Fosters.com reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine State Beekeepers Association (MSBA) will offer a five-week Beginner Bee School from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 1 through Oct. 29, at Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen St., Springvale. Instructor Larry Peiffer, master beekeeper and former MSBA vice president, will discuss honey bee colonies, hive construction, pests and diseases, and honey production, according to the article. Participants also will observe area hives and gain hands-on experience during a field lab at a later date, the article states. Cost is $95 per person, $140 for two people who share materials, and includes a one-year membership in the York County Beekeepers Association. Sept. 24 is the deadline to register. More information and registration is online.
The Active Times named the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center one of “America’s Best College Gyms.” The article states “the fitness centers at these universities are more incredible than you could possibly imagine.” In selecting the 11 gyms that made the list, the organization said it considered everything from the size and layout of the facilities to the amenities and extras they offer. “The 87,000-square-foot facility houses everything you would expect in a state-of-the-art facility — and much more,” the article states of UMaine’s rec center, citing the floor-to-ceiling windows, 140 pieces of cardio and weightlifting equipment and indoor aquatic complex. “Students looking for outdoor adventure can rent cross-country skis and snowshoes from the rec center to explore the 15 miles of groomed trails in the adjacent DeMeritt Forest,” the write-up continues.
The University of Maine Center on Aging’s Senior Companion Program (SCP) currently has openings for qualified volunteers throughout the state.
SCP provides volunteer opportunities for limited-income adults age 55 and older. These volunteers, called Senior Companions, visit homebound older adults 15–20 hours per week to provide companionship.
Primarily funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service, SCP provides nontaxable stipends and partial travel reimbursement to Senior Companions.
In 2015, SCP had close to 100 active volunteers who visited more than 325 people on a regular basis, enabling both the Senior Companion and the client to maintain independence, often in their own homes.
For more information about SCP and other programs available at the UMaine Center on Aging, contact Wanda Lincoln at 581.3326 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Zachary Mason came to the University of Maine, he was unsure of what field he wanted to pursue. With strong interests in science and math, he joined a variety of clubs to dip his toes into different scientific disciplines.
When he signed up to attend a field trip with the UMaine geology club, he didn’t know anyone on the list.
A year later, he was elected president of the club.
“I was just a shy guy in a group of great people, barely even talking to other members,” Mason says. “But somehow they voted me the president for the next year. I must have done something right.”
The group was joining the New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference at Sugarloaf mountain to find marine fossils. The group hiked to the summit, where the director of the trip explained that the area they were exploring was once partially submerged by the ocean.
Mason was astounded.
“At that moment, I knew that this was the major to be in. I knew that geology would fulfill my academic desires,” Mason says.
Mason, an Earth science major with a minor in ecology and environmental sciences, is expected to graduate in May 2016.
For his Honors thesis, he is looking at when certain quartz-bearing boulders were deposited in Peru by glaciers using cosmogenic dating of beryllium. He hopes the inferences he makes will inform researchers about paleoclimate changes in the tropics, which can help researchers better understand and predict climate activity in the future. His research integrates topics from various geologic fields such as petrology, geochemistry, geochronology, climate science and glaciology. He was awarded a Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) grant to fund his summer research.
He recently completed a summer internship at the Northeast Geophysical Services in Bangor.
The internship is intended to equip students with knowledge of the latest methods in the field of geology. During the internship, he learned how to survey bedrock depth, groundwater contamination and buried drums/tanks.
Mason pursued the internship to take the knowledge he learned in the classroom a step further and apply it in the field.
“I enjoy interpreting and making inferences about the data I collect. I’ll take a day in the field over a day behind a desk anytime,” Mason says.
Hailing from Tweksbury, Massachusetts, Mason hopes to attend graduate school in a field related to geology — such as petrology, structural/tectonic geology or geochemistry. After his master’s, he plans on pursuing a career in mineral exploration with the eventual goal of earning a Ph.D. and teaching geology at the college level.
“I feel that UMaine has provided me with avenues to discover and explore, and the School of Earth and Climate Sciences has provided me with the resources and tools to further my goals of being a researcher in the sciences,” Mason says. “I believe my experiences at the university have allowed me to become more competitive as an applicant in the job market and for graduate schools.”
One of Mason’s most memorable UMaine experiences was traveling to Utah and Arizona with the geology club for Spring Break 2014. Destinations included Zion National Park and Grand Canyon National Park. It was one of the best trips of his life, Mason says.
Stephanie Welcomer, an associate professor of management and associate dean of the Maine Business School, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for the report, “Maine farmers sail to new markets the old-fashioned way.” As part of the Maine Sail Freight project, a 90-year-old, twin-masted schooner sailed into Portland harbor Thursday morning to pick up three tons of Maine-grown farm produce to bring to Boston, according to the report. While it’s part of a historical re-enactment, project organizers say they’re also interested in making a serious point about food systems and regional economics, and the idea is to educate people about local food systems and how relevant they are, even in a globalized economy, the report states. Even though Welcomer said she doesn’t think moving the bulk of our food around by sail is sustainable, the project does an important job of demonstrating how reliant all food production and distribution systems are on a fossil fuel-based transportation model. “And as we know, with climate change it’s important to think about how we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” she said, adding it involves coming up with new business models for the 21st century.
CBS New York cited research by University of Maine scientists for a report about a pending ban on lobster harvesting in the Long Island Sound. The moratorium aims to boost a lobster population that has decreased 95 percent, according to the report. Temperatures in the sound have warmed several degrees beyond what lobsters can tolerate, UMaine researchers told CBS2. The researchers said the sound was already on the edge for lobster survival, and warmer temperatures pushed them past the threshold.
The Republican Journal reported Judge Nancy Torresen, chief judge of U.S. District Court of Maine, will be the keynote speaker for “Justice Matters: When We Cry for Justice, What Do We Really Mean?” from 8:30 a.m.–noon. Sept. 18 at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast. The UMaine Peace and Reconciliation Studies program and the Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast will present the event in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Restorative Justice Project, which promotes fundamental change in the justice system and schools. A panel of five guests will join Torresen. The $15 registration fee may be paid at the door; students may attend for free. Registration information is online.
University of Maine alumnus and chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Religion at Rockford University in Illinois will deliver lectures and host a poetry program at UMaine in September.
John Burns, an associate professor of Spanish who teaches Latin American literature, will give the lecture “Behind The Savage Detectives: The Infrarrealist Movement” at 4 p.m. Sept. 16 in Hill Auditorium, Barrows Hall.
The talk will examine the genealogy of a group of Latin American poets known as the infrarrealists who lived in Mexico City in the mid–1970s.
On Sept. 17, Burns will take part in a lecture and discussion with the Bangor area’s CHISPA-Centro Hispano, titled “Aesthetic of the Rain: Translating the work of contemporary Chilean poet Raúl Hernández.” The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Hill Auditorium.
At 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, Burns will host “Secrets of the Old,” readings of William Butler Yeats’ most famous poems in the Bear’s Den Cafe & Pub in the Memorial Union.
Joining the worldwide celebration of Yeats’ 150th birthday, UMaine will feature an evening of speakers and readers with an open microphone. Guests are asked to bring their favorite Yeats poem to share.
During his visit, Burns also will meet with classes.
His UMaine appearance is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Honors College, School of Performing Arts, Department of Modern Languages, English Department, UMaine Humanities Center and Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series.
Burns’ recent publications include “Contemporary Hispanic Poets: Cultural Production in the Global, Digital Age;” “Aesthetic of the Rain,” a translation of work by Chilean poet Raúl Hernández; and “Una tribu de salvajes improvisando a las puertas del infierno: Antología Beat,” an extensive anthology of Beat poetry compiled, translated into Spanish and annotated in collaboration with Rubén Medina.
In a report on the closing of an outpatient opiate addiction treatment center in Sanford, Fosters.com cited an analysis released by the Maine attorney general’s office and conducted by Marcella Sorg, a research professor of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine. The study found drug-induced deaths in Maine rose from 176 in 2013 to 208 in 2014, an increase of 18 percent, according to the article. The increase was due largely to a rise in deaths from heroin/morphine and fentanyl, a synthetic opiate that is 40 to 50 times stronger than heroin, the article states.
Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for the report, “Maine Green Party opens some primaries to all independent voters.” At the Maine Green Independent Party’s recent state convention, the party decided to welcome all unenrolled Maine voters to help decide nominees in gubernatorial and legislative contests, according to the report. Brewer said the “Greens have been on the decline in Maine,” and opening the party primary to independents could help. “The Green profile would seem to have a relatively natural constituency here in Maine,” he said. “They’ve been in a lower profile recently. In my opinion that doesn’t mean they have to stay that way.”
Granite Geek published an article on a study conducted by a group of researchers including Brian Olsen, assistant professor of biology and ecology at the University of Maine. Some closely related bird species interbreed where their ranges overlap, producing hybrid offspring that can backcross with either parent species until a whole population of mixed-species birds forms in the area and creates what’s known as a “hybrid zone,” according to the article. In the coastal marshes of New England, this has been happening between the saltmarsh sparrow and Nelson’s sparrow, the article states. Olsen worked with researchers at the University of New Hampshire, the University of Delaware and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to capture and examine birds in hybrid zones on the coast of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The researchers found appearance alone is not enough to identify hybrid zone birds, and birds from further backcrossed generations were often indistinguishable from the parent species, the article states. Fifty percent of birds identified as pure Nelson’s or saltmarsh sparrows in the field turned out be the descendants of hybrids when their DNA was analyzed.
Neil Comins, a University of Maine professor of physics and astronomy, was quoted in the Kennebec Journal’s latest “Backyard Naturalist” column. In “M31 and the limits of visibility,” the author writes that decades ago, it was observed that Andromeda galaxy, or M31, is moving in our direction. Recently, some astronomers have found it’s likely the Milky Way and M31 will collide some 4 billion years from now, the article states. “The statistical likelihood that the sun will strike another star is extremely low ([though] not zero),” Comins said when asked about the predicted collision. “It is more likely that the gravitational attractions of passing stars from M31 will cause the Earth and other objects in the solar system to change orbits. Depending on how elliptical our orbit became, that could severely affect life on Earth. “That is, if there is any life here in 4 billion years,” he wrote, “which is shortly before the sun will end the life-supporting phase of its evolution.”
The Lincoln County News reported Allen Spinney, who works in maintenance at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center in Walpole, has been named Lincoln County’s Firefighter of the Year. The Lincoln County Fire Chiefs Association presented the award to Spinney during the organization’s annual meeting and lobster bake at the South Bristol Fire Department on Aug. 19.
The Maine Edge reported on scheduled public star shows in September 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. Friday nights in September feature “Undiscovered Worlds” and “Astronaut.” Sunday afternoons, which are geared toward younger audiences, show “Magic Treehouse: Space Mission” and “Earth, Moon and Sun.” Admission to all shows is $6, and seating is limited.
Mick Peterson, executive director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory and a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Maine, took part in a two-day equine surfaces forum held at the Fédération Equestre Internationale headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland in July, according to a news release.
Thirty-six equine, veterinary and footing specialists from Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the U.K. and the United States came together to discuss standards for arena surfaces in jumping, the release states.
Peterson spoke as part of a panel during the event.
“Everyone attending the forum has practical experience of events from all over the world, and everyone voiced the need by equestrian sport to demonstrate commitment to consistent footings at major events,” Peterson said. “It is critical that we retain our momentum so that we can provide consistent surfaces for all of the major events in the next year.”
The full release is online.
More than 2,000 first-year students at the University of Maine are expected to volunteer for community projects as part of the sixth annual Welcome Weekend Day of Service on Saturday, Aug. 29.
The Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism and First Year Residential Experience offer the Welcome Weekend Day of Service on the first weekend students are on campus to provide opportunities to volunteer at community organizations.
Community service is an important part of UMaine’s culture, says Lisa Morin, coordinator of the Bodwell Center.
“These projects give the students time to bond with others from their residence hall, allows us to show them how community service will enhance their UMaine experience, and provides valuable assistance to community organizations,” she says.
Led by 150 UMaine students, faculty and staff, first-year students will participate in more than 58 local, regional and international service projects both on and off campus.
Projects include washing Down East Emergency Medical Institute (DEEMI) vehicles in Orono; grounds work at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge in Alton, Leonard’s Mills/Maine Forest and Logging Museum in Bradley, Orono Bog Boardwalk, Orono Land Trust and Maine Veterans’ Home in Bangor; cleanup of the UMaine bike path, around Riverside Park in Old Town, downtown Orono and Alfond arena and stadium; gardening at Bangor Edible Park Collaborative, Orono Community Garden and for the Campus Greenhouse Project; collecting donations at the American Folk Festival in Bangor; and packing meal, hygiene and school kits on campus.
One project, the Bangor Edible Park Collaborative, was started by UMaine student David Patrick, with assistance from the Foster Center for Student Innovation and funding from the Maine Hunger Dialogue.
The Bangor Edible Park Collaborative is a group of individuals and organizations committed to advancing the vision of creating a sustainable, open and freely accessible food system for everyone in the community. This year marks the park’s first growing season.
At Manna Ministries in Bangor, students will work with Patrick to harvest, weed and do general area maintenance for the park.
Last year, approximately 1,900 first-year students volunteered for nearly 60 projects and logged 4,140 hours of service.
UMaine was one of 240 colleges and universities in the United States selected to receive the 2015 Community Engagement Classification of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The classification, which is valid until 2025, recognizes colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement.
The day will end with the President’s annual Dinner on the Mall from 5–6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. In case of inclement weather, the dinner will be held in the Field House. The dinner will feature food provided by UMaine Dining Services, lawn games and other activities provided by Campus Recreation, and music coordinated by Team Maine and UMaine Campus Activities and Student Engagement (CASE).
Following the dinner, the Traditions Ceremony and Class Picture will be on Morse Field, Alfond Stadium.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
The Maine Edge reported the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine is set to kick off its 30th anniversary season. “The 30th season — it’s hard to believe, but it really is very exciting,” said Danny Williams, executive director of the CCA. “For us as an organization, for the university, and for the community, this was an experiment that was put in place 30 years ago, that I think by any measure and all measures has been a success and that has led to other successful performing arts endeavors in our community.” The season’s opening gala performance, “Piano Men: The Music of Elton and Billy,” is slated for 8 p.m. Sept. 12 and will feature the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. “Our gala is definitely a nod to the anniversary by including the BSO,” Williams said. “The BSO opened the hall back in September of 1986 with Isaac Stern and Yo-Yo Ma, and now 30 years later we are so excited to be starting off the anniversary season with [the BSO].”
David Yarborough, a blueberry specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and professor in the School of Food and Agriculture, spoke with The Ellsworth American for the article, “Competition increasing for state’s wild blueberries.” Highbush blueberries — which can be cultivated easily and grow rapidly — are presenting increasing competition for Maine’s wild blueberries, according to the article. Yarborough said highbush blueberries can be propagated in three to five years, while wild blueberry bushes are often a century old. “We have plants we planted in the 1970s and they still haven’t filled in,” he said of UMaine Extension’s research station in Jonesboro. Yarborough said highbush blueberries also are tall — up to 6 feet — and yield more fruit than a wild blueberry bush, which might grow 1 inch per year. He said the number of acres devoted to wild blueberry production in Maine has decreased from 200,000 acres in the 1950s to 44,000 acres, according to the article.
A 2012 University of Maine Cooperative Extension newsletter on growing sweet corn in Maine was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article about “corn smut,” a fungus that grows in kernels, causing them to become grayish and bulbous. August is typically when corn smut is most often discovered in Maine, according to UMaine Extension. “This fungus disease is easily recognized by the large galls which form in the ears, tassels and on leaves,” the 2012 publication states. “The young galls are silvery-white in color. When the galls mature they rupture into masses of powdery, black spores.” UMaine Extension goes on to report there’s “no effective fungicide for corn smut,” the article states.
The Maine Edge reported the Maine Folklife Area at the American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront will celebrate the University of Maine’s 150th anniversary with programming provided by students, faculty and staff from several campus departments. The narrative stage in the folklife area will feature student performances on violin, fiddle, mandolin and guitar, as well as the UMaine Brass Quintet, according to the article. The Maine Folklife Area, which will be located off Front Street in between the food court and the Sea Dog Brewing Co., also is scheduled to include exhibits and displays from the Hudson Museum, 4-H STEM Ambassadors, the Maine Folklife Center, and the Page Farm and Home Museum. The festival runs Aug. 28–30. More information and a full schedule is online.