delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

Hurricane Sandy Q&A: UD experts aid state, National Weather Service during storm
11/06/2012 -

The Office of the State Climatologist and the Delaware Geological Survey (DGS), both based at the University of Delaware, provided the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the National Weather Service with weather, coastal flooding and stream flooding information for Delaware during Hurricane Sandy. Delaware State Climatologist Daniel Leathers, a professor of geography at UD, and Kelvin Ramsey, a scientist at DGS, answered some questions about this major storm for UDaily. Timothy Targett, professor of marine biosciences, also responds to a question about marine life.

Superstorm animation: UD researchers show Sandy's explosive development
11/06/2012 -

A computer animation produced by University of Delaware researchers shows the explosive development of Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm and its unusual track.

Matt Shatley, computer research specialist in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), assembled the animation by digitally stitching together about 800 infrared images taken by GOES, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, which keeps a continuous eye on the continental United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The animation represents the period from Oct. 22 to Oct. 31.

Science on the graveyard shift:  Discovering what gets buried and how
11/01/2012 -

By dark of night in an old graveyard, things rustle. At least if that cemetery is at London Grove Friends Meeting in Kennett Square, Pa.

Look between the oldest markers, or under a gnarled oak tree that's been guarding the graveyard since the time of William Penn in 1682. You'll find not a ghost, but a scientist, probing the dirt for the secrets it might reveal.

"These soils have been undisturbed for centuries, if at all, and they hold the key to understanding how humans have altered the landscape," says geoscientist Anthony Aufdenkampe of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Christina River Basin Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) on the border of Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Atlantic quest:  Oceanographer leading expedition to hydrothermal vents for pyrite research
10/24/2012 -

Last year, University of Delaware scientists made a splash with findings that tiny pieces of pyrite, also known as fool’s gold, from hydrothermal vents travel long distances deep within the Pacific Ocean. Now, they want to know if that is also true in the Atlantic.

College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment researchers are currently at sea — smack in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean — to find out. Led by George W. Luther, III, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Oceanography, the team is investigating elements gushing from the vents and the implications for surrounding environments.

“Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, we’ll have a really good idea of the different kinds of sulfur and iron concentrations coming out of the vents,” Luther said.

News Journal: As state officials debate how to deal with the future of non-resort beach communities, residents utilize different strategies on holding back the sea
10/22/2012 -

The view through Michael Gagliardo’s floor-to-ceiling glass doors is spectacular: Delaware Bay as far as the eye can see, with cargo ships and enormous flocks of migratory birds floating through the scene. Bayshore residents cherish their quiet lifestyles far from the crowded boardwalks that dominate commercial beaches along the East Coast. And property taxes are low – especially when compared with resorts along the Jersey Shore, Long Island or Cape Cod. Annual property tax on a 6,653 square-foot home here, for example, is $3,445.

Celebrating Earth science:  Delaware Geological Survey supplies educational materials to teachers for Earth Science Week
10/22/2012 -

When the Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) recently distributed Earth Science Week teacher kits at Coast Day, attendees dug right in.

“All were gone within a matter of a few hours,” David R.Wunsch, DGS director and state geologist, said. “Several teachers were overwhelmed because they had been looking for this type of information.”

The educational tools included posters, maps, a school-year activity calendar, teacher lessons and exercises, literature, work plans and hands-on experiments for all ages. A computer program also handed out was designed to help students learn about earth science and how it impacts their daily lives.

Speaking of ethics:  Lecturer explores the imperatives of environmental ethics
10/22/2012 -

Speaking to University of Delaware faculty and students and community members in Brown Lab on Monday night, Oct. 15, environmental philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore discussed how important it is for humans to realize their ethical responsibility to save the world from a climate crisis.

In a lecture titled “Why It’s Wrong to Wreck the World: Climate Change and the Moral Obligation to the Future,” Moore reflected on the relationship humans have with the environment and argued that once humans realize the impact of their actions, they will naturally feel a moral obligation to care for the planet.

Moore, who is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State University, co-edited Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, a collection of essays by more than 80 figures from around the world who give various ethical reasons why humans should protect the planet.

Broadening horizons: UD students gain exposure to ocean policy as MARACOOS interns
10/19/2012 -

When University of Delaware junior Abigail Barber donned a plush shark costume this summer, she was not playing a character at a baseball game or an amusement park. She was participating in Capitol Hill Ocean Week in Washington, D.C., and she got to meet ocean experts like National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle as part of the experience.

Barber, an energy and environmental policy major, is gaining exposure to the marine science community as an intern with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS). The UD-led network aggregates ocean data collected along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to North Carolina to share with researchers, government personnel and the public and to create information products that address ocean and coastal challenges.

Surviving without ice: Arctic crustacean use currents, deep-water migration to survive sea ice melts
10/19/2012 -

With sea ice in the Arctic melting to record lows in summer months, marine animals living there face dramatic changes to their environment. Yet some crustaceans, previously thought to spend their entire lives on the underside of sea ice, were recently discovered to migrate deep underwater and follow ocean currents back to colder areas when ice disappears.

Science Café:  Informal talks cover topics ranging from wind energy to urban forests
10/18/2012 -

The Center for Science, Ethics and Public Policy Program (SEPP) at the University of Delaware has announced this semester’s schedule for its Science Café program.

Each meeting will be held at Deer Park Tavern, 108 W. Main St., beginning at 5:30 p.m. and will allow students, faculty and community members to discuss various scientific issues in an informal setting.

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, Adam Rome, associate professor of history and English, will present “Loving Nature and Hating Nature.”