Delaware Environmental Institute

Category: Students In Action

  • Vanessa Richards: Her Research on Viruses in Soybean Roots Could Help Fight Climate Change, Reduce Water Pollution, and Feed the World

    It sounds too good to be true. How could a virus in plant roots do all that? Soybeans are essential in meeting future food needs for both people and livestock. As world population increases, the protein from soybean-containing tofu and soymilk and many

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  • Max Huffman: Modeling Sediment Storage to Help Improve Streamside Restoration Strategies

    “I grew up in a town that’s kind of obsessed with rivers,” says Max Huffman. “Pittsburgh is geographically dictated by three major rivers. I grew up along the Ohio, and there you see this contrast between what humans have done and what nature has done.

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  • Mary Hingst, Accidental Hydrogeologist

    “I never knew I wanted to be a hydrogeologist until I became one,” says Mary Hingst, doctoral candidate in Water Science and Policy at UD. Hingst was recently named a DENIN Environmental Fellow for 2021–2023 in support of her work on groundwater salini

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  • Lauren O’Connor, Advocate for Aquatic Ecosystems

    Lauren O’Connor grew up near Lake Champlain in upstate New York and spent much of her free time there. Her family would go boating, and in the winter she’d play ice hockey. She also enjoyed the lake as a place to go for alone time with her dogs. “My wh

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  • Paula Cárdenas-Hernández: New DENIN fellow is researching how to remove explosives from soil

    Paula Cárdenas-Hernández was recently named a DENIN Environmental Fellow in support of her doctoral research on the development of a model to predict the breakdown of explosives in soils. Cárdenas-Hernández feels that despite growing environmental awar

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  • Hayden Boettcher: How Do Microplastics Affect Delaware’s Blue Crabs?

    As part of an undergraduate research program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Hayden Boettcher visited the remote Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos, about 385 miles east of Cuba. There he came upon a beach littered with plastic. The sheer a

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  • Andrew Hill: What’s the Role of Salt Marshes in Forestalling Climate Change?

    Andrew Hill is the first person in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree. “I’ve always loved school, and it’s hard for me to stop going to school,” he says. “I have to keep learning.” Hill is exploring gas exchange in a salt marsh ecosystem at St. Jon

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  • Sean Fettrow: Salt marshes—The climate change connection

    Sean Fettrow loves the interdisciplinary nature of his research on the biogeochemistry of soil carbon in coastal wetlands. “Biogeochemistry encompasses three different fields of study,” he says, “so this seemed a perfect career track for me.” Fettrow i

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  • Mentorship yields pay-dirt all around

    “From the first moment I met Monica,” Kathryn Szerlag said, “I knew she was a different kind of undergraduate.” Monica Elavarthi began working with Szerlag, a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Donald Sparks’s Environmental Soil Chemistry lab, in summer 2018 throu

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  • Fatemeh Izaditame studies how sea-level rise may affect arsenic pollution in Wilmington-area soils

    In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, tanneries were big business on the waterfront in Wilmington, Delaware. With their heavy use of arsenic, chromium, and other metals, these tanneries left a legacy of toxic chemicals in the ground. Analysis by t

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