delware environmental institute

IN THE NEWS

Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

UDaily: Corals and climate  - For corals adjusting to climate change, it's survival of fattest and most flexible
07/10/2014 -

The future health of the world’s coral reefs and the animals that depend on them relies in part on the ability of one tiny symbiotic sea creature to get fat — and to be flexible about the type of algae with which it cooperates.

In the first study of its kind, scientists at the University of Delaware and Ohio State University discovered that corals — tiny reef-forming animals that live symbiotically with algae — are better able to recover from yearly bouts of heat stress, called “bleaching,” when they keep large energy reserves — mostly as fat — socked away in their cells.

UDaily: NSF Graduate Research Fellows - Five UD students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships
07/08/2014 -

Matthew Fischel, a doctoral student at the University of Delaware, is busy this summer researching the ability of wetland plants to sequester heavy metal contaminants in the face of sea level rise at a community near Wilmington. 

Fischel, whose hometown is Hockessin, Delaware, aspires to become a professor in the natural sciences, following in the footsteps of his adviser, Donald Sparks, S. Hallock du Pont Chair in Plant and Soil Sciences and director of the Delaware Environmental Institute. 

“I want to be able to shape the future in environmental research and help train the next generation of scientists,” Fischel says.

UDaily: Online tool helps shipping companies analyze economic, environmental freight costs
06/26/2014 -

new web-based version of the Geospatial Intermodal Freight Transportation Model (GIFT) has been released as part of a five-year initiative among researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Delaware and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration.

The new technology, which utilizes mapping software similar to Google Maps, analyzes the economics, time-of-delivery and environmental performance of various freight-transportation routes using rail, road and water. With this web-based version, companies and local, state and federal government agencies can make decisions that are not only financially feasible, but also environmentally sustainable.

06/24/2014 -

Today at the newly restored Gambacorta Marsh Dike, Governor Jack Markell, DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, State Senator Nicole Poore (D-Barbs Farm) and State Representative Michael Mulrooney (D-Pennwood) were joined by City of New Castle Mayor Donald Reese, council members and other officials to highlight a multi-year effort to repair and restore the centuries-old levees that provide the City of New Castle and surrounding areas with increased flood protection from the Delaware River and reduced impacts from coastal storms. The infrastructure improvements not only represent a significant milestone in coastal resiliency, but benefit the local economy and provide recreational opportunities for the community through new or enhanced walking and bicycling trails at the crest of Army Creek, Gambacorta and Broad Marsh Dikes.

UDaily: UD's Jiao develops new catalysts to convert greenhouse gas to chemicals
06/24/2014 -

Feng Jiao, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Delaware, has received a highly competitive Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support his research to develop catalysts for converting greenhouse gases to useful chemicals. Earlier this year, Jiao developed a highly selective silver catalyst capable of electrochemically converting carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas — to carbon monoxide with 92 percent efficiency. He reported the findings in Nature Communications.

UDaily: UD's EV Research Program making Mini-E vehicles available for lease
06/24/2014 -

Electric cars are available to University employees and Delaware residents for lease as part of UD’s innovative vehicle-to-grid project. The UD Electric Vehicle research and development program, working with BMW and AutoPort in New Castle, is offering a small number of Mini-E electric vehicles (EVs) for two-year lease agreements. Previously, the cars were available only to businesses and UD departments.

06/24/2014 -

The Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) has announced a new funding opportunity for doctoral students at the University of Delaware, the DENIN Environmental Fellows Program. The program will support Ph.D. students carrying out environmentally relevant, scientific research that demonstrates a clear link to societal needs and benefits.

UDaily: Ocean Currents series continues with focus on climate change, communication
06/24/2014 -

Tracking any environmental trends, including climate change, can be a long process, taking years before patterns clearly emerge. Fortunately, Jonathan Sharp has decades of information on the waters of Delaware Bay. The veteran professor of oceanography in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment has carefully examined the Delaware Estuary to create a detailed study of water conditions and biological responses. Several years ago he expanded his efforts by starting a monitoring program on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry to paint a better picture of the environmental conditions in the mouth of the Delaware Bay. The results of his work are clear.

UDaily: Eradicating invasive marsh plant can threaten endangered birds' recovery
06/24/2014 -

Efforts to eradicate invasive species increasingly occur side by side with programs focused on recovery of endangered ones, leaving resource managers to face the question of what to do when the eradication of an invasive species threatens an endangered species. In a recent study published in the journal Science, researchers at the University of Delaware and the University of California, Davis, examine that conundrum now taking place in the San Francisco Bay. The California clapper rail — a bird found only in the bay — has come to depend on an invasive salt marsh cordgrass, hybrid Spartina, for nesting habitat. Its native habitat has slowly vanished over the decades, largely due to urban development and invasion by Spartina.

06/24/2014 -

Helping farmers around the globe apply more precise amounts of fertilizer nitrogen can combat climate change. That's the conclusion of a study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the paper, researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) provide an improved prediction of nitrogen fertilizer's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural fields.