The mission of CEOE is to advance scientific knowledge of the ever-changing coupled natural and human systems for long-term sustainability by leading-edge research and effective teaching to ensure our science serves society by informing policy and engaging communities.

CEOE brings the latest advances in technology to bear on both teaching and conducting ocean, earth, and atmospheric research. We strive to educate well-rounded scientists and policy specialists with the broad vision needed to address today’s global problems.

Concerns such as climate change, globalization and migration, marine pollution, watershed degradation, energy independence and fisheries decline are at the heart of our work at CEOE. Meeting these challenges often demands expertise in several disciplines, and our curriculum and research portfolio reflect this reality.

Our distinguished faculty includes members of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Association of Geology Teachers, the Archaeological Institute of America, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, a Presidential Faculty Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar, and several University named professors.

Learn more about the history of the college.

News & Events

Professor Kyle Davis examines rice plants

A carbon sink shrinks in the Arctic

Research shows diminished capacity to absorb carbon dioxide. Read more > 

aculty and representatives from UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment and the Korea Institute of Marine Science and Technology Promotion attended a signing ceremony for a new memorandum of understanding. CEOE Dean Estella Atekwana is seated in the center of the first row.

Forecasting urbanization

Data science drives new maps to predict the growth of cities. Read more > 

Professor Kyle Davis examines rice plants

Studying mercury contamination

Research from James Pizzuto may help clean up VA River. Read more > 


Dr. Estella Atekwana
Dean, UD College of Earth, Ocean and Environment


Over the past month or so, faculty and leadership at the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment (CEOE) have reflected on how we can take meaningful action to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within CEOE and in the larger scientific and academic communities of which we are a part. I have appointed a new chair for our Committee on Diversity, Danielle Dixson, associate professor in the School of Marine Science and Policy. She is currently updating the committee’s membership and will be convening a first meeting of the revitalized group in the next few weeks.

We have also requested a DEI Climate and Engagement Analysis from the University’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. To be conducted by the office’s director for diversity education, assessment and outreach, Adam Foley, this analysis will assess the physical and social climate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in CEOE, and provide recommendations for an enhanced commitment to DEI through policy and practice.

This approach is entirely consistent with our approach as scientists—to gather and act on carefully identified data points. It also reflects our commitment to action above and beyond making statements of solidarity with our Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) communities. And by starting with a college-focused DEI analysis, we can ensure we take the kinds of actions that will lead to fundamental change in ways that will last.

The analysis will commence this month and will involve a five-stage process involving assessment of policies, procedures, and communication efforts; surveys of CEOE faculty, staff and students; and focused interviews. Anonymity will be preserved in that all raw data will remain with OEI and will not be shared with CEOE leadership. A final report including recommendations tailored to the college is expected in January.

This does not mean we will be waiting until January to begin to act, however. Along with our students and our peers in the geoscience disciplines, especially those from BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, we understand the urgency to act now and the importance of continuing to make consistent progress. I will continue to share updates about what we are doing as a college, and I invite all of you in our CEOE community to continue to communicate with me and others in the leadership about your concerns, your hopes, and your ideas for improvement. 

CEOE Committees & Their Work

In July 2015, the Acting Dean of CEOE formed a college-level Committee on Diversity.  

The committee supports the university-wide effort to develop and implement policies that, over long time periods, will enhance the diversity on our campus and ensure we are truly a welcoming, inclusive learning community that reflects our region and country.


Committee Members

Saleem Ali, Professor, Geography and Spatial Sciences Department

Eliot Atekwana, Professor, Earth Sciences Department

Estella Atekwana, Dean, College of Earth, Ocean and Environment (CEOE)

Jennifer Biddle, Associate Professor, School of Marine Science & Policy and CEOE ADVANCE Fellow

Clara Chan, Associate Professor, Earth Sciences Department

L. Pamela Cook, UD ADVANCE, Associate Dean, College of Engineering (ex-officio)

Danielle Dixson, Associate Professor, School of Marine Science & Policy and Chief Diversity Advocate

Mark Dobbins, Business Officer, CEOE

Heather Doty, UD ADVANCE, Assistant Professor, College of Engineering (ex-officio)

Kelli Kerbawy, Assistant Dean, Graduate Services, CEOE

Delphis Levia, Department Chair, Geography and Spatial Sciences Department

John Madsen, Department Chair, Earth Sciences Department

Madelynn Mickle, HR Manager, Human Resources (ex-officio)

Jame McCray, Delaware Sea Grant, Marine Advisory Service

Mark Moline, Director, School of Marine Science & Policy

Keeley Powell, Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Services, CEOE

Sharon Wiegner, Business Administrator, School of Marine Science & Policy

Joanna York,* Assistant Professor, School of Marine Science & Policy

*Previous Chief Diversity Advocate

The Safety Committee oversees environmental health and safety for the School of Marine Science and Policy, and assists the Departments of Earth Sciences and Geography and Spatial Sciences. The committee works closely with the University of Delaware's Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).


Committee Members

Dr. George W. Luther III, Chairperson (302-645-4208)
Joe Scudlark, Vice Chairperson (302-645-4300)
Bruce Campbell
Bill Fendt, EHS Representative
Chris Petrone
Suni Shah Walter
Donna Simpson
Jon Swallow
Ed Whereat
Andrew Wozniak
Timothy Bateman, Student Representative


Health and Safety Resources

CEOE is committed to collaborating with international partners to advance our joint understanding of the world. CEOE focuses on the following key strategic partnership areas internationally, although individual faculty members have research and relationships in countries around the world.

1. China - CEOE is building on its existing partnership with Xiamen University and expanding to other disciplines beyond marine science and policy.

2. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) - We are fortunate to have ties with many of these countries in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and the Pacific, and they face unique challenges and opportunities for which CEOE research can be an asset.

3. African Continent - Building on UD's strong faculty leadership and networks in Africa and the immense challenge of environmental and social harm, this continent has a deficit of major partnerships and great potential for high impact research.


Committee Members

Saleem Ali
Estella Atekwana
Eliot Atekwana
Danielle Dixson
Pablo Huq
David Kirchman
David Legates
Del Levia
Holly Michael
Lindsay Naylor
Art Trembanis
Ed Urban
Fabrice Veron
Xiao-Hai Yan

The college is examining where and how it can best contribute and lead and where the societal need is greatest. In addressing community needs, the college is fortunate to have valuable in-house capabilities that are already engaged with Delaware’s regional communities and focus on a host of critical issues, including those related to coastal resiliency and waterfront economic sustainability (Delaware Sea Grant), water supply and management (Delaware Geological Survey), and state climatology services (Center for Environmental Monitoring and Analysis).  The three academic units and engagement arms are, therefore, well-positioned to address the increasingly complex societal problems with our legacy of fundamental and applied research and exemplary education, while continuing to explore thematic, interdisciplinary areas that engage students, scientists, stakeholders and decision makers. 

This planning process recognizes that, along with these opportunities, we have a range of in-house challenges that need to be addressed, including priorities for infrastructure upgrades across two campuses in Newark and Lewes with limited investment capital and increasing resources for expanding experiential learning opportunities for students.


Committee Members

Dean Estella Atekwana
Deputy Dean Fabrice Veron, Co-Chair
Bonnie Ram, Co-Chair
Keeley Powell
Jeremy Firestone
Saleem Ali
Jen Biddle
John Madsen
Eliot Atekwana
Art Trembanis (Resigned)
Neil Sturchio
Jon Swallow
Mark Jolly
Sue McNeil (College of Engineering)
Mark Moline, Ex Officio
Del Levia, Ex Officio



Read an overview of the plan's six goals and related objectives, or download the full plan, at The Changing Earth: Working Together for a Sustainable Future.