A team of University of Maine scientists studying nearly 11,700-year-old ice cores from Greenland found that history is repeating.
Paul Mayewski, director and distinguished professor of UMaine’s Climate Change Institute, says today’s climate situation in the Arctic is equivalent to, but more localized, than the warming during the Younger Dryas/Holocene shift about 11,700 years ago.
Mayewski led the research team that examined Arctic ice formed 11,700 years ago during a rapid climate transition from the Younger Dryas (near-glacial) period to the Holocene era (period of relative warm since then). Ice cores, in essence, are timelines of past climates.
The abrupt shift then included a northward shift in the jet stream, an abrupt decrease in North Atlantic sea ice and more moisture in Greenland. These changes resulted in milder weather, fewer storms and initially more than a doubling of the length of the summer season around Greenland, the team says.
“It is highly unlikely that future change in climate will be linear as evidenced by the past and by the recent, abrupt and massive warming in the Arctic,” Mayewski says. “Understanding and ideally predicting the likelihood, timing and location of future nonlinearities in climate is essential to realistic climate prediction, adaptation and sustainability.”
The ice formed during that one-year onset of the Holocene climate “sheds light on the structure of past abrupt climate changes and provides unparalleled perspective with which to assess the potential for near-term rapid shifts in atmospheric circulation and seasonality,” Mayewski says.
Additional exploration of the ice cores, with respect to the length of seasons, is expected to yield information about precursors for abrupt climate shifts. “Identifying and using the precursors will fill an essential void in climate prediction models by testing for sensitivity in the context of past analogs,” the researchers say.
In the university’s W.M. Keck Laser Ice Facility, the researchers had the first-ever ultra-high-resolution look at ice cores formed during the swift shift from the near-glacial period to the current period of relative warmth. The ice core samples were removed from a depth spanning 1,677.5 meters to 1,678.5 meters, or from 11,643 to 11,675 years ago.
Mayewski has led more than 50 expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctica, Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau, Tierra del Fuego and the Andes. He has shared his research with numerous media venues including “60 Minutes,” “NOVA,” BBC, “Fresh Air” and “The Diane Rehm Show.”
The research team includes Sharon Sneed, Sean Birkel, Andrei Kurbatov and Kirk Maasch, all from UMaine. The researchers’ findings are included in the article, “Holocene warming marked by abrupt onset of longer summers and reduced storm frequency around Greenland,” published in the January 2014 issue of the Journal of Quaternary Science.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
Lenard Kaye, director of the University of Maine Center on Aging and professor in the UMaine School of Social Work, spoke with Mainebiz about UMaine’s effort to apply engineering to aging for an article about Maine retirees rejoining the workforce. Kaye said the initiative follows the example of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab, which is engineering products that could improve and extend the quality of life for seniors. The UMaine initiative aims to allow seniors to remain in their homes or at work longer, and even inspire them to start their own business or return to the workforce.
The Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) covered the University of Maine women’s basketball team’s Play 4Kay game. The team raised $13,585 for the Kay Yow Foundation to support breast cancer research. Coach Richard Barron, who dyed his hair pink for the game, made good on his promise to shave his head if the team met its goal of $10,000. Play4Kay is named after Yow, a longtime North Carolina State women’s coach who died of breast cancer in 2009.
A study being conducted by University of Maine researchers to determine what flowers are most attractive to bees was the topic of the latest column in the Portland Press Herald’s Maine Gardener series. UMaine professors Alison Dibble, Lois Berg Stack and Frank Drummond are conducting the study at gardens in Old Town, Jonesboro and Blue Hill with the help of graduate student Eric Venturini. Honeybees have become scarcer and more expensive to bring in from out of state, which makes wild and native bees more important to commercial growers and home gardeners, according to the article.
The Bangor Daily News reported 20-year-old University of Maine student Margaret Howson was elected chair of the Hampden Republican Committee at the caucus held by the Penobscot County Republicans. She will also head Hampden’s 23-member delegation to the Republican state convention in April. Howson, who is majoring in English and psychology and minoring in political science and journalism, said she didn’t think of herself as a political animal until recently.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, for a report titled “Weak Canadian ‘Loonie’ worries Maine retailers.” Bayer said cheaper Canadian goods currently aren’t making a difference for Maine’s live lobster market, but he predicts there could be an effect on processed lobster this summer. He said Maine has fewer processing facilities than Canada and a weaker Canadian dollar allowing for cheaper workers could worsen the situation for Maine.
When the USS Somerset is commissioned in Philadelphia March 1, a University of Maine alumnus will be at the helm as its first commanding officer, and a retired Navy captain and now UMaine professor will be in the audience, representing Maine’s flagship university.
The first commanding officer of the USS Somerset, Capt. Thomas Dearborn, a native of Mount Vernon, Maine, received his commission in 1988 through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program at the UMaine, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in production and processing technology.
James Settele, the executive director of the University of Maine School of Policy and International Affairs, will also represent UMaine at the commissioning. Settele is a retired captain from the U.S. Navy who served more than 27 years on active duty.
The USS Somerset is named in honor of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Somerset County, Penn., on Sept. 11, 2001. The San Antonio-class ship joins the USS New York and USS Arlington named in commemoration of the 9/11 attacks.
The 22-ton steel bucket that was used by recovery personnel at the scene of the Flight 93 crash was melted down and cast into the Somerset’s bow stem, “embodying the strength and determination of the people of the United States to recover, to rally, to take the fight to the enemy,” according to the Navy League of the United States, which is organizing the commissioning.
The USS Somerset was launched in 2012. The March 1 ceremony is the formal shipboard commissioning that celebrates the ship’s formal entry into Navy service.
In honor of Black History Month, the University of Maine’s LGBT Services will host “A New Renaissance: Celebrating LGBT Poets of Color” 5:30–7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 in the Coe Room of the Memorial Union. Guests are invited to recite their favorite poems. A social gathering and discussion also will be held.
The University of Maine’s Hudson Museum is home to an artifact that may have inspired the logo design of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks: a carved Northwest Coast transformation mask.
The wooden mask, which depicts a bird of prey when closed and reveals a painted depiction of a human face when opened, is part of the William P. Palmer III collection on display at the museum.
The brightly colored mask, which has mirrors for eyes, is 2 feet long when closed and 3 feet long open. Hudson Museum Director Gretchen Faulkner says it likely was carved from cedar in the late 19th or early 20th century.
Faulkner says Richard Emerick, the late UMaine anthropologist and founder of the Hudson Museum, told her years ago that the wooden mask was the inspiration for the Seahawks logo that was unveiled in 1975. But there was no corroborating information in the mask’s collection file linking it to the Seahawks.
Now, though, a possible link exists.
Robin K. Wright, curator of Native American art and director of the Bill Holm Center at Burke Museum at the University of Washington, attributes the mask to the Kwakwaka‘wakw (kwock-KWOCKY-wowk) — Indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
A few days before Super Bowl XLVIII, Wright posted a blog “Searching for what inspired the Seattle Seahawks logo.”
The mask that Wright pictures in her blog as the likely motivation for the Seahawks design appeared in Robert Bruce Inverarity’s 1950 book, “Art of the Northwest Coast Indians.”
It’s believed to be the same mask displayed at the Hudson Museum, catalogue number HM5521.
In 1982, avid baseball fan William Palmer of Falmouth Foreside, Maine, bequeathed the mask, as well as other Northwest Coast art and an extraordinary collection of Pre-Colombian artifacts, to UMaine.
After the Seahawks Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Feb. 2, Faulkner told museum board member Isla Baldwin what Emerick had shared with her years ago about the mask being the inspiration for the Seattle football team’s original logo.
Baldwin discovered Wright’s blog while doing online research.
Contacted earlier this week, Wright says she’s thrilled to learn where the mask is housed. In a televised interview just prior to the Super Bowl, Wright said she expressed hope that the blog and TV interview might help unearth the location of the mask.
Masks are worn in Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonies that include singing, dancing and giving of gifts, Wright says, and often memorialize a deceased chief.
When the logo was unveiled in 1975, John Thompson, then-general manager of the Seahawks, was quoted saying that the logo designers referenced books about Northwest Coast art for inspiration. A call to the Seahawks was not returned by Friday morning.
Faulkner invites fans of art and athletics to visit the museum to see the piece; the museum is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
Companies considered to be good social performers are more likely to limit the levels of pay for their executives than similar firms within their industries, according to University of Maine researchers.
However, the top executives at the large firms examined in the study are not being penalized. The average compensation package in the sample was about $8 million, and additional pay above this level is not likely to generate additional motivation, say Maine Business School faculty members Patti Miles and Grant Miles, who conducted the study.
In their findings, published in Social Responsibility Journal, the researchers suggest that executives for the good social performers may be willing to “sacrifice at least a piece of financial compensation for the intangible rewards of being seen as good corporate citizens.”
A review by the journal publisher congratulated the researchers for their study findings that relate to “wider debates that have gone on around corporate ethics.”
Their findings were based on an examination of data from a sample of 57 firms identified as possessing “good corporate social responsibility,” which were compared to 57 firms of similar size and in the same industries. All of the firms included in the study were drawn from the Fortune 1000 list, and most rank within the Fortune 500.
The companies were selected as good social performers based on criteria such as inclusion in Fortune’s list of most admired and most accountable companies, or by filing reports with the Global Reporting Initiative and United Nations Global Compact. Overall, 33 industry segments were represented, with the greatest number coming from pharmaceuticals and petroleum refining.
Executive compensation data were drawn from public reports from 2005–07. The researchers examined both CEO pay and average compensation for the company’s top management team. In both cases, there was a significant correlation between corporate social responsibility and lower levels of executive pay.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
Michelle Hale of Bangor has been named project leader of Maine Career Connect, a Bangor-based nonprofit program of the University of Maine Rising Tide Center.
Maine Career Connect, funded by a $284,093 grant from the National Science Foundation, will work to network a consortium of employers in central and eastern Maine with newly relocated professional families, with an emphasis on spousal employment.
Hale has a decade of experience in nonprofit work, most recently with United Way of Eastern Maine, where she coordinated local community initiatives. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work and is completing a graduate certificate in business at the University of Maine. Hale also is a participant in the 2014 Bangor Region Leadership Institute.
Maine Career Connect will work with newly relocating professionals and employers of the region to ensure successful integration into the community. Dual career spouses will have access to high-level professional networking with employers that align with their professions in an effort to accelerate their job search process.
Professionals will receive networking assistance, both in seeking employment and also building social connections. Customized portfolios of vetted local resources will be offered to help families meet their particular needs outside the workplace.
The program, based on an innovative model adopted by Tech Valley Connect in Troy, N.Y., will benefit the region by helping to attract and retain talented professionals in a variety of fields.
For more information on Maine Career Connect, call 949.0098.
Contact: Michelle Hale, 207.949.0098; Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The Morning Sentinel cited research from the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine for an article about a proposed bill designed to protect Maine’s lobster industry by banning two pesticides that have been partially blamed for hurting lobster populations in New York and Connecticut. According to research from the Lobster Institute, the lobster industry pumps $1.7 billion into Maine’s economy.
The Bangor Daily News reported three former University of Maine hockey players will take part in the winter Olympics. Goalie Jimmy Howard, who plays for the Detroit Red Wings and played for UMaine from 2002 to 2005, will play for Team USA in Sochi. Howard’s Detroit teammate Gustav Nyquist was named to the Swedish Olympic team. Matthias Trattnig, a member of UMaine’s 1999 national championship team, will make his second Olympic appearance as an assistant captain for Team Austria. The Portland Press Herald carried an Associated Press report on Nyquist being named to the Swedish team.
The Bangor Daily News reported a proposed seven-mile methane gas pipeline between Juniper Ridge landfill in Old Town and the University of Maine has been scrapped because of lack of financing, according to an official with the landfill’s parent company Casella Waste Systems Inc. UMaine spokeswoman Margaret Nagle said the university and Casella are reserving the right to continue discussions should the opportunity present itself to create a pipeline that would provide cheap, renewable heat to the campus.
Fifty-six University of Maine student-athletes were named to the 2013 fall America East Honor Roll for obtaining a semester grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher.
A conference-record 708 student-athletes competed in fall sports for America East institutions, and 68 percent of all competitors garnered honor roll recognition.
Student-athletes from the UMaine women’s cross-country team took the title for most Black Bears named to the list, as 19 student-athletes qualified. Women’s soccer was next highest with 15, followed by field hockey with 13 and men’s cross-country with nine members qualifying for the honor.
Below is a full list of Maine’s honorees:
*Denotes Commissioner’s Honor Roll
The University of Maine Emera Maine Power Systems Laboratory to benefit undergraduate electrical engineering and electrical engineering technology education will be dedicated Feb. 10.
The lab, made possible by a $100,000 donation to the University of Maine Foundation from Emera Maine, is equipped to demonstrate concepts in electromechanical energy conversion and power systems. The facility will allow students to stay current with smart-grid technology.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson will be joined at the 1 p.m. ceremony in 27 Barrows Hall by alumnus Gerard Chasse, president and COO of Emera Maine, and Dana Humphrey, dean of the College of Engineering.
Also expected to be on hand to offer perspectives on the new lab will be UMaine alumnus Paul Villeneuve, associate professor of electrical engineering technology, and senior Jonathan Breard from Biddeford, Maine. Breard gained experience in the laboratory and in a summer 2013 internship with Bangor Hydro. He has accepted a position at ISO-NE in Holyoke, Mass., following his graduation this May.
Bangor-based Emera Maine is the state’s second-largest electric utility. The company delivers electricity to 154,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers across 9,350 square miles in five counties in eastern and northern Maine. Emera Maine is the result of the merger of Bangor Hydro Electric Company and Maine Public Service. Bangor Hydro became part of Emera Inc., in 2001 and Maine Public Service was acquired in 2010. The two companies formally merged as one utility Jan. 1, 2014.
The University of Maine Office of Campus Activities and Student Engagement (CASE) will host the annual UMaine Winter Carnival from Feb. 7–15. The event is open to all UMaine students. Activities will be taking place throughout campus and include late-night ice skating at the Alfond Arena, a snowman building contest, men’s and women’s basketball games, a bon fire, plays and performances. For more information, contact CASE at 207.581.1736.
James Warhola, a political science professor and chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Maine, was a guest on an episode of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio show. The show focused on Russia — U.S. relations and Russia’s role in the world today. Warhola spoke about security during the upcoming Olympics in Sochi, and said there is cause for concern in relation to terrorist attacks, but he believes everything possible has been done to ramp-up security.
Growing Produce cited a Bangor Daily News article on the introduction of two new potato varieties developed by the Maine Potato Board in partnership with the University of Maine. The new varieties — the Easton and the Sebec — were developed over the past several growing seasons and are targeted for the french fry and potato chip industries, although both can be used for fresh market consumption.
David Pariser, an art education professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, will visit the University of Maine to give a lecture on the development of childhood graphic skills and the juvenile work of famous artists, including the Wyeths.
Pariser will speak at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 in 100 Lord Hall on the UMaine campus. The title of his illustrated lecture is “The Juvenile Work of World-class Artists: Can we tell from their work that these children are bound for glory?”
Using artifacts gathered from Jamie Wyeth and works created by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in their youth, Pariser will present his research on the artistic development of children.
The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Constant Albertson at 207.581.3251. While on campus, Pariser is also scheduled to meet with students in art education classes.