University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

10/20/2014 -

Arctic sea ice coverage continued its below-average trend this year as the ice declined to its annual minimum on Sept. 17, according to the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Over the 2014 summer, Arctic sea ice melted back from its maximum extent reached in March to a coverage area of 1.94 million square miles (5.02 million square kilometers), according to analysis from NASA and NSIDC scientists. This year’s minimum extent is similar to last year’s and below the 1981-2010 average of 2.40 million square miles (6.22 million square km).

UDaily: UD's Sparks named 2015 American Chemical Society medalist
10/16/2014 -

The University of Delaware’s Donald Sparks has been selected as the 2015 medalist for the Geochemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS), a congressionally chartered independent membership organization that represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry.

Sparks, the S. Hallock du Pont Chair in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Francis Alison Professor, director of the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) and a leader of the University’s Environmental Soil Chemistry Group, is the first soil scientist to receive the prestigious award. Sparks also holds joint appointments in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the School of Marine Science and Policy.

UDaily: Documentary on the fate of plastic garbage to be screened in ISE Lab atrium Oct. 21
10/15/2014 -

As a prelude to Campus Sustainability Day at the University of Delaware, the Delaware Environmental Institute’s student ambassadors will host a screening of the 2013 documentary film Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 21, in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (ISE Lab) atrium.

“As the film tells us, every single piece of plastic that has ever been created since the 19th century is still somewhere on our planet,” says senior Becky Bronstein, chair of the DENIN Ambassadors. “Our personal use, reuse and recycling of plastic is one thing we all have some control of, even here on campus, so we thought this film would be a good way to inspire people to do more.”

10/09/2014 -

On a former brownfield site that’s now a WSFS Bank branch location, Governor Jack Markell signed legislation that enhances the state’s capabilities for transforming environmentally impaired properties while also better protecting public health and groundwater resources from hazardous releases. Joined by the bills’ sponsors, Senator David McBride (D-Hawk’s Nest) and Representative Debra Heffernan (D-6th District), and DNREC Secretary David S. Small, Gov. Markell signed into law three bills that made changes in lending and liability language to Delaware’s Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act (HSCA), the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Act and the Jeffery Davis Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Act.

10/08/2014 -

Over years of Coast Days, Nancy Targett has seen everything from steaming hot to downpours, to nor'easters to Sunday's unseasonably cool, clear weather. And so, as she opened this year's event, and saw a crowd huddled together against the chill she spoke from experience. "It's better than rain, trust me," she said. "It's better than rain."

10/08/2014 -

Thousands of people pass by 132 E. Delaware Ave. every day, but few would ever think to look up. However, atop the three-story apartment building in the heart of downtown Newark lies a green roof  —a 2,500-square-foot arrangement of robust plants still thriving after surviving last winter's harsh conditions.

UDaily: UD professor touts benefits of adding meadows to landscapes
10/07/2014 -

Instead of simple traditional lawns, the University of Delaware’s Sue Barton is asking local homeowners to consider meadows to increase ecosystem services and add aesthetic beauty to landscapes. Barton, associate professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said that homeowners with larger yards -- one or more acres -- should especially consider growing meadows instead of lawns.

10/07/2014 -

The cold waters of Earth’s deep ocean have not warmed measurably since 2005, according to a new NASA study, leaving unsolved the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years. Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, analyzed satellite and direct ocean temperature data from 2005 to 2013 and found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably. Study coauthor Josh Willis of JPL said these findings do not throw suspicion on climate change itself.

UDaily: Renewable energy credits from wind turbine are supporting education
10/07/2014 -

The wind turbine on the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes has yielded many benefits in its first four years of operation, including generating clean energy for the campus and community, helping train students in turbine maintenance, testing new equipment, and supporting research studies. Now, another important item has been added to that list — supporting fellowships for graduate students working in the wind energy area in the University’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE).

UDaily: Federal funding to UD supports oyster farming in Delaware's Inland Bays
10/07/2014 -

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined local and state officials, representatives from the University of Delaware and the Center for the Inland Bays to announce two federal grants to support the development of oyster farming in Delaware’s Inland Bays. The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded $164,341 to the University of Delaware to study the economics of ecosystem services from aquaculture and estimating consumer willingness to pay for oysters marketed as local and marketed as improving water quality.