Nestled in Penn State’s 7,000-acre Stone Valley Experimental Forest, Shaver’s Creek is not only a place for children and families to discover the natural world, but a field laboratory for Penn State students and faculty to carry out research in the areas of environmental education; plant sciences; recreation, park, and tourism management; and more!

The Plant Science Program at Shaver’s Creek, under the leadership of Program Director Dr. Eric Burkhart, often working with partners such as the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, includes research on native plants of economic and conservation importance, such as American ginseng and goldenseal. Contact Eric for more information.

Other research at Shaver’s Creek is often carried out by graduate assistants who apply their interests and areas of study to some aspect of Shaver’s Creek’s programming to gather data and draw conclusions. For instance, past graduate students have studied our Outdoor School and family programs to gauge the effectiveness of environmental education at changing children’s attitudes about the natural world.

Penn State students and faculty interested in carrying out research in any of these areas and/or using Shaver’s Creek as a field site for your program should contact us for more information.

Moss on a boulder near a creek

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