delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

NSF Highlight: Acid Rain: Scourge of the Past or Trend of the Present?
07/31/2012 -

Acid rain. It was a problem that largely affected U.S. eastern states. It began in the 1950s when Midwest coal plants spewed sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air, turning clouds--and rainfall--acidic.

07/26/2012 -

DOVER (July 27, 2012) – DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara is reminding Delawareans that good water conservation practices should be used year round – and especially in times of very hot and dry weather such as the state has experienced this summer.
“While some recent scattered showers are helping, conserving water during periods of heat and lack of rainfall will help preserve existing water supplies and reserve our storage,” Secretary O’Mara said. “Our water supply is a precious natural resource that Delaware residents have a direct influence on through our use and our conservation of it. Wise water use practices make good sense for the environment and for your pocketbook any time of year.”

Going with the flow:  Scientists studying ocean currents and oil spills with large-scale experiment
07/26/2012 -

Scientists are releasing hundreds of floating GPS devices into the Gulf of Mexico this week near the Deepwater Horizon site to study the role of ocean currents in oil spills. The experiment is the largest in scale of its kind, deploying 300 satellite-tracked, untethered buoys, called drifters, over the course of two and a half weeks.

“We’re trying to use the drifters as a simulation of an oil spill,” said Dennis Kirwan, Mary A.S. Lighthipe Professor of Marine Studies in the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. “This is a big event in oceanography.”

Analysis of the drifters’ travels will help researchers better understand ocean flow and improve predictions of oil plume movement should another spill occur in the Gulf or elsewhere in the world.

One World, One Health: UD to host inaugural animal, human, environmental health symposium
07/26/2012 -

0:50 a.m., July 25, 2012--The University of Delaware will host the inaugural animal, human, and environmental health symposium, Global Thinking for the Greater Good: Interdisciplinary Health Discourse and Research, in the Townsend Hall Commons on Wednesday, Aug. 22.

Next generation:  First Gamesa turbine generator made specifically for US market tested at UD's Lewes campus
07/25/2012 -

The University of Delaware’s wind turbine in Lewes will be the test site for Gamesa Technology Corp.’s first generator customized for the United States, to be used in its two-megawatt wind turbines.

Gamesa, a global leader in wind energy technology, is testing the new equipment for use in wind turbines throughout North America and Central America.

“Following completion of a successful bench test, Gamesa is now installing this new 60-hertz generator in UD’s already fully operational wind turbine to run field validation tests of the technology,” said Willett Kempton, professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

National Science Foundation: Ancient alteration of seawater chemistry linked with past climate change
07/20/2012 -

Scientists have discovered a potential cause of Earth's "icehouse climate" cooling trend of the past 45 million years. It has everything to do with the chemistry of the world's oceans.

07/20/2012 -

Delaware’s energy efficiency program has a small, tenuous funding stream, and needs new ideas to pay for programs if it is to stay relevant, the group’s executive director said.

New leader: Mark Moline takes helm as director of School of Marine Science and Policy
07/20/2012 -

When Mark Moline was an undergraduate, the biology major gained hands-on experience in marine science on research expeditions to Bermuda, Australia and Antarctica. Over the course of his career, he continued zigzagging around the globe to use underwater robots and remote sensing to better understand the ecosystems in which whales, penguins, plankton and other aquatic organisms live.

Weevils and weeds: UD researchers use weevils to check spread of prolific mile-a-minute weed
07/20/2012 -

Mile-a-minute weed has declared war on Doug Tallamy’s yard. This non-native, invasive vine is growing up his trees, scrambling over shrubs and smothering tree seedlings. By blocking sunlight, it weakens a plant by reducing its ability to photosynthesize.

Native Delaware: Butterfly season only average, according to UD entomologist and others
07/18/2012 -

Brian Kunkel’s weekend strolls at Middle Run Natural Area make him see red – not because he’s angry but because the red admiral butterfly has been abundant at this 850-acre park east of Newark. A large, red-banded butterfly, the red admiral has been seen in large numbers throughout Delaware this summer.