course on the Ethics of Climate Change, which combines a basic introduction to the science of climate change with an overview of key ethical issues. In 2018-19, Penn State students conducted nearly 60 sustainability projects with more than 30 community partners.

Penn State is on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2020. Over the last 25 years Penn State has reduced its annual water use by 25%, while adding 10,000 students and 8M sq. ft. of building space. In 2019, Penn State entered a power purchase agreement for a 70 MW utility-scale, ground-mounted solar array that will provide 25% of Penn State's state-wide electricity requirements.