University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

May 10: DENIN Dialogue Series to feature leading scientist Sandra Postel

The Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) will host Sandra Postel, director of the Global Water Policy Project and Freshwater Fellow at the National Geographic Society, at 7 p.m., Monday, May 10, in Mitchell Hall, as the first speaker in its new DENIN Dialogue Series.

Postel will give a lecture entitled “Water is Life -- New Strategies for a Water Stressed World.”

Postel will meet with University of Delaware faculty and students on Tuesday, May 11.

Postel lectures, writes and consults on international water issues and is the author of several acclaimed books, including Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity, which appears in eight languages and was the basis for a 1997 PBS documentary, and Pillar of Sand: Can the Irrigation Miracle Last?, which has been selected for course use at more than 130 colleges and universities.

Postel has authored well over 100 articles for popular and scholarly publications, including Science, Natural History, Foreign Policy, The American Prospect, Ecological Applications, Scientific American, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

From 2000 to 2008, Postel served as visiting senior lecturer at Mount Holyoke College and, later in that term, as director of the college's Center for the Environment. She is a fellow of the California-based Post Carbon Institute and an adviser to American Rivers.

A 1995 Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment, Postel has been awarded two honorary doctor of science degrees and, in 2002, was named one of the "Scientific American 50" for her contributions to water policy.

“Dr. Postel is widely known for her efforts in water sustainability and policy,” said DENIN director Donald L. Sparks. “We are thrilled to have her here at the University of Delaware to kick off the DENIN Dialogue Series, which will bring experts to campus to speak and engage University participants and the community at large in discussions about pressing environmental issues."

DENIN Spring Seminars continue April 30

DENIN is also co-sponsoring a spring seminar series ( with several departments at UD. The seminars will take place at locations around the Newark campus throughout the spring.

On April 30 at 1 p.m. in 132 Townsend Hall, Cynthia Rosenzweig, senior scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University and a member of the DENIN External Advisory Board, will give a talk entitled “Climate Change and Agriculture: Current Issues.” The talk is co-sponsored with the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

On May 6 at 1 p.m. in Room 201 of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, Nita Sahai, a professor of aqueous geochemistry and biominerals at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will give a presentation entitled “Did Toxic Minerals Drive Bacterial Cell Wall Evolution?” Sahai will give a second talk May 7 at 1 p.m. in 233 Townsend Hall, entitled “Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Carboxylic Acid, Amino-Acid and Peptide-Mediated Crystal Nucleation and Growth of Calcite and Apatite.”

On May 14 at 1 p.m. in 116 Gore Hall, Pedro Sanchez, director of the Tropical Agriculture & the Rural Environment program, director of the Millennium Villages Project at The Earth Institute at Columbia University and a World Food Prize laureate, will give a talk entitled “Ending Hunger in Africa through Science-Based Policies.” The talk is co-sponsored with the department of plant and soil sciences.