University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

03/07/2018 -

Community members are invited to join University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at Main Street Movies 5 in Newark at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 21, for a screening of the film Tidewater. Registration is required to attend this event. Use this form to reserve a space. Tidewater is a documentary focused on the issue of sea level rise in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The film highlights the issue of “nuisance flooding,” coastal flooding that occurs during higher-than-average tides and is a direct consequence of sea level rise and land subsidence.

03/07/2018 -

Every spring, vernal pools formed by rain and runoff appear throughout the state of Delaware, providing essential habitats and breeding grounds for species such as frogs and insects—who can take advantage of the areas because of their lack of predators—and a variety of shrub and herbaceous plant communities. While these areas provide ecosystem services for plants and wildlife, vernal pools are currently not a protected ecosystem in the state of Delaware.

03/06/2018 -

By the age of four, University of Delaware professor Dan Leathers could be found sprawled on the floor, drawing high and low pressure systems and cold fronts with markers on glass placed over a map of the United States. He just loved meteorology and was fascinated by weather—especially snow. In high school, Leathers’ favorite class was a one semester course on aviation, because it contained a significant amount of meteorology.

03/06/2018 -

University of Delaware’s Saleem Ali has been named to the United Nations International Resource Panel, a select group of 38 scientists and practitioners worldwide chosen to advise the UN system on resource management issues. Launched in 2007 by the UN Environment, the International Resource Panel works “to build and share the knowledge needed to improve our use of resources worldwide,” including scientific assessment on the sustainable use of the planet’s natural resources and their environmental impacts.

03/06/2018 -

Someday we won’t need curtains or blinds on our windows, and we will be able to block out light—or let it in—with just the press of a button. At least that’s what Keith Goossen, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, hopes. Goossen and Daniel Wolfe, who earned a doctoral degree from UD last year, developed panels that can switch between allowing light in and blocking it out. This “smart glass” technology could be utilized in eco-friendly windows, windshields, roof panes and building envelopes, absorbing light and heat in the winter and reflecting it away in the summer.

02/13/2018 -

More than 1.3 million homes across the United States are located within five miles of a large wind turbine. Yet, little is known about how wind turbine projects affect nearby homeowners or how these neighbors feel about them. The University of Delaware’s Jeremy Firestone is part of an international team, led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), which is focused on gaining a greater perspective on this issue. The group conducted the first national survey on public perceptions of individuals living near land-based wind power projects.

02/07/2018 -

Marine shipping fuels will get a whole lot cleaner in 2020 when a regulation by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires fuels to contain 80-86 percent less sulphur. This is the most significant improvement in global fuel standards for the shipping industry in 100 years, intended to achieve significant health benefits on a global scale. Now, a new study in Nature Communications quantifies these health benefits and finds cleaner shipping fuels will result in a 3.6 percent reduction of childhood asthma globally.

02/03/2018 -

At the 2017 National Linnaean Games held in Denver, Colorado and hosted by the Entomological Society of America (ESA) as part of their annual meeting, the Entomology Trivia Team at the University of Delaware showed strong, finishing third overall—the highest finish in club history. The team not only finished third overall but also ousted the perennial powerhouse team from the University of California at Riverside which, Ashley Kennedy, a doctoral level student in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said helped put the club on the map.

02/01/2018 -

As we chug down the road in our cars and inch the thermostat upward to warm our homes in winter, carbon dioxide is released into the air. This has been happening since the Industrial Revolution. As more carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere, the global ocean soaks up much of the excess, storing roughly 30 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions coming from human activities. In this sense, the ocean has acted as a buffer to slow down the greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere and, thus, global warming.

01/16/2018 -

Graduate student Meredith Kurz arrived at University of Delaware in 2015 to study marine policy because she “wanted to be directly involved in the policymaking associated with the sustainable management of our ocean and coasts,” especially as it relates to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Growing up, Kurz had always imagined she would become a marine biologist but as an undergraduate student she realized that her greatest passion was at the intersection of research and policy.