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IN THE NEWS

Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

Targett joins Ocean Leadership to convene scientists discussing oil spill
06/03/2010 -

As efforts to stem oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico continue, the U.S. government has hosted two science summits to address and coordinate the federal response to the spill. The Consortium for Ocean Leadership convened a third meeting at Louisiana State University June 3 in Baton Rouge, La., and the University of Delaware took part.

Attending the event was College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) Dean Nancy Targett, who is chair of Ocean Leadership's board of trustees. Targett, who was named chair of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit's 12-member board earlier this spring, said the event's purpose was to bring together the country's research community to deal with the spill.

Center for Managed Ecosystems puts past urban forest research into new FRAME
06/03/2010 -

Greg Shriver, assistant professor of wildlife ecology in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology and research scientist with the Center for Managed Ecosystems at the University of Delaware, is collaborating with the U.S. Forest Service to continue work on a project that focuses on assessing the conditions of urban forests and explores ways in which to improve those conditions.

The project is known as Forest Fragments in Managed Ecosystems, or FRAME, and it has its origins in a study titled “Wildlife Ecology and Urban Impact” conducted 45 years ago at UD by scientists in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology and the Forest Service.

Researchers offer solutions to poisonous well-water crisis in southern Asia
06/02/2010 -

Over 100 million people in rural southern Asia are exposed every day to unsafe levels of arsenic from the well-water they drink. It more than doubles their risks for cancer, causes cardiovascular disease, and inhibits the mental development of children, among other serious effects.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has referred to the situation in Bangladesh, where an estimated 60 million people are affected, as “the largest mass poisoning of a population in history.”

In the May 28 issue of the journal Science, researchers from Stanford University, the University of Delaware, and Columbia University review what scientists understand about this groundwater contamination crisis and offer solutions for the region, which spans Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

UD prof wins Powe Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities
05/24/2010 -

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), a consortium of 98 Ph.D.-granting universities, has selected Holly Michael, assistant professor of geological sciences in the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, to receive the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award.

The competitive award, which provides $5,000 from ORAU and $5,000 in matching funding from the faculty member's university, is intended to enrich the research and educational growth of young faculty and result in new funding opportunities.

David L. Kirchman receives UD's 2010 Francis Alison Faculty Award
05/20/2010 -

David L. Kirchman, the Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Biosciences in the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, is the recipient of the 2010 Francis Alison Faculty Award, the University's highest faculty honor.

The Alison Award, established by the Board of Trustees in 1978, is given to a member of the faculty who has made notable contributions to his or her field of study and who best characterizes “the scholar-schoolmaster,” as exemplified by the Rev. Dr. Francis Alison, who, in 1743, founded the institution that is now the University of Delaware. The honor includes a $10,000 prize and membership in the Alison Society, which is composed of previous award recipients.

DENIN Dialogue speaker addresses new strategies for a water-stressed world
05/13/2010 -

Water is life, and it has no substitute in most of its uses.

Water is renewable, thanks to the hydrologic cycle, but it's also finite.

According to Sandra Postel, director of the Global Water Policy Project and Freshwater Fellow at the National Geographic Society, these qualities make water fundamentally different from other commodities.

Postel was the first speaker hosted by the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) in the new DENIN Dialogue Series. She spoke in the University of Delaware's Mitchell Hall on Monday, May 10.

Postel's basic message was that we live in an increasingly water-stressed world as the result of a rapidly increasing global population and decades of practices that threaten the continued adequacy of this finite commodity.

UD geographer's election to board of Arctic institute reveals cool connections
05/13/2010 -

Frederick E. (“Fritz”) Nelson, professor of geography in the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, has been elected to the board of governors of the Arctic Institute of North America (AINA).

The appointment not only highlights the University's continuing contributions to Arctic research and education, but also reveals important historic connections between the international institute, a past UD president who was a polar explorer, and Nelson himself.

AINA's mandate is “to advance the study of the North American and circumpolar Arctic through the natural and social sciences, the arts, and humanities, and to acquire, preserve, and disseminate information on physical, environmental, and social conditions in the North.”

Sparks wins distinguished mentoring award from Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools
04/19/2010 -

Donald L. Sparks, the University of Delaware's S. Hallock du Pont Chair of Soil and Environmental Chemistry and director of the Delaware Environmental Institute, has won the Geoffrey Marshall Mentoring Award from the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools.

The prestigious award, bestowed in memory of the association's former president, recognizes outstanding mentoring support of graduate students.

Sparks received the award, which included a certificate and cash prize of $1,000, on Friday, April 16, in Montreal at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools. The association, one of four regional affiliates of the Council of Graduate Schools, has members from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.

UD graduate students win awards in environmental chemistry
04/16/2010 -

The American Chemical Society's Division of Environmental Chemistry awarded University of Delaware graduate students Kathy Phillips and Mengqiang Zhu cash awards and one-year memberships to the ACS division on the merits of their coursework and research productivity.

The ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry funds up to 25 annual awards to full-time graduate students enrolled in U.S. educational institutions in chemistry, environmental engineering, or environmental chemistry programs. Graduate faculty advisers nominate students, placing emphasis on the students' potential to make future contributions as professionals in environmental chemistry.

DENIN holds first research symposium
04/13/2010 -

Some 70 affiliates of the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) turned out for the institute's inaugural research symposium on April 9 at the University of Delaware's John M. Clayton Hall.

“We decided to keep our first symposium internal so that we could learn about the wide range of environmental research going on at UD and some of our partner institutions,” said DENIN Director Donald L. Sparks in his welcoming remarks.

Sparks reiterated DENIN's mission: to provide solutions to pressing environmental needs and produce strategies to address emerging environmental challenges by conducting research and promoting and coordinating knowledge partnerships that integrate environmental science, engineering and policy.