Tad Wieman, a University of Maine assistant football coach and athletic director in the 1940s, was mentioned in John McPhee’s piece titled Phi Beta Football in the Sept. 8 issue of The New Yorker. McPhee lived next to Wieman’s family in New Jersey when Wieman guided the gridiron team at Princeton University. As a youth, McPhee watched Tigers’ games on the sideline; his father was the team physician.
Phys.org carried a University of Maine report about a two-year study of semipalmated sandpipers being conducted by biologists Rebecca Holberton and Lindsay Tudor. This year, like last, Holberton, a professor at UMaine, and Tudor, a wildlife biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, are conducting health assessments and placing “nano tags” on sandpipers to monitor their movements. The scientists hope to learn more about the birds’ stay on the Maine coast during their migration from the Arctic to South America.
Two University of Maine students have been selected by Fulbright Canada as Killam Fellows for the 2014-15 academic year.
Claire Fouchereaux of Yarmouth, a history and French major, will study at the University of Montreal this spring. Nicole Turmel of Hermon, an international affairs major, is studying at the University of Ottawa this fall.
Fulbright Canada is a joint, binational, treaty-based organization supported by the Canadian and U.S. governments. The Killam Fellowships program, sponsored by Fulbright Canada, allows undergraduate students from Canada and the U.S. to participate in a program of residential exchange to foster mutual understanding between the two countries.
The Fulbright Program, created under the Fulbright Act of 1946, with aid from Arkansas Sen. J. William Fulbright, operates in more than 150 countries. The Fulbright Scholarship program is highly competitive and has produced more than 300,000 scholars.
More information about the Killam Fellows is online.
The University of Maine will conduct its annual emergency communications system test Thursday, Sept. 18, beginning at noon. Three outdoor sirens will sound for several minutes shortly after noon. They are audible throughout campus and, under certain conditions, in surrounding communities.
The sirens are part of UMaine’s multifaceted emergency communications system established in 2007 that allows university safety and communications professionals to use several mechanisms to quickly communicate vital information to the community during emergency situations.
When UMaine’s emergency communication system is activated, several notifications occur: A text message is sent to subscribers of UMaine’s umaine.txt system; information is posted on the university’s homepage, the UMaine portal and the university’s intranet, FirstClass; and a recorded telephone message may be heard by dialing 581.INFO. After those messages are delivered, police sound the sirens.
With the start of the academic year, members of the University of Maine community are reminded to register to receive UMaine’s emergency notifications. The emergency notification service alerts the UMaine community to public safety issues, including inclement weather conditions causing class cancellations.
Registration for texts and/or email alerts may be done online.
If you have already registered, watch for the test message of the emergency notification system on the 15th of every month. If you do not receive a text or email test alert, please reregister the email address or cellphone number you’re using.
University of Maine senior Michele Girard is a political science major with a minor in international affairs. The North Yarmouth, Maine, native is an Honors College and Dean’s List student, and an accomplished athlete, with three top-10 triathlon finishes in her age category. In September 2014, Girard is volunteering to work with youngsters in Haiti as part of the Be Like Brit organization.
Describe the organization you are volunteering through.
The organization I am working for is called Be Like Brit. The orphanage was started from tragedy. Britney Gengel was 19 and volunteering in Haiti when she was killed in the 2010 earthquake. Before the quake hit, she had sent a text to her mom saying that she wanted to start an orphanage. A year later, her family started Be Like Brit, one of the most unique orphanages in the country. The goal is to house 66 children; they have just accepted their 47th.
I chose Be Like Brit because its story was so personal. They founded an orphanage in her name, I knew it was a group I’d want to work for because of the compassion of this family.
What will you be doing in Haiti?
When you apply to be a Britsionary, a long-term one, you can stay one to three months. To be accepted, you have to submit a proposal for what you would like to teach the children, as well as a detailed outline of the goals you plan to achieve. My proposal was to teach field hockey, a sport they don’t know, because it provided a lot of structure in my life when I played at Catherine McAuley High School in Portland, Maine. I thought it would help these children, too. For one month, I’ll be living at the orphanage teaching the sport, as well as working on various renovation projects and teaching English.
Beyond academics, what extracurricular activities occupy your time?
I am the current president of the Delta Mu Chapter of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. I also teach in the children’s program at Sugarloaf Mountain, and have participated in triathlons in the New England area. I love to travel. This past May, I went to Russia with the Maine Business School and have been to England, France, Ireland and Canada, and, in a few weeks, Haiti as well.
What are your plans after graduation?
I hope to attend graduate school for foreign service. I’d be assigned as an ambassador to countries where the Unites States want to maintain a presence; most current ambassadors are going to places the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. It is a two to four year program for graduate schools such as John Hopkins, Harvard and Georgetown.
What difference has UMaine made in your life and in helping you reach your goals?
The support I have had here on campus has been overwhelming. My professors have gone above and beyond to ensure that I can reach my academic goals. But more than that, they have cared and continue to care about my development and achievements outside of the classroom.
UMaine was special to me because it allowed me to explore what I wanted. There are such a variety of departments and classes, I can be extremely well rounded. In addition, the relationships students have with each other add perspectives that I knew I wanted to have in my collegiate experience.
How would you describe UMaine’s academic atmosphere?
Rigorous. The classes I have taken both in the Honors College and in the Political Science Department require me to constantly re-evaluate what I know about the world. Every day I get excited about a new idea, whether it is an unfamiliar phrase in one of my language classes or upcoming U.S. foreign policy. I am never bored.
Have you worked closely with a professor or mentor who made your UMaine experience better?
I am so fortunate to have many mentors on campus. For example, with my trip to Haiti, the Political Science Department, as well as the Honors College, bent over backward to shift my classes so I could go. I think that says volumes for how much the staff cares about the success of students and the role of the UMaine community in the world.
What is your favorite place on campus?
The highest riser at the football stadium. I have woken up at 3 or 4 a.m., walked to the football field, and climbed to the highest place I can to watch the sun come up over campus. Sometimes friends are with me and sometimes I’m alone, but it always seems to help me think.
While in Orono, I’ve spent too much time…
Chatting with Professor Singleton about foreign policy.
Class that nearly did you in?
It was my freshman year and I had Professor Brewer for a freshman seminar in the Honors College. He is now my adviser and one of the professors I respect most on campus, but he was tough. I was introduced to the rigors college very quickly.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have …
Taken the time to really listen to people. It’s one thing to not talk, but I’ve learned it’s another to really understand who they are.
Amy Blackstone has been appointed director of the ADVANCE Rising Tide Center at the University of Maine, effective Sept. 1.
Blackstone, an associate professor and chair of UMaine’s Department of Sociology, replaces Susan Gardner, who has served as the center’s director since April 2013.
Gardner, an associate professor of higher education, has accepted the position of associate dean of accreditation and graduate affairs in the College of Education and Human Development. She will continue her role as co-principal investigator for the five-year, $3.3 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that funds the ADVANCE Rising Tide Center.
Blackstone joined the UMaine faculty in 2003. Her research on childlessness and the childfree choice, workplace harassment, and civic engagement has been published in peer-reviewed journals and collections. Her work also has been featured by various media outlets including Katie Couric’s talk show, MPBN Radio, NBC, Fox, Today.com, MSNBC, Marie Claire, Dame and Huffington Post.
Blackstone is a founding advisory board member of Feminist Reflections, a blog hosted by The Society Pages. She also has served as a consulting editor for Contexts magazine and is author of the textbook “Principles of Sociological Inquiry: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods (Flat World Knowledge).”
The ADVANCE program seeks to develop systemic approaches that can be institutionalized at higher education institutions to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and social-behavioral science careers.
Kate McCarty, a food preservation community education assistant with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was a recent guest on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio show. The show, titled “Canning (and other ways to save your garden’s bounty),” included information about preserving food by canning, freezing, drying, root-cellaring and fermenting.
The Portland Press Herald and Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Ian Bricknell, a University of Maine aquaculture biology professor, about the 10th annual Sea Lice Conference he helped organize. More than 200 researchers from the around the world are attending the Portland conference. This is the first year the conference is being held in the United States. Sea lice — a parasite that grazes on the skin of fish — are estimated to cost the global aquaculture industry about $300 million a year, Bricknell said. The Press Herald also mentioned the establishment of the Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network, or SEANET, at UMaine, thanks to a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant’s goal is to turn Maine’s 3,500-mile coast into a “living laboratory” to study social and environmental interactions among sustainable ecological aquaculture and coastal communities and ecosystems.
The National Post of Canada spoke with University of Maine history professor Liam Riordan for the article, “New Ireland: How Maine almost became part of Canada at the end of the War of 1812.” The article states a history museum in Castine is hosting an exhibition on the lost Canadian province, New Ireland. British forces in pre-Confederation Canada seized Northern Maine during the final months of the War of 1812, according to the article, and if the land-grab succeeded, it would have yielded an area two-thirds the size of present-day New Brunswick. “If British diplomats and strategic thinkers had been more strongly committed to this idea, a very alternative outcome is easy to imagine,” Riordan said.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with University of Maine political scientist Mark Brewer for a report about PACs unveiling attack ads against opposing Maine gubernatorial candidates. “Campaigns use attack ads because they know they work,” Brewer said, adding the ads have a proven track record. “They’re a way to move and influence undecided voters, and even voters who may think they have their minds made up but they’re not fully committed,” he said.
Jeff Hecker, University of Maine’s executive vice president of academic affairs and provost, was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article about House Speaker Mark Eves’ KeepMe Home initiative to help senior citizens remain in their homes. According to the article, Hecker and several others involved in crafting the policy agenda will join Eves in Washington, D.C., to enlist the support of the state’s congressional delegation and identify potential sources of funding. The initiative includes a $65 million bond package that would build 1,000 new apartment units for seniors in 40 communities and reduce taxes for seniors.
Andrew Pershing, an associate professor in UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences and researcher at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, was interviewed by NECN for a report about how Gulf of Maine warming trends could have a major effect on the state’s fishing industry. Pershing said the warming temperatures could increase lobster landings in the short term, but could have a negative impact on lobster health and reproduction rates in the future. “The big worry is if we were to stay on this trend for a number of years, we could see some of the same shellfish disease issues that have devastated southern New England,” Pershing said. WLBZ (Channel 2) carried the NECN report.
The Free Press reported Patricia Libby, a member of the instructional and student services staff at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center since 2011, has been named associate director of the Belfast-based outreach facility. Libby will join Monique LaRocque, associate provost for the UMaine Division of Lifelong Learning (DLL), in leading the center, which has become an educational and cultural focal point for Maine’s midcoast since opening in 2000.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s bulletin with guidelines on raw milk production is available for licensed dealers and people interested in becoming licensed with the state of Maine. Donald E. Hoenig, VMD, UMaine Extension, authored “Raw Milk Production: Guidelines for Maine Licensed Dealers.” Topics covered include milking procedures, milk room equipment, milking facilities, cleaning equipment, raw milk and foodborne illness, and tests conducted by the Department of Agriculture. More information, free downloads and bulletin copies for $1 each are available from the UMaine Extension Publication Catalog, by calling 207.581.3792 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spencer Meyer, A Recent Ph.D. Alumnus in the School of Forest Resources, Receives 2014 President's Research Impact Award
Posted September 2, 2014
Spencer Meyer, Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Resources May 2014 graduate who worked with the Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI) through the University of Maine’s School of Forest Resources has received, along with his faculty advisors Dr. Rob Lilieholm and Dr. Chris Cronan, has been awarded the 2014 President’s Research Impact Award for the development of a sophisticated online mapping tool that allows Maine communities to visualize future landscape scenarios in localized areas.
A member of SSI’s Alternative Futures Team, Dr. Meyer led the development of the Maine Futures Community Mapper (MFCM) over four years with team leader Lilieholm, Associate Professor of Forest Policy, Cronan, Professor of Plant Biology and Ecology, and Michelle Johnson, an SSI doctoral candidate in UMaine’s Ecology and Environmental Science program. The groundbreaking tool will allow town planners, conservationists, developers, and the general public to better understand and manage community assets – both in terms of conservation and economic development – now and in the future.
Dr. Meyer, who has been at UMaine for 12 years as both a student and staff member, has been accepted into The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) NatureNet Fellows Program and will begin a two-year fellowship at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies this fall. Dr. Meyer will work together with Yale and TNC colleagues to address questions about how to prioritize future conservation efforts to sustain the environmental and economic benefits of utilizing forests as natural infrastructure.
Bob Steneck, a marine scientist at the University of Maine, and Andrew Pershing, an associate professor in UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences and researcher at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, were interviewed for the Associated Press article, “Gulf of Maine: ‘Poster child’ for global warming.” The warmer water contributed to an overabundance of lobsters in recent years, causing prices to tumble, the article states. Steneck said continued warming could force the crustaceans to move north or die off. Pershing said increased carbon dioxide in the air has contributed to rising temperatures of the oceans. His research shows the Gulf is among the fastest-warming bodies of water, and he cites shifts in the Gulf stream as a possible cause. ABC News, The Washington Post, CBC News and Business Insider carried the AP report.
The Bangor Daily News and WVII (Channel 7) reported Maine Savings Federal Credit Union announced a gift of at least $50,000 to the University of Maine Athletics Department during the grand opening of the credit union’s new Stillwater Avenue branch. John Reed, Maine Savings president and CEO, said the credit union has entered a five-year agreement during which each transaction using the institution’s new Black Bear Debit Card will result in a donation to UMaine’s Black Bear Fund, according to the BDN. Maine Savings will contribute a minimum of $10,000 per year to the fund, Reed said. Karlton Creech, UMaine’s director of athletics, said the department is grateful for the unique partnership. “A big emphasis for me and for our department is community engagement,” he said.
The Daily News of Newburyport, Massachusetts spoke with Spencer Traxler, a bioengineering student at the University of Maine, about his trip to Ecuador as part of the UMaine student group Engineers Without Borders. The Newburyport native was one of six UMaine students to travel to La “Y” de La Laguna in August on an assessment trip to open the door to a long-term project to improve water security in the 300-person community. “We are going to develop a relationship with the community,” Traxler said ahead of the trip.
The Piscataquis Observer published an article about the Greenville Super Science 4-H Club. Traditionally, 4-H — the youth development program of University of Maine Cooperative Extension — has focused on children tending to farm animals and agriculture, according to the article. Now the program also includes a variety of activities such as robotics, aquaculture and digital photography, and the self-governed clubs provide social and leadership development, the article states.