The next Lexicon of Sustainability pop-up art show, sponsored by the University of Maine Office of Sustainability, is on display at Tiller & Rye, 20 South Main St., Brewer.
The exhibition, part of a national effort, is designed to spur community dialogue to help strengthen local food systems. Most recently, it was on display as part of the Bangor Artwalk.
The Lexicon of Sustainability, founded in 2009 by farmers and filmmakers Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard-Gayeton, focuses on sharing stories that explain sustainability. Lexicon uses information artworks, pop-up shows, street art, short films series and other formats to educate and engage people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America. Nearly 200 leaders in food and farming from across the country have shared their experiences as part of Lexicon of Sustainability.
Annually, Lexicon offers 100 artwork sets to curators. The UMaine Office of Sustainability and the other 2015 curators each will organize at least five pop-up art shows that involve local communities, then will act as lending libraries to schools and community groups.
At UMaine, the Sustainability Office is collaborating in its shows with the Humanities Center and the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center (IMRC).
Neil Comins, a University of Maine professor of physics and astronomy, was a recent guest on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio show. The show, titled “News out of NASA,” focused on the latest NASA projects including the New Horizons mission as it closes in on Pluto after a 3 billion mile journey from Earth.
The Bangor Daily News reported the University of Maine football team will have six of its contests broadcast on television throughout the 2015 season. Three games will be shown nationally under the league’s television package and several will air on WVII-ABC 7 Bangor, the official Black Bear television affiliate. All broadcasts on WVII also will be shown on WPME-Portland and Fox College Sports. More information, including the full 2015 UMaine football schedule is online.
The Portland Press Herald published the opinion piece “Public higher education cuts threaten class mobility, UMaine professor says,” by Mick Peterson, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine.
Learn to make dilly beans at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Preserving the Harvest workshop 5:30–8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, at the UMaine Extension office, 24 Main St., Lisbon Falls.
Extension food preservation staff member Kate McCarty will lead the workshop, which features hands-on, USDA-recommended food preservation methods, including hot water bath canning. Participants can take home the dilly beans they make.
Fresh produce, canning jars and other canning equipment will be provided. Participants should bring a pot holder.
Cost is $20 per person; partial scholarships are available. Register online by July 13. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 353.5550 or 800.287.1458 (toll-free in Maine).
Skylar Bayer, a graduate student at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center, will talk about storytelling on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio show at noon Thursday, July 2.
Bayer studies scallop reproduction and the sustainability of the scallop fishery in the Gulf of Maine. She also enjoys storytelling and recognizes it as an important tool for scientists.
“We need to be able to do more than communicate our findings to other scientists,” Bayer says. “We must be able to share our science with anyone. Scientists are people, too, and science affects all of us.”
After Bayer shared a story about calling her father from the submersible Alvin on the science podcast “The Story Collider,” she became a producer for the program.
Bayer also edits and writes for the StrictlyFishwrap blog, which she created to give graduate students an opportunity to practice their writing skills and share anecdotes about conducting research and job hunting. In 2013, she appeared on “The Colbert Report.”
Ever buy a fish at a pet store that died within days of being put in an aquarium at home?
The plastic bag in which the fish traveled home may be the culprit, according to research by University of Maine marine scientist Heather Hamlin.
Hamlin and colleagues discovered that certain plastic bags with FDA food-grade approval leach nonylphenol (NP) in concentrations that are highly toxic to fish.
The chemical NP — also found in food packaging, cosmetics and laundry and dish detergents — binds to estrogen receptors. Even at low concentrations, it mimics estrogen, which feminizes and alters fertility in fish, thus threatening their existence.
NP also has been found to alter fish immune function and damage DNA.
Hamlin’s findings, published in the journal Chemosphere, demonstrate that NP may pose a greater health risk to people, the ocean and to aquatic wildlife than can be predicted from examining properties of plastic from one manufacturer, which is the method the FDA currently uses to test for toxicity.
“This study contributes to the growing body of research highlighting concerns with plastic contaminants,” says Hamlin, an assistant professor of aquaculture and marine biology.
“While not all plastic is bad, this study highlights difficulties in differentiating good from bad plastic, and it makes sense to reduce the use of plastics if alternatives, such as glass, are available.”
For the study, for 48 hours, captive-bred orchid dottybacks (Pseudochromis fridmani) were kept in synthetic seawater in Teflon bags, glass bowls or in plastic bags from one of two manufacturers. The FDA labels both types of plastic bags as food-safe polyethylene.
All of the fish in Teflon bags and glass bowls lived for the 48 hours, while 89 percent of the fish in one manufacturer’s plastic bags survived, says Hamlin, a reproductive endocrinologist interested in mechanisms by which environmental factors influence aquatic animal reproduction and development.
In the other manufacturer’s plastic bags (PE2), 60 percent of the fish died within the two days. Those that survived 48 hours in the plastic bags all died within eight days of being released in an aquarium. This, says Hamlin, demonstrates the exposure to NP caused irreversible damage to the fish.
In 48 hours, the NP concentration in the seawater in the PE2 bags was 163 parts per billion (ppb), which is nearly 24 times higher than the U.S. EPA water quality criteria for acute exposure of NP in seawater.
While this study tested for the ability of NP to leach into seawater, Hamlin says it’s possible that food stored in the PE2 plastic bags could absorb increased levels of NP as well and that it’s likely that risks to aquatic animals exposed to increasing quantities of plastic waste could be greater than previously realized.
In 2010, industry demand for NP was estimated to be more than 170,000 metric tons; another study estimated as many as 12.7 million metric tons of plastic waste entered the ocean in 2010.
NPs, says Hamlin, enter aquatic systems though a number of ways, including wastewater discharge.
Studies have indicated NP can last for decades in estuary mudflats. And one survey of 93 organic wastewater contaminants in 139 streams in the United States revealed NP was one of the most commonly occurring contaminants and measured at higher concentrations than other contaminants.
Taking all of this into consideration, Hamlin says greater oversight on the manufacture of plastics and allowable thresholds of contaminant leaching is warranted.
Kathleen Marciano, who earned her degree in marine science with a concentration in aquaculture in 2014 from UMaine; and Craig Downs of Haereticus Environmental Laboratory in Virginia, helped lead the study.
Support for the project came, in part, from a Hatch Grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture as well as from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Small Business Innovation Research.
Photo courtesy of Sea & Reef Aquaculture
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
WVII (Channel 7) reported 13 female students from high schools around the state are spending a week participating in Sustainable Energy Leaders of the Future (SELF) at the University of Maine. The SELF Institute is a residential program that connects Maine girls from rural high schools to STEM careers through research, mentoring and community service in forest bioproducts. The group spent their week learning about different sustainable and renewable energy methods including hydrogen fuel cells, solar power, wind power, and exploring Maine’s available resources through field trips, according to the report. “Surrounding them with a bunch of girls that are also interested in it might encourage them that yeah there are more females that are actually interested in science and math and can do it; do it just as well if not better than a lot of the guys,” said Lindsey Smith, SELF camp counselor.
Doug Allen, a philosophy professor at the University of Maine, was interviewed by the Las Vegas Informer for the article “Long distance running: An interview with veteran peace activist Doug Allen.” When Allen, now 74 years old, arrived at UMaine in 1974, he helped found the Maine Peace Action Committee which is still going strong today, according to the article. Allen’s also a long-distance runner who runs five days a week, the article states.
Research by Todd Gabe, an economics professor at the University of Maine, was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article about Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci pushing forward a plan to raise the minimum wage in the city and tie future wage changes to inflation. If approved, Baldacci’s ordinance would incrementally increase the minimum wage in Bangor, bumping the lowest paid workers to $8.25 per hour in 2016, $9 per hour in 2017, and $9.75 per hour in 2018, according to the article. Gabe’s research found raising the minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.25 per hour would impact 7 percent of workers in the Bangor metropolitan statistical area, the article states. At $9 per hour, 12 percent of the workforce would be affected, and at $9.75 per hour, 18 percent would see an increase, Gabe determined.
Renee Kelly, director of economic development initiatives and co-director of the Foster Center for Student Innovation, was interviewed for a story in the June 22 issue of SAGE Business Researcher titled, “Should academic capitalism shape teaching and research?” The story explores the role of universities as engines of economic development, including the ethical questions regarding the potential of corporate funding “to harm the ability of faculty to teach and research freely.” Leading the story are details about UMaine’s partnership with Acadia Harvest in Brunswick, Maine, which Kelly describes as a win-win for the university, the startup and UMaine.
Mount Desert Islander reported Rick Wahle, a University of Maine research professor at the Darling Marine Center, addressed the first Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory Science Cafe gathering in June at the Asticou Inn in Northeast Harbor. Wahle’s talk covered the effects of ocean acidification, varying water temperatures and ocean current movement on the spread of lobster larvae and population, according to the article.
The University of Maine football team will have six of its contests broadcast on television throughout the 2015 season. Three games will be shown nationally under the league’s television package and several will air on WVII-ABC 7 Bangor, the official Black Bear television affiliate.
Maine’s home opener against Rhode Island will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 26 on the American Sports Network. The Black Bears homecoming showdown with Yale at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 17 will be shown locally on WVII. The following week, Maine will host Stony Brook on WVII, with kickoff set for 12:30 p.m. Oct. 24.
On Oct. 31, the Black Bears will travel to Villanova for a nationally televised broadcast on the NBC Sports Network beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Maine’s final two home contests will close out the TV package for the Black Bears with the Nov. 7 date with Towson kicking off at 7 p.m. on the American Sports Network and on WVII at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 14 against Elon.
The TV schedule is subject to change. All broadcasts on WVII also will be shown on WPME-Portland and Fox College Sports.
Tickets to home Black Bear football games are available online or by calling the ticket office at 207.581.BEAR.
Cason Snow, metadata librarian/cataloger at the University of Maine was recently awarded a Judges’ Spotlight Award for the 2015 ENnie Awards for his book “Dragons in the Stacks: A Teen Librarian’s Guide to Tabletop Roleplaying.” The book was published in 2014 by Libraries Unlimited and is a part of their Libraries Unlimited Professional Guides for Young Adult Librarians Series.
The book explains why role playing games are so effective at holding teenagers’ attention, identifies their specific benefits, outlines how to select and maintain a RPG collection, and demonstrates how they can enhance teen services and be used in teen programs. Detailed reviews of role-playing games are included as well, with pointers on their strengths, weaknesses and library applications.
The Gen Con EN World RPC Awards (the “ENnies”) are an annual fan-based celebration of excellence in tabletop roleplaying gaming. The Ennies give game designers, writers and artists the recognition they deserve. It is a people’s’ choice award, and the final winners are voted upon online by the gaming public.
Snow is the author of several articles on role playing in libraries including “Playing with History: A Look at Video Games, World History, and Libraries;” “Tabletop Fantasy RPGs: Tips for Introducing Role-Playing Games in Your Library;” and “Dragons in the Stacks: An Introduction to Role-Playing Games and Their Value to Libraries.” He received a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and a master of arts degree in history from Northern Illinois University.
The Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald reported that Ryan Low, vice president of administration and finance at the University of Maine, will become the chief financial officer for the University of Maine System. The promotion is part of the system’s move toward combining the financial management of the seven universities, according to the Press Herald. Low is tasked with overseeing the system’s Unified Finance and Administrative Model, which trustees approved in May as part of Chancellor James Page’s One University initiative, according to the BDN. Under that model, the system creates the budget and passes allocations down to campuses instead of campuses proposing their own budgets to the system, the BDN article states. “Ryan has the financial acumen, commitment to collaboration and credibility needed to unify our seven, siloed, financial systems into one seamless, statewide model,” said Samuel Collins, UMS board of trustees chairman.
An archival University of Maine photograph of cows grazing in front of Carnegie Hall Library in the early 1900s is on the cover of the July issue of College and Research Libraries News. Andrew Carnegie donated $50,000 to construct Carnegie Hall as the campus library in 1907, according to the Association of College & Research Libraries publication. In 1947 the library moved to what is now the Raymond H. Fogler Library. The image is part of Fogler Library’s DigitalCommons collections.
Ivan Fernandez, a professor in the Climate Change Institute and School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine, was mentioned in the Portland Press Herald article, “Sea change: Challenge of climate change presents opportunity for new energy.” The article focused on a recent Envision Maine event to discuss climate change and Maine’s economy. More than 300 business owners, civic leaders and scientists attended the event which featured 30 presentations on the many threats associated with a warming climate, according to the article. Fernandez suggested the best response for dealing with climate change challenges is to multiply the ways residents creatively address interlinked economic and ecological challenges.
The Weekly and The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release about scientists who traveled to Mongolia to learn about processes that launch Earth out of an ice age. Aaron Putnam, a research associate with UMaine’s Climate Change Institute, is conducting glacial geology research with doctoral student Peter Strand. Fieldwork will include mapping and collecting samples of moraines and glacial geomorphologic features around Khoton Nuur. Strand and Putnam are blogging about their experiences during the monthlong trek, which is being done in collaboration with Mongolia University of Science and Technology.
The University of Maine was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article about a manuscript by author and UMaine alumnus Stephen King. An Auburn bookstore manager believed he had the working version of a manuscript that eventually became “Under the Dome,” a King novel that was turned into a TV series, according to the article. Marsha DeFilippo, King’s assistant, said the manuscript is a copy and not an original, the article states. DeFilippo said King has donated many of his original papers to Fogler Library. “Most of it is already at the University of Maine,” she said.
The Maine Edge reported on scheduled public star shows in July at the University of Maine’s Emera Astronomy Center. The Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium shows are held 7 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Additional shows at 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays will run throughout the summer. Friday nights in July feature “Astronaut” and Sunday afternoons feature “Magic Tree House: Space Mission,” for younger sky watchers. “Secret of the Cardboard Rocket” will be shown on Tuesdays, with “Cosmic Journey” on Thursdays. Admission to all shows is $6, and seating is limited.