University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

06/01/2015 -

For most of their lives, shad – a group of fish in the the herring family – live in the ocean. But each spring – or so the story goes – as the shadbush bursts into bloom, they run up the Delaware Bay, into the river and tributaries like the White Clay Creek, where, drawn by fresh water, the fish spawn. Or that's the way it's supposed to go.

05/18/2015 -

Broadkill Beach civic leader Jim Bailey knew his Delaware Bay community was getting a much wider beach and dune but now that crews have started pumping sand, even he has been surprised at the scope of the project. When bulldozers are working on the low side, closest to Delaware Bay, they are obscured by the mountain of sand. And it's not just tall – about 16 feet – it's also wide.

UDaily: Antarctic penguins focus of first installment in 2015 Ocean Currents Lecture Series
05/15/2015 -

Those who have wondered what it’s like to live in Antarctica won’t want to miss the opening lecture in the University of Delaware School of Marine Science and Policy’s 2015 Ocean Currents Lecture Series scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, May 21. Megan Cimino, a doctoral candidate in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, recently spent three months researching Adélie penguins at the Palmer Station research base on the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP).

UDaily: Environmental humanities students get down-to-earth experience
05/15/2015 -

At the University of Delaware, public policy student Emily Floros is focused on public health and on finding ways to help people improve their nutrition and access to food. Aidan Leddy, with a major in criminal justice and a minor in journalism, is always looking for new experiences that he can incorporate into his writing. Now, thanks to an environmental humanities class in which students volunteer at a local organic farm, they both have new insights.

Delaware Public Media: DENIN director expresses concern over accelerating rate of land degradation
05/12/2015 -

A new paper published by the head of the Delaware Environmental Institute at University of Delaware expresses concern over the rising rates of soil erosion and its potential impact on the quality of human life in the future.

The review, “Soil and human security in the 21st century,” was published in leading journal Science. In many parts of the world, soil conditions are suffering from wind and water erosion, especially in areas are facing intense drought, flood patterns and weather conditions exacerbated by climate change.

05/12/2015 -

It was a hot, dry summer morning. The humidity was low — about 11 percent. "We had a little bit of wind," recalled State Forester Michael Valenti. Then a passing motorist flicked a lit cigarette out of the window of a vehicle.

"It was complete consumption of all fuels," Valenti said. Before that day in April 2005 ended, 200 acres of woods near Millsboro burned to a moonscape of stubble and black. With summers expected to get hotter and drier under Climate Change scenarios, wildfires like the one Valenti described could becoming more common across the nation.

UDaily: McNeil elected distinguished member of American Society of Civil Engineering
05/12/2015 -

Engineering projects don’t happen in a vacuum, and the University of Delaware’s Sue McNeil makes sure her students are aware of the social, psychological, political and economic factors that determine whether and how projects get done. A professor of civil and environmental engineering, McNeil studies how people make decisions about building, rebuilding, or renewing infrastructure like roads, bridges, and wastewater management systems –and how natural disasters and hazards impact those decisions.

UDaily: Delaware Water Resrouces Center celebrates 50th anniversary
05/12/2015 -

More than 50 faculty, staff and students celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Delaware Water Resources Center (DWRC) at the University of Delaware during its annual meeting on April 17 at the Trabant University Center.

UDaily: UD students create app to help area's Christmas tree farmers
05/12/2015 -

An interdisciplinary team of students at the University of Delaware has developed a new app called PocketFarmer designed to help Christmas tree farmers in the region diagnose, identify and mark potentially diseased plants. The PocketFarmer was developed through the Spin In program in UD’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships (OEIP).

Science: Sea level rise accelerating faster than thought
05/12/2015 -

If you’re still thinking about buying that beach house, think again. A new study suggests that sea levels aren’t just rising; they’re gaining ground faster than ever. That’s contrary to earlier work that suggested rising seas had slowed in recent years.

The result won’t come as a shock to most climate scientists. Long-term records from coastal tide gauges have shown that sea level rise accelerated throughout the 20th century. Models predict the trend will continue. However, previous studies based on satellite measurements—which began in 1993 and provide the most robust estimates of sea level—revealed that the rate of rise had slowed in the past decade compared with the one before.