delware environmental institute


Pitch:90 logo




Thursday, November 12, 2015
6:00–8:30 p.m.
ISE Lab Atrium

Pitch:90 is a fast-paced elevator pitch contest in which student contestants showcase their research in 90 seconds or less to a panel of judges and an enthusiastic audience.

NO props, NO slides, ONLY words. 

Photo of Fabio Feldmann

Friday, October 30, 2015
4–5:30 p.m.
Mitchell Hall
Free and open to the public.

Fabio Feldmann has devoted his life to protecting and improving the environmental sustainability of his native Brazil, a goal he has pursued relentlessly in every possible arena, from business to politics to NGOs. His visionary leadership has left its mark on Brazilian law and society and on the world stage. He is a winner of the United Nations' Global 500 award, which recognizes the environmental achievements of individuals and organizations around the world.

Feldmann will be interviewed onstage at Mitchell Hall by Dan Parke, director general of Agência Estado, Latin America’s largest real-time news agency, based in São Paulo, Brazil. Parke is a University of Delaware alumnus and member of DENIN’s external advisory board. A question-and-answer session with the audience will follow the interview. You can suggest questions ahead of time or during the presentation via Twitter, using the hashtag #DENINtalk.

This presentation will be available remotely via live video streaming and archived afterward.

Thursday, October 8, 2015
3:00–7:00 p.m.
Harker ISE Laboratory

Planned by students for students, the symposium will include both oral presentations and a poster session with a reception. Cash prizes will be awarded for the best posters and presentations. 


The DENIN Ambassadors are pleased to announce their third annual environmental video competition. The theme of this year’s competition is “A Personal Journey.” Videos entered in the competition should reflect a personal odyssey by the filmmaker that led to changes in his or her life based on environmental fact-finding, discovery, or reflection.

Photo of Pam Matson
Thursday, October 30, 2014
4:00 p.m. lecture
5:00 p.m. reception
Gore Recital Hall, Roselle Center for the Arts
Newark, Delaware
Free and open to the public.

Follow #DENINtalk on Twitter!
A video recording of this talk is now available here!

Pamela Matson, the Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University, will be the inaugural speaker in DENIN's new Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series designed to highlight leading academic thinkers in the environmental sciences and engineering.

Her talk, entitled "Science for a Sustainability Transition: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution," will be followed by a reception in the lobby of the Roselle Center for the Arts.

To help meet the needs of a still-growing and more-consuming human population while at the same time protecting the planetary life support systems, scientists are increasingly engaging in use-inspired fundamental research that both improves understanding and supports decision making. This talk will present the results of biophysical and social science research in an intensive wheat-growing region of Mexico to illustrate how new knowledge of the coupled human-environmental system, effectively linked to decision-making, can aid in a transition to sustainability. 

In addition to the main evening event, Matson will take part in several other interactions with University of Delaware faculty and students:

Presentation to the UD Strategic Planning Committee, Thought Leader Speaker Series:
"Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainability Transition: The Role of Universities in Leading Change"
Thursday, October 30
10:00–11:45 a.m., Trabant University Center Theater
Open to the University of Delaware communityand the public; this talk will also be recorded.

Student and Faculty Discussion Sessions & Luncheon
Friday, October 31
467 ISE Lab
9:00–10:00 a.m., undergraduates
10:00–11:00 a.m., graduate students
11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., luncheon with students (invitation only)
1:30–2:30 p.m., faculty

Join us for some refreshments and informal conversation with Dr. Matson. Seating is limited, so please contact Amy Slocum (graduate students and faculty) or Beth Chajes (undergraduates) if you are interested in meeting with Dr. Matson on Friday.


In January 2014, DENIN awarded its first-ever Environmental Frontier Grants to four teams of UD faculty who proposed interdisciplinary environmental research projects designed to lay the groundwork for future proposals to outside granting agencies. In this seminar series, we've asked the principal investigators on each grant to share their progress with the DENIN community as well as others interested in their research topics. Seminars are free and open to the public. Each will take place from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in 302 ISE Lab.

Photo of Climbing PoeTree by Pable AguilarDENIN's Student Programs Committee will be kicking off the UD’s Earth Week festivities on Wednesday, April 16, by hosting a performance of the Brooklyn-based duo Climbing PoeTree.

Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman, the women of Climbing PoeTree, interweave spoken word, hip hop, and award-winning multimedia theatre to tell powerful stories of liberation, state and personal violence, social, environmental, racial and sexual justice, women’s empowerment, love and human transcendence.

Garcia and Penniman have been touring together for more than 10 years in the U.S. and abroad, performing in concert halls, conference centers, festivals, classrooms and prisons. Their stop in Delaware will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the newly renovated West Lounge of the Perkins Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

As a prelude to the show, performances by UD’s spoken-word student group SPIT (Stimulating Prose, Ideas and Theories) will be featured beginning at 7 p.m.

Climbing PoeTree will be performing segments from their acclaimed multimedia production Hurricane Season: The Hidden Messages in Water, which uses poetry, shadow art, dance, film and animation to examine the unnatural disasters facing humanity on a daily basis through the lens of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

Their production has led to a collaboration with a team of educators to translate Hurricane Season into a multimedia social justice curriculum that is currently being piloted at Susquehanna University and Global Citizenship Experience, a pioneering high school in Chicago. Through the curriculum, Garcia and Penniman are attempting to harness the power of art to build the consciousness and leadership necessary for fundamental social change.

“My fellow DENIN committee member, Amy Snelling, and I first saw Climbing PoeTree perform through a webcast at a conference we attended,” says Becky Bronstein, chair of the DENIN Student Programs Committee. “We both found them to be really inspiring and knew we wanted to help bring them to Delaware.”

Cosponsors for the event include the College of Arts and Sciences Environmental Humanities Program, the Center for Science, Ethics and Public Policy, and the Earth Week Working Group of the UD Sustainability Task Force.

Photo by Pablo Aguilar

DENIN will be hosting a seminar series during the spring 2014 semester. These seminars will be held in 305 ISE Lab (instructional wing). 

March 3, 1:00 p.m.  RESCHEDULED for Wednesday, March 5, at 12:15 in 467 ISE Lab!
Biogeochemistry of Trace Metals in Floodplain Soils
Jorg Rinklebe
Professor, Institute for Soil Engineering, Water and Waste Management
University of Wuppertal, Germany

April 14, 3:00 p.m.
Feedback Processes Governing Tidal Wetland Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
J. Patrick Megonigal
Senior Scientist & Deputy Director
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

May 12, 3:00 p.m.
Effect of Redox Transitions on Transition Metal Oxide Minerology and Reactivity
Matthew Ginder-Vogel
Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of Wisconsin, Madison


The DENIN Student Programs Committee is pleased to announce its second annual environmental video competition. The theme of this year’s competition is “Dare To Be Green!”

Individuals or teams of up to five students — graduate or undergraduate — are invited to submit digital videos up to 10 minutes long in .mov format by 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 12, 2014.

A panel of judges will select three to five finalists to be screened as part of UD’s first “Lights, Camera, EARTH!” environmental film festival, Feb. 21-23, where the winners will be announced.

A $1,000 grand prize will be awarded for the top video, as well as a $500 runner-up prize. Videos will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Depiction of theme
  • Cinematography and production values
  • Effectiveness of environmental message (did the video inspire us?)

All entries must be accompanied by an entry form signed by the video producer or team leader that certifies that all video content is original, non-copyrighted material (or provide proof that permission to use copyrighted material was obtained). Failure to abide by copyright restrictions will result in disqualification of the entry.

Entrants must also agree to allow DENIN to screen their videos at the “Lights, Camera, EARTH!” film festival and post their videos or links to their videos via electronic media outlets, including our webpages, YouTube channel, and social media accounts.

Videos and accompanying entry forms should be submitted via UD Dropbox to Beth Chajes ( by the deadline on Feb. 12. Questions regarding the competition may be directed to Beth at (302) 831-6163.

Download a flyer about the event here.
Interactive PDF entry form is now available!

Thursday, May 2, 2013
4:00 p.m.
Room 102, Delaware Biotechnology Institute

Photo of Bill BaileyIf you’ve ever wondered how a commitment to sustainability and the corporate bottom line could coexist, come hear what DuPont’s Bill Bailey has to say. He's an engineering fellow with DuPont's Energy Engineering Group.

Bill is going to talk about the DuPont Company’s broad sustainability efforts and an initiative in energy efficiency that he led, which has saved $230 million since 2008.

If you’re a student going on the job market soon, the event will be a good opportunity to meet Bill and other DuPont employees who are joining the event, who have contributed to sustainable practices. They want to meet you—come network! 

Free of charge and refreshments served. Plus a free DENIN swag bag for every audience member! 
Click here to register!

Friday, April 12
12:30-4:30 p.m.

Participants will meet at 12:30 at the St. Jones Reserve, 818 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, DE (directions)
Registration is limited to about 20 participants. To make a reservation, contact Delaware Wild Lands at 302-378-2736 or

DENIN will partner with Delaware Wild Lands, the state’s largest land conservation organization, to co-sponsor a field trip to the St. Jones Reserve, a component of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve. This event is part of the Challenges & Choices series of educational events that DENIN is holding throughout 2013 to focus attention on major environmental challenges facing the state, including sea level rise, food and water security, land use, and energy.

Aerial photo of the St. Jones Reserve by Eric CrossanParticipants in the field trip will learn about the natural, human and ecological systems affected by the St. Jones River near Dover and what factors are impacting the river, including patterns of historic use and climate change. The group will travel in vans from the headwaters to the mouth of the river, meeting experts in the field to view special resources along the river, discuss impacts to the river and discover how the watershed is being enhanced and restored.

About the St. Jones Reserve

The St. Jones Reserve features tidal brackish-water and salt marshes dominated by saltmarsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), salt hay (Spartina patens) and open water of creek, river and bay areas, buffered by freshwater wooded fringe, farmlands and meadows. This low-lying area is a prime example of habitat that is threatened by rising sea levels expected to occur over the next century.

The St. Jones River watershed drains a portion of the coastal plain in central Kent County, DE, including the city of Dover, the surrounding suburbs, industrial areas, agricultural areas and Dover Air Force Base. The upper St. Jones is impounded by a dam 10.5 miles upstream from the bay to form Silver Lake, a municipal recreation area. Some other headwater streams are also impounded. Much of the eastern portion (bayward) of the watershed consists of wetlands and forests, including lands and waters managed for waterfowl, wild turkey, deer and other wildlife.

The St. Jones Reserve is about 1518 hectares (3750 acres) in designated size, distributed along 8.8 km (5.5 mi) of medium-salinity tidal river situated at the lower end of the St. Jones River watershed, with the river discharging into mid-Delaware Bay.

(Photo by Eric Crossan)

Photo of Daniel HillelThursday, April 4, 2013
7:00 p.m.
Mitchell Hall, Newark, DE
Free and open to the public

Download a PDF flyer for the event here.

Watch a video of the event here.

Daniel Hillel, winner of the 2012 World Food Prize, the “Nobel Prize of Agriculture,” will be the featured guest in the DENIN Dialogue Series on Thursday, April 4, in Mitchell Hall at 7 p.m.

This series engages experts from around the world in conversation with a knowledgeable host and with the public through an on-stage interview format and audience question and answer session. Robin Morgan, professor of animal and food sciences and former dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will lead the dialogue with Hillel.

In addition to the main evening event, Hillel will take part in several other interactions with University of Delaware faculty and students. No reservations are needed for these events:

Seminar: "The Challenge of Managing the Environment Sustainably in a Changing World"
Wednesday, April 3
1:30–2:30 p.m., Room 102 Delaware Biotechnology Institute

Student Breakfast Q&A Session
Friday, April 5
9:00-10:30 a.m., Collins Room, Perkins Student Center
Bagels, pastries, fruit, juice and coffee will be provided

About Daniel Hillel
Hillel was born in the United States but was taken to Israel as a young child and raised on a kibbutz in a farming environment. Educated at both American and Israeli universities as a soil scientist, he went on to develop micro-irrigation techniques that dramatically improved water efficiency and agricultural output in arid regions.

He has been consulted on sustainable agriculture techniques by more than 30 countries and has written or edited 26 books on the roles of soil and water in healthy agro-ecosystems. Recently he has been working on ways to adjust agricultural techniques to adapt to increasing water stress resulting from climate change.

He divides his time between the Center for Environmental Studies in Israel and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He is also a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Read Hillel's World Food Prize citation.
View a video about Hillel's work.


Coastal Consequences: Sea Level Rise in Delaware

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Clayton Hall, Newark, DE (directions)

Delaware was lucky and dodged the worst of Hurricane Sandy, giving us a chance to continue studying and planning for a future that will be marked by the need to adapt to rising sea levels. Join your colleagues for presentations and discussions of the scientific, engineering, and policy lessons learned from recent events and prospects for the future. The agenda below provides an outline of presentations but may still be subject to minor changes.

PowerPoint presentations of speakers are available for review as PDFs through the links below.


8:00 – 8:30  Registration and continental breakfast; all-day poster session in the lobby
8:30 – 9:00  Welcoming remarks — DENIN Director Don Sparks and Vice Provost for Research Charlie Riordan
9:00 – 9:30  Presentation about "broader impacts" criteria, grant opportunities, and other topics — NSF EPSCoR Program Director Sean Kennan (presentation pdf)
9:30 – 10:15  Presentation of Delaware Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment Report — Susan Love, DNREC Coastal Programs (presentation pdf)
10:15 – 10:30 Networking break
10:30 – 11:45 Panel discussion moderated by David Ledford, managing editor, The News Journal:  "And Now a Word from Delaware Coastal Stakeholders" with Collin O'Mara, DNREC Secretary; George H. Bunting, Jr., former Delaware legislator and State Farm agent, Rehoboth Beach; David Carter, conservation chair, Delaware Audubon; and Richard Allan, property owner, Prime Hook, Delaware
11:45 – 12:45  Keynote address — Cynthia Rosenzweig (presentation pdf)
12:45 – 1:45  Lunch and video presentation of recent EPSCoR seed grant projects
1:45– 2:45  Session I: Environmental Justice and Sea Level Rise — Tom Powers, director, Center for Science, Ethics, and Public Policy (presentation pdf); Kevin Adkin, recent Ph.D. graduate (presentation pdf); and Barbara Bates-Hopkins, Dept. of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University (presentation pdf)
2:45 – 3:00 Networking break
3:00 – 4:00  Session II: Lessons from Sandy and Other Recent Storms for Delaware — James Kendra, director, Disaster Research Center; Rob McCleary, DelDOT (presentation pdf); and Daniel Leathers, state climatologist and director, Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS) (presentation pdf)
4:00 – 5:30 Reception and poster session

About Cynthia Rosenzweig
Photo of Cynthia RosenzweigCynthia Rosenzweig is a senior research scientist at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University. At Goddard, she leads the Climate Impacts Group, whose mission is to investigate the interactions of climate (both variability and change) on systems and sectors important to human well-being.

She was the lead scientist on the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Climate Change Task Force, which has advised the mayor about possible impacts from climate change and actions that may be needed to adapt. She also co-led the Metropolitan East Coast Regional Assessment of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, sponsored by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. For the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, she was a coordinating lead author on the Assessment of Observed Changes and Responses in Natural and Managed Systems.

Dr. Rosenzweig received her Ph.D. in plant, soil, and environmental sciences from the University of Massachusetts in 1991. She earned an M.S. in soils and crops from Rutgers University and a B.A. in agricultural sciences from Cook College. She is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and is a fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The DENIN Student Programs Committee announces its first environmental video competition to raise awareness of environmental issues. The theme for the video competition is “Challenges and Choices: Preparing for a Sustainable Future in Delaware.”

The DENIN SPC invites individuals or groups of students to submit a funny, creative or serious video reflecting the theme of the contest. Video clips should be between two and five minutes long. Topics may include but are not limited to sea level rise and extreme weather, food security, water quality, energy conservation, recycling, composting, pollution, consumption and environmental footprint.

The contest runs from March 1 to April 3, 2013. From April 4 to April 11, videos will be posted on DENIN’s Facebook page. The number of likes or votes each video receives will be factored into the scoring. The DENIN SPC will also judge the videos based on originality, creativity, and adherence to the theme.

The first place winner and runner up will be announced on April 12, 2013. Two cash prizes will be awarded: $500 for first prize and a $250 runner up. Prizes will be awarded and the top videos will be screened publicly during the University’s Earth Week celebration.

Please submit your video via dropbox to SPC chair Amelia Snelling by 5:00 p.m. on April 3. All submissions should include the name of the video, the name(s) of the individual or team members and an email and phone number where the team can be reached. Only one person’s contact information is required.

The video competition is part of the “Challenges and Choices” series of events being sponsored by DENIN in 2013 to focus attention on four major environmental challenges facing Delaware: sea level rise and extreme weather events, food and water security, land use and energy.


RESEARCH FORUM: Extreme Event Impacts on Air Quality and Water Quality with a Changing Global Climate
Open to the Public

Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 from 9:00am-5:00pm
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 from 9:00am-3:30pm

Location: EPA Potomac Yard South (2777 Crystal Dr., Arlington, Virginia)
First Floor Conference Center

Background: EPA's Office of Research and Development is pleased to present 14 newly awarded grantee projects on climate-induced changes in extreme events in the context of air and water quality management. A goal of this research funding is to seek a better understanding of the hazards (the extreme events) and to establish ways for climate scientists, impact assessment modelers, air and water quality managers, and other stakeholders to produce information necessary to form sound policy in relation to extreme events and their impact on air and water quality under a changing climate. Researchers from across the country will present their research plans and early results. More details can be found at the event's web page, including an agenda which will be released in the coming weeks.

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure
to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013

Registration: Anyone who plans to attend this event in-person should email Whitney Beck ( no later than Friday, February 15, 2013. Please provide the name, email address, and affiliation of each person planning to attend.

Webinar: For those unable to attend in person, the presentations will be broadcast via webinar. Register for the webinar by visiting and clicking on the "Register Now" link.