University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

UDaily: Foundation founder shares her experiences in community education
04/29/2014 -

Tanzania is a country known for its mining, agriculture, vast game reserves and tourism. What may be less known is that women in Tanzania face many challenges regarding education and health. One woman committed to addressing these challenges visited the University of Delaware this week to share her message with students, faculty, staff and friends.

UDaily: Gates Foundation funds civil engineering professor's novel wastewater treatment fabric
04/18/2014 -

Each year in India, waterborne diseases sicken approximately 37.7 million people. One and a half million children die of diarrhea alone, according to a report by WaterAid.

04/18/2014 -

Soybeans used to make tractor parts?  Vegan leather made out of chicken feathers?  If that sounds impossible, wait until Dr. Richard Wool tells you about the other amazing renewable materials he and his students are creating at his University of Delaware lab. Wool, a chemical engineer with a lilting accent from his Irish homeland, is on a mission to devise manufacturing materials without the negative environmental impact of plastics. He manipulates the molecular structure of renewable, biodegradable raw materials like plant fibers, into materials that can be used in a wide variety of everyday items. 

04/18/2014 -

To celebrate the 44th annual Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is holding a variety of public events.

“For more than 40 years, Earth Day has been a day to celebrate and promote conservation of our planet. For DNREC, our environmental conservation partners, and the many community groups and volunteers who support efforts to conserve our precious natural resources, Earth Day is every day,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “We hope all Delawareans will join us and celebrate Earth Day by pledging to take an action that will protect our planet– for instance, riding a bike to work rather than driving a car, taking reusable bags to the grocery store, planting a tree, or turning off a light when you leave the room.”

04/17/2014 -

Bringing a gas-fired power plant to the University of Delaware would nullify university pledges to reduce its carbon footprint, according to a campus task force on environmental concerns. The executive council of UD's Sustainability Taskforce this month sent an open letter to University President Patrick Harker, asking him to "more rigorously consider" the university's stated commitments to sustainability as it explores a proposed 279-megawatt plant as part of data center complex on its STAR campus in Newark.

UDaily: 'Sustainability chats'  UD faculty, staff to discuss sustainability concerns with students, UD community
04/17/2014 -

Three University of Delaware residence halls will open their doors to the campus community on Tuesday, April 22, to join residents in a selection of “sustainability chats” with faculty and staff. The events are sponsored by Residence Life and Housing.

Jennifer Pyle, Tom Powers and Rich Chapas will visit the residence halls to share their passions and expertise around sustainability issues affecting the University community and beyond. 

UDaily: Earth Week 2014 - University to host wide range of Earth Week 2014 activities
04/17/2014 -

The University of Delaware’s Earth Week Working Group of the Sustainability Task Force has announced the schedule of events for Earth Week 2014.

Officially, Earth Week is held Monday, April 21, through Saturday, April 26, but the wealth of events planned across the UD campus in celebration of Earth Day begins on Wednesday, April 16, with a performance by Brooklyn-based duo Climbing PoeTree.

04/15/2014 -

The Data Centers, LLC hopes to start demolition on a 43-acre brownfield on the University of Delaware's Science Technology and Advanced Research campus this month. The city of Newark issued a demolition permit at the end of March, the first step in TDC's construction of a first-of-its-kind, stand-alone data center in the country.

"We've gone into what's called an islanded [sic] mode," Executive Vice President of Sales, Brian Honish said. "We're gonna be creating our own power from our natural gas turbines, then our steam turbines, our steam chillers -- we'll be using all that by ourselves to support ourselves."

Instead of relying on fluctuating power from a traditional power company, Honish says the data center will eliminate the variable swings in power by building a 279 megawatt combined heat and power plant, or CHP, on site.

News Journal: Native mud crab making recovery
04/15/2014 -

Delawareans know all too well what happens when non-native species take hold. Consider the invasions of brown marmorated stink bugs; Asian lady beetles or an oldie but biggie: the giant marsh reed Phragmites australis. They pretty much take over home, yard and marsh. So it's no wonder that scientists thought the worst when the Asian shore crab – a penny-sized creature with distinctively striped legs – showed up on the rocks at Townsends Inlet near Cape May, N.J., in 1988.

But it turns out, at least in the limited, rocky habitat along the Delaware and Maryland coast, these shore crabs – which were once so abundant here – haven't outpaced the natives, after all. In fact, what Charles Epifanio, the University of Delaware Harrington Professor of Marine Science, and a graduate researcher found was that the tables turned on the populations of the native versus the non-native crabs in the decade after shore crabs dramatically outnumbered native mud crabs.

The Weather Channel: Could flying wind turbines power the globe?
04/15/2014 -

If wind energy isn’t already alternative enough, researchers are now looking at an alternative to the alternative: wind turbines that float. The devices come in a few different models, some looking more like kites and others like small airplanes, but they’re all kept aloft by the wind while being held in place by a ground-based tether. Because wind speed generally increases farther away from the Earth’s surface, airborne devices could generate more power without needing to build increasingly taller turbines, which are expensive and resource-intensive.

But longer tethers mean more drag and less efficient energy production. That’s why Cristina Archer, a University of Delaware environmental engineer, decided to analyze more than 20 years’ worth of hourly wind-speed data, looking for areas known as low-level jets, where more powerful winds blow closer to Earth.