Combined News

WABI Covers ‘Everything Equine’ 4-H Science Saturday Workshop

University of Maine News - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 14:15

WABI (Channel 5) reported on “Everything Equine,” a University of Maine 4-H Science Saturday workshop held at the J.F. Witter Teaching and Research Center in Orono. About 40 youth in grades K–12 learned about horses with Anne Lichtenwalner, a UMaine Extension veterinarian; and Robert Causey, an associate professor of animal and veterinary sciences. “It’s something that kids can do; it’s something hands on,” said Laura Wilson, a 4-H science professional with UMaine Extension. “Kids are perfectly able to grab a stethoscope — listen to their own heart; listen to their own gut; hear the sounds that are going on inside them. And then maybe after today translate what they know from horses to themselves.”

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BDN Publishes Wertheim’s Video on Building Seedling Stand

University of Maine News - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 14:14

The Bangor Daily News published a University of Maine Cooperative Extension video titled, “How to build a seedling stand to extend the gardening season.” In the video, Frank Wertheim, UMaine Extension educator and professor, demonstrates how to build a stand.

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Low Quoted in BDN Analysis on System’s Tuition Freeze

University of Maine News - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 14:13

Ryan Low, interim vice president for administration and finance at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Bangor Daily News analysis piece about the University of Maine System tuition freeze that keeps the rate at current levels for a fourth straight year. “When you’re looking to compete, certainly for the University of Maine with other New England land grants, cost is a big piece of that,” Low said. “We have the outstanding quality within the system. We also think we bring value to the table.”

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Professor Emeritus McCormack Writes Opinion Piece for BDN on Woodlot Value

University of Maine News - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 14:12

Maxwell McCormack, a research professor emeritus of forest resources at the University of Maine, wrote the opinion piece, “How to increase the value of your woodlot,” for the Bangor Daily News. McCormack has been a forester for more than 60 years.

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Zimmerman Fitness Challenge April 18

University of Maine News - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 14:10

The University of Maine Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) will host the 2015 1st Lieutenant James R. Zimmerman Memorial Fitness Challenge on April 18.

Four-person teams, which can register in one of three categories — hard core, motivated or family, will participate from noon to 5 p.m. in a variety of physical activities including pack runs, pull ups and a crawl through a mud pit. The course will start at the Steam Plant lot and continue throughout campus, to the NROTC House on College Avenue, as well as surrounding fields and trails.

The challenge was established in 2011 to honor and remember Zimmerman, a 2008 UMaine graduate from Presque Isle, who was killed in action in November 2010 while in combat during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Registration, which may be completed online, is $60 per team, $40 per team for UMaine students. More information about Zimmerman and the challenge is available online or by emailing Miles Smith at

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UVAC to Hit Goal of Training 1,000 Members of UMaine Community in CPR

University of Maine News - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 14:08

University Volunteer Ambulance Corps (UVAC), the student-run emergency medical service at the University of Maine, is approaching another significant milestone this semester: Training 1,000 members of the UMaine community in hands-only or bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The training is led by Jonathan Grant and Alana Silverman, UVAC’s wellness and education coordinators. All 70 members of UVAC are trained in CPR.

UVAC expects to hit the 1,000 mark at one of two campus events this spring: Relay for Life, April 17; and Maine Day, April 29.

Bystander CPR is described as a two-step process by the American Heart Association. If a person has collapsed, is unresponsive and not breathing normally, call 911 and begin pushing hard and fast at the center of the victim’s chest to the beat of the Bee Gees disco song “Stayin’ Alive.”

According to the American Heart Association, most people who go into sudden cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location die because they don’t receive immediate CPR on the scene. Effective bystander CPR can more than double a victim’s chances of survival, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.

In Maine, there are an estimated 1,000 cases of sudden cardiac arrest every year, and only one in 10 victims survives, according to Maine EMS data, says Grant.

Hands-only CPR has proven to be as effective as CPR with breaths in treating adult cardiac arrest victims, according to the American Heart Association.

Earlier this spring, UVAC was named a HEARTSafe CAMPUS at the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation’s (NCEMSF) 21st annual conference in Baltimore, Maryland. NCEMSF encourages and promotes community awareness of the potential for saving the lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims through the use of CPR and increased public access to defibrillation.

HEARTSafe Campuses are role models to other campuses nationwide to improve overall cardiac arrest care. UVAC was recognized with EMS organizations from seven other institutions including Georgetown University, Fordham University, Tufts University and Virginia Tech.

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2015 Graduate Academic Exposition Winners

University of Maine News - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 13:36

More than 120 presentations were made during the 2015 Graduate Academic Exposition in separate categories of four areas of competition — posters, oral presentations, intermedia and fine arts exhibits, and a PechaKucha, or rapid-fire slide show event — as well as a photo contest.

About $12,000 in prize money was awarded at this year’s expo, including the $2,000 President’s Research Impact Award given to the graduate student and adviser who best exemplify the UMaine mission of teaching, research and outreach.

Courtney Pacholski of China, Maine, a Ph.D. candidate in education, and her adviser, James Artesani, associate professor of special education, won this year’s President’s Research Impact Award for “The Effects of Check-In/Check-Out on the Behaviors of Elementary and Middle School Students.”

A complete list of winners is online.



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Deer Isle Residents Receive Industry Partner Award from the Lobster Institute

University of Maine News - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 15:46

Basil and Harriet Heanssler and their family, long-time owners of Conary Cove Lobster Company in the Sunshine area of Deer Isle, Maine received the Lobster Institute’s Industry Partner Award. The award recognizes companies that have a substantial history of working with and supporting the Lobster Institute in its mission to ensure a healthy, sustainable lobster resource and a vital fishery.

The award was presented at the Lobster Institute’s 2015 Canadian/U.S. Lobstermen’s Town Meeting, March 20–21 in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The Heansslers were very involved in the establishment of the institute. Basil Heanssler was one of the charter members of the Lobster Institute’s board of advisors in 1987.

The Heanssler Family has been involved in the lobster industry for generations. Basil’s father and grandfather also were lobstermen. Basil took over the management of the lobster company from his father in 1972. He still manages the company, with help from his children and grandchildren. His daughter Kathy is a member of the Lobster Institute’s board of advisors.

Through the years, the Heansslers have been generous contributors to the Lobster Institute, having made significant financial donations in both cash and gifts of land in both Downeast Maine and two island properties in Nova Scotia. Funds from the sale of this land were used to establish the Basil and Harriet Heanssler Lobster Institute Fund, endowed at the University of Maine Foundation.

The Lobster Institute, a division of UMaine’s Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station, has been working with and on behalf of the lobster industry since 1987. It is an industry-driven organization focusing on conservation, outreach, research, and educational programs to sustain the lobster resource and maintain a vital fishery. More information about the institute is online.

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USDA Blog Features UMaine’s iCook Project

University of Maine News - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 13:27

A University of Maine-led child food and fitness study was the focus of the USDA Blog post, “iCook makes healthy living fun for kids.” UMaine researchers developed the 4-H iCook project to prevent childhood obesity. The five-state, USDA-funded study encourages families to cook, eat and exercise together while improving culinary skills and increasing physical activity, the article states. “We hope people begin to cook more and eat together more and be more aware of their food,” said Adrienne White, project lead and human nutrition professor at UMaine. “We want people to get back to loving food, understanding food, and being able to work with food.”

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Hart, Climate Change Study Cited in Lakes Region Weekly Article

University of Maine News - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 13:26

Maine’s Climate Future: 2015 Update,” a University of Maine report, and David Hart, director of the George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at UMaine, were quoted in a Lakes Region Weekly article about a recent visit by Sen. Angus King to Naples to discuss the climate’s impact on ice fishing. The study found average annual temperatures in the state increased about 3 degrees from 1895 to 2014, primarily due to the sharp buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, according to the article. The report also states Maine’s warm season, which begins when the average daily temperature is above freezing, increased by two weeks from the early 1900s through the 2000s, and Maine’s average winters have warmed at a faster rate than its summers. “There is a long-term trend of ice-out happening earlier in the year across many lakes in Maine and many lakes in the Northeast. This is related to the long-term trends of increasing air temperatures,” Hart said, adding Sebago Lake’s average annual ice-out date has retreated several weeks since the early 1800s.

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Media Cover Suicide Awareness Event on Campus

University of Maine News - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 13:26

The Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) reported on Send Silence Packing, a national traveling public education exhibit of 1,100 backpacks that represent the 1,100 college students who annually die by suicide. Members of the UMaine and local community experienced the exhibit in the Memorial Union. Send Silence Packing is a program of Active Minds Inc., a national nonprofit with a mission to engage students in discussions about mental health. “There are a lot of people that struggle, and the more we talk about it the more people will realize it’s not an individual issue; it’s something that a lot of people struggle with,” said Lindsay Stack, co-president of the UMaine chapter of Active Minds. “You never know what someone’s dealing with. If you could be the person that they need to interact with to prevent something like this then all it takes is a little bit of effort on your part,” graduate student Mike Jakubowski told WABI after viewing the display.

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Ellsworth American Article Cites Pettigrew’s Ocean Buoy Research

University of Maine News - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 13:25

Research by Neal Pettigrew, an oceanography professor at the University of Maine, was cited in an Ellsworth American article about Penobscot Bay pilot David Gelinas briefing members of Congress about oceanographic buoys. Gelinas urged Congress to maintain funding for the oceanographic and weather buoys he and his colleagues rely on to help them safely bring cargo vessels and cruise ships in and out of port, according to the article. Gelinas specifically spoke about the importance of the New England Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing System (NERACOOS) buoys located in the Gulf of Maine. The origins of the system can be traced to Pettigrew’s efforts to establish a network of weather and oceanographic buoys that would collect environmental data in the Gulf, the article states. While the system was under development, Pettigrew asked the Penobscot Bay pilots if they would be interested in getting real-time information about weather conditions offshore. “We immediately recognized how valuable it would be to have that data,” Gelinas said.

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High School Students to Take Part in World Languages Day April 10

University of Maine News - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 13:23

About 100 students and teachers from area high schools will celebrate World Languages Day at the University of Maine on Friday, April 10 with a culture bowl, food competition, campuswide scavenger hunt and traditional dance lessons.

The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is an opportunity for local high school students in upper level French and Spanish classes to spend a day at UMaine emerged in their language of study while getting to know the campus and interacting with professors and students from the Department of Modern Languages and Classics.

For the new food competition, each school will bring a traditional dish from a French- or Spanish-speaking country that will be judged and enjoyed by the group.

During the culture bowl, school teams will compete to answer questions about geography, holidays, famous people, history and current events related to their language studies.

Throughout the day, students also will get the chance to learn traditional dances from Quebec and Latin America; recite a short poem in French or Spanish; and take part in a scavenger hunt and bag skit, an impromptu performance incorporating items drawn from a bag.

Students from Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft; Bangor High School and John Bapst Memorial in Bangor; Hermon High School; and Messalonskee High School in Oakland will attend.

The Department of Modern Languages and Classics is hosting World Languages Day for the second year in a row. The event, which initially ended in 2009, was revived in 2014 by sponsorship from the Department of Modern Languages and Classics, The UMaine Humanities Center, The Canadian-American Center and the Foreign Language Association of Maine (FLAME). For more information or to request a disability accommodation, email Danielle Beaupre at

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Foreign Language and Areas Studies (FLAS) Summer Program

Grad School NEWS - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 08:21

The Canadian-American Center is looking for students interested in a 6-week summer program to study French.   This opportunity is open to all graduate students.  For more information about this award, please go to:

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Clinical Psychology Doctoral Researcher One of 10 Winners of the 5th Annual Beck Institute Student Scholarship Competition

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 14:48

Rachel Goetze, a second-year University of Maine clinical psychology doctoral student from Hampden, is one of 10 winners of the 5th Annual Beck Institute Student Scholarship Competition. She was selected from a pool of 800 applicants to attend an intensive three-day workshop on Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression and Suicidality at the Beck Institute in Philadelphia. The Beck Institute is a world-renowned training center for mental health professionals to learn cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). CBT is an empirically supported approach for treating a variety of mental disorders.

Goetze grew up in Exeter, Maine, and received a Top Scholar award from UMaine. From 2001–05 she earned a bachelor’s degrees in psychology and social work. She worked in the neuropsychology department at Eastern Maine Medical Center before joining UMaine’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program.

In her doctoral research Goetze collaborates with Emily Haigh, UMaine assistant professor of psychology. Excerpts from Goetze’s application focusing on her research follow:

Tell us about your work in cognitive behavior therapy.
The University of Maine has longstanding dedication to rigorous training in cognitive therapy through coursework, practicum experiences and research opportunities. My mentor, professor Emily Haigh, has reinforced my training and exposure to the science and practice of cognitive therapy. I have utilized a CBT framework to work with individuals with depression, social and generalized anxiety, panic and post-traumatic stress symptoms.

How do you hope to use CBT in the future?
As a scientist-practitioner, I am dedicated to using CBT in the classroom and treatment room, as well as a model to inform my doctoral research. My current research interests are in obesity, specifically in binge eating disorder and bariatric surgery candidate populations. I aim to investigate the role of perceived control as a potential target for treatment. My overarching hypothesis rests squarely on a CBT foundation: Modifying an individual’s perception of control will significantly impact binge eating behavior and associated maladaptive emotions such as sadness, embarrassment and hopelessness.

What else do you hope to gain from this training experience?
As a lifelong Maine resident, I am familiar with the constraints of seeking and receiving services in a rural area. I hope to be a part of Maine’s commitment to disseminate empirically supported treatment such as CBT by utilizing tools such as telemedicine in order to enable providers statewide. This training with the Beck Institute would allow me to gain expertise in CBT so that one day, I can be in a position to help serve the mental health needs of Maine’s rural communities.

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Augusta Ceremony to Recognize Statewide National History Day Contest Winners

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 14:34

A public recognition ceremony to honor statewide winners of the 2015 National History Day competition will be held April 7 in Augusta.

The 3:30–4:30 p.m. event is hosted by the Maine State Archives, Museum and Library and will be held in the Cultural Building atrium. The free event and reception are open to the public. All National History Day students, teachers and parents are invited to tour the Maine State Museum free of charge before or after the reception.

National History Day (NHD) is an academic program that began in 1980 to promote critical thinking, research and presentation skills through project-based learning for students of all abilities. More than a half million students, working with thousand of teachers, participate in the national contest annually.

For the second year in a row, a partnership between the University of Maine and the Margaret Chase Smith Library, with support from the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Historical Society, brought the event to the UMaine campus in Orono.

More than 300 students and teachers from 36 middle and high schools took part in the contest this year. Student exhibits, papers, websites, documentaries and performances were all judged, with the top state winners becoming eligible to compete in the national contest. A list of the 2015 statewide winners is online.

Scheduled guest speakers at the ceremony include Jeff Hecker, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at UMaine; Bernard Fishman, director of the Maine State Museum; Earle G. Shettleworth Jr., Maine state historian and state historic preservation officer; and Tom Desjardin, acting commissioner of the Maine Department of Education.

Noah Binette of Berwick, Maine also will speak at the event. The Noble High School sophomore won first place in the individual exhibit category at the 2014 NHD competition at the University of Maryland in College Park. Binette was one of 47 students representing Maine at the national contest. His winning exhibit on Malaga Island will be on display at the Maine State Museum.

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact the museum’s chief educator, Joanna Torow at or 287.6608.

The recognition ceremony is one of several UMaine Humanities Center events planned for 2015. Following the ceremony, members of the public are invited to attend the third annual Maine Humanities Summit at 5 p.m. at the Senator Inn in Augusta. The summit will celebrate the upcoming issue of Maine Policy Review that features expert analysis of the dynamic intersection of the humanities and public policy in Maine. Guests are invited to join the conversation and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and dinner with many of the report’s 40 authors. More information about the summit is online.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

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PBS NewsHour Interviews Holberton About Songbird Migration

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 12:10

Rebecca Holberton, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Maine, spoke with PBS NewsHour for a report about the blackpoll warbler, a songbird that migrates from Canada to Puerto Rico without stopping. A team of researchers from Canada and the northeastern United States recently confirmed that the birds fly south over water as far as 1,700 hundred miles with no layover, according to the report. The blackpoll warblers population is declining at a rate of 6 percent per year, the report states. Holberton, who has been studying the birds for 20 years, said it wasn’t uncommon in the past to catch 300 blackpoll warblers in the fall, but now she’s lucky if she gets 30. To understand what’s causing the decline, the researchers hope to learn more about the bird’s life cycle and migratory patterns.

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MPBN Reports on Evolution of Maine’s 4-H Clubs

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 12:06

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program is evolving to prepare students for the world’s changing technology. While traditional farming activities are still a major focus, 4-H is expanding to teach children more about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), according to the report. Greg Kranich, a physics graduate student at UMaine and one of several 4-H STEM ambassadors who create science and math projects for the 4-H club children, spoke with MPBN about the program. He said in a regular class, students often feel pressured to come up with the right answer quickly, which can harm confidence. Kranich’s 4-H lesson, “Rockets to the Rescue,” is designed to show that science thrives on experimentation and the free exchange of ideas. Laura Wilson, a 4-H science professional with UMaine Extension, said although the program is growing, it isn’t losing it’s tradition. “What our 4-H mission is, is actually positive youth development,” she said. “Those traditions in agriculture, those traditions in those animal science programs, they were always for youth to develop life skills so that they could become productive members of society. Happy, healthy adults.”

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Hudson Students Participate in Follow a Researcher, WABI Reports

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 11:59

WABI (Channel 5) reported from Hudson Elementary School where fourth graders are taking part in the new Follow a Researcher program offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension with support from UMaine’s Climate Change Institute (CCI) and the Maine 4-H Foundation. The program aims to give K–12 students a glimpse into a scientist’s world by providing live expedition updates and facilitating communication between the youth and researchers. Every week, the students take part in a live Twitter session with UMaine climate change researchers Charles Rodda and Kit Hamley who are studying glaciers in Peru. Students in the school also are making connections between the program and projects in other subject areas, such as history and geography, according to the report. “Real life is so abstract when you’re 9 and 10 years old. And so when you can give kids that hands-on experience that connects them to their lives in the moment right now that’s what we want for our kids,” said teacher Sherry Blanchard. The Weekly also published a UMaine news release about the program.

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McGill Quoted in Ars Technica Article on Human Land Use Effects on Biodiversity

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 11:56

Brian McGill, an associate professor of ecological modeling at the University of Maine, was quoted in the Ars Technica article, “How human land use is changing the number of species in ecosystems.” According to the article, a group of researchers recently compiled the results of 378 published ecology studies of over 11,000 sites around the world, including observations of almost 27,000 species — vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. On average, the researchers found that human land use has reduced local biodiversity by nearly 14 percent and reduced the abundance of organisms by almost 11 percent, with results that vary based on location. The authors also noted a couple of recent studies that found no real trend in local biodiversity, including one McGill was involved in. In an accompanying article in Nature, McGill said the study effectively isolates the impacts of land use change from other human impacts. He writes, “It would be odd if the negative effects of land-use change documented by [this study] were exactly counterbalanced, such that the net effect of all types of human impacts averaged out to zero (at the local scale). Yet that might be the most parsimonious explanation for the results across [these] studies. And it might not be so odd if ecological processes strongly regulate local species richness.”

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