University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

07/15/2015 -

Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, resident Lisa J. Riggiola wasn't among those cheering DuPont's official spinoff of the Chemours Co. this week. Riggiola, who grew up in the borough and served on its council, worries Chemours could be crippled by the weight of nationwide pollution cleanup bills the company carried away from DuPont's remaining enterprises. Those expenses, she said, might weaken Chemours' ability to follow through on a more-than-500-acre cleanup at a former DuPont explosives plant in her community.

07/15/2015 -

In the glow of moonlight, volunteers wearing neon safety vests and hard hats waded into the surf, shining headlamps into the murky Delaware Bay and snatching horseshoe crabs from the frothy, green water. To the south, a pipeline spewed a slurry of sand and water. Bulldozers shaped and groomed the rapidly growing shoreline.

07/15/2015 -

A new NASA study of ocean temperature measurements shows in recent years extra heat from greenhouse gases has been trapped in the waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. Researchers say this shifting pattern of ocean heat accounts for the slowdown in the global surface temperature trend observed during the past decade.

UDaily: New study examines undergraduate understanding and misconceptions of climate change
07/01/2015 -

The human brain is a factory — new perceptions and experiences are passed along a mental assembly line, shaped by prior knowledge and molded and connected to form conclusions, which then drive actions. This conveyor-belt shaping and molding is known as a mental model. 

People use mental models to form everyday decisions, both large and small. A person decides to flip a switch because he knows it will produce light; an athlete takes a drink because she understands that it will solve her thirst.

06/22/2015 -

Tom Embley is in the waste removal and recycling business. Just don’t call him a garbage man.

“People automatically think we handle post-consumer trash, but we’re nowhere near that world,” said the CEO of Precision AirConvey near Glasgow. “Everything we do is industrial and it’s all about making the manufacturing process a little greener.”

06/22/2015 -

It came from above, hovering over the corn field, soaking up the light. It saw things the farmers couldn’t: photosynthesis in the green leaves and heat radiating off arid soil. The UAV — unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly called a drone — is what researchers hope will pave the way for the future of agriculture. It’s not from another planet or a war zone, it comes in peace to help solve the major problems farmers face while trying to feed a growing country.

UDaily: Faculty member earns "National Geographic Explorer" designation
06/16/2015 -

Jon Cox, assistant professor of art who was the University of Delaware project manager for a multidisciplinary team that focused on documenting the culture of the indigenous Ese’Eja people of Peru, has been named a “National Geographic Explorer.” The designation recognizes the contributions of a wide-ranging group of researchers and others who have made their marks in exploration and discovery.

UDaily: UD's Kempton to share in $6.5 million in DOE funding to help grid accommodate more renewable energy
06/16/2015 -

The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has announced new funding to address challenges in enabling the nation’s electric grid to handle increasing amounts of renewable energy.

Willett Kempton’s research group at the University of Delaware is one of five new technical teams selected nationwide to share in up to $6.5 million in federal funding. 

UDaily: Microbe mobilizes 'iron shield' to block arsenic uptake in rice
06/16/2015 -

University of Delaware researchers have discovered a soil microbe that mobilizes an “iron shield” to block the uptake of toxic arsenic in rice. 

Arsenic occurs naturally in rocks and soils, air and water, plants and animals. It’s used in a variety of industrial products and practices, from wood preservatives, pesticides and fertilizers, to copper smelting. Chronic exposure to arsenic has been linked to cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

06/15/2015 -

New evidence suggests Delaware Bay may be one of many coastal stopping points for the red knot, a robin-sized shorebird that has made the lower estuary a seasonal tourist destination. But researchers still maintain that Delaware Bay is the critical link in the spring migration and horseshoe crab eggs – the preferred diet along the Delaware Bay – are vital to the health of the population.