University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

Science: Sea levels are rising at their fastest rate in 2000 years
02/23/2016 -

Global sea levels appear exquisitely sensitive to changes in temperature and greenhouse gas levels, according to a set of new studies that examines up to 6 million years of climate change data. The four papers, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS), illustrate the growing power of computers to simulate complex interactions between climate, polar ice, and the planet’s oceans. They also underscore the effects that rising greenhouse gases and global temperatures could have on future sea level.

“The big takeaway is that the modern rate of sea level rise in the 20th century is faster than anything we’ve seen in the previous two millennia,” says Benjamin Horton, a Rutgers University, New Brunswick, in New Jersey geologist who helped direct one of the studies. “This isn’t a model. This is data.”

UDaily: UD researchers study reactions that occur when groundwater, saltwater meet in coastal aquifers
02/12/2016 -

If you’ve ever floated through a cold patch of water while swimming in the ocean, you’ve experienced a phenomenon called submarine groundwater discharge (SGD). 

SGD occurs when groundwater seeps out of the seabed into the coastal ocean. SGD is often brackish as a result of fresh groundwater from land mixing with salty ocean water. The mixing of fresh and salty groundwater occurs in the beach aquifer, typically where the waves are breaking. 

UDaily: Association of American Geographers president to deliver invited lecture
02/07/2016 -

Sarah Witham Bednarz, president of the Association of American Geographers, will deliver an invited lecture at 3:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12, in 116 Gore Hall on the University of Delaware campus in Newark. The lecture, titled “Thinking Geographically,” is free and open to the public.

UDaily: Delaware Junior Duck Stamp Program to host art and conservation competition
02/07/2016 -

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. Competitors that participate will choose a waterfowl from a list of species on the official U.S. Fish and Wildlife webpage and draw a live portrayal of that species in its habitat demonstrating its natural behavior.

UDaily: Online shopping might not be as green as people think it is
02/06/2016 -

Home shopping isn’t new — images from Sears catalogues in the early 1900s show bicycles, banjos, hats, dresses, shoes, long underwear for men, corsets for women, guns, tools, light fixtures, storage trunks, curling irons, metal toys, and even cars and entire house kits.

Shopping malls took a chunk out of home shopping in the mid-20th century, but the Internet brought it back in startling numbers, with close to half of the American population having made online purchases by 2008. 

>With a few clicks of the mouse or swipes of the screen, people can now order everything from concert tickets, books and craft supplies to home decor, car parts, disposable diapers and groceries.

02/05/2016 -

Delaware’s chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the protection of ocean, waves and beaches, says the current approach to beach replenishment comes along with high maintenance costs and increased risk of injury to beach goers. Now the organization is asking the state to consider other options to restore beach erosion that is less costly and safer.

UDaily: CBEAR awards $300,000 to fund 12 behavioral science projects
02/04/2016 -

CBEAR – the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research, which is operated jointly by the University of Delaware and Johns Hopkins University – is awarding more than $300,000 to 12 behavioral science projects that will examine the performance of various public policy approaches to agricultural-environmental problems. The center completed its request-for-proposals process in September 2015. The selected projects aim to explain the complex human responses to agri-environmental policies implemented by government, with the goal of helping to design better public programs.

UDaily: Satellite measurements of ocean color, temperature help researchers predict sturgeon locations
02/04/2016 -

Researchers at the University of Delaware are one step closer to developing an online map that would help Mid-Atlantic fishermen avoid catching Atlantic sturgeon. The research team, led by Matthew J. Oliver, Patricia and Charles Robertson Professor of Marine Science and Policy, found they could make useful predictions about sturgeon locations using satellite measurements of ocean color and temperature. They reported their findings Feb. 3 in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

UDaily: New sustainability website focuses on user engagement, resources
01/29/2016 -

The University of Delaware has announced a new sustainability website that has been completely rebuilt to provide a better focus on user engagement and useful resources.

Michelle Bennett, UD sustainability manager, said that with the assistance of student interns the site will provide metrics and data concerning sustainability performance on campus.

Bennett said she hopes to grow and integrate the website, which was built using a WordPress system, with social media or apps that can help students get engaged on campus.

UDaily: UD postdoctoral researcher receives USDA grant to study arsenic uptake by rice
01/27/2016 -

The University of Delaware’s Matt Limmer has been awarded a two-year United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Post Doctoral Fellowship to study uptake of organic forms of arsenic in rice. 

Limmer is a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Angelia Seyfferth, assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

He said working with Seyfferth is a great benefit because she previously has examined inorganic forms of arsenic, while his interest is in the organic forms.