University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

UDaily: Center shares in federal funding for environmentally sustainable transportation research
07/29/2014 -

The Delaware Center for Transportation (DCT), a research center housed in the University of Delaware’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will share in $5.2 million in federal funding for environmentally sustainable transportation research as part of a regional consortium of universities.

Awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the funding supports research by the newly formed Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability University Center (MATC-UTC) led by University of Virginia. 

UDaily: UD, Mt. Cuba Center research how native plants contribute to healthy ecosystems
07/29/2014 -

The University of Delaware and Mt. Cuba Center have entered into a new research collaboration to assess the ecological value of native plants, and determine if insects are more attracted to ‘store bought’ native plants or plants that grow in the wild.

The project involves two separate studies led by UD’s Doug Tallamy and Deborah Delaney who seek to add ecological value to the list of attributes gardeners should consider when making choices for their gardens and landscapes.

07/25/2014 -

The end of the legislative session earlier this week also marked the end of Collin O’Mara’s time as the head of DNREC.

07/25/2014 -

They rank among the cleanest in the nation: miles of Atlantic Ocean surf at the edge of Delaware beaches that double as resort playgrounds and crowded mainstays for the state's economy.

Yet, this weekend holiday arrives at a pivotal moment as state and local officials look for a new place to daily send up to 3.4 million gallons of treated sewage now pumped from Rehoboth Beach into a canal just off the polluted inland bays.

After years of studies, court battles and debates, the leading option simply calls for pumping the waste about a mile into the ocean off of the north end of Rehoboth Beach, via a $30 million outfall pipe.

07/25/2014 -

May was Earth’s hottest month on record — and as the planet gets warmer, chickens are struggling to adapt. Their body temperatures rise, which leads to higher mortality rates and an increased risk of disease that may threaten global poultry supply in the next decades.

Enter geneticist Carl Schmidt and his team from the University of Delaware, who believe that reducing a chicken’s feather count — making it look bald, basically — will cool it down and reduce health risks.

UDaily: Delaware Geological Survey assessing sand availability for beach restoration planning
07/25/2014 -

The Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) is identifying areas where sand is available to restore the state’s dunes and beaches following coastal storms through a new agreement with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

Housed at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, DGS will evaluate the state’s existing geologic and geophysical data to pinpoint sand resources for future needs.

The scientific analysis will help state officials and BOEM assist coastal communities recovering from Hurricane Sandy, restore habitat, increase knowledge of sand resources offshore and contribute to long-term coastal resilience planning. 

07/25/2014 -

To get his landscape ecology students to appreciate the full scope of the complexities of landscapes in the real world and not just through images on their computer screens, the University of Delaware’s Jeff Buler ended the year on a high note, taking his students up in a hot air balloon.

The trip was partially an homage to the Frenchman Felix Tournachon, also known as Nadar, who took the first aerial photograph from a hot air balloon in 1858 that helped inspire the field of landscape ecology. 

07/24/2014 -

Three wetlands, Bombay Hook, Mispillion Harbor and the marshes near Little Creek, will be part of a $102.7 million federal initiative to build storm and sea-level-rise resilience by using green infrastructure – such as beaches and wetlands – to minimize the impact of flooding, coastal destruction and storm surge.

07/22/2014 -

The bay's iconic blue crab population has dropped to levels not seen since before restrictions were placed on the fishery more than five years ago. What's to blame?

UDaily: Presentation to consider challenges of predicting motion in the ocean
07/22/2014 -

The motion of the ocean creates a challenge for those who need to track oil spills, find downed aircraft, and locate other objects in the deep blue.

In fact, four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, scientists continue to study the effects of that disaster to learn about the impact on the Gulf of Mexico, and gather data to improve spill detection, mitigation and clean-up in the event of another oil spill.

A Science Café presentation, “Oil Spills, Airplanes, and Rubber Duckies: The Challenges of Predicting Motion in the Ocean,” will be held on Monday, July 28, from 5:30-7 p.m., at the Deer Park Tavern, 108 West Main Street, Newark.