University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Rachael Vaicunas knows a good bit about water resources in the First State. After all, she’s a University of Delaware grad student in bioresources engineering, studying such topics as watershed management, bioremediation and non-point pollution.

But Vaicunas says she learned a lot from a Water Quest Scavenger Hunt last fall – like the fact that an inflatable dam in the White Clay Creek, 10 miles downstream from Newark, helps prevent tidal flow of salt water into a nearby water treatment plant. She also picked up some purely fun facts, including that Sambo’s Tavern in Leipisc has been serving up Delaware crabs for more than 50 years. Vaicunas competed in the hunt with three other UD grad students.

“One of our clues took us to Sambo’s; another had us up in a tower at Fort Delaware State Park,” says Vaicunas. “We had a great time taking part in the hunt.” (full article)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Solar Hydrogen Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) at the University of Delaware will hold its annual student-run conference, Energy and Sustainability 2011, from Sept. 15-17 at the Trabant University Center.

The conference is co-sponsored by the University of Delaware Energy Institute (UDEI). Topics include achieving a more sustainable energy future, as well as cutting-edge energy research happening at UDEI affiliated research centers across campus. Other discussion points include energy and climate change policy, business practices, horticulture and fashion.

A magical concert exploring sustainability through music, by violinist Xiang Gao, opens the event Thursday evening, Sept. 15, allowing attendees to not only think about the issue – but experience it. >>more

An international symposium addressing global issues and trends in nutrient management. The symposium focuses on how agricultural management practices, technological advances, and global or regional policies are affecting both nutrient use efficiency in the food chain and the quality of our environment in different regions of the world.

Symposium Themes:

  • Worldwide challenges in the management of nutrients to produce a safe and secure food supply while protecting the quality of the global environment
  • Focus on current issues and trends in nutrient management in China, the European Union, and the United States
  • Advances in nutrient management science and technology – adapting recent innovations to meet global needs
  • Developing national and international policies for nutrient management in today’s rapidly changing global economy

Important Dates

Abstract submission:    July 1, 2011

Registration deadline:  August 1, 2011 (details)

A National Science Foundation-sponsored workshop, “Science: Becoming the Messenger,” aims to help academic scientists and engineers learn to craft responses to this ubiquitous question that are effective in reaching a broad range of audiences through a variety of media.

The workshop will be presented free of charge to faculty, graduate students and postdocs working at universities and institutions in Delaware on Thursday, July 21, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Clayton Hall on the University of Delaware’s Newark campus. Public information officers working on behalf of universities and institutions in Delaware are also invited to attend.

The registration deadline is July 8. More information and links to the registration form and a video about the workshop may be found on the NSF website. Questions may also be directed to the Delaware EPSCoR program at 302-831-6163.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect a new start time, 7:30 p.m., and a new place, Mitchell Hall.
9:13 a.m., March 3, 2011----Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will be the featured speaker in the DENIN Dialogue Series at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 6, in Mitchell Hall.

The DENIN Dialogue Series is a semiannual lecture series sponsored by the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) that brings experts of international renown in environmental research and policy to address the public at UD's Newark campus. Pachauri's appearance is cosponsored by the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, the Center for Political Communication’s Global Agenda Series, and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Pachauri's talk, entitled “Knowledge Institutions and the Imperatives of Sustainable Development,” will focus on how the cumulative effects of industrialization have affected the health of our natural resources and ecosystems. Unsustainable growth is creating problems that not only affect the environment, but also, in some heavily industrialized areas, pose a serious threat to human health. (full aricle)

Editor’s Note: DENIN will be represented at the Campus Sustainability Day Showcase Event between 11:00-1:00 on October 20. Stop by our booth in the Trabant Multipurpose Room A and possibly win a prize!


The University of Delaware will celebrate Campus Sustainability Day on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

The theme of the day is “Making the Invisible Visible: Showcasing UD's Sustainability.”

The University of Delaware will host the 6th annual International Conference on Sustainable Water Environment from July 29-31 at Clayton Hall on

Pedro Sanchez, director of the Tropical Agriculture and 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” at 1 p.m., Friday, May 14, in Room 116 Gore Hall.

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.”

Cynthia Rosenzweig, senior scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University, will give a talk entitled “Climate Change and Agriculture: Current Issues” at 1 p.m., Friday, April 30, in Room 132 Townsend Hall.

The talk is co-sponsored by the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) and the department of plant and soil sciences as part of the DENIN Spring Seminar Series. Rosenzweig is a member of the DENIN External Advisory Board.

The inaugural DENIN research symposium will take place from 8am-2:30pm in Clayton Hall April 9.  The event will feature opening remarks from DENIN Director Don Sparks and Mark Barteau, Senior Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Delaware.  Speakers from a range of departments at the University of Delaware will share their latest research interests.  The day will end with a poster and networking session.

The Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) at the University of Delaware will host its first research symposium from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Friday, April 9, in Clayton Hall on the UD campus in Newark.

The day will begin with a continental breakfast and networking session, followed by opening remarks by DENIN Director Donald L. Sparks and Mark Barteau, senior vice provost for research and strategic initiatives at the University of Delaware.

The Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) will host seminars in March, April and May, in conjunction with several departments at the University

The Science, Ethics, and Public Policy Program (SEPP) at the University of Delaware will bring its Science Café program back to downtown Newark this fall, for more informal monthly discussions among scientists and community members.

Gatherings will be held at Iron Hill Brewery, 147 E. Main St. in Newark, at 5:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Tom Hanson, associate professor of marine biosciences at the University of Delaware and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, will present “It's a Microbial World.”

The University of Delaware will host a conference on “The Ethics of Climate Change: Intergenerational Justice and the Global Challenge” Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30-31, at the Clayton Hall Conference Center on the University's Newark campus.

Advanced registration is free for University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Wesley College and Delaware Technical and Community College students and faculty and is available online. On-site registration begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29 and is available throughout the conference.

The conference will include presentations and panel discussions by nationally and internationally recognized climate scientists, philosophers, economists, and ethicists on how humans should respond to climate change.