WABI (Channel 5) covered the Maine National History Day competition held at the University of Maine. More than 300 students, teachers and chaperones from about 20 Maine middle and high schools gathered at the event to show off their exhibits, websites, documentaries and performances. National History Day (NHD) is an academic program that promotes critical thinking, research and presentation skills through project-based learning for students of all abilities. Students’ projects were judged, and the top two winners in each category became eligible to compete in the national contest in Washington, D.C. in June. A scavenger hunt with activities from a half dozen museums and history organizations, including a Civil War re-enactment group, also were offered to students.
University of Maine doctoral student Skylar Bayer, aka “The Lonely Lady Scientist” among fans of “The Colbert Report,” was quoted in a Slate article titled, “Stephen Colbert is the Best Source of Science on TV.” Article author David Shiffman, a University of Miami doctoral student, said he hoped Colbert would continue to showcase scientists when he succeeds David Letterman as host of “The Late Show.” Bayer told Shiffman that Colbert’s method of using humor and sarcasm to explain science is effective. After she played the Colbert segment in which she appeared to high school students, she asked them for their impressions. “I asked them what they thought about scientists afterwards. They said I seemed pretty normal,” she said. “I asked them if they learned anything about scallop reproduction. They said they got that it was important to the fishery. Getting some high-schoolers to get those two pieces of information out of a TV segment while laughing hysterically is a huge accomplishment.”
WABI (Channel 5) reported volunteers from the University of Maine helped children celebrate NanoDays at the Maine Discovery Museum in downtown Bangor. The museum set up hands-on activities to help children understand small particles. Trudi Plummer, the museum’s education director, said there is a lot of nanoscience research happening at the the University of Maine, and the displays show children what can be done using nanoscience technology.
James McCleave, a University of Maine professor emeritus of marine sciences and a leading expert on eels, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for an article about Maine’s elver industry. McCleave, who has spent the last 40 years studying eels, said he has seen eels go from being considered a food source for humans, to fish bait, and now an expensive export while in their early stages as elvers. McCleave also spoke about the “muddy” flavor of wild eels. He said the eels’ natural fattiness makes it easy for them to retain toxins. “Eels in the wild that are 10 years old have been out there collecting nasties for 10 years,” he said.
Data from a 2006 University of Maine study was cited in a Portland Press Herald article titled, “Maine residents seek state help on arsenic in well water.” The article states about 40 percent of Mainers use private water wells, and according to the UMaine research, a quarter of those wells have arsenic concentrations more than 10 parts per billion — the federal legal standard for public drinking water.
WABI (Channel 5) covered the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s 14th annual Great Maine Bike Swap that was held at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center. More than 400 bikes, including road bikes, mountain bikes and unicycles, were on sale at the event.
Ian Dickey, MD, FRCSC, lead physician of Eastern Maine Medical Center’s orthopedic surgical specialists, has been invited to serve as the first chair of the University of Maine Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering’s new external advisory board, EMMC announced.
UMaine established the school in 2006 as a collaborative effort between the university, The Jackson Laboratory, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, University of Southern Maine and University of New England. About 40 Ph.D. students and 100 faculty members are currently involved with the school, researching molecular and cellular biology, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, toxicology and functional genomics.
“To move to the next stage, the program needs the advice of a high-powered, knowledgeable external advisory board,” said David Neivandt, director of the UMaine Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering. “This board, with Dr. Dickey’s leadership, will provide external counsel and perspective regarding scientific direction and curricula, assist in identifying and securing external funding, aid in networking for students and faculty, and serve as an advocacy role both internal and external to the university.”
The full EMMC news release is online.
Posted April 14, 2014
Dr. Kurt Rademaker, 2012 doctoral graduate from the University of Maine and faculty associate of both the Department of Anthropology and the Climate Change Institute, recently received the 16th Tubingen Research Prize in Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology. The award is offered by the Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen, Germany and was created to foster innovative research among young scholars studying Ice Age archaeology, Quaternary ecology and human evolution. As the 2014 recipient, Rademaker delivered the prize lecture February 6th in Germany, received 5,000 Euros, and is expected to contribute a research paper summarizing his research for the journal Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Urgeschichte.
Posted April 14, 2014
School of Marine Sciences graduate student Jocelyn Runnebaum helped develop and write the recently funded project for studying Atlantic cod and cusk bycatch in the lobster fishery, which potentially has significant impacts on the management of the Maine lobster fishery. Runnebaum is in the dual MS program in Marine Policy and Marine Biology. The Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant grant was awarded through NOAA for a two year project. Specifically this research aims to assess if Atlantic cod and cusk can survive physical trauma that is induced when brought to the surface in a lobster trap if a treatment is applied in a timely manner. Jocelyn will be working with Dr. Chen to play a critical role in the three components of the research; modeling, fieldwork, and outreach. This is a cooperative research endeavor that utilizes opportunistic sampling methods by researchers accompanying commercial lobster harvesters on regular fishing trips to collect data about Atlantic cod and cusk. Jocelyn has identified fisherman participants and has already been working with them to collect data on cusk; she will continue conducting research on cusk and a future graduate student will focus their research on Atlantic cod.
The 2014 Graduate School Newsletter, The Higher Degree is available. Check out the features, including information about the first Graduate School Dean, George Davis Chase.
The Bangor Daily News reported two music professors at the University of Maine — Ludlow Hallman and Dennis Cox — will retire at the end of the semester, and the upcoming Bangor Symphony Orchestra concert will be their last time working with the UMaine vocal groups they’ve led for decades. Hallman has conducted the Oratorio Society since he began teaching at UMaine in 1970, and Cox has led the University Singers for more than 30 years. Hallman said the two have been through a lot together and have become “very good friends.” Both men spoke highly of UMaine’s music program, facilities and students. “We have great students right now, and I mean that sincerely,” said Cox. “It’s always about the students. It’s always the most rewarding part of any day,” added Hallman.
The Portland Press Herald and WVII (Channel 7) reported on the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation’s 64th annual Paper Days held at UMaine. The event brought together UMaine students, faculty and professionals in the pulp and paper industry to discuss how to better prepare students for careers in the field. Carrie Enos, president of the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation, said for the past three years, the foundation has placed 100 percent of its scholarship students in jobs after graduation. “One of our goals is to expand our outreach and help people understand that the paper industry is vibrant. There is still significant demand for people to fill jobs in the industry,” Enos said. Nicholas Hart, a UMaine senior studying chemical engineering, told WVII Paper Days is a great networking opportunity and recommends the event to other students.
The Free Press reported on the upcoming symposium, “Maine and The Mortal Sea: Taking Stock of the Past, Present and Future of Our Living Sea,” to be held at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center (DMC) in Walpole on Saturday, April 26. Fishermen, historians, marine scientists, authors, students, economists and fisheries managers are expected to gather at the interdisciplinary event that is based on the award-winning book, “The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail,” by University of New Hampshire historian W. Jeffrey Bolster.
During a segment on tuning up bicycles for spring, WVII (Channel 7) advanced the 14th annual Great Maine Bike Swap that will be held at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center on Sunday, April 13. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine (BCM) is hosting the swap to give people the opportunity to buy affordable and used bikes, as well as sell their own.
More than 100 presentations were made made during the 2014 Graduate Academic Exposition (GradExpo) in separate categories of four areas of competition — poster presentations, oral presentations, intermedia and fine arts exhibits, and a PechaKucha, or rapid-fire slide show event — as well as a graduate student photo contest.
About $15,000 worth of 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.
Following are the winning presentations:
President’s Research Impact Award — Spencer Meyer and advisers Rob Lilieholm and Chris Cronan
Innovation Award — Spencer Meyer
Provost’s Innovative/Creative Teaching Award — Rebecca White, first; John Bell, second; and Matthew McEntee, third
Graduate Dean’s Undergraduate Mentoring Award — Brittany Cline, first; Agnes Taylor, second; and Kara Lorion, third
Graduate Student Video Award — Hari Prasath Palani
UMaine Alumni Association Alum Award — Lauren Thornbrough
Graduate Student Photo Contest, Graduate Student Life Category — Eva Manandhar, first; Brett Lerner, second; and Corey Cole, third
Graduate Student Photo Contest, Graduate Student Research Category — Amy Pierce, first; Timothy Godaire, second; and Robin Arnold, third
PechaKucha — Theodore Wilhite, first; Amy Pierce, second; and John Bell, third
Intermedia — Julie Riley, first; Amy Pierce, second; and Jessica LeClair, third
Arts and Humanities Oral Competition — Rebecca White, first; Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed, second; and Ian Jesse, third
Arts and Humanities Poster Competition — Hari Prasath Palani, first; John Bell, second; and Bethany Engstrom, third
Natural Sciences Oral Competition — Brianna Hughes, first; Anna Breard, second; and Maureen Correll, third
Natural Sciences Poster Competition — Luke Groff, first; Donna Kalteyer, second; and Julia McGuire, third
Physical Sciences and Technology Oral Competition — Mojtaba Razfar, first; Panduka Piyaratne, second; and Silas Owusu-Nkwantabisah, third
Physical Sciences and Technology Poster Competition — David Pearson, first; Supamon Singkankachen, second; and Merida Batiste, third
Social Sciences Oral Competition — Hollie Smith, first; Kourtney Collum, second; and Addie Pelletier
Social Sciences Poster Competition — Theodora Ruhs, first; Tyler Quiring, second; and Steven Hutchinson, third
The University of Maine Symphonic and Concert bands will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at the Collins Center for the Arts.
The 45-member Symphonic Band, directed by Christopher White, recently wrapped up a four-day, nine-performance spring coastal tour. Nine times on the tour, music performance major Blake Peachey of Augusta, Maine, performed “Concerto for Bb Cornet or Trumpet” by Franz J. Haydn. Peachey, winner of the 2014 UMaine Student Concerto Competition, will again play the trumpet solo at this concert. The program will also include two Percy Grainger folk songs as well as “Fantasia in G Major” by J.S. Bach and “Parkour” by Samuel R. Hazo.
The 54-member Concert Band, directed by Dana Ross, will play five selections, including “An Irish Rhapsody” by Clare Grundman, “Amazing Grace for Concert Band” by Frank Ticheli and “Prairie Songs” by Pierre LaPlante.
Tickets are $12 or free with a student MaineCard. For tickets, call 207.581.4721. For disability accommodations, call 207.581.1755.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the upcoming 14th annual Great Maine Bike Swap that will be held at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center on Sunday, April 13. The swap is hosted by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine (BCM) and gives people the opportunity to buy affordable and used bikes, as well as sell their own. Hundreds of bikes — from children’s bikes to mountain bikes — will be on sale.
About 75 students from the University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, Penn State, Rutgers and Cornell are expected to gather at the UMaine campus April 11–12 for the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association’s (IFTSA) North Atlantic Area Meeting.
The event brings together students from food science departments in the North Atlantic area, and provides them with updates and information from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and its student association.
The meeting also serves as a food science trivia contest among the five universities. The winning institution of the North Atlantic Area College Bowl Competition will advance to the finals at the IFT Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La. in June.
Mary Ellen Camire, president-elect of IFT and professor of food science and human nutrition at UMaine, will speak at the regional meeting’s welcome dinner on April 11.
For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact UMaine student Kaitlyn Feeney on FirstClass.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a 10-session Master Food Preserver training program starting June 19 and ending Sept. 25. Lectures, discussions and hands-on kitchen lab education will be conducted 10 Thursdays, 5:30–8:30 p.m., at Gorham Middle School, 106 Weeks Road, Gorham, and at the UMaine Extension Office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
A Master Food Preserver is a UMaine Extension volunteer who has successfully completed the practical, research-based program on food safety and preservation. Volunteers agree to give back 20 hours of time for community-based projects within a year. Projects could include hands-on food preservation workshops, staffing educational displays and demonstrations and providing information at farmers markets, county fairs and other food-related events.
May 2 is the deadline to apply. Fees are on a sliding scale, from $125 to $330, based on household income. To request an application or disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099 or 800.287.1471 (in Maine). For more information, contact Kathleen Savoie, Extension Educator, 207.781.6099, email@example.com.
Applications are available online.
The University of Maine and the Maine Potato Board announced the creation of two new potato varieties — the Easton and the Sebec — that were developed over the past several growing seasons. The varieties are targeted at the french fry and potato chip industries.
“The University of Maine has the research and development capability and commitment for developing new potato varieties, from the lab to the field, which takes years. They understand what the growers and the industry are looking for and need. We, in turn, as a board, have the capacity to promote the varieties and maintain the quality of seed certification required for the integrity of the variety and the market. We are already fielding questions from growers around the country, as well as in Maine. Both of these new potato varieties are very promising. This type of result is what makes this partnership truly advantageous for the future of our industry.”
— Don Flannery, executive director of the Maine Potato Board