University of Delaware
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Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

Luther honored: University of Delaware marine chemist named AAAS Fellow
12/02/2011 -

George Luther, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor at the University of Delaware, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Designation as a fellow of AAAS is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. Luther and the other new fellows will be recognized for their contributions to science and technology during the AAAS Fellows Forum at the association’s annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Feb. 18, 2012.

Luther was selected for “distinguished service in applications of electrochemistry to elucidate biogeochemical processes in marine environments and towards defining element speciation in marine waters and sediments.” (full article)

Soil solutions: UD doctoral student in soil science receives Dixon Award
11/30/2011 -

Chunmei Chen, a University of Delaware doctoral student in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, was chosen to receive the Dixon Award for best graduate student presentation in soil mineralogy at the recent 2011 Soil Science Society of America meeting in San Antonio.

Chen received a $500 award for being recognized as having the best Division S-9 student presentation, with the selection based on quality of presentation and contribution of the research to advancing the state of knowledge of soil mineralogy.

11/30/2011 -

More public comment sought for Delaware plan for cleaner instate streams and Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Soil science award winners:  Department of Plant and Soil Sciences cultivates next leaders
11/29/2011 -

University of Delaware-trained plant and soil scientists continue to build on the institution's stellar reputation, with six winning recent national honors.

One graduate student and five graduate alumni of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in UD's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) were presented awards by the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) and the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) at the national meetings of the societies in San Antonio, Texas.

Honorees are alumni Josh McGrath, Chad Penn and Amy Shober, who were advised by Tom Sims, CANR deputy dean and T.A. Baker Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry; Daniel Strawn and Kirk Scheckel, who were advised by Donald L. Sparks, S. Hallock du Pont Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry and director of the Delaware Environmental Institute; and Sudarshan Dutta, who recently completed his doctorate under the direction of Shreeram Inamdar, associate professor of plant and soil sciences. (full article)

11/22/2011 -

Contact: Carol Riggs, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
State issues permit to transform NRG Dover Energy Center
Project will reduce air emissions by more than 90 percent and create up to 75 jobs

DOVER (Nov. 22, 2011) – Governor Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara announced that an air quality construction permit has been issued to NRG Energy Center Dover for a project that will transform its current coal-fueled facility in Kent County into one of the nation’s cleanest power plants.
The Governor and Secretary O’Mara met with NRG Thermal President Michael Carroll at the facility today to tour the plant and see the numerous planned improvements.  The Governor also announced that NRG will receive a $500,000 grant from the Delaware Energy Efficiency Investment Fund, its first, which was established last year by the Delaware General Assembly (HB 129). The program helps local businesses making strategic capital equipment investments that reduce operating costs and support job creation, while reducing energy consumption and improving environmental performance. The project will create up to 75 construction jobs over the course of a year.

New Projection Shows Global Food Demand Doubling by 2050
11/22/2011 -

Global food demand could double by 2050, according to a new projection reported this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The analysis also shows that the world faces major environmental challenges unless agricultural practices change.

Scientists David Tilman and Jason Hill of the University of Minnesota (UMN) and colleagues found that producing the amount of food needed could significantly increase levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the environment, and may cause the extinction of numerous species.

Tying wind power into the grid:  UD-led team receives grant to investigate interconnection and transmission of wind power
11/22/2011 -

The wind power resource off the Atlantic Ocean is huge. But harnessing that power—moving it from the coast to the places where it’s needed—is an equally huge challenge.

A team led by Prof. Willett Kempton at the University of Delaware has received a $540,000 grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to investigate some of the questions associated with connecting and transmitting that power.

According to Kempton, one of the most important questions is whether there will be enough capacity in the transmission system.

“Many large U.S. cities are located on or near the East Coast, giving them close access to the power generated by offshore wind farms,” Kempton says. “But if we begin to seriously exploit the offshore resource, transmission upgrades may be needed.  And even before that point, new transmission systems may be desirable to help make the most of the offshore wind resource.” (full article)

Sharing sustainability:Institute provides a network of ideas for improving campus sustainability
11/17/2011 -

 On Friday, Nov. 4, the University of Delaware’s Sustainability Task Force hosted the Mid-Atlantic Regional Institute on Sustainability in Higher Education to encourage collaboration between campuses committed to sustainability. The one-day institute was held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Perkins Student Center and included about 60 representatives from schools across the region.

11/17/2011 -

The annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data and reports for 2010 from Delaware’s industrial facilities as compiled by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control show a significant decrease in reported emissions compared to 2009 – and a continued trend in reduction since 1998, a baseline year when TRI reporting requirements expanded significantly and more facilities began reporting to the program.

In this 24th year of TRI data collection from facilities, the 2010 data also reflects an impact that both anti-pollution efforts by industry and regulatory efforts by the government have played in the decrease in emissions.

Multidisciplinary search effort results in environmental cluster hire
11/16/2011 -

The University of Delaware welcomes four new faculty members for the 2011–2012 year as a result of last year’s environmental cluster faculty search. As part of the Path to Prominence, the University supports multidisciplinary efforts to develop solutions to issues in energy, the environment and resource sustainability. The cluster hire invited candidates with interdisciplinary interests in these areas to apply for up to six open positions before the initial review began last December.

“By searching for several faculty members in broad areas, we have the possibility of creating multi-disciplinary research teams that work across traditional academic disciplines,” UD Provost Tom Apple said. “This also provides students with an opportunity to study in an interdisciplinary environment.”