Three University of Delaware faculty
members, including the College of Arts and Sciences' Adam Rome, have been appointed to new chairs for environmental research
through the generous support of the Unidel Foundation. Rome has been named the Unidel Helen Gouldner
Chair for the Environment, Kent Messer has
been named the Unidel Howard Cosgrove Chair for the Environment, and Holly
Michael has been named the Unidel Fraser Russell Chair for the
Interim Provost Nancy Brickhouse announced the positions, all of
which are five-year career development chairs, on Aug. 14. The positions are
effective Sept. 1.
"I am pleased to announce these well-deserved appointments, which
recognize the accomplishments of three outstanding faculty members who
are doing valuable work in the field of environmental research,"
Brickhouse said. "Kent Messer is making important contributions in the
study of land use and sustainable development, Holly Michael has
received national attention for her work in coastal groundwater and its
significance for understanding and protecting the environment, and Adam
Rome has won praise for his research and writing on the history of the
ouse added that the University is deeply appreciative of the
Unidel Foundation for its funding of the chairs, which support "The
Initiative for the Planet" milestone in UD's Path to Prominence
In addition, Brickhouse thanked the committee that reviewed the
candidates for the career development chairs. Donald L. Sparks, director
of the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN), chaired the group,
which also included Dominic DiToro, Edward C. Davis Professor of Civil
and Environmental Engineering; McKay Jenkins, Cornelius A. Tilghman Sr.
Professor of English; James Kendra, director of the Disaster Research
Center; George Luther, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of
Marine Studies; and Cathy Wu, Unidel Edward G. Jefferson Chair of
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.
Rome is an environmental historian with an emphasis on the environmental history of America.
He is the author of the recent book The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation, which was widely praised and was featured in an April 15 "Critic at Large" piece in The New Yorker. Rome has discussed the book and his research on Radio Times on WHYY, at Georgetown University's Center for the Environment and at Hagley Museum and Library.
His first book, The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism, won the Organization of American Historians' Frederick Jackson Turner Award.
Rome served as editor of the journal Environmental History from 2002-05.
A member of the UD faculty since 2010, Rome is an associate professor
in the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences with a
joint appointment in the Department of English. He assisted in
developing an interdisciplinary minor in environmental humanities.
He received his doctorate in history from the University of Kansas in 1996 and was a Rhodes Scholar in 1980-81.
e Unidel Helen Gouldner Chair for the Environment is a five-year
career development chair named in honor of the late Helen Gouldner, who
served as the first female dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from
Messer's research interests include environmental conservation with a focus on land use and sustainable development.
He is managing editor of the journal Agricultural and Resource Economics Review and co-author of the 2011 textbook Mathematical Programming for Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics.
Messer is co-principal investigator on a three-year, $6-million
National Science Foundation grant to establish a regional water
resources network, as the Delaware Experimental Program to Stimulate
Competitive Research (EPSCoR) partners with similar programs in Rhode
Island and Vermont.
Messer, who joined the UD faculty in 2007, is an associate professor
in the Department of Applied Economic and Statistics in the College of
Agriculture and Natural Resources with joint appointments in the
Department of Economics in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and
Economics and the School of Marine Science and Policy in the College of
Earth, Ocean, and Environment.
He is director of UD's Laboratory for Experimental and Applied
Economics and an affiliate of the Delaware Environmental Institute.
Messer received his doctorate in resource economics from Cornell University in 20
The Unidel Howard Cosgrove Chair for the Environment is a five-year
career development chair named in honor of the former chairman of the
University's Board of Trustees.
Michael's research interests include coastal groundwater dynamics,
submarine groundwater discharge and associated chemical fluxes,
groundwater-surface water interaction, water supply sustainability,
water resources in developing countries and hydro-economics.
In 2012, she was named the recipient of a highly competitive National
Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award to further
her work studying how seawater along the coast mixes with freshwater
that flows underground.
Michael, who joined the UD faculty in 2008, is an assistant professor
in the Department of Geological Sciences in the College of Earth,
Ocean, and Environment with joint appointments in the Department of
Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Department of Geography and the
School of Marine Science and Policy.
Michael received a doctorate in hydrology from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in 2005, studying the seasonal dynamics of
coastal aquifers. She completed postdoctoral research with the U.S.
Geological Survey and Stanford University.
Her research has been published in Nature and Science, among other journals, attracting media coverage from The New York Times and other international outle
The Unidel Fraser Russell Chair for the Environment is a five-year
career development chair named in honor of T.W. Fraser Russell, Allan P.
Colburn Professor Emeritus of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.