University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

Students battle rice blast disease with underground microbes
11/12/2010 -

Rice is the most important grain consumed by humans, providing more than one-fifth of the calories sustaining the world's population. By some estimates, however, global production of rice could feed an additional 60 million people, if it weren't for rice blast disease, caused by the fungus Magnaporthe grisea.

This past summer, four students from the University of Delaware and two of its partner institutions in Delaware's National Science Foundation EPSCoR program, Delaware State University and Delaware Technical and Community College, found themselves on the front lines of the battle to defeat rice blast.

Those battle lines have been drawn on opposite coasts of the United States, through a collaboration between scientists in Delaware and at the University of California at Davis, the land-grant institution of the UC system. The students therefore split their summer internship between laboratories in both states.

11/11/2010 -

Creating a clean energy economy, a top priority in the state and in the nation, will be the focus of a two-day conference at the University of Delaware in December.

Part of the University's Creating Knowledge-Based Partnerships series, the conference is scheduled on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 13-14, in John M. Clayton Hall
on the Newark campus. Online registration is now open.

The first day will include presentations and panel discussions, and the second day will feature several concurrent workshops.

11/11/2010 -

The University of Delaware's Department of Geography is teaming up with the Delaware Geographic Alliance and various student organizations to celebrate Geography Awareness Week Nov. 14-20. This year the focus is on fresh water, and organizers are holding several events to increase awareness about this most precious limited resource.

One activity is a special call for the campus community to take the “Water Walk Challenge.” Many people throughout the world must walk nearly four miles to access water, and then must carry the heavy water back with them.

Individuals can simulate that experience by completing a 3.7-mile loop around campus or near their homes. To learn more and participate, visit the Water Walk Challenge website.

CEOE's Oliver wins prestigious Presidential Early Career Award
11/10/2010 -

Matthew Oliver, assistant professor of oceanography in the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), has been selected to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on young professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

“Science and technology have long been at the core of America's economic strength and global leadership,” said President Barack Obama in announcing the awards on Nov. 5. “I am confident that these individuals, who have shown such tremendous promise so early in their careers, will go on to make breakthroughs and discoveries that will continue to move our nation forward in the years ahead.”

CANR promotes nutrient management, water quality efforts in China
11/10/2010 -

The University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) has recently taken a leadership role in organizing and presenting at two international symposia in Beijing, China. Through an ongoing partnership with China Agricultural University (CAU), CANR officials say they hope to provide sound advice and direction for the latest agricultural issues in China.

In 2008, UD signed an agreement with CAU and the University of Pennsylvania Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, to participate in joint research and exchange activities.

The fourth International Symposium on Phosphorus Dynamic in the Soil-Plant Continuum (ISPDSPC) provided a forum for international scientists to share their latest research findings and knowledge on phosphorus dynamics and management in food-producing and other managed and unmanaged ecosystems.

UD researchers contribute to global marine biodiversity protection
11/10/2010 -

Researchers at the University of Delaware played a lead role in advancing the global marine biodiversity agenda during the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-10) in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010. The meeting was attended by 17,000 people.

Biodiversity -- the variety of life on Earth -- has taken center stage in 2010, which is designated as the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations. Parties to the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, an agreement by 193 of the world's governments, gathered in Japan to assess progress in achieving global biodiversity targets and decide on actions to reduce biodiversity loss in the next decade.

Research magazine highlights UD's "eco-innovation"
11/04/2010 -

The latest issue of the award-winning UD Research magazine highlights the “eco-innovation” of University of Delaware environmental researchers. The issue includes several articles related to DENIN: a question-and-answer interview with DENIN director Don Sparks, a feature on the Christina River Basin Critical Zone Observatory, and an article on sea-level rise research at UD that includes several DENIN affiliates and EPSCoR-sponsored work on the ethical and policy aspects of sea-level rise.

Nov. 17: Kirchman to present Alison lecture
11/03/2010 -

David L. Kirchman, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Biosciences, will present his Francis Alison Inaugural Lecture, “A Journey Into our Unseen World: Marine Microbes and Global Cyces,” at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 17, at the Roselle Center for the Arts.

Kirchman received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1982, and he joined the UD faculty in 1986. His research focuses on the role of microbes in the carbon cycle and in other biogeochemical processes of the oceans.

Science Café to feature talk on "Materials for the Bionic Woman"
11/03/2010 -

The Science, Ethics, and Public Policy Program (SEPP) at the University of Delaware will continue its Science Café program with a presentation Monday, Nov. 15, on “Materials for the Bionic Woman.” The event will be held from 5-6:30 p.m., Monday, at Catherine Rooney's, 102 E. Main St., Newark. David C. Martin, Karl W. and Renate Böer Professor and chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, will be the guest speaker.

Weather conditions lead to window strikes for migrating songbirds
11/03/2010 -

A significant number of songbirds were silenced last week in Delaware when their southerly migration ran afoul of circumstantial weather conditions that led to their flying into glass windows causing mortal injuries to nearly a dozen species of thrushes and sparrows, common and rare birds alike.