Combined News

Handley Talks to Ellsworth American About Maine’s Strawberry Crop

University of Maine News - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 12:24

David Handley, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist of vegetables and small fruits, spoke with The Ellsworth American for an article about this season’s strawberry crop in Maine. “What we have found so far is that growth is good and pest numbers have been pretty low,” Handley said, adding the winter helped the crop by creating a protective snow cover and warding off pests. “Because we had a late spring, the pests were late waking up and the plants were past the period where the pests would be interested,” he said. Handley said most strawberry farmers plan to begin harvesting around June 19 or 20 with a goal of peaking around the Fourth of July.

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Fernandez Quoted in Mainebiz Article on Economy, Climate Change Meeting

University of Maine News - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 12:23

Mainebiz reported on the “Maine’s Economy and Climate Change” meeting at Bowdoin College. About 300 climate experts gathered to discuss how the state will need to adjust businesses to adapt to heat waves, less snow and higher seas caused by a changing climate, according to the article. Ivan Fernandez, a professor of soil science and forest resources at the University of Maine, said “Climate change ‘from away’ affects all aspects of life and the economy in Maine.”

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Franco-American Centre Presentation Advanced in BDN Column

University of Maine News - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 12:23

The Bangor Daily News “Family Ties” column advanced a presentation on “French-Canadian and Acadian Genealogical Research” at the University of Maine’s Franco-American Centre. The free program on Franco-American resources will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, in the library at Crossland Hall.

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Scontras Writes Op-Ed for Sun Journal

University of Maine News - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 12:22

The Sun Journal published an opinion piece by Charles Scontras, historian and research associate at the University of Maine’s Bureau of Labor Education, titled “‘Right-to-work’: The issue that won’t die.”

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Nominations Sought for Women of Achievement, Young Women’s Social Justice Awards

University of Maine News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 14:28

Nominations are invited for the Maryann Hartman Awards for Maine Women of Achievement and the Maryann Hartman Young Women’s Social Justice Award.

Each year since 1986, the Maryann Hartman Awards Ceremony has celebrated significant contributions of Maine women in a variety of fields.

The awards are named after Maryann Hartman, a University of Maine associate professor of speech communication from 1969 to 1980 and a pioneer in the field of oral interpretation. Her work included comparisons of language patterns of Maine women and men born before 1900; oral autobiographies of Maine women born before 1900; and the use of oral interpretation to influence public policy. Hartman died of cancer in 1980.

“The Maryann Hartman Awards are a highlight of our year,” says Mazie Hough, director of the University of Maine Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, which organizes the awards.

“It is always inspiring to see the wide variety of accomplishments of women who have committed themselves to making Maine what it should be.”

The Maryann Hartman Awards for Maine Women of Achievement is presented to three distinguished Maine women who have demonstrated strong leadership and role modeling in their respective fields and who reflect and honor Hartman’s commitment to women and community. Previous winners include Margaret Chase Smith, Olympia Snowe, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Dora Anne Mills, Shenna Bellows, Tabitha King and Jennifer Finney Boylan.

The Maryann Hartman Young Women’s Social Justice Award recognizes a young woman 12–18 years old who has shown dedication to justice and to social change by actively promoting equality, encouraging diversity and tolerance, and improving her community. Previous recipients include Nicole Maines, Erin Williams, JoAnn Bourque, Sarah Eaton and Lindsay Richardson.

The 30th annual awards ceremony will be held in March 2016. The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. To request nomination forms, call 207.581.1228 or visit For information on phone nominations, call Liz Franck or Hough at 207.581.1228.

Completed nomination forms may be sent to; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Attention Maryann Hartman Awards Committee, University of Maine, 5728 Fernald Hall, Room 101, Orono, ME 04469-5728; or faxed to 207.581.1218.

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BDN Article Focuses on Alternative Gardens, Gibson and Coffin Quoted

University of Maine News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:37

Ellen Gibson, AgrAbility specialist with Maine AgrAbility — a nonprofit collaboration of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Goodwill Industries Northern New England and Alpha One — is allowing gardens to be more accessible to everyone, regardless of ability, reports the Bangor Daily News.

“I think of it similarly to the concepts of universal design in architecture, designing gardens for everyone, regardless of age or ability,” Gibson said.

The article also quoted Donna Coffin, an educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Penobscot County, who explained that alternative gardens often come in trends. For example, there was a big movement a few years ago to create lasagna gardens, layered spaces made with compostable materials that slowly turn into soil.

“Every year there’s new techniques,” Coffin said. “This year the new thing is straw bale gardening.”

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Global Warming, Maine’s Lobster Industry Parody Featured in Portland Press Herald Article

University of Maine News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:36

The animation, “A Climate Calamity in the Gulf of Maine: The Lobster Pot Heats Up,” — produced by a husband and wife animation team in Rockland and funded by the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine — was featured in an article in the Portland Press Herald.

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Peterson to Talk at Welfare and Safety of Racehorse Summit, Media Reports

University of Maine News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:35

According to The Handicapper’s Edge, Mick Peterson, executive director, Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, and engineering professor at the University of Maine, will be a featured speaker at this years Welfare and Safety of Racehorse Summit on July 8.

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Kelly Quoted in Article Opposing Maine Dredging Plans

University of Maine News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:34

More than 100 people were present for the public meeting at Searsport District High school to discuss the plan to deepen and widen the navigation channel at Mack Point marine terminal, reported The Republican Journal. Opponents of the plan fear that dredging will disperse toxic materials that were left over decades of heavy industry around Penobscot Bay. Biologist, like Joseph Kelly — professor of marine biology at the University of Maine — are concerned that disturbing the dredge area and disposal site could release significant amounts of methane gas.

Kelley has worked extensively on mapping the seafloor of the Gulf of Maine,  and said the methane would have come from organic matter that grew in marshes 10,000 to 12,000 years ago when the sea level was lower than it is today. That material would have been covered in mud when sea levels rose and undergone a gradual anaerobic decomposition, creating methane gas in the process.

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Artists and Volunteers Flip Floating Sculpture, BDN Reports

University of Maine News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:33

Eastport artist Anna Hepler and two volunteers waded through the Kenduskeag Stream at low tide Friday to flip her floating sculpture rightside up, reported the Bangor Daily News.

Hepler’s solo exhibit “Blind Spot” is slated to open June 19 at the University of Maine Museum of Art. The exhibit will feature more than 25 sculptures and two-dimensional artworks, according to museum director and curator George Kinghorn.

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Brewer Quoted in Article About Emily Cain’s Congressional Race

University of Maine News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:32

A group is rallying early for Emily Cain — former state senator from Orono —  in anticipation of the 2016 primary, reported an article in Cain lost to U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the 2014 race for Maine’s 2nd congressional district.

Mark Brewer, University of Maine political science professor, said external factors should favor Democrats, calling the race a toss-up and Emily Cain is a strong candidate.

“That all being said, Poliquin’s going to be tough to beat in November of 2016,” he said.

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Orono Startup Receives $225K NSF Grant, Reported MaineBiz

University of Maine News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:31

MaineBiz reported that the company Revolution Research Inc. — founded by UMaine graduates Nadir Yildirim and Alex Chasse — is receiving a $225,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for the development of a new environmentally friendly foam board insulation product.

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Creech Quoted in BDN Article, Funding for Student-athletes

University of Maine News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:30

University of Maine director of athletics Karlton Creech said in an article in the Bangor Daily News that it is unlikely that the athletic department will be able to provide cost-of-attendance funds to student-athletes. At UMaine, the calculated cost-of-attendance number after scholarship expenses is $2,400.

Creech estimated that if about 200 of UMaine’s 400 athletes are receiving some form of scholarship, it would cost the department an estimated $480,000 for 2015–16.

“There’s no way, right now, that I have a way of affording that for everybody,” he said.

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Portland Selected to Host Global Arctic Conference in 2016, Opportunities for UMaine Researchers

University of Maine News - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:30

The State Department has chosen Portland to host an international forum on the Arctic next year, reports the Portland Press Herald. This will be the first time a meeting in the United States will be held outside of Alaska.

Approximately 250 delegates are expected to attend the forum including scientists, business leaders and senior government officials from eight Arctic nations.

Gordon Hamilton, a professor at the Climate Change Institute and School of Earth and Climate Sciences at the University of Maine, says the meeting presents an opportunity for scientist to share their expertise.

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Pest Control Technology Picks Up UMaine Fire Ant Research Release

University of Maine News - Fri, 06/12/2015 - 14:46 picked up a University of Maine release about a group of researchers testing pathogenic fungi as a way to manage invasive fire ants spreading through Maine.

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Artist Launches Floating Sculpture in Kenduskeag Stream, Solo Exhibit to Open in June, Says the BDN

University of Maine News - Fri, 06/12/2015 - 14:45

The Bangor Daily News reported that Anna Helper, with the help of a few volunteers, dropped her floating sculpture off a footbridge into the Kenduskeag Stream behind the University of Maine Museum of art.

Hepler’s solo exhibit “Blind Spot” — featuring more than 25 sculptures and two-dimensional artworks — is scheduled to open June 19 at the University of Maine Museum of Art, according to museum director and curator George Kinghorn.

Hepler said she hopes to move the floating sculpture elsewhere in Maine once her exhibit closes Sept. 19.

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UMaine Composites Center Awarded $77.4 Million for Research and Development of New Blast-resistant Material

University of Maine News - Fri, 06/12/2015 - 14:44

According to an article in the Portland Press Herald, The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $1 billion toward the construction of an additional DDG-51 destroyer, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins announced Thursday. If the funding bill becomes law, the additional destroyer would likely be built at Bath Iron Works.

The defense appropriations bill will also provide $77.4 million for the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center to research and develop blast-resistant materials.

Increased funding for defense purchases, including $7.27 million for the construction of a Secure Hybrid Composite Container and the creation of a pilot production line in the United States. Funded by the Department of Homeland Security, the Composites Center has developed a shipping container in response to secure shipping guidelines.

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UMaine Graduates Win NSF Science Grant, Cited by Portland Press Herald

University of Maine News - Fri, 06/12/2015 - 14:43

Revolution Research Inc., an Orono-based company founded by UMaine graduates Nadir Yildirim and Alex Chasse, will receive $225,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to create a prototype for the first 100 percent eco-friendly thermal insulation foam board, reported in an article in the Portland Press Herald.  The award will allow the team to rent space and buy equipment for their own laboratory.

Chase, who graduated from UMaine in 2013 with a degree in civil engineering, is working as a researcher at the university’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center.  The company — founded last year — won the UMaine Business Challenge, and a $5,000 award for their business plan.

Yildirim credited the UMaine Foster Center for Student Innovation for the skills he learned that enabled him to be an entrepreneur.

“They taught me not to fear and how to feel the passion. The passion is the strongest part,” he said. “You should believe in what you’re doing, focus on it. No fear. Otherwise, you will get stuck at some point. You need to trust in yourself 100 percent.”

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McCarthy Featured in Master Food Preserver Workshop, Media Reports

University of Maine News - Fri, 06/12/2015 - 14:41

An event on June 16 at the Lithgow Public Library will feature Kate McCarty, master food preserver for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, reports. The free workshop will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the program room of Lithgow’s temporary quarters at the Ballard Center, 6 East Chestnut St. and will give participants tips on garden planning and optimal canning techniques.

McCarty manages 40 volunteer educators through UMaine Extension, teaches canning classes, maintains a food blog and authored the book “Portland Food: The Culinary Capital of Maine.”

For more information, call Lithgow Library at 207.626.2415 or visit

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Being Persistent

University of Maine News - Thu, 06/11/2015 - 13:57

A University of Maine researcher, a doctoral student and an undergraduate are at Wind Cave National Park in Hot Springs, South Dakota excavating cave fossils that date back 11,000 years to the end of the most recent ice age.

Scientists say preliminary samples from the material — which includes at least 22 species — will help them understand how the region, including climate, has changed.

The UMaine contingent includes Jacquelyn Gill, assistant professor of paleoecology and plant ecology; Jeff Martin, a Ph.D. student affiliated with Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT); and Chason Frost, an undergraduate.

The UMaine trio has partnered with the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs for the project centered around a cave that is 27 feet long and less than two feet high.

“What’s really cool about the cave is that it includes these animals that are both extinct and animals that are survivors of the Ice Age,” Gill told the Rapid City Journal as she sifted through fossilized teeth, vertebrae and rib bones the size of fingernail clippings.

“When you can put all these different pieces of ecosystem together it basically gives you a sense of how an environment changes as the climate changes.”

Gill is working with plant fossils and Martin is interested in bison fossils.

Marc Ohms, a physical science technician at the park, discovered Persistence Cave, as it has been dubbed, in spring 2004; its presence was kept a secret until now so amateur explorers wouldn’t damage the material inside.

Jim Mead of East Tennessee State University is head of the crew that also will screen-wash the material and prepare it for curation.

The UMaine contingent will take part in live-tweeting sessions (, in partnership with UMaine’s Follow a Researcher, at 1 p.m. EST Tuesday, June 16, and Thursday, June 18. The expedition hashtag is #cavebison.

In addition, Martin is blogging about the experience at

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

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