delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

UD study reports offshore wind in Cape Wind may be more powerful, turbulent than expected
08/12/2016 -

University of Delaware researchers report in a new study that offshore wind may be more powerful, yet more turbulent than expected in the northeastern United States.

The findings, published in a paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, could have important implications for the future development of offshore wind farms in the U.S., including the assessment of how much wind power can be produced, what type of turbines should be used, how many turbines should be installed and the spacing between each.

DENIN announces new cohort of doctoral fellowship recipients
08/11/2016 -

The Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) has announced its third class of DENIN Environmental Fellows. The program supports doctoral students whose research interests demonstrate a clear bridge between science and society. Five recipients were chosen following a rigorous selection process that included a written research proposal and an interview with finalists. In addition to the intellectual merit of their research proposals, candidates were expected to demonstrate a commitment to communicating and transferring the benefits of their research to the wider world.

UD researchers examine best irrigation practices at Warrington Farm
08/09/2016 -

When James Adkins started working at the Warrington Farm just south of Milton, Delaware, in 1999, the farm was plagued with poor drainage, noxious weeds and poor soil fertility. Now, 17 years later, steady improvements to the soil and the drainage system allow University of Delaware researchers the ability to study irrigation and fertigation treatments for plots of soybean, wheat and corn and to make recommendations to regional growers on how to best irrigate and fertilize their crops.

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.