University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

Coast Day 2011:  Thousands visit UD's Hugh R. Sharp Campus to celebrate Delaware's coast
10/12/2011 -

The promise of seafood, lectures, ship tours, kids’ activities and science demonstrations drew thousands of people to the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus for Coast Day. The event, sponsored by UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, was held Sunday, Oct. 2.

“It was delightful to see so many people having fun while they learned about the work we do,” said Nancy Targett, CEOE dean and Delaware Sea Grant director.

A 35-year tradition, Coast Day lets visitors learn more about the state’s ocean and coastal resources as well as the work of CEOE researchers, Delaware Sea Grant, and their many partners. (full article)

Students cited:  Coast Day essay and video contest winners recognized
10/12/2011 -

The winners of two Coast Day contests for Delaware school kids were honored during a ceremony at the University of Delaware event, held Sunday, Oct. 2, at UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.

Coast Day, sponsored by UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, highlights the role of coastal resources in benefiting public health, supporting the economy, and providing for everyday needs. With that in mind, both contests asked students to reflect on this year’s theme, “It’s About You,” and explore what they like most about Delaware’s coast and propose ideas for protecting it.

Shea Sweeney, a student in Marilyn Vallejo’s class at St. Ann School in Wilmington, took first prize in the Fifth-Grade Essay Contest. She wrote about the Brandywine River and ways to protect it. (full article)

Lawns and water quality:  UD professors gear up for study on lawns, water quality and ecosystem services
10/07/2011 -

Taking a fresh look at water quality management, a University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) research team is studying how the replacement of urban lawns with more diverse vegetation can help protect the environment and make our landscapes more sustainable.

The researchers have been awarded a $595,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and will be working at the Winterthur Gardens on their project.

Shreeram Inamdar, CANR associate professor of plant and soil sciences, is the principal investigator and the research team includes Doug Tallamy, chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology; Susan Barton, associate professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and a Cooperative Extension specialist; Jules Bruck, assistant professor of landscape horticulture and design; and Joshua Duke, professor in the Department of Food and Resource Economics. (full article)

09/28/2011 -

For more information, contact Michelle Jacobs, Community Relations Officer, 302-535-7627, or Joanna Wilson, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
DOVER (Sept. 28, 2011) – The 17th season of the Delaware Envirothon, sponsored by the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts, will begin with its first training workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at Blackbird State Forest, just north of Smyrna. The second training workshop will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, in Dover. The final training workshop will be held on a Saturday in January, 2012, at the St. Jones Reserve in Dover.
The Delaware Envirothon provides challenging environmental education and hands-on instruction, correlated to state education standards, to participating teams of high school age students. Throughout the year students learn about the resource topics of Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Soils/Land Use, Wildlife, Air Quality, and a sixth topic that changes each year. The topic for 2012 is Nonpoint Source Pollution – Low Impact Development.

Nutrient management:  CANR holds symposium addressing global nutrient management issues
09/28/2011 -

The University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources hosted the fourth international symposium focusing on “Global Issues in Nutrient Management: Science, Technology and Policy,” from Aug. 21-24. Previous symposia were held in the Netherlands and China, hosted by Wageningnen University and China Agricultural University.

The international symposium addressed global issues and trends in nutrient management and focused on how agricultural management practices, technological advances and global or regional policies affect both nutrient use efficiency in the food chain and the quality of the environment in different parts of the world. More than 100 participants from six different countries attended the symposium.

Themes of the symposium included worldwide challenges in the management of nutrients to produce a safe and secure food supply while protecting the quality of the global environment; a focus on current issues and trends in nutrient management in China, the European Union and the United States; advances in nutrient management science and technology and the adaptation of recent innovations to meet global needs; and developing national and international policies for nutrient management in today’s rapidly changing global economy. (full article)

UD to partner with NRG Energy to develop electric vehicle-to-grid technology
09/27/2011 -

NRG Energy, Inc. is partnering with the University of Delaware to take electric vehicles to the next level with eV2g, a company commercializing new technology that will enable electric vehicle owners to sell electric storage services from the batteries of parked electric vehicles to help stabilize the electricity grid. Pioneered by UD's Willett Kempton, professor in the School of Marine Science and Policy and director of the Center for Carbon-free Power Integration, this patented leading-edge vehicle-to-grid technology has garnered worldwide attention and holds promise to transform the future of the electricity supply.

Sustainability solutions:  UD wins $1 million grant to train energy efficiency experts
09/22/2011 -

The University of Delaware has received $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to continue its Industrial Assessment Center (UD-IAC), an experiential learning student program that saves area manufacturers an average of $90,000 each per year in energy efficiencies.

Through UD-IAC, graduate and undergraduate students gain practical experience in assessing small and medium sized manufacturing industries for large-scale energy saving opportunities, including energy efficiency improvements, waste reduction and pollution prevention measures, and productivity improvements.

BAMS lecture series
UD has been heavily involved in energy research for many years, with numerous faculty conducting technical and policy research in renewable energy, fuel cells, hydrogen, climate change, energy economics and the societal impacts of energy consumption. According to Keith Goossen, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the UD-IAC, the reality is that these resources are not coming to market quickly enough. (full article)

Where has all the oil gone?:  Innovative predictive tool will aid in spill response and mitigation
09/22/2011 -

The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico raised many questions about the impacts of the spill: How are the oil and its constituents physically distributed? How does the oil evolve chemically and degrade biologically in the water? What are the environmental effects on various aquatic systems? What can be done to prevent and mitigate such spills in the future?

To address these questions, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative recently awarded $112.5 million to eight research consortia headed by academic institutions in Gulf Coast states. Under this initiative, the University of Delaware has joined 11 other schools from across the U.S. in the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE).

Led by the University of Miami, CARTHE will conduct basic research to accurately predict the fate of hydrocarbons released into the environment, guiding risk management and response efforts to minimize damage to human health, the economy and the environment. (full article)

NSF Highlight: First global picture of greenhouse gases emerges from pole-to-pole research flights
09/12/2011 -

A three-year series of research flights from the Arctic to the Antarctic has successfully produced an unprecedented portrait of greenhouse gases and particles in the atmosphere. The far-reaching field project, known as HIPPO, ends this week, and has enabled researchers to generate the first detailed mapping of the global distribution of gases and particles that affect Earth's climate.

The HIPPO campaign relies on the capabilities of a specially equipped Gulfstream V aircraft, owned by NSF and operated by NCAR in Boulder, Colo. The research jet, known as the High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER), has a range of about 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers). It is outfitted with a suite of specially designed instruments to sample a broad range of atmospheric constituents.

A SMART move: Doctoral student receives prestigious SMART Scholarship
09/12/2011 -

Josh LeMonte, a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Delaware, has been awarded a prestigious Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship. The SMART Scholarship for Service Program, part of the National Defense Education Program of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and administered by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Naval Postgraduate School, provides opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and be gainfully employed upon graduation.

Currently, LeMonte is planning on focusing his research on the role of manganese in the carbon cycle. This work will make him an active member of the Christina River Basin Critical Zone Observatory research team, which is examining human impacts on the movement of carbon atoms through the watershed ecosystem.