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Advances in the environmental sciences, energy technologies, and other discoveries yet to be imagined will transform our world in the coming decades. University of Delaware scientists from a variety of fields are working across disciplines to contribute to these world-changing discoveries.

Our approach is that of collaborative partnerships among disciplines, bringing together scientists and engineers with policy makers, social scientists and other researchers from across the globe. Often this means that the most innovative work is taking place in interdisciplinary research centers focused on a particular problem rather than in departmental silos.

Environmental research at UD is rich and diverse and involves researchers at all levels from undergraduate students to full professors. Click the links below to find out how we are working for the planet.



Center for Applied Coastal Research: focal point for research in coastal processes and coastal engineering
Director: Nobu Kabayashi

Center for Carbon-Free Power Integration: facilitating the transition to power generation using carbon-free geophysical flows, including surface wind, geostrophic winds, and ocean currents
Director: Jeremy Firestone

Center for Climate and Land-Surface Change: interdisciplinary research center designed to foster collaboration among Earth scientists who focus on climate and/or land surface processes
Directors: Cort Willmott and Michael A. O’Neal

Center for Energy & Environmental Policy: leading institution for interdisciplinary graduate education, research, and advocacy in energy and environmental policy
Director: John Byrne

Center for Environmental Genomics: cutting-edge research in environmental genomics
Director: David Kirchman

Center for Fuel Cell Research: promote basic and applied research to improve fundamental understanding of fuel cells and address critical barriers to commercialization
Director: Ajay Prasad

Center for Remote Sensing: remote sensing of the physical, geological, and biological properties of the oceans and the coastal zone
Directors: Xiao-Hai Yan and Victor Klemas

Center for Science, Ethics and Public Policy: integrating ethics and public policy inquiry with scientific research, the university curricula, private sector innovation, and government policy making
Director: Tom Powers

Center for the Study of Metals in the Environment: multi-institutional consortium of scientists and engineers working to further understand processes affecting the fate and effects of metals in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
Director: Dominic M. DiToro

Christina River Basin Critical Zone Observatory (CRB-CZO): environmental observatory established to study chemical, physical and biological interactions that shape the Earth's surface
Director: Donald L. Sparks

Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN): conducting research and coordinating partnerships that integrate environmental science, engineering, and policy in order to provide solutions and strategies that address environmental challenges
Director: Donald L. Sparks

Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS):  provides state agencies and the citizens of Delaware with immediate information about environmental conditions in and around the state and archives data for historical environmental studies and research
Director: Kevin Brinson

Delaware Geological Survey: geologic and hydrologic research and exploration; dissemination of information through publications and public service
Director: David R. Wunsch

Delaware Water Resources Center: working to develop a statewide program designed to resolve state and regional water-related problems
Director: J. Thomas Sims

Disaster Research Center: social scientific study of disasters
Director: James Kendra

Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy: research and policy studies on the management of ocean and coastal areas at national, regional, and global scales
Director: Biliana Cicin-Sain

Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands:  assisting the world’s governments with policy issues related to oceans, coasts, and small island developing states
Director: Biliana Cicin-Sain

Halophyte Biotechnology Center: sustainable saline agriculture and wetlands restoration
Directors: John L. Gallagher and Denise M. Seliskar

Institute of Energy Conversion:  developing the fundamental science and engineering base required to improve photovoltaic device performance and processing technologies, then effectively transferring these laboratory results to large-scale manufacturing
Director: Robert W. Birkmire

Institute for Soil and Environmental Quality: research, outreach, and education programs that provide science-based solutions to the many environmental problems involving soil resources
Director: J. Thomas Sims

University of Delaware Energy Institute: creating and integrating new solutions to challenges in energy sufficiency and sustainability
Director: Michael T. Klein

Water Resources Agency: water resources planning and policy assistance to governments in Delaware, the Delaware Valley, and along the Eastern Seaboard
Director: Gerald J. Kauffman



University of Delaware Research Office

Undergraduate Research Program


College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

College of Arts & Sciences

Lerner College of Business & Economics

College of Earth, Ocean & Environment

College of Education & Human Development

College of Engineering

College of Health Sciences