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2009 Maine EPSCoR State Conference

September 21, 2009
Wells Conference Center, University of Maine, Orono

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is a program directed at states that have historically received lesser amounts of federal R&D funding.  Through this program, states develop partnerships between their higher education institutions, industry, government, and others to effect lasting improvements in their R&D infrastructure, capacity, and national competitiveness.  Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine oversees and implements the NSF EPSCoR programs.

The goals of this conference are to:

  • provide information & networking opportunities for EPSCoR/IDeA programs
  • provide information & connections to help increase R&D capacity & competitiveness
  • provide networking opportunities for research & educational outreach collaborations
  • provide a showcase for research being done in the region

(Click on presenters name below to view their powerpoint presentation)

Monday, September 21, 2009: Wells Conference Center
7:30-8:00am Registration & continental breakfast
8:00-8:30am Welcome and Introduction
  • Miles Theeman, Chair, Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board
  • Dr. Michael Eckardt, UMaine Vice President for Research & Maine NSF EPSCoR Project Director
  • Vicki Nemeth, UMaine Director of Research Administration & EPSCoR
8:30-9:00am NSF EPSCoR National Program Update

Maine EPSCoR's Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI): Under a new five-year $20M NSF EPSCoR grant award, SSI will build dynamic relationship across the state to help solve various challenging problems related to natural and human landscapes. Attendees are encouraged to learn more about the project's scope in order to foster new interdisciplinary collaborations in this area.

   SSI Research Project Overview

   SSI Coupled Systems Modeling

9:45-10:00am Break

Maine EPSCoR's Sustainability Solutions Initiative continued:

   Knowledge to Action Partnerships:

   The Nature of Interdisciplinary Research and Education:

11:00 am-12:00pm

STEM Education & Workforce Development:

The National Science Board recommends advancing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education for all American students, to nurture innovation, and to ensure the long-term economic prosperity of the Nation. There is a pressing need to develop the ideas that could transform and strengthen the economy, ensure a skilled workforce for American industry, and guarantee that all American students are provided educational resources and tools needed to participate fully in the science and technology based economy of the 21st century. To that end, integrated educational outreach is a now required element of many federal funding opportunities. This session will provide participants with information about Maine's STEM education efforts, the new Maine STEM Collaborative, and new approaches to training our future STEM workforce.

   Overview of STEM Education in Maine:

  • Anita Bernhardt, Science & Technology Specialist & Regional Representative, Maine Department of Education
  • Jan Mokros, Director, Maine Mathematics & Science Alliance, & Chair, Maine STEM Collaborative

   Workforce Development & STEM Education:

   Broadening Participation Introduction:

  • Sandra Thomas, Director, Institute for Broadening Participation
12:00-1:00pm Lunch, networking, and viewing exhibits

Participants can select any of the following break-out sessions to attend. Federal funders are increasingly concerned with how well a proposed activity broadens the participation of underrepresented groups (i.e. gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, institutional, disciplinary, etc.) They consider diversity a key to utilizing all of the nation's intellectual and physical resources and essential to pursuing the goals of state science and technology plans. We are pleased to offer the following breakout sessions on Broadening Participation in order to showcase issues and best practices in the state in these areas. Additional sessions are also offered in the areas of technology transfer, cyberinfrastructure, and other EPSCoR/IDeA programs.

1:00-1:50pm A) Broadening Participation: Community Colleges:

Geospatial Technology Education: a collaboration  between UMaine Machias, University of Southern Maine, UMaine Augusta, and Washington County, Kennebec Valley, and Southern Maine Community Colleges

Central Maine Technical College: Virtual Ideation Platform (VIP) (NSF EPSCoR co-funded project)

B) Broadening Participation: Persons with Disabilities:

EAST Alliance for Students with Disabilities in STEM, USM (NSF EPSCoR (co-funded project)

Universal Design & Higher Education

Maine Transition Network - Region 3 (funded by Maine Department of Education)

  • Cindy Tuck, Transition Coordinator, Maine Transition Network

C) Technology Transfer 101:

This session will look at engaging commercial research collaborators, turning research into useful products and processes, and the resources available to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among students, businesses and faculty.

1:50-2:00pm Break
2:00-2:50pm D) Enhancing Communications for Collaboration with Cyberinfrastructure:

This session will bring you up to speed on innovative ways that researchers and educators can communicate with each other, how to effectively interact with today's tech-savvy youth in integrated research and STEM education activities, and how to communicate research results directly to the public. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit an application for free web-cams to use in their research and education projects (limited number available on a merit basis), and to try out actual equipment.

Updates on Maine's Networking Capabilities for Research & Education:

Getting Face-to-face with Web cams, Skype, & Video-Conferencing:

  • Eric Damboise, UMaine System

Tapping Into Social Networking Sites (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.)

  • Monique Bouchard, Consultant

Bringing Research into K-12 Classrooms & New Advances with Google Connections

E) Broadening Participation: Women & Girls:

Engaging Women and Girls in STEM:

NSF ADVANCE Program: Challenges for Women at the Faculty Level

F) Broadening Participation: Native Americans:

Native Scholar Educational Outreach Project (NSEOP):

UMPI's Project Compass for Native American Studies

  • Raymond Rice, Professor & Chair, Arts & Sciences, University of Maine at Presque Isle

G) Enhancing Communications for Collaboration with Cyberinfrastructure continued:

Presentations and hands-on activities continue from the previous session


H) Maine EPSCoR Sustainability Solutions Partners meeting:

Representatives from colleges, universities, and community colleges will learn more about collaborating with the Sustainability Solutions Initiative through its SSP program.

  • David Hart, Director, Senator G.J. Mitchell Center & SSI, UMaine

I) Other Federal Agency EPSCoR/IDeA Projects in Maine:

Learn about successfully funded  research programs in the state that have received other federal agency EPSCoR/IDeA support.


NASA EPSCoR: Real-time Wireless Shape Monitoring of Space Structures

DEPSCoR: High Temperature Microwave Acoustic Sensors for Aerospace Vehicle Health Management

DEPSCoR: Fatigue Life Prediction of Sandwich Composite Joints for Navy Seaframes

3:40-5:30pm Reception, Poster Session, and Networking Opportunities

Go Blue!

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