The Initiative for the Planet: Current Initiatives

In summer 2010, the University and Gamesa Technology Corporation installed a utility-scale, 2-megawatt wind turbine on UD’s campus in Lewes. The onshore turbine meets the energy needs of the Lewes campus and will be a catalyst for additional research in offshore wind energy potential. UD and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory are collaborating on offshore wind research and facilitating the testing of commercial wind turbines off the Delaware coast.

UD WATER (Watershed Action Team for Ecological Restoration) is designing and implementing practices to protect White Clay Creek, a wild and scenic river that runs through the Newark campus. Wetlands, stream corridors and habitats are being enhanced along the river’s tributaries that pass through the farm operated by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

A new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory will catalyze interdisciplinary research and education in energy and the environment. The UD Energy Institute, the Delaware Environmental Institute, the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy and the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation will be housed in the new facility, along with multi-college research groups studying energy and the environment.

New undergraduate majors have been established in environmental studies and energy and environmental policy. The existing environmental science major has been revised, and new interdisciplinary graduate programs in biogeochemistry and water science and policy are being developed. The College of Education and Human Development and the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment are focused on improving K–12 STEM education in order to develop a strong pipeline of climate change scientists. And a new environmental web portal provides a central location for students, faculty, staff and the public to learn more about UD’s environmental programs.