delware environmental institute

IN THE NEWS

Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

10/04/2016 -

Life is complex and full of layers. The layers — the people we meet, the things we do, the places we go — all create the story of our lives. Imagine documenting and identifying the names of every human you encountered or passed for a whole year. It would be an enormous task, but what kind of story would it tell about you? Now imagine documenting the same types of encounters between sharks.

Overpumping in Dhaka may threaten regional groundwater resources outside the city
09/28/2016 -

A new paper by the University of Delaware’s Holly Michael and Mahfuzur Khan and colleagues, out today in Nature Communications, reveals that overpumping of groundwater in Dhaka, Bangladesh, may have unforeseen consequences for citizens living in communities outside the city center.

With a population of over 15 million people, Dhaka — the capital of Bangladesh — is considered a mega-city and shares many of the water management problems common to other major cities.

While efforts are made to sustain water quantity and quality in city water supplies, Dhaka pumping has caused groundwater levels to drop more than 200 feet over the last 50 years and these levels continue to decline at a rate of up to 9 feet per year.

UD’s Byrne participates in international forum to ponder planet’s future
09/21/2016 -

John Byrne, Distinguished Professor of Energy and Climate Policy at the University of Delaware, was one of 40 environmental thought leaders from around the world who gathered in Frankfurt, Germany, this summer to discuss the future of global environmentalism.

Titled “Rethinking Environmentalism: Justice, Sustainability and Diversity,” the gathering was hosted by the Ernst Strüngmann Forum, an organization dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary communication and research in the sciences. Through its innovative communication process, the forum provides a creative environment within which top international scientists discuss themes that transcend classic disciplinary boundaries.

 Seminal paper on sediment-water interaction wins national award
09/21/2016 -

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), in effect putting the huge body of water — along with the region’s streams, creeks and rivers — on a “pollution diet.”

Like a food diet that specifies reductions in fat, protein, and carbohydrate intake to promote weight loss, a TMDL details the reductions in such pollution sources as nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment needed to meet water quality standards.

09/20/2016 -

The Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) is now accepting applications for up to 15 paid undergraduate research internships focused on environmental topics during the 2016-17 academic year. The purpose of the DENIN Environmental Scholars Program is to provide interested students with a sustained research experience over the academic year. Internships will begin Nov. 1 and will be carried out during the fall, winter and spring semesters.

09/20/2016 -

Dionisios G. Vlachos has been named the inaugural Allan and Myra Ferguson Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. He also has been appointed director of the UD Energy Institute.

09/20/2016 -

A new landscape architecture major has been established in the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) for students looking to combine their technical skills with their creative ones to tackle real world issues through environmental problem-solving. Jules Bruck, associate professor of landscape design who was recently appointed to the Delaware Board of Landscape Architecture, will serve as the director of the program for the next three years. She said that adding a landscape architecture program has been talked about at CANR for quite some time.

09/20/2016 -

The University of Delaware has been awarded $1.8 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) through its new IONICS (Integration and Optimization of Novel Ion-Conducting Solids) program. IONICS project teams are paving the way for technologies that overcome the limitations of current battery and fuel cell products.

09/20/2016 -

Late at night, neighbors of the University of Delaware’s Doug Tallamy might notice a mercury vapor lamp glowing in his back yard and the unusual sight of a bedsheet draped over a rope hanging from a tree, the purpose of which is to attract moths in order to catalog them. Much like birding, mothing has taken off across the United States as a hobby for enthusiasts and in order to expose students interested in entomology to the many aspects of mothing and the many interesting qualities of moths, Tallamy took a group of four undergraduates to the most recent Mothapalooza, held in early August at the Shawnee Lodge and Conference Center in West Portsmouth, Ohio.

09/20/2016 -

The University of Delaware’s Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC) has been awarded $2.1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative for two research projects aiming to improve the performance of solar cells while reducing their manufacturing cost. Senior scientist Steven Hegedus will lead a three-year, $1.25 million project for work on the most efficient silicon solar cell to date, known as the interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar cell. All the metal contacts are on the non-illuminated (back) side of this silicon cell. This allows more light to be harvested in the cell because any shadowing from front-side grid lines, found in conventional solar cells, is eliminated.