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

Space and Sea: Delaware Tech grads intern at UD through Space Grant program
08/27/2012 -

Three 2012 graduates of the electronics and engineering technologies departments at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown are spending the summer at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) working on projects funded through grants from the Delaware Space Grant Consortium.

The program, established in 1991, is funded by NASA in order to train students and researchers in the state of Delaware in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and geography.

Summer Achievements: Symposium highlights summer undergraduate service, research projects
08/27/2012 -

The University of Delaware hosted the third annual Undergraduate Research and Service Celebratory Symposium on Thursday, Aug. 9, in Clayton Hall.

The capstone event showcased the accomplishments of more than 330 undergraduate students who participated in summer research and service projects with faculty advisers and community partners.

On the front lines:  UD scientist sees Arctic ice loss firsthand
08/27/2012 -

The extent of sea ice in the Arctic has reached a record low, according to data released Aug. 26 by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

A University of Delaware marine scientist can confirm some of that ice loss firsthand. In a short video he produced, Andreas Muenchow, aboard the Canadian icebreaker Henry Larsen, shows the ice-free sea off Petermann Fjord that he and his colleagues were sailing in — an area that for ages had been covered by floating ice shelves.

NSF Career Award:  Geomicrobiologist receives prestigious NSF award for work on iron-microbe interactions
08/24/2012 -

Patches of orange slime with an oily sheen are not uncommon to see along stream banks, often mistaken for pollution or decomposing leaves. In fact, the substance is made by metal-eating bacteria that create oxidized iron, or rust, naturally in the environment.

University of Delaware geomicrobiologist Clara Chan studies the role of these rust-producing bacteria in water flowing both above and below ground, and she recently received a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to expand her research.

“Microbial iron cycling is important to understanding the chemistry of our waters,” said Chan, assistant professor of geological sciences in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE).

One World, One Health:  University of Delaware holds inaugural One World, One Health symposium
08/24/2012 -

The University of Delaware held its inaugural One World, One Health animal, human and environmental health symposium, titled “Global Thinking for the Greater Good: Interdisciplinary Health Discourse and Research,” in the Townsend Hall Commons on Wednesday, Aug. 22.

The event was sponsored by the UD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), the College of Health Sciences (CHS) and the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS).

The day started off with two concurrent morning sessions running from 9-11:30 a.m. The first, titled “Plugging In,” dealt with regional interdisciplinary health efforts and outlined ways in which University departments and individual researchers can “plug in” to ongoing and future projects.

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
08/07/2012 -

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.”