delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

Climate change funding:  Partnership will bring teachers, scientists together on topic of climate change
08/15/2012 -

Delaware and Maryland teachers will have new resources to integrate climate change science into the classroom, thanks to a major multimillion dollar initiative announced by the National Science Foundation today.

The $5.8 million cooperative agreement supports implementation of the Maryland-Delaware Climate Change Education, Assessment, and Research (MADE CLEAR) partnership, an effort to forge new ways to deliver effective and relevant climate change education that could serve as a national model.

The MADE CLEAR partnership brings together of a group of experts in the fields of climate science and education, led by the University System of Maryland and University of Delaware, to provide a system of support for teachers in Maryland and Delaware. Focusing on grades 8-12, the network will also engage universities, state departments of education, and educators from natural resources agencies, museums, and aquariums.

Dam removal:  UD receives grant to restore habitat in White Clay Creek
08/15/2012 -

The White Clay Creek — a designated National Wild and Scenic River near Newark, Del. — will benefit from an $85,606 grant awarded to the University of Delaware through a national partnership between American Rivers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

American Rivers selected the White Clay Creek restoration project in Delaware as one of just six projects from more than 200 grant applications submitted nationwide. Projects in California, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Oregon will receive restoration grants. Delaware’s project is titled “White Clay Creek Dam No. 1 Removal.”

Removing White Clay Creek’s Dam No. 1, a historic colonial mill timber-crib dam built around 1777 near present-day Delaware Park, will reopen 3.5 miles and 42 acres of spawning habitat along the waterway in New Castle County for passage of anadromous fish (American shad, hickory shad, and herring) for the first time in over two centuries. It will also improve public safety, as the dam is in disrepair and in danger of failing.

NSF: A tree stands in the Sierra Nevada
08/08/2012 -

White fir, ponderosa pine, Jeffrey pine. Sugar pine, incense cedar, red fir: These are conifers of the headwater ecosystems of California's Sierra Nevada.  If trees could talk, what tales they might tell of the health of the forests, of the winter snows that fall on their branches and of how much water they transpire to the atmosphere.

Now one tree may be poised to do just that, or at least to offer new insights into a place called the critical zone: the region where rock meets life between the top of the forest canopy and the base of weathered rock.  The Critical Zone Tree, this white fir is called. 

Environmental lawyers:  Natural Resource Management turns out law school students, legal professionals
08/08/2012 -

Renee Connor had wanted to be a lawyer since high school and thanks to the University of Delaware’s Natural Resource Management (NRM) program, she is well on her way to achieving her goal. Connor has been accepted into the University of Maryland's Francis King Carey School of Law.

Connor, who graduated from UD in 2012 with a double major in NRM and political science, said that after figuring out that she wanted to pursue a career in law, she had to decide which branch of law she wanted to study. “When I looked into environmental law, that seemed like something I’d be really interested in,” she said, adding that it made sense to major in NRM to pursue a career in that field.

Native Delaware: Environmental explorers  Wilmington teens learn about environment via Green Jobs program
08/06/2012 -

On a recent sunny morning, two shimmering blue dragonflies darted by the mauve blooms of Joe Pye weed in a newly created wetland on University of Delaware’s Newark Farm. It created the perfect teaching moment for Jenny McDermott, facilities and land manager for UD's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, as she led a tour for teenagers participating in the city of Wilmington’s Green Jobs program.

“When we put this wetland in, some people were concerned that we’d have more mosquitoes in the chicken houses nearby but we actually have less of a problem. Can anyone tell me why?” asked McDermott.

“Dragonflies eat mosquitoes,” replied Elijah White, a 14-year-old who, in summer, lives with his mother in Wilmington and in Georgia during the school year. “We learned that from Mr. Jim White when we were at the DuPont Environmental Education Center.”

08/04/2012 -

For several days this month, Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations. Nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland, from its thin, low-lying coastal edges to its 2-mile-thick center, experienced some degree of melting at its surface, according to measurements from three independent satellites analyzed by NASA and university scientists.

News Journal: Delaware State Fair a showcase for the edible, flexible soybean
08/04/2012 -

A little soybean, smaller than a Skittle, both green in color and eco-kindness, goes a long, long way.  The uses for the tiny bean and in many cases, its oil, are enormous and environmentally friendly, creating a robust and desirable demand, particularly for anyone with a “green” conscience or the certain cachet that carries.


Native plants rule:  UD-created computer game teaches Delaware State Fair goers about 'green' plants
08/02/2012 -

Native plants rule when it comes to stormwater management – that’s the lesson children and other visitors to the Delaware State Fair learned when they stopped to play computer games at the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) exhibit in Harrington last week.

The games, developed by computer science and art students at the University of Delaware, aimed to help the public understand that some garden and lawn plants are better for the environment than others. Players chose different plants and then watched to learn how the plantings affected water, wildlife and people in the game.

In one example, players who chose plantings considered invasive saw the plants spread across the board and prevent them from planting other beneficial plants. This visual illustration quickly demonstrated what it might take people seasons to witness in their own backyard.

Turbine turns 2:  UD's wind turbine in Lewes marks second year of energy generation, research
08/02/2012 -

This past June marked the second anniversary of the installation of the University of Delaware’s wind turbine located in Lewes. Since it became operational in June 2010, the turbine has generated 9.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh), spinning out more than enough electricity to power the Hugh R. Sharp Campus.

“The turbine is a source of clean energy generation that powers our campus without polluting the air,” said Nancy Targett, dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. “Given its proximity to the ocean, it also serves as a unique platform for scientific research.”

A joint committee that includes UD and wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa Technology Corp. has been actively driving multiple collaborative research and development projects.

Academic career prep:  UD summer institute helps students prepare for academic careers
08/01/2012 -

Six highly motivated University of Delaware postdoctoral fellows and doctoral students from a range of disciplines dedicated a week of their summer, from July 23-27, to participating in the Putting Your Ph.D. to Work: Academic Career Preparation Summer Institute.

The institute was co-sponsored by UD's Office of Graduate and Professional Education, the Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning and the UD Career Services Center.

The institute focused on the dual goals of preparing participants for the academic job search and successful transition into the first year of an academic appointment.