University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

UD researchers develop models to improve environmental conservation on military bases
11/30/2016 -

Military installations in the United States are home to a surprisingly large number of threatened and endangered species, leaving the Department of Defense (DoD) with the critical dual responsibilities of ensuring that it provides the finest military readiness training to American service members and also that it protects the species that call those facilities home.

It is also mandated by the DoD’s Natural Resources Conservation program and the mission of its Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program that these two objectives be carried out in a cost effective manner.

Multi-institutional study sheds new light into global warming ‘hiatus’
11/23/2016 -

A new multi-institutional study of the so-called global warming “hiatus” phenomenon — the possible temporary slowdown of the global mean surface temperature (GMST) trend said to have occurred from 1998 to 2013 — concludes the hiatus simply represents a redistribution of energy within the Earth system, which includes the land, atmosphere and the ocean.

In a paper published today in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, lead author Xiao-Hai Yan of the University of Delaware, along with leading scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and University of Washington, discuss new understandings of the global warming “hiatus” phenomenon.

11/21/2016 -

Assateague Island National Seashore is known for its beautiful vistas and wild horses, but it also is home a wide range of flora and fauna. This fall, 23 University of Delaware students taking MAST421/461 coastal field biology spent a day in this outdoor classroom to learn about habitat by exploring and sampling the local area’s plant and animal life in the natural environment.

11/18/2016 -

The Delaware Junior Duck Stamp Program will host an art and conservation statement competition, a national art competition that is held each spring to select the design for the next Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Each state will submit its best of show artwork and statement for the national competition.

Novel study shows ‘cocktail’ of soil bacteria can protect rice plants from deadly forces
11/18/2016 -

University of Delaware student Jonathon Cottone knows the tell-tale signs that rice plants are getting sick: the yellowing leaves, the faint football-shaped lesions.

Cottone, a junior from Wilmington, Delaware, is working with Harsh Bais, associate professor of plant and soil sciences at UD, on research to help this globally important grain cope with increasing stress.

Recently, the UD team found that when rice plants are subjected to multiple threats — including increasing concentrations of poisonous arsenic in water and soil, an urgent concern in Southeast Asia, plus a fungal disease called rice blast — the plants aren’t necessarily goners.

11/09/2016 -

Students who are interested in making sound environmental policy have an opportunity to gain direct experience this winter and spring through a paid internship with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).

11/09/2016 -

If you’ve ever been to the beach, it’s likely that you have observed the foamy whitecaps that form as waves break along the shore or out at sea. For many, it’s a photo-worthy moment, but what most people don’t know is that the droplets contained in these whitecaps also serve an important role in our global weather and climate. Scientists call these droplets ocean spray.

11/07/2016 -

A new study published today in Scientific Reports by University of Delaware researchers and colleagues reveals that 100 feet below the surface of the ocean is a critical depth for ecological activity in the Arctic polar night — a period of near continuous winter darkness. It is at this depth, the researchers said, that atmospheric light diminishes in the water column and bioluminescence from marine organisms becomes the dominant light source. It also is the site of significant changes in the composition of luminescent organisms present in the water column.

11/03/2016 -

Lake Matano is located on a remote, difficult-to-reach island in Indonesia, but its waters offer up answers to a broad range of scientific questions ranging from pollution and predation to endemic species and evolution. For the University of Delaware’s Julie Maresca, the long journey to the lake, and the primitive research conditions she encountered there, proved worth the effort when she and her team made an important discovery about methane release in freshwater systems.

11/03/2016 -

Bio-fuels and bio-based chemicals have gained tremendous traction over the past decade as a means to produce alternatives to fossil fuels and to replace bulk chemical production methods that rely on petrochemicals.