University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

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).

12/21/2016 -

Fulbright Foreign Student Sergio Cabrera-Cruz discovered the University of Delaware through the published works of Jeff Buler, UD associate professor of wildlife ecology. Cabrera-Cruz had first taken up an interest in migration during his undergraduate career and later spent significant time monitoring bird migration related to wind farm development during his master’s program at the Instituto de Ecología A.C. in his home country of Mexico. “I wanted to keep delving deeper into the methods of understanding bird migration,” he said. “Dr. Buler was not applying the same exact method or using the same tools that I had previously used.”

UD doctoral student develops tool to monitor water and energy use by hotel chain
12/21/2016 -

A University of Delaware graduate student, participating in a highly selective Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) program, has been recognized for his work in designing a tool to monitor and compare energy and water use at various hotel and resort properties.

Joseph Nyangon, a doctoral candidate in the Energy and Environmental Policy Program in UD’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP), was chosen as an EDF Climate Corps fellow in 2015.

Undergrad garners top prize in annual scientific elevator pitch competition
12/05/2016 -

Jill Harland, a University of Delaware senior majoring in chemistry, was awarded the top prize at the third annual Pitch:90 competition on Nov. 12 in the Harker Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory.

Harland was one of 35 contestants, both graduate and undergraduate students, who attempted to impress a panel of 20 judges with their “elevator pitches” — short speeches about their research delivered without notes or props in 90 seconds or less.

UD researchers develop models to improve environmental conservation on military bases
11/30/2016 -

Military installations in the United States are home to a surprisingly large number of threatened and endangered species, leaving the Department of Defense (DoD) with the critical dual responsibilities of ensuring that it provides the finest military readiness training to American service members and also that it protects the species that call those facilities home.

It is also mandated by the DoD’s Natural Resources Conservation program and the mission of its Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program that these two objectives be carried out in a cost effective manner.

Multi-institutional study sheds new light into global warming ‘hiatus’
11/23/2016 -

A new multi-institutional study of the so-called global warming “hiatus” phenomenon — the possible temporary slowdown of the global mean surface temperature (GMST) trend said to have occurred from 1998 to 2013 — concludes the hiatus simply represents a redistribution of energy within the Earth system, which includes the land, atmosphere and the ocean.

In a paper published today in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, lead author Xiao-Hai Yan of the University of Delaware, along with leading scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and University of Washington, discuss new understandings of the global warming “hiatus” phenomenon.

11/21/2016 -

Assateague Island National Seashore is known for its beautiful vistas and wild horses, but it also is home a wide range of flora and fauna. This fall, 23 University of Delaware students taking MAST421/461 coastal field biology spent a day in this outdoor classroom to learn about habitat by exploring and sampling the local area’s plant and animal life in the natural environment.

11/18/2016 -

The Delaware Junior Duck Stamp Program will host an art and conservation statement competition, a national art competition that is held each spring to select the design for the next Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Each state will submit its best of show artwork and statement for the national competition.

Novel study shows ‘cocktail’ of soil bacteria can protect rice plants from deadly forces
11/18/2016 -

University of Delaware student Jonathon Cottone knows the tell-tale signs that rice plants are getting sick: the yellowing leaves, the faint football-shaped lesions.

Cottone, a junior from Wilmington, Delaware, is working with Harsh Bais, associate professor of plant and soil sciences at UD, on research to help this globally important grain cope with increasing stress.

Recently, the UD team found that when rice plants are subjected to multiple threats — including increasing concentrations of poisonous arsenic in water and soil, an urgent concern in Southeast Asia, plus a fungal disease called rice blast — the plants aren’t necessarily goners.