University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

UD research examines food habits of snow leopards
08/09/2016 -

In order to create effective conservation programs to help protect and conserve populations of endangered snow leopards, whose estimated population is between 4,500-7,500 in the wild, University of Delaware researchers are studying their scat to try and understand what the large cats are eating. While studying snow leopard scat is one of the least invasive ways to look at what the animals are eating and gauge their food preferences, according to a new UD study it may not always be the most accurate. Researchers found that past food-habit studies on snow leopards could have been biased by the inclusion of non-target species in fecal analysis, potentially misinforming managers about the prey requirements that allow snow leopard populations to succeed.

UD researchers look at programs to incentivize cover crop adoption among growers
07/15/2016 -

Federal and state agencies have been offering farmers economic incentives to adopt best management practices (BMPs) to help deliver environmental services from agriculture, and yet adoption — though increasing — lags behind government targets. A new interdisciplinary study led by the University of Delaware is going to investigate what aspects of BMP programs — specifically those related to cover crops — that farmers in Maryland and Ohio prefer.

Marine science students conduct research on horseshoe crabs
07/15/2016 -

During the full and new moons in the months of May and June, thousands of horseshoe crabs line Delaware Bay beaches to spawn along the shoreline. Horseshoe crabs date back 445 million years and although they resemble crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters, they are more closely related to arachnids (i.e., spiders and scorpions).

Transportation planning research addresses pre- and post-Sandy climate change adaptations
07/15/2016 -

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast of the United States, leaving in its wake flattened dunes, chewed-up boardwalks, washed-out roads, twisted carnival rides, tangled power lines, sodden furniture and toppled cabanas. Scenes from Sandy were all the evidence needed to convince many metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) that it was time to integrate climate change into the long-range planning process.

NSF-sponsored coral bleaching workshop pools research information
07/15/2016 -

U.S. investigators and leading coral reef scientists gathered in Waikiki, Hawaii, June 17-18 for a National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored workshop on coral bleaching. Scientists, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students from over 20 different universities and government agencies attended the workshop, which focused on a range of current research topics, from molecular level studies to large-scale ecological and geological topics related to coral bleaching.

Grad student studies drought impact on California water utilities
07/15/2016 -

Public water utility managers around the country are taking note of the impacts climate change will bring to bear on local water resources and are looking for ways to prepare for eventualities ranging from floods to droughts to increased salinity. Linda Grand, a graduate student at the University of Delaware, has been working to provide water utility and resource managers with more policy tools and options to help keep clean water flowing from our faucets despite climate change. This summer, she is pursuing her research through an internship at the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) in San Francisco.

UD scientists report projected response of Adélie penguins to Antarctic climate change
07/15/2016 -

It’s a big question: how is climate change in Antarctica affecting Adélie penguins? Climate has influenced the distribution patterns of Adélie penguins across Antarctica for millions of years. The geologic record tells us that as glaciers expanded and covered Adélie breeding habitats with ice, penguin colonies were abandoned. When the glaciers melted during warming periods, this warming positively affected the Adélie penguins, allowing them to return to their rocky breeding grounds. But now, University of Delaware scientists and colleagues report that this beneficial warming may have reached its tipping point.

Researchers look for ways to predict response to hurricane evacuation orders
07/15/2016 -

Millions of people will likely be in harm's way as a new hurricane season unfolds in the United States. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts up to eight hurricanes in the 2016 season, and as many as four major storms with winds of 111 miles per hour or more. What people do – or don't do – to get out of harm's way is of keen interest to disaster and emergency response officials.

UD researcher works to better understand manganese in marine environment
07/15/2016 -

The St. Lawrence Seaway extends more than 2,300 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the top of the Great Lakes, connecting Canada and the United States. It has been called the “gateway to North America,” serving as an industrial transportation corridor for commodities like iron and coal, grain, machinery and more, as well as a recreational waterway for boaters and anglers. But the St. Lawrence Seaway also is a prime ecosystem for studying changes occurring in the ocean as a result of the synergistic impacts of climate change.

Delaware Sea Grant alternative energy teacher workshop set July 29
07/15/2016 -

Delaware Sea Grant (DESG) and the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) invite classroom and informal educators from Maryland and Delaware, grades 1-12, to register for the 2016 workshop “Sunny and Windy: A Forecast for Greener Energy Education.” Attendance is free, but registration is required due to limited seating. Click here for the application, due by Friday, July 8.