delware environmental institute

IN THE NEWS

Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

11/05/2017 -

Airplanes zoom overhead, wispy-white contrails streaming behind them. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) handled 43,684 flights, on average, every day last year, and U.S. military and commercial flights together used over 20 billion gallons of jet fuel. All those emissions add up. World air travel contributed 815 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2016 — two percent of the global manmade total, according to the International Air Transport Association. And global air traffic is not slowing down. IATA predicts that 7.2 billion passengers will travel by air in 2035, nearly doubling the 3.8 billion that flew in 2016.

11/05/2017 -

Alternative fuels will power our future—and that future is coming fast. Earlier this month, General Motors announced that it plans to launch at least 20 all-electric vehicles by 2023. At the University of Delaware, the Center for Fuel Cells and Batteries, formerly known as the Center for Fuel Cell Research, is a hub for innovation in sustainable fuel.

11/05/2017 -

The fourth annual Water Symposium was held on Friday, Sept. 29, at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) campus in Townsend Hall. The annual event provides an excellent opportunity for faculty and students affiliated with the interdisciplinary Water Science and Policy (WSP) Graduate Program to present their research, share ideas with peers, and network with professionals from industry, government, and nonprofit organizations. Around 70 people attended the symposium and represented a mix of academia, industry, and government agencies.

11/05/2017 -

University of Delaware doctoral student Desiree Narango is researching trees and shrubs planted in the lawns of homeowners throughout the Washington, D.C., Maryland and northern Virginia areas to assess how those choices are impacting food webs. Narango, who is working with Doug Tallamy, professor of entomology in UD’s Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, is also associated with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and works through a citizen-science program called “Neighborhood Nest Watch.” Narango is co-advised by Pete Marra, director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.

11/05/2017 -

Microbes are everywhere — in humans they protect us from harmful bacteria and help us digest food; in soils, they provide nutrients and encourage growth of plants. Microbes even live in sediments below the seafloor where they play a key role in the underwater ecosystem. Scientists are identifying and characterizing more microbes each year using DNA sequencing technologies. As each new species is sequenced, scientists add it to the microbial “tree of life,” creating a virtual census of what’s there.

10/27/2017 -

U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester toured the University of Delaware wind turbine on the Hugh R. Sharp campus in Lewes on Wednesday, October 18. UD wind energy experts Jeremy Firestone and Willett Kempton briefed the congresswoman on the state of wind energy in Delaware before Jairo Arias of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy led a tour of the 2-megawatt turbine, which is a collaborative effort between UD and Siemens Gamesa.

10/23/2017 -

The world’s coastal ecosystems — areas such as tidal marshes and mangrove forests — have the potential to store and sequester large amounts of carbon, collectively known as blue carbon. Former President Barack Obama in 2014 made research on understanding carbon dynamics in these coastal ecosystems a priority because of their importance to the global carbon cycle.

10/19/2017 -

The University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) will host a panel discussion entitled “Building a Sustainable Agriculture” on Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Roselle Center for the Arts. The discussion is the first in a series initiated by CANR Dean Mark Rieger, who asked Ed Kee, an executive in residence with the college and former Delaware Secretary of Agriculture, to organize the speaker series. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 3 p.m. and a question-and-answer period will follow the speakers’ presentations.

10/19/2017 -

The University of Delaware Police Department (UDPD) has enhanced its community-oriented policing philosophy with the addition two new electric motorcycles that will enable officers to easily patrol the campus and increase interaction with students, faculty, staff and visitors. UDPD is the first police agency in the Mid-Atlantic region to incorporate electric motorcycles into its operations.

10/19/2017 -

Former coal miners or citizens whose lives have been shaped by the coal mining industry in southern West Virginia will soon learn how to establish and operate bee colonies thanks to help from the University of Delaware’s Debbie Delaney. Delaney, associate professor of entomology in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, spent her summer in Summers County working as a consultant through Appalachian Headwaters, which is a non-profit organization that formed the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective. Delaney said that the goal was to help get the socioeconomic growth program up and running for displaced miners in 14 counties in southern West Virginia.