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IN THE NEWS

Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

UD professor’s book explores all sides of GMO controversy
01/27/2017 -

University of Delaware Prof. McKay Jenkins began researching the topic of genetically modified organisms — GMOs — in an effort to answer the same simple question that many Americans have about these controversial foods: Are they safe to eat?

But he found that the answer was far from simple. And in fact, he decided, that might not even be the right question.

>Food Fight: GMOs and the Future of the American Diet, Jenkins first examines GMOs themselves and the process of genetic engineering, but he moves on to much broader issues involving the U.S. diet, food supply and agriculture industry.

UD researcher, Fulbright Scholar join forces to defend and fortify rice
01/27/2017 -

If you were a server at a worldwide restaurant – one that could seat every last man, woman and child on Earth and feed them what they usually eat – you would be dishing out rice more than any other item on your menu. By far.

You'd be serving much of it with extra arsenic, too – not because anyone asked for it, but because rice almost always brings it along and in some areas of the world the rice collects much more than in others. Many other foods on the menu would have arsenic in them, too, because rice is an ingredient in many cereals, drinks, pasta, puddings, pizza crust, pie crust, brownie mix, cookies, snack bars, even some beers and wines.

01/25/2017 -

Arctic explorers in the 19th century ventured north with the provisions necessary not only to survive but also to document their journeys, often accompanied by sketch artists, painters and photographers. Today, a large collection of photographs taken during those polar expeditions is housed at The Explorers Club, an international professional society founded in 1904 and headquartered in New York City. And thanks to University of Delaware art conservation students, nearly 1,000 of the club’s images have now been cleaned, stabilized and prepared for digitization, for use by researchers and scholars.

01/25/2017 -

University of Delaware graduate student Lauren Knapp will get a first-hand look at marine policy decision-making when she heads to Washington, D.C., in February to begin her Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Sponsored by the National Sea Grant College Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Knauss Fellowship provides a unique educational experience for students interested in the national policy decisions that affect the ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources. It also affords unmatched access and opportunities for career development for graduate students interested in marine science and policy at the federal level.

UD’s Jaisi wins NSF Career Award for research on sources, fate of phytate in soils
01/25/2017 -

Much like criminal forensic scientists use fingerprints to identify guilty parties at crime scenes, the University of Delaware’s Deb Jaisi utilizes isotopic fingerprinting technology to locate the sources of phosphorus compounds and studies the degraded products they leave behind in soil and water.

Jaisi, an assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), recently received a highly prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award, and said that he will use the five-year, $570,000 grant to further his source tracking research, looking specifically at the sources and fate of phytate, the most common organic phosphorus in soils.

Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program cites Moline, Sturchio
01/19/2017 -

Mark A. Moline and Neil C. Sturchio of the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment have received project of the year awards from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP).

SERDP is the environmental science and technology program of the Department of Defense, planned and executed in partnership with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

01/11/2017 -

The University of Delaware’s Cathy Wu has been named a 2016 Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson Reuters. The designation, which she also received in 2014 and 2015, places her among the top one percent of researchers most cited for their subject field and year of publication in Reuters’ academic citation indexing and search service, Web of Knowledge.

12/21/2016 -

From antibiotics to food security, the soil underneath our feet has been the source of solutions to some of humanity’s most serious challenges. However, the health of the soil itself is increasingly threatened by a host of problems, ranging from erosion that washes away productive soil to urbanization that paves over it. Building appreciation for soil as the foundation of life and as a critical resource in need of protection was the goal of a recent one-day workshop hosted by the National Academies of Science and co-sponsored by the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) in Washington, D.C.

12/21/2016 -

The pathway to zero-emission vehicles has taken two forks, one toward battery electric cars like the Tesla and the other toward fuel-cell-powered automobiles like the Toyota Mirai. The University of Delaware’s Yushan Yan believes that fuel cell vehicles are the way to go, because they best preserve the advantages of gasoline automobiles: low upfront cost, long driving range and fast refueling. But he also believes that a new fuel cell technology may be necessary.

12/21/2016 -

University of Delaware students enrolled in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment’s interdisciplinary course “Offshore Wind Power: Science, Engineering and Policy” got an early look at the first U.S. offshore wind installation off the coast of Rhode Island this month. The visit to the offshore wind project, which began generating clean, renewable power just this week, was sponsored by the Center for Carbon-free Power Integration (CCPI).