University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

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.

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.

07/27/2012 -

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
07/27/2012 -

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.