University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

UDaily: NAI member - National Academy of Inventors selects Rabolt for membership
02/19/2014 -

University of Delaware professor John F. Rabolt has been named a member of the National Academy of Inventors.

Election to NAI membership is a professional distinction that honors academic inventors for their creative thinking and innovative spirit.

Rabolt, the Karl W. and Renate Boër Professor of Materials Science and Engineering (MSEG) and professor of biomedical engineering, was selected for groundbreaking infrared technology developed in his laboratory called planar array infrared (PA-IR) spectroscopy.

02/06/2014 -

Water resource management involves numerous and often distinct areas, such as hydrology, engineering, economics, public policy, chemistry, ecology and agriculture, among others. It is a multi-disciplinary field, each with its own set of challenges and, in turn, its own set of computer models.

02/06/2014 -

Have you looked closely at a local pond, meadow or forest--or at nature in your suburb or city--and observed changes in it over time? That's exactly what scientists are trying to do on a larger, regional to continental scale--a macrosystems biology scale. Macrosystems biology might be called "biological sciences writ large."Scientists funded by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) MacroSystems Biology Program are working to better detect, understand and predict the effects of climate and land-use change on organisms and ecosystems at regional to continental scales.

02/06/2014 -

Put predator and prey bacteria together in a petri dish and their numbers will rise and fall as the predators eat themselves out of food.

Pour certain chemicals into a beaker and keep it well shaken, and the mixture will alternate colors because of a repeating chemical reaction.

A spring with a weight on the end of it will bounce up and down, but it will also sway back and forth, and each force will affect the other.

These experiments encompass three different fields: biology, chemistry and physics. But there’s one mathematical concept behind all three, called “coupled oscillation.” And once a student dives into that concept, the walls between those experiences and the fields they represent grow thin.

“We’re breaking down the silos,” said Rich Lynch, a math teacher at Concord High School. “As a math teacher, I know we need to show our students what they’re doing looks like in the real world. And this is a good way for us to do that.”

Lynch was one of 59 teachers from across the state who performed experiments like those at a training session Friday and Tuesday at the University of Delaware.

UDaily: Delaware Sea Grant promotes interest in marine science among high schoolers
02/06/2014 -

Budding marine scientists demonstrated an ocean of knowledge at the annual Chesapeake Bay Bowl in Lewes, Del., on Feb. 1, vying for a spot at the national competition in Seattle this spring. Held at the University of Delaware's Hugh R. Sharp Campus, the regional quiz bowl brought together 60 top science students from 12 high schools in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Students answered questions spanning oceanography, geology, biology, geography, social science, marine policy and chemistry. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., took first place after an intense day of tackling multiple choice, short answer and written questions in rapid response.


UDaily: Renewable energy resources - UD researchers report on new catalyst to convert greenhouse gases into chemicals
01/31/2014 -

A team of researchers at the University of Delaware has developed a highly selective catalyst capable of electrochemically converting carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas — to carbon monoxide with 92 percent efficiency. The carbon monoxide then can be used to develop useful chemicals.

The researchers recently reported their findings in Nature Communications.

UDaily: Oceanographer honored - CEOE's George Luther named fellow of the Geochemical Society
01/31/2014 -

Oceanographer George Luther, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Studies in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), has been named a fellow of the Geochemical Society. 

The honor is given to outstanding scientists who have made significant contributions to the field of geochemistry, the study of chemical reactions driving geological processes.

01/30/2014 -

A new statewide report produced at the direction of DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara and DNREC’s Division of Energy and Climate, “Climate Change Projections and Indicators for Delaware,” projects increasing temperatures, more extreme heat days, and more frequent heavy rain events through the year 2100. This analysis of Delaware’s changing climate was conducted by Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, one of the nation’s leading atmospheric scientists. Dr. Hayhoe’s future projections for temperature and precipitation in Delaware are consistent with climate projections for much of the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

UDaily: Moving mountains  Research in the Andes examines rock glacier dynamics for mining industry
01/29/2014 -

When it comes to mining for copper and gold, prospectors will move mountains to make it happen. As in, physically dig up the rock, extract the precious metals and move the debris elsewhere. 

In the chilly high altitudes of the Andes Mountains, however, what may look like part of a mountain can in fact be a huge, frozen block of rock fragments and ice. When some of that ice melts in the spring, these so-called “rock glaciers” become a valuable source of water for local populations.

UDaily: Delaware Sea Grant hosts marine science quiz competition Feb. 1
01/22/2014 -

The Chesapeake Bay Bowl will test high school students’ knowledge of the ocean on Saturday, Feb. 1, hosted by Delaware Sea Grant at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del. Twelve teams will answer challenging questions about the marine environment, with topics that can range anywhere from whale ecology to the chemistry of seawater. High school students from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. will participate. Most have taken high school courses in marine science and biology and show promise in entering scientific careers.