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

An honored professor:  Sparks travels 16 days, 18,621 miles to promote scientific collaboration
11/02/2011 -

Donald L. Sparks, the S. Hallock du Pont Chair of Soil and Environmental Chemistry and director of the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) at the University of Delaware, spent 16 days traveling and lecturing in China last month.

The trip was sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which awarded Sparks a 2011 Einstein Professorship that is presented to 20 distinguished scientists from around the world each year. The program seeks to strengthen science and technology links between CAS scientists and Einstein Professorship recipients, with an overarching goal of enhancing training for future generations of scientists in China.

“There are exciting opportunities to form collaborations, and there are so many young Chinese scientists excited about what the future in scientific research holds in solving global environmental challenges,” Sparks said. “The trip was highly exciting and enjoyable — a lifetime experience that I will always remember.”  (full article)

Ocean of opportunity:  UD-led network takes ocean's pulse for public benefit
11/01/2011 -

A University of Delaware-led network in the Mid-Atlantic has its finger on the ocean’s “pulse” and is putting that data to use -- to save lives, improve flood warnings, protect fish stocks from overfishing while enhancing the fishing experience, save shipping time and fuel costs, and even spawn new businesses.

These are just a few of the applications, both real and potential, for the extensive data being gathered by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS), according to its new executive director, Gerhard Kuska.

Kuska, who holds both a bachelor’s degree in political science and a doctorate in marine policy from UD, is providing day-to-day management of MARACOOS working with Carolyn Thoroughgood, professor of marine biosciences in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE). (full article)

'Go green' : The College School helps UD celebrate Sustainability Day
10/31/2011 -

“Don’t be mean.  Go green.” That’s the slogan Nathaniel, a fourth grader from The College School (TCS) used for his poster at UD’s Campus Sustainability Day

Held Oct. 26 on The Green, Sustainability Day showcased the efforts underway at UD to create a sustainable environment, while demonstrating how others could get involved. For the second year in a row, children from TCS were asked to provide artwork to support the event.

This year, the TCS students focused their art on a theme of recycling. Students in first to sixth grade created posters reflecting their thoughts on why recycling is important, how we can recycle, and what things are actually recyclable. Resourceful sculptures were constructed by the students in seventh and eighth grade utilizing items cast aside for recycling. (full article)

Fueling a sustainable future: Recycled cooking oil powers UD bus fleet
10/28/2011 -

Transportation at the University of Delaware became more environmentally friendly recently, when the campus bus fleet began using biodiesel produced by undergraduate engineering students to, in part, fuel its travel. The project is a collaborative effort between transportation and engineering, inspired by the donation of a biodiesel processor last spring by UD chemical engineering alumnus James Seferis, who received a doctorate in 1977. Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from renewable resources such as vegetable oil or soy oil. Biodegradable and less toxic than table salt, it has lower emissions compared to petroleum diesel and it can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modification.

10/28/2011 -

Delaware residents are invited to attend public engagement sessions on sea level rise and the potential impacts to Delaware. Five sessions are scheduled at locations throughout the state – Nov. 9 in Middletown; Nov. 15 in Georgetown; Nov. 17 in New Castle; Nov. 21 in Dover; and Nov. 29 in Lewes. At each session, the work of the Delaware Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee will be presented.

10/21/2011 -

CONTACT: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Delaware moves to the head of the class on grid interconnection
Vote Solar Institute cites state’s leadership on connecting clean energy

DOVER (Oct. 21, 2011) – The Vote Solar Institute has moved Delaware to “the head of the class” when it comes to connecting renewable resources to the grid in the 2011 edition of its report, “Freeing the Grid”. Delaware was one of three states to earn an “A” grade for both net metering and interconnection policies that support renewable resources such as wind and solar energy, with the report ranking its policies “among the strongest in the country.”
Under Governor Jack Markell’s leadership, Delaware adopted a progressive net-metering law with strong bipartisan support in 2010 (Senate Bill 267, sponsored by Senators Harris McDowell and Gary Simpson and Representatives Dennis Williams and Michael Mulrooney) that makes it easier for utility customers to sell excess renewable energy to the grid.
Delaware is adopting leading-edge interconnection policies that allow small renewable resources to connect to the grid without requiring redundant and restrictive review from PJM Interconnection, the regional grid manager. The Vote Solar report praised the state’s collaboration with local electrical utilities along with the efforts of the Public Service Commission to implement model interconnection standards.

10/20/2011 -

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Brett Taylor, DelDOT Public Affairs, 302-760-2492
Delaware partners with Northeast states to promote use of electric vehicles
Newly announced $1 million federal grant to support collaboration’s first project

DOVER (Oct. 20, 2011) – A partnership of Northeast states and jurisdictions including Delaware has just finalized an agreement to develop an electric vehicle network to promote and support energy-efficient transportation in the region – and a newly-announced grant of nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will kick start the new network’s first project.
The Northeast Electric Vehicle Network agreement involves Delaware and nine other states – Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont – plus the District of Columbia. Through the agreement, the partnership is committed to boosting economic growth, maintaining the region’s leadership role in the clean energy economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on oil by planning transportation infrastructure to support vehicles using fuel sources such as electric, biofuels and natural gas.

10/18/2011 -

Contact: Jack Hoban, Delaware Coastal Cleanup coordinator, DNREC Public Affairs, at 302-739-9902
September’s Coastal Cleanup draws more than 2,200 volunteers, collects more than 10 tons of trash and recyclables
DOVER (Oct. 18, 2011) – This year’s Delaware Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 17 drew 2,222 volunteers, who collected 10.7 tons of trash from more than 40 sites along more than 80 miles of Delaware’s waterways and coastline stretching from Wilmington to Fenwick Island. This year, nearly 4 tons of that trash was recycled, including about 1.7 tons of tires and hundreds of aluminum cans and glass and plastic beverage containers.
“Thanks to everyone who supported the cleanup,” said Governor Jack Markell. “This proves that when we work together, we can make a positive impact on our environment. Thanks to the many hands of volunteers, more than 10 tons of trash has been recycled or properly disposed of instead of littering our beautiful beaches.”

Science Café fall series: Innovation, ancient life, and robotics will be explored at informal gatherings
10/14/2011 -

10:12 a.m., Oct. 14, 2011--The Science, Ethics and Public Policy Program (SEPP) at the University of Delaware kicks off this year’s Science Café program with a presentation on Monday, Oct. 31, entitled “What Business Does a University Have Marketing Inventions?” The event will be held 5:30-7 p.m. at the Deer Park Tavern, 108 W. Main St., in Newark. Konrad Kmetz, a consultant for the Technology Transfer Center, and Gary Simon, a business analyst for the Delaware Small Business and Technology Development Center, both part of UD’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships, will speak at the event.

Campus sustainability institute: Sharing what works to make college campuses more sustainable
10/12/2011 -

The University of Delaware’s Sustainability Task Force has announced the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Regional Institute on Sustainability in Higher Education as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability. The one-day institute will be held on Friday, Nov. 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 3p.m., at the Perkins Student Center on the University’s Newark campus.

Designed to foster collaboration and information sharing among colleges and universities in the region, the institute will feature keynote speaker Debra Rowe, president of the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, who will also be available throughout the day for consultation.