University of Delaware
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Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

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.”

Sustainable campus:  UD community invited to submit grant applications for environmental projects
10/18/2012 -

The University of Delaware Sustainability Task Force invites the UD community to submit grant applications for projects that address sustainability issues.

The task force will be awarding $20,000 in grants to selected projects, with preference given to projects that are consistent with the goals of the University Climate Action Plan and the mission of the task force.

Faculty and staff created the University of Delaware Sustainability Fund (UDSF) to stimulate innovative opportunities to develop a more sustainable campus.

Watershed symposium:  UD research presented at White Clay Creek symposium
10/06/2012 -

Faculty and students from the University of Delaware presented research on watershed issues at a recent symposium that brought together a variety of stakeholders with shared interest and expertise in ecosystems.

The Sept. 25 White Clay Creek symposium, hosted by the White Clay Wild and Scenic Management Committee at the redesigned Stroud Water Research Center campus in Avondale, Pa., was the first of its kind in many years.

Presentations were given by individuals representing a variety of watershed health and management perspectives and included a broad range of topics, from current research on native fish and mussel populations, to sediment source and impacts, to the detail of southern Chester County’s approach to stormwater permit applications.

Green roof: Members of UD, Delaware community celebrate green roof completion
10/03/2012 -

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and members of the Delaware community joined University of Delaware students and faculty on Friday, Sept. 28, at Colburn Laboratory to celebrate the completion of the University’s first green roof on a classroom building.

The environmentally friendly green roof was made possible thanks to grant funding and some unique engineering by the school’s landscape design program.

“This new green roof project at the University of Delaware is a great example of the power of public-private partnerships,” Carper said. “With support from the state of Delaware, DuPont and the University of Delaware, this project is helping to lower energy use, clean the air and teach sustainable environmental practices to future generations at the same time.” 

Cracking the oyster's code: International team of scientists finds adaptations to stress in oyster genome
09/24/2012 -

When it comes to stress, oysters know how to deal. The tough-shelled mollusks can survive temperature fluctuations, toxic metals and exposure to air, and a new study of their genetic makeup is helping to explain how. An international team of scientists, including the University of Delaware’s Patrick M. Gaffney, professor of marine biosciences, sequenced the genome of the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, in a Nature paper published on Sept. 19.

The people pipeline: Student's story illustrates how EPSCoR supports developing scientists
09/19/2012 -

Just as laboratories need pipelines for water and natural gas, they also need a “pipeline” that provides a continuous supply of people able to conduct research there. Making sure the people pipeline is full of well-trained individuals from its source in the elementary grades to its outlet in the academic and commercial laboratories of the world is one of the most important goals of Delaware’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR.