delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

Making farm fresh affordable: New Food Bank program makes local produce accessible to low-income community
11/29/2012 -

“We want to make sure you have access to the best produce,” says University of Delaware anthropology senior Dan Reyes. “To locally-, naturally- and organically-grown fruits and vegetables. Pesticide-free. Herbicide-free. The kinds of food normally too expensive to buy in grocery stores.”

The kinds of food that low-income households can now — thanks to the Food Bank of Delaware’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, developed by two UD students — purchase using their federal food benefits.

Funded by a $300,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant, the CSA will enable 100-200 low-income families to purchase subsidized shares of fruits and vegetables from two local farms, allowing those farmers to, in turn, increase their annual revenues by nearly $50,000.


Eco-friendly garments:  UD senior one of five students nationwide to compete in design competition
11/28/2012 -

University of Delaware senior apparel design major Brynn Williams is one of five students nationwide selected to compete in one of the outdoor fashion industry’s leading design competitions.

The competition, Project OR, is a race-the-clock event, in which contestants must produce an original, innovative and functional prototype garment for the outdoor industry using performance and eco-friendly materials in 48 hours.

As one of the five student contestants, Williams will attend the Outdoor Retailer (OR) Winter Market tradeshow in Salt Lake City this January, where she will be given a design brief from which to make initial sketches on the show’s opening morning.

11/20/2012 -

Engineers armored New Jersey beaches to hold back the ocean, giving residents a sanguine feeling behind one of the most hardened shoreline defenses in America.

But Superstorm Sandy washed over Jersey’s sea walls and bulkheads, smashed its man-made dunes and tore through beaches that over the years have been nourished with millions of cubic yards of sand pumped on shore and smoothed to perfection along the state’s storied boardwalks.

11/20/2012 -

DNREC’s compilation of the annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data and reports for 2011 from Delaware’s industrial facilities shows a significant decrease in reported emissions compared to 2010 despite increasing industrial productivity – and a continued trend in reduction in environmental releases and pollution since the first data was collected for 1987.

Climate dialogue:  Renowned geoscientist Richard Alley shares climate history, predictions
11/16/2012 -

Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, appeared at the University of Delaware’s Mitchell Hall on Nov. 8 to discuss his breakthrough findings about abrupt climate changes in Earth’s past and the implications of his research for Earth’s future.

In the fifth installment of the Delaware Environmental Institute’s DENIN Dialogue Lecture Series, Alley was interviewed on stage in front of a live audience by UD associate professor and environmental historian Adam Rome. Alley gave a detailed but non-technical explanation of his research and discussed why his findings were significant.

“The fact that a lot of things changed very rapidly was really a surprise, and it’s the thing that makes you uncomfortable about pushing really hard on the climate,” he said.

Sandy's underwater sandscapes:  UD researchers studying 'fingerprint' left on seafloor by Hurricane Sandy
11/16/2012 -

Beneath the 20-foot waves that crested off Delaware’s coast during Hurricane Sandy, thrashing waters reshaped the floor of the ocean, churning up fine sand and digging deep ripples into the seabed. Fish, crustaceans and other marine life were blasted with sand as the storm sculpted new surfaces underwater.

UD scientists cued up their instruments to document the offshore conditions before, during and after Sandy’s arrival to scrutinize the differences and better predict the environmental impact of future storms.

“Out here, we’re trying to get the fingerprint of the storm,” said Arthur Trembanis, associate professor of geological sciences and oceanography, aboard the research vessel Hugh R. Sharp.

Green ice:  UD Ice Arenas now using battery-powered Zamboni to resurface ice
11/14/2012 -

The University of Delaware Ice Arenas has gone green with the introduction of a new battery-powered Zamboni to resurface ice.

“With the Initiative for the Planet an important part of UD’s Path to Prominence strategic plan, we were exploring ways to provide a more environmentally sound means to resurface ice,” said James Kaden, assistant director of UD Ice Arenas. “The new Zamboni proved to be a perfect option.”

The new Zamboni 560AC electric ice resurfacer is a technological advancement on the company’s line of battery-operated machines, said Jeffrey Doucette, UD Ice Arenas operations supervisor.

Luther honored:  Marine scientist to receive 2013 Geochemistry Division Medal from ACS
11/13/2012 -

George W. Luther III, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Oceanography at the University of Delaware, has been named the 2013 recipient of the Geochemistry Division Medal from the American Chemical Society (ACS) for his wide-ranging contributions to aqueous geochemistry.

The distinction is the highest honor awarded by the society’s geochemistry division, given every other year to recognize outstanding achievements in the field. Geochemistry examines the chemical reactions behind geological processes occurring in the earth and oceans.

Luther’s accomplishments include applying physical inorganic chemistry to the transfer of electrons between chemical compounds in the environment. He developed chemical sensors and incorporated voltammetry, an analytical method of measuring electrical activity, in quantifying the presence of elements and their chemical compounds in natural waters.

Future of bioenergy:  Delaware Biotechnology Institute partners with DNREC in biofuel project
11/09/2012 -

As part of a five-year, $50,000 grant supporting state greenhouse gas reduction projects, the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI) has partnered with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) in response to the need for 36 billion gallons of petroleum-based fuel to be replaced by biofuels by 2022, according to the Renewable Fuel Standard of 2007.

The Framework for Minimizing Energy Input and Environmental Impact in Delaware grant is a joint effort between DBI and Delaware State University (DSU) to create an education and outreach pipeline, as well as training, for the next generation of scientists and Delawareans as part of a sustainable agriculturally based industrial ecology.

11/06/2012 -

The University of Delaware has established the Revolving Energy Efficiency Fund to support energy efficiency projects across campus. The first project funded by the Energy Efficiency Fund will replace lighting systems with new, energy efficient systems, undertaken by Facilities and Auxiliary Services and contractor Atlantic Energy Concepts.