Mark Hutchinson, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and professor, demonstrated how to build a home compost pile on the latest installment of the “Backyard Gardener” series on WVII (Channel 7). Hutchinson said composting can dramatically improve soil’s fertility, meaning better root systems and healthier plants for the next gardening season.
Maine Bound’s rock climbing gym at the University of Maine was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article about an Orrington family who pursues the sport together. The family’s two children have been regulars at Maine Bound since before they could walk, their parents said. Andrew Krause, trip logistics manager at Maine Bound, said the majority of young rock climbers who start in the gym are around 8 or 9 years old. In order to climb without an adult, climbers must be at least 16 years old and pass a skills test, he said. “In the gym setting, there’s no danger at all. It’s more of a maturity thing,” he said. “Climbing requires a lot of mental focus and finding out what you’ll do on the wall, so there’s a lot of mental maturity that you need.”
The Penobscot Bay Pilot reported students from six coastal and island high schools gathered on Hurricane Island in Penobscot Bay for the second year of the Eastern Maine Skippers Program and its collaborative, yearlong project addressing the question, “How can the impact of the green crab population be controlled in a way that conserves the marine ecosystem and encourages new industry?” Before beginning fieldwork, students worked with researchers including Noah Oppenheim, a graduate student in the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences, according to the article. Oppenheim helped teach the students different sampling techniques that could be used in assessing green crab abundance in the intertidal zone, the article states.
Maine AgrAbility is sponsoring a demonstration of equine-assisted therapy for veterans 1–3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24 at Thistle Ridge Equestrian Centre, 1289 Village Road, Smithfield.
Charmaine Bouford, certified rehabilitation counselor for SpiritHorse Therapeutic Center (SHTC) and a registered therapeutic riding instructor, is the presenter. The demonstration, which is for veterans, service providers who work with veterans, people interested in learning more about equine therapy and the general public, is free for veterans. A $20 fee for nonveterans supports programs at SHTC.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension partners with the National AgrAbility Project to work with farmers, farm workers and farm family members with a chronic health condition or disability. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Lani Carlson, 207.944.1533, 800.287.1471 (in Maine).
The Eastern Maine Orchid Society (EMOS) will meet at the University of Maine’s Roger Clapp Greenhouses at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18. During their meeting, society member Janelle Delicata will demonstrate how to build an orchid terrarium. The completed terrarium will be auctioned with proceeds going to the EMOS scholarship that is awarded to a UMaine horticulture student. The meeting will also feature the society’s annual plant swap. The meeting and swap are free and open to the public. For more information, call Delicata at 944.8822.
Carol Kim, a University of Maine microbiologist and vice president for research and graduate school dean, spoke with WVII (Channel 7) about a research team led by UMaine scientists that has shown two strains of human influenza A virus (IAV) can infect live zebrafish embryos, and that treatment with an anti-influenza compound reduces mortality. It is the first study establishing the zebrafish as a model for investigating IAV infection. “What we can do is we can infect the zebrafish with a virus that say is tagged with a green fluorescent protein or red fluorescent protein and we can actually watch as the infected fish, what tissue it infects and then what are the immune cells doing,” Kim said. She added the study also was a great educational experience for students.
John Rebar, executive director of the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension, was quoted in reports by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network and WVII (Channel 7) about representatives from the state’s agriculture, dairy and veterinary industries urging Maine voters to support Question 2 on the November ballot. The bond would give $8 million to UMaine Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. Rebar said the lab currently is spread across two locations that were built in the 1940s and 1970s. The lab is not bio-secure, meaning it can’t be used to test pests that may have infectious diseases. Rebar also spoke of the economic impacts a new lab would have on the state, such as being able to improve the health of Maine’s moose population.
The Weekly previewed the University of Maine Museum of Art’s four new fall exhibitions. The exhibits — “Out of Nowhere: John Gallagher Paintings, 1996-2014;” “The Little Fools: Roz Leibowitz;” “Staring at the Sun with a Penny in my Pocket: Matt Phillips;” and “Tales from the Turnpike: Suzanne Laura Kammin” — opened Oct. 3 and run through Jan. 3 at the Bangor museum.
Aram Calhoun, a professor of wetland ecology at the University of Maine, was quoted in an Associated Press article about research being done by Bowdoin College biologist Nathaniel Wheelwright, who said he found evidence of a mass die-off of wood frog tadpoles. Wheelwright documented the die-off of about 200,000 tadpoles in a pond in his backyard, igniting new interest among scientists in ranavirus, a disease that can cause swift mass deaths of amphibians, according to the article. The disease causes amphibians, especially larvae, to swell and hemorrhage, the article states. Calhoun said long-term data about ranavirus die-offs are needed to determine if the deaths in Wheelwright’s pond are alarming. “What I don’t think is we should be extrapolating what happened in his pool to all pools in New England and say that’s a trend, because we really don’t know that,” she said. The Sacramento Bee and Brattleboro Reformer carried the AP report.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Ryan Neal, program director of the Maine Development Foundation, about the fourth quarterly report analyzing critical economic indicators in Maine released by the foundation and the University of Maine. The latest report, “Strategic Land Conservation in Maine,” looks at the multiple benefits of conserved land, such as recreational opportunities and protection of habitats and working landscapes, and the distribution of conserved acreage in an attempt to understand the impacts of conserved lands, set priorities and ensure a high return on investment. Michelle Johnson of the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, who recently received her doctorate in ecology and environmental sciences from UMaine, wrote the report.
Mainebiz published an article on Dan Kerluke, a former associate head coach for the University of Maine hockey team, and the startup he co-founded to create a hockey goaltending analytics app. Kerluke started Double Blue Sports Analytics with David Alexander, who was a UMaine goalie coach, and Tim Westbaker, a computer programmer and UMaine alumnus. The company’s 360 Save Review System has earned praise from one NHL.com writer and professional goalies for the Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Louis Blues, according to the article. The company is a tenant of the Target Technology Incubator, an Orono facility that was developed by UMaine and the Bangor Target Area Development Corporation to provide an environment for business development and commercialization activities for innovation-based startups.
The University of Maine was mentioned in a SeacoastOnline article about a Kittery business owner who hopes to open Maine’s first sake brewery. Dan Ford, owner of Blue Current Brewery, launched a Kickstarter campaign to help launch his company. Ford said he designed his own fermentation and storage tanks, and the rice steamer he uses was created to his specifications by UMaine engineering students.
Staff from the University of Maine’s Highmoor Farm in Monmouth will be on the Orono campus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, selling apples and pumpkins. The sale will be located by the Cyrus Pavilion Theatre between Winslow Hall and Fogler Library, weather permitting. A rain date is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16. For more information, including pricing information, visit the Highmoor Farm website or contact Greg Koller, Highmoor Farm superintendent, at 207.933.2100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lord Hall Gallery at the University of Maine presents a new installation, “Ground/Underground,” by sculptor and painter Dudley Zopp.
The exhibition, which runs from Oct. 10 through Nov. 14, is a continuation of Zopp’s “Erratics” sculptures, and features new, large-format watercolor paintings and 700 smaller oil paintings that suggest geological sediments.
For “Ground/Underground,” Zopp will install a series of articulated builder’s paper forms that reference glacial erratics, grouping these articulations with four oversized watercolor paintings inspired by Chinese landscape scrolls. The installation will also feature a “river” of 700 8-by-10-inch oil paintings. Taken together, the installation’s components serve as reminders of the limitations of humanity’s ability to control the forces of nature.
Zopp was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and attended the University of Kentucky where she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in modern foreign languages, and went on to study painting and drawing at the University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. She lives and works in Lincolnville, Maine, and has exhibited at universities and nonprofit galleries in Maine and nationally, with a recent solo exhibition at June Fitzpatrick Gallery in Portland, Maine.
Zopp is scheduled to speak during a reception from 5:30–7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Lord Hall Gallery is open from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Friday and is wheelchair accessible.
“Ground/Underground” is funded in part by a grant from UMaine’s Cultural Affairs and Distinguished Lecture Series; and the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.