Combined News

Coach Cosgrove, Staff to Host Football Clinic for Women Sept. 10

University of Maine News - Thu, 08/13/2015 - 11:35

University of Maine head football coach Jack Cosgrove and his staff will host “Coach Cos’ Football 101 for Women” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10.

The interactive workshop is designed to teach women who have never played football the basics such as offensive and defensive strategies as well as what to look for when watching a game.

The first part of the workshop will feature light refreshments as Cosgrove and the staff discuss the fundamentals of the game and hold a question-and-answer session.

The second section will include a tour of the UMaine football facilities as well as a chance to participate in optional drills on the field.

Attendees should wear comfortable clothing and athletic shoes for the walking tour and drills.

The event is $25; $10 for UMaine students. Tickets can be reserved online. All participants receive a T-shirt, and proceeds benefit the UMaine football program. Registration deadline is Sept. 7.

For more information, call 581.1086.

Categories: Combined News, News

University of Maine Hutchinson Center Receives Second Gift From the Estate of Marilyn Duane

University of Maine News - Wed, 08/12/2015 - 13:32

The University of Maine Hutchinson Center has received a second disbursement for $450,000 from the estate of Belfast, Maine resident Marilyn Duane to benefit scholarships and outreach efforts.

Duane’s attorney and friend Lee Woodward presented an initial disbursement of $500,000 to the Hutchinson Center on April 15. Woodward, who is handling Marilyn Duane’s estate with co-personal representative Cindy MacLeod-Klewin, anticipates that, when the estate is settled, the proceeds will total just over $1 million to the Hutchinson Center for scholarships.

“The Marilyn Duane Scholarships will make higher education more affordable and accessible than ever before for people in the mid-coast region who want to start or complete a University of Maine degree,” said University of Maine President Susan J. Hunter. “Marilyn’s generosity and vision have the potential to change the lives of countless students.”

Marilyn Johnson Duane grew up in Bangor, the daughter of Dr. Henry and Dorothy Carlton Johnson. Marilyn and her late husband, James T. Duane, retired to Belfast in 1987. James was an early computer engineer who worked for General Electric and was a member of the Belfast Rotary Club. Marilyn was a member of the Belfast Garden Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Marilyn was inspired by the work of UMaine alumnus James Patterson, founding director of the Hutchinson Center and a member of the Belfast Rotary, who she said opened the door for students to access quality, affordable higher education in a supportive, flexible environment.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we deeply appreciate the support the Duane Estate has provided Belfast’s Hutchinson Center,” said University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page. “This gift acknowledges the significant contributions the center is making in the mid-coast region, and it contributes to our efforts to make university programing more affordable and accessible for the people of Maine.”

With the gifts from the Marilyn Duane estate, three funds have been established:

  • The James C. Patterson Scholarship Fund will award scholarships to non-matriculated students served by the Hutchinson Center who are enrolled in a University of Maine undergraduate or graduate coursework.
  • The Marilyn Duane Scholarship Fund will benefit University of Maine System matriculated students with financial need who are served by the Hutchinson Center.
  • The Marilyn and James T. Duane Community Outreach Fund focuses on creating access to lifelong learning opportunities that otherwise would not be available. The fund will be used for educational programming at the Hutchinson Center for personal enrichment, professional development, continuing education and/or early college opportunities at reduced or no cost to participants.

“Marilyn Duane has provided an incredible scholarship legacy for mid-coast students served by the Fred Hutchinson Center of the University of Maine,” Patterson said. “I am honored to be mentioned as one of the team working to develop the Hutchinson Center into the community resource it is today.”

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

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Washington Post Cites Grosswiler Study in Article on New Google Company Name

University of Maine News - Wed, 08/12/2015 - 12:29

The Washington Post cited a 2004 study by University of Maine communication and journalism professor Paul Grosswiler in the article, “The big cultural debate simmering beneath Google’s new Alphabet name.” Google’s new parent company name, Alphabet, was “designed to evoke the ingenuity of the human spirit,” according to the article, even though more than 1.3 billion people don’t use an alphabet as their primary writing system. The idea that there is a “best” writing system implies that others are inferior, and critics of this theory have argued that this is a Western-centric bias, the article states. “The alphabetic literacy theory has asserted the West’s permanent superiority over the East due to the psychological and cultural effects of the alphabet. Science, philosophy, logic, rationality, democracy and monotheism are said to be inextricably linked to the alphabet in this theory,” Grosswiler wrote in his 2004 study, “Dispelling the Alphabet Effect,” which was published in the Canadian Journal of Communication. Rationality is a common characteristic to all human cultures, the article states. Asian concepts of yin and yang, as well as theories of elemental properties such as fire and water, could be thought of as a kind of classification system for explaining nature, according to Grossweiler.

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Grew Quoted in Quanta Magazine Article on Mineral Evolution

University of Maine News - Wed, 08/12/2015 - 12:27

Ed Grew, a research professor of geological sciences at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Quanta Magazine article about whether geology is predictable or if Earth’s mineral composition is due to chance events. The answer, according to the article, could help scientists identify planets likely to harbor life. Robert Hazen, a mineral physicist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory, worked with collaborators including Grew to investigate the role chance played in mineral formation. They found the more abundant the element, the more minerals it formed, according to the article. Grew, a co-author of the study, said the results still support the idea of determinism because “we can explain why they’re not obeying the rules.” The team also found evidence for the role of chance by using a database to retrieve more than 650,000 mineral observations at specific locations around the world. Twenty-two percent of all minerals were reported in only one place, and 12 percent were found in only two places, according to the article. The rare minerals might appear only under unforeseen circumstances, such as an unusual assembly of rocks that concentrates elements together, the article states. “It’d be like if you threw together a whole mess of ingredients and cooked it up, and it came out to be a prize-winning culinary dish,” Grew said.

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WVII Reports on $6M NSF Grant to Study New England Dams

University of Maine News - Wed, 08/12/2015 - 12:22

WVII (Channel 7) reported on a new $6 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s EPSCoR program that will fund a four-year study examining the future of dams in New England. The project marks an expansion in partners and scope for the New England Sustainability Consortium (NEST), adding Rhode Island to the existing partnership between Maine and New Hampshire. The study will look at strengthening connections between scientists and decision-makers on a number of options including maintaining existing hydropower dams, expanding hydropower capacity, and removing aging dams in order to restore fisheries, according to the report. The NEST team says solutions to sustainability challenges require a collaborative approach in which researchers from the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering and humanities combine their expertise. UMaine researchers on the project include David Hart, Sharon Klein, Bridie McGreavy, Darren Ranco, Sean Smith and Joe Zydlewski.

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Howard Writes Op-Ed for BDN

University of Maine News - Wed, 08/12/2015 - 12:21

The Bangor Daily News published the opinion piece “We should prepare for the worst consequences of climate change,” by Michael Howard, a philosophy professor at the University of Maine. Howard is a member of the Maine chapter of the national Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together scholars across the country to address public challenges and their policy implications. Members’ columns appear in the BDN every other week.

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Forecaster Advances Tidewater Farm Gardens Fundraiser

University of Maine News - Wed, 08/12/2015 - 12:20

The Forecaster reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will host a fundraising event to support the gardens and outdoor classrooms at the UMaine Gardens at Tidewater Farm in Falmouth. The Taste of Tidewater event will be held 5–8 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Episcopal Church of Saint Mary Parish House. The event will include food, music and art. The gardens are an educational project on about three acres of land operated by the UMaine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County, according to the article. Amy Witt, a horticulturist with UMaine Extension, said the space is mostly used as teaching gardens and outdoor classrooms to show people how to grow their own food and plants and learn sustainable practices, the article states. “Everything we do here has an educational component,” Witt said.

Categories: Combined News, News

Hikers Sought for Event Honoring Fallen Service Members, Maine Edge Reports

University of Maine News - Wed, 08/12/2015 - 12:20

The Maine Edge carried a University of Maine news release     about a hike and memorial service to honor fallen service members from UMaine and surrounding communities. The Summit Project (TSP) event will take place Saturday, Sept. 26 with a walk from the Maine Veterans Home in Bangor to Alfond Stadium on the UMaine campus for the military appreciation football game. As part of the event, hikers will carry engraved TSP memorial stones that have been donated by family members to represent their fallen loved ones. Volunteers will learn about the service members whose stone they will carry, write a letter for the service member’s family, and read it during a memorial service on campus following the trek. About 25 hiking spots are available with preference being given to the military family community at UMaine. Backup hikers may be assigned. A registration form is available online. Spots are limited.

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Northern Maine Rural Living Day Sept. 12

University of Maine News - Wed, 08/12/2015 - 12:19

The first Northern Maine Rural Living Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum, 1664 U.S. Route 1, Littleton.

Class topics include livestock barns and fences, buying used farm equipment, raising livestock and poultry, gardening and soil health, cheese-making, and food preservation methods, including canning and root cellaring. A panel discussion on sustainable beekeeping will be held, and there will be youth activities, livestock displays, craft demonstrations and a harvest lunch with local foods.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Southern Aroostook Soil & Water Conservation District are co-sponsors of the event. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 532.6548, 800.287.1469 (in Maine) or visit the website.

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DMC Director to Deliver Talk at Ecological Society of America Meeting

University of Maine News - Wed, 08/12/2015 - 11:42

Heather Leslie

Heather Leslie, director of the University of Maine Darling Marine Center, will share findings developed through an international, interdisciplinary research initiative focused on coastal fisheries at the 100th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.

Ecological scientists are celebrating the ESA centennial in Baltimore, Maryland with presentations, workshops and musical performances focused on ecology’s role in advancing knowledge of human-environment interactions in the changing world.

The theme of the Aug. 9–14 meeting is “Ecological Science: At the Frontier.” Leslie’s talk is part of an Aug. 12 symposium she co-organized titled “Coupled Natural and Human Systems Science: The Need, Challenges and Rewards.”

Marine ecosystems that provide food, protection from coastal storms and recreation are threatened by human impacts at multiple scales, including fisheries over-exploitation and global climatic change, says Leslie, who advocates for advancing solutions-oriented knowledge of connections between people and nature.

The integrative, coupled system analyses that her team have conducted with the support of the U.S. National Science Foundation yield understanding of the sustainability of coupled social-ecological systems that is distinct from that provided by either biophysical or social sciences alone, she says.

The DMC director will talk about her development as an interdisciplinary scientist and educator and how that path has enabled her to forge connections among experts in the social and ecological sciences, as well as professionals engaged in marine policy and management and members of local communities.

For the event, Leslie also organized a companion graduate student poster session and game show on related themes.

“We are hoping that the ‘shark tank of societal relevance’ game show this evening will help us all to think a bit more creatively how to leverage our knowledge and skills in ways that benefit both nature and people,” she says.

“I, for one, am a lot more nervous about my three minutes in front of the judges — all of whom are internationally known leaders in the conservation field — than I am about my 20-minute talk for my scientific colleagues.”

The ESA, according to the conference website, “stands at a boundary between 100 successful years for the Society and an uncharted future for the planet. The Centennial meeting will support both retrospective and prospective sessions looking back at the history of the field of ecology as well as forward into its future.”

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine’s Top Gun Entrepreneurial Program an Entryway into Maine’s Business Network for Bar Harbor CEO

University of Maine News - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 14:05


Chuck Donnelly, CEO of RockStep Solutions in Bar Harbor, Maine, has a software product that could potentially transform the way scientists and companies conduct their research. With CLIMB, the Cloud Information Management Bundle, organizations like pharmaceutical companies and university laboratories can immediately access their data anywhere in the world with a mobile device. In this video, Donnelly, former director of Computational Sciences at the Jackson Laboratory, talks about the UMaine Top Gun Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program and how it has been his entryway into the business network in Maine.

The Top Gun entrepreneurship accelerator is a five-month program that engages entrepreneurs in growing their businesses. Top Gun combines education, mentoring, pitch-coaching and networking opportunities. The program is a partnership of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Maine Technology Institute, Blackstone Accelerates Growth and the University of Maine. UMaine organizes and hosts a Bangor region class and has also developed curriculum to support the statewide program. More information about Top Gun is online.

For more information about these and other innovation and economic development initiatives at UMaine, visit

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Ph.D. Marine Sciences Student Quoted in Motherboard Article on Research Funding

University of Maine News - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 13:29

Motherboard spoke with Katherine Thompson, a  Ph.D. marine science student at the University of Maine, for an article about the challenges researchers face with the current scientific funding system. According to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, 4 percent of the 2015 U.S. federal budget was appropriated for scientific research, compared to 10 percent in 1968. Thompson is studying the effects of changing water temperature on northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine, and she is using Instrumentl, a scientific research crowdfunding site, to raise money for her research, according to the article. “The thought was that maybe this could give me some short-term, not-too-distant future funding to get supplies so I can obtain preliminary results to strengthen our grant proposals. Anything would help at this point,” Thompson said.

Categories: Combined News, News

Weekly Publishes Profile on Nontraditional Forestry Undergraduate

University of Maine News - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 13:29

The Weekly published a University of Maine student profile on Pam Wells, a nontraditional undergraduate who is enrolled in the School of Forest Resources. Already a UMaine alumna, Wells holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology-English that she earned in 1981 and a master’s degree in social work earned in 1991. She now is considering going for a master’s degree in forestry to learn the best way to manage the more than 1,000 acres of forest she owns.

Categories: Combined News, News

Civil Engineering Doctoral Student named NASA Fellow, Maine Edge Reports

University of Maine News - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 13:28

The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release about civil engineering doctoral student Andrew Young being named a 2015 NASA Space Technology Research Fellow for his work on the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) project at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. A HIAD is a nose-mounted device on a spacecraft that slows the craft as it enters a planet’s atmosphere. UMaine is assisting NASA by testing its structures in the lab and analyzing stresses and deformations in the HIAD. NASA annually selects a group of graduate and doctoral students to become fellows. The goal is to sponsor U.S. citizen and permanent resident graduate students who show significant potential to contribute to NASA’s goal of creating innovative new space technologies for the nation’s science, exploration and economic future. The yearlong fellowship includes a 10-week visiting technologist experience, providing the opportunity to work and collaborate with engineering experts.

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Free Press Reports UMaine to Participate in Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show

University of Maine News - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 13:27

The Free Press reported the University of Maine will take part in the annual Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show, August 14–16 on the Rockland waterfront. UMaine’s Herring Gut Learning Center, a marine resources education facility in Port Clyde, will host a seaweed-bookmark-making station, according to the article. UMaine’s learning centers at Tanglewood and Blueberry Cove, which provide affordable ecology education and nature-based experiences for young Mainers, will organize watershed activities throughout the weekend, the article states.

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WCEA to Announce Female Farmer of the Year

University of Maine News - Tue, 08/11/2015 - 13:26

The Waldo County Extension Association will announce the 2015 Woman Farmer of the Year at its annual meeting 5–6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, at Windgate Farm, 36 Stevens Road, Unity. The public is invited to attend.

WCEA, with support from Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville, developed the award to recognize the county’s female agricultural leaders.

In addition, host farmers Penny and Jeff Stevens, who practice no-till farming for corn silage production, will discuss soil health. Will Brinton, associate faculty with UMaine Extension and president of Woods End Laboratories in Mount Vernon, and other Extension researchers, also will participate in the talk. Election of WCEA officers and a request for approval of the 2016 budget will take place.

For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact 800.287.1426 or

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The Future of Dams

University of Maine News - Mon, 08/10/2015 - 13:15

The non-hydropower dam on lower Montsweag Stream in Maine was removed in November 2010 with the goal of restoring fish passage

Photo courtesy of Laura Wildman, PrincetonHydro

A new $6 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s EPSCoR program will fund a four-year study examining the future of dams in New England. This project marks an expansion in partners and scope for the New England Sustainability Consortium (NEST), adding Rhode Island to the existing partnership between Maine and New Hampshire.

NEST was launched in 2013, when Maine and New Hampshire began an innovative collaboration focused on increasing the safety of coastal beaches and shellfish beds threatened by bacterial pollution and other microbial pathogens.

NEST is designed to respond to societal challenges where economic and community development goals need to be balanced with environmental protection. Such sustainability objectives are not only of central importance in New England, they also represent national and global imperatives.

This new tri-state collaboration will strengthen connections between scientists and decision-makers about a number of potential dam options, including maintaining existing hydropower dams, expanding hydropower capacity, and removing aging dams to restore fisheries or reduce safety risks. By examining economic, environmental and social tradeoffs, the project will help individuals and communities make better decisions about dams.

The project is highly relevant given that hydropower is a major source of renewable energy in New England. More than 50 hydropower dams are scheduled for relicensing in the next decade, requiring states to make important decisions about their futures. The region is also home to thousands of iconic milldams that are an integral part of New England’s industrial history and continue to provide recreational and water supply benefits for many communities. But some of these milldams pose safety and liability risks due to their age and poor condition. Both hydropower dams and milldams can also have adverse effects on coastal ecosystems and economies, particularly because they often block the migrations of economically important fisheries. This project will empower stakeholders to make complex decisions about dams by taking the innovative step of combining the best available science with creative forms of community engagement.

New England has received widespread recognition for its innovative approaches to the management of dams.  “This new project will greatly enhance New England’s role as a national and global leader in finding better ways to support informed decision-making about dams,” said Richard Merrick, chief science advisor and director of scientific programs at NOAA Fisheries.

The research is designed to support the process by which stakeholders evaluate the many trade-offs associated with potential dam decisions, including removal, relicensing and retrofitting. Because a single watershed often contains many dams of different sizes and types, the project will focus particular attention on developing tools that facilitate coordinated decision-making. “NEST’s emphasis on basin-wide decision-making has the potential to generate much better environmental, social and economic outcomes than can be achieved if decisions are made (dam by dam) in an independent and uncoordinated manner,” said Mike Tetreault, director of the Maine office of The Nature Conservancy.

The multistate NEST team believes that solutions to sustainability challenges require a collaborative approach in which researchers from the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, and the humanities combine their expertise. In Maine, the researchers include David Hart, Sharon Klein, Bridie McGreavy, Darren Ranco, Sean Smith, and Joe Zydlewski from UMaine as well as Karen Wilson from the University of Southern Maine. NEST’s approach to problem solving also benefits from the local knowledge and know-how of diverse stakeholders representing government, business and industry, and nongovernmental organizations. One of NEST’s greatest strengths is its ability to develop customized solutions that are tailored to meet local needs and circumstances.

The Maine project team is led by the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine. The Mitchell Center has gained national and international recognition for its innovative approach to stakeholder-engaged, solutions-focused, interdisciplinary research.

The NSF news release about the project is online.

Contact: David Hart, Director of the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, University of Maine, 207.581.3257; Ruth Hallsworth, Strategic Program Manager, Mitchell Center, 207.581.3196

Categories: Combined News, News

WABI Covers Upward Bound’s 50th Anniversary

University of Maine News - Mon, 08/10/2015 - 12:22

WABI (Channel 5) reported on Upward Bound’s 50th anniversary reunion at the University of Maine. Upward Bound provides support to youth from low-income families to prepare for college. The goal is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from colleges and universities. Participants from the past five decades reunited in Orono to celebrate the program, and many said the support from the program encouraged them to go to college, according to the report. Program director Becky Colannino said Upward Bound has served about 2,000 students. The Maine Edge also carried a UMaine news release on the program’s anniversary.

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Press Herald Quotes Provost Hecker, Mentions ‘Think 30’ in Article on College Debt

University of Maine News - Mon, 08/10/2015 - 12:22

The University of Maine’s “Think 30″ program was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article on college debt in Maine and around the country. Schools, including UMaine, have adopted new programs and policies aimed at helping students get through their college years more efficiently — keeping costs down without wasting time and tuition money — and helping them stay in school, according to the article. Currently, about 79 percent of freshmen return the following year at UMaine, and the target retention rate is 85 percent, said Jeffrey Hecker, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “It’s the right thing to do and it will also help us with our budgetary challenges,” he said. The Think 30 program launching this fall aims to encourage students to take at least 30 credit hours every year, Hecker said. To graduate on time, students should take 15 credit hours per semester. Currently, more than a third of UMaine students end their freshman year with fewer than 30 credits, the article states. The Press Herald also published a related article on UMaine wildlife ecology major Caroline MacKenzie, who is juggling work and school.

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Jacobson Talks about Importance of Philosophy on MPBN

University of Maine News - Mon, 08/10/2015 - 12:21

Kirsten Jacobson, a philosophy professor at the University of Maine, spoke about the importance of philosophy on Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Morning Edition.” Jacobson’s interview is the first in a series of interviews on what role the humanities play in our lives. All of the guests wrote articles in the special issue of Maine Policy Review earlier this year on the humanities and policy, produced by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center in cooperation with the UMaine Humanities Center. Jacobson wrote about her “Philosophy Across the Ages” program, which allows undergraduate students the opportunity to hold seminars with students at Orono High School and members of the Dirigo Pines Retirement Community, according to the report. Jacobson said philosophy is less abstract than people think.

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