University of Delaware
delware environmental institute


Environmental news from Delaware and the surrounding region.

Darrin Pochan named fellow of the American Physical Society
03/01/2012 -

DENIN affiliate Darrin Pochan, professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Delaware, has been named a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). The fellowship recognizes individuals who help advance physics through original and independent research. Membership as an APS Fellow distinguishes Pochan among the top one-half percent of all APS members.

03/01/2012 -

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) will hold a public information forum on the state’s Draft Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed on Wednesday, March 7 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the Farmington Volunteer Fire Co. at 20920 S. DuPont Highway (U.S. Rt. 13) in Farmington, DE. The final WIP will serve as Delaware’s long-range plan for using the most cost-effective means of reducing pollutants that enter instate streams and rivers that drain to the Chesapeake Bay.

Delaware has spent more than a year seeking public comments and input to help develop Delaware’s Phase II WIP, including hosting multiple public forums, conducting extensive outreach to industry and local government, establishing numerous stakeholder groups, and providing frequent email updates for interested groups and individuals. Following the initial rounds of public outreach, the state published its Draft Phase II plan on December 15, 2011, and will continue to accept comments on the draft plan through March 21.

NSF Career Award:  UD hydrogeologist Holly Michael receives prestigious grant for young faculty
02/28/2012 -

The most widespread contaminant of groundwater is not a microbe, industrial chemical or harmful element such as arsenic, according to University of Delaware geologist Holly Michael. It’s seawater.

“Salt is everywhere along the coast,” Michael said. “With sea-level rise, groundwater salinization could become more of an issue.”

The assistant professor of geological sciences in UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) is studying how seawater along the coast mixes with freshwater that flows underground, and she recently received a highly competitive Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to further her work.

02/27/2012 -

Report demonstrates importance of wetlands in cleaning water, reducing flooding, protecting the coast and providing habitat

DOVER (Feb. 27, 2012) – A new report released this week prior to the biennial Delaware Wetlands Conference concludes that despite heightened public awareness of the importance of wetlands and stronger conservation efforts throughout the state to combat their loss, Delaware continues to surrender critical wetlands at an alarming rate. “Delaware Wetlands: Status and Changes” documents that the loss of quality wetlands in the state far outpaces the acres of wetlands that have been created and restored. The report describes the valuable functions of Delaware’s wetlands, including helping to purify the state’s waters, reducing flooding by capturing and holding water, contributing to groundwater supplies, protecting the coast from storms, and providing critical habitat for fish and wildlife species.  The report also references recommendations made in an earlier report by national wetlands experts on best practices adopted in other states which could prove effective at reversing the trend of significant losses in Delaware.

March 5: Science Cafe returns:  Science Cafe to feature talk on toxic chemicals, politics and environmental ethics
02/25/2012 -

The Center for Science, Ethics, and Public Policy (SEPP) at the University of Delaware will bring its Science Café program back to downtown Newark this spring for more informal discussions among academic scholars and community members.  The events will be held at the Deer Park Tavern, 108 W. Main Street, from 5:30-7 p.m.

On Monday, March 5, McKay Jenkins, Cornelius Tilghman Professor of English, will speak about “What’s Gotten Into Us: Toxic Chemicals, Politics and Environmental Ethics.” Jenkins’ most recent book, inspired by a personal health crisis, is titled What’s Gotten Into Us: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World.

National leader: Delaware scientists and engineers rank first in publication of research
02/23/2012 -

Among university scientists and engineers, Delaware academic researchers are the most productive in the nation, far out-publishing their peers, according to a report prepared by the National Science Foundation and issued by the National Science Board.

According to Science and Engineering Indicators 2012, Delaware academics top the nation in the publication of research articles in scholarly journals — an important measure of productivity and contributions to scientific knowledge.

02/20/2012 -

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will hold a public information forum on the state’s Draft Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeak

On the radar: UD oceanographer Matthew J. Oliver honored as Sloan Research Fellow
02/20/2012 -

When the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships broadened in scope this year to include researchers in the ocean sciences, a UD oceanographer was among the first in the field to be selected for the honor.

Matthew J. Oliver, assistant professor of oceanography in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), received the award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation last week. The fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them among the next generation of scientific leaders.

02/14/2012 -

Senior Zach Elfers has not shampooed his hair in nearly three years. His friend, senior Shane Palkovitz, hasn't purchased clothing since high school.
Both students say they developed these habits to reduce their ecological footprints and benefit the environment.
Elfers says his hair used to get greasy if he went one day without shampooing it. He suspected the shampoo was disrupting his hair's natural oils, and after further research, realized he was right. Now, he only uses water to wash his hair.
"You have no idea what's in shampoo," Elfers says. "I don't know—and the cosmetics industry is entirely unregulated in the United States. The stuff that's banned from getting put in your food is in cosmetics."

02/10/2012 -

In the first comprehensive satellite study of its kind, a University of Colorado at Boulder-led team used NASA data to calculate how much Earth's melting land ice is adding to global sea level rise