The Village Soup reported Liz Stanley, Home Horticulture Program coordinator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, will lead a workshop for beginning vegetable gardeners in Camden on Feb. 22. The hands-on, interactive workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Merryspring Nature Center.
The Bangor Daily News published a review of the play “One Blue Tarp,” which is currently being presented by the Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor. The play was written by Travis Baker, who teaches English at the University of Maine, and stars UMaine theatre instructors Tom Mikotowicz and Julie Lisnet.
HispanicBusiness.com reported on Kepware Technologies’ recent donation of $30,000 worth of software to the University of Maine’s Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) Program. Kepware, a Portland-based software development company focused on communications for automation, will outfit each of the 12 computers in the programmable logic controller lab with licenses for its professional-grade suite.
The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine has announced it is accepting applications for the 2014 Maine Government Summer Internship Program. The full-time, paid summer internship provides college students an opportunity to participate in and contribute to Maine government while gaining work experience in a state or local/county agency. This year the program is offering a select number of positions in local/county government in addition to state agency positions. Applicants must be Maine residents or nonresidents who are attending a Maine college and must have completed two years of college before the start of the program. The program runs from May 27 to August 15, 2014. The deadline for student applications is Saturday, March 1. Applications and more information are available online.
The University of Maine Graduate School is accepting submissions for the Graduate Student Photography Contest and Grad Talks: Graduate Student Videography Contest. Both contests are open to all UMaine graduate students, and the top winners will receive cash prizes. Submissions for the photo contest can be entered into one of three categories: grad student life, grad student research or grad student teaching. Submissions for the new video contest should be two minutes long and should explain to a general audience what the graduate student does in either research, service or teaching. Any video technique, such as film or animation, may be used. Video and photo submissions are due by Monday, March 17. For more information, including guidelines and submission information, contest applications and photo release forms, visit the Graduate School website.
Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, and Joe Galetti, a UMaine graduate student, were featured in an episode of the PBS show “America’s Heartland.” Bayer spoke about research being conducted into how lobster shells can be used in food products and Galetti spoke about his research into how to develop a food market for invasive green crabs. “America’s Heartland” was created to give consumers an inside look at the people and processes involved in bringing food, fuel and fiber to those in the United States and around the world, according to the show’s website.
Kirk Michaud, a junior wildlife biology major at the University of Maine, spoke with Bill Green for a segment on WLBZ (Channel 2) about what causes deer and moose to lose their antlers. Michaud, who recently wrote a paper on the topic for his vertebrate biology class, said shorter days and colder weather triggers the loss of antlers. In his paper, he explains antlers are bone which grow from the skull of deer and moose and they are used primarily for sparring in the fall. As the days get shorter and it gets colder, it triggers testosterone levels to drop, which causes the bone that holds the antlers to deteriorate.
Capital Press covered a talk given at the Washington Oregon Potato Conference by Andrei Alyokhin, an associate professor of applied entomology at the University of Maine. Alyokhin recommended farmers alternate crop rotations and insecticides to avoid building up insect populations that are resistant to the chemicals.
Anna Saar, who coordinates the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Senior Companion Program for Oxford, Androscoggin and Franklin counties, spoke with the Sun Journal about the program and her upcoming talk in Otisfield. Saar is scheduled to speak Feb. 6 at a presentation hosted by the Otisfield Social Outreach Committee for residents interested in helping their elderly homebound neighbors stay independent. She said the need for volunteers is great, and the visits require nothing more than companionship.
The Bangor Daily News reported Bristol residents will likely request that Maine Aqua Ventus — which includes the University of Maine and partner companies — consider a “community benefit agreement” that would provide the town with free electricity to the local school or additional educational opportunities for students. In January, Maine Aqua Ventus received initial approval from the Maine Public Utilities Commission for its proposed offshore wind pilot project. The project includes two turbines that would be on a floating base about 10 miles off the coast of Bristol. Jake Ward, UMaine’s vice president for innovation and economic development, said the project will provide Bristol with new property tax revenue, and the consortium is open to other opportunities to provide more benefits to the town.
Sandy, Danny and the rest of the characters from Rydell High take the stage for seven February performances of “Grease” in Hauck Auditorium at the University of Maine.
Sandra Hardy, professor of theatre at UMaine, is directing the ensemble show. She is joined by Danny Williams, music director; Jasmine Ireland, choreographer; Dan Bilodeau, set designer; Joseph Donovan, technical director; Samantha Paradis, stage manager; and Adam Medelson, lighting designer.
“While virtually everyone knows and loves the musical ‘Grease,’ and it certainly is a universal comment on adolescence, I am hoping that our ‘Grease’ says something more about the nature of adolescence — the pain of growing, in particular,” Hardy says.
Music education major Hope Milne of Hamilton, Mass., has the role of Sandy. Milne most recently played Wendla in UMaine’s February 2013 production of “Spring Awakening.” Music major Ira Kramer of Veazie, Maine, plays Danny. Kramer recently finished playing Prince Charming in Penobscot Theatre’s production of “Cinderella: A New Telling of an Old Tale.”
Music major Allisen Donovan, of Presque Isle, Maine, plays Rizzo, leader of the Pink Ladies. It’s an interesting role for Donovan, who is also a member of a local roller derby team. Music major Andrew Cotterly of Bangor, Maine, plays Kenickie, one the Greasers.
“Grease,” a 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, was once the longest-running show on Broadway. The production features a rock-and-roll score, including the songs “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightning,” and “We Go Together.” Set at fictional Rydell High School in 1959, the plot follows a group of teenagers as they explore nuances of love, relationships and social expectations. Themes are appropriate for mature audiences.
Performances are scheduled for Feb. 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. Admission is $15; tickets may be purchased online at umaine.edu/spa, or at the door. For disability accommodation requests, call 207.581.1781.
The University of Maine Museum of Art in downtown Bangor will offer ART@NOON, an informal gallery talk and tour with UMMA Director George Kinghorn at 12 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12. Kinghorn will discuss the museum’s current exhibition “From Piranesi to Picasso: Master Prints from the Permanent Collection,” on display through March 22. ART@NOON gallery talks are free and open to the public.
Posted February 4, 2014
Master of Science in Chemistry student Ashley Hellenbrand presented her research at the 2013 International Conference on Wood Ashesives in Toronto, Canada, where she won third prize and $100 for her poster “Formaldehyde Emissions from ‘Native Wood’”. Hellenbrand is a member of the Wood-Based Composite Center at Virginia Tech, an organization that brings industry and universities together to work on projects collaboratively and to solve or understand major issues. Her research on formaldehyde emissions is “an important topic because the government has been setting levels of emissions so low that ‘native’ wood itself will surpass the emission levels. Major players in the industry would like to know now much “native" wood emits naturally, what the conditions are that produce the most emissions and what is the best mechanism to monitor emissions.”
Danielle Walczak of Lee, N.H., is a third-year student at the University of Maine who is determined to make a difference as an environmental journalist.
The journalism major with minors in sustainable food systems and creative writing is a reporter for The Maine Campus and a student news writer for the UMaine Division of Marketing and Communications. Walczak is also a member of the Honors College and Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
Why did you choose UMaine?
I chose UMaine for a lot of reasons, one of the big ones being location. Being able to be in the mountains, near the water and out in the woods is very important to me. UMaine provides that for me with Acadia, Baxter and even all the land trust paths throughout Orono. Another reason I chose UMaine was because of my visits. I got a sense people at UMaine cared about who I was as a person and were always willing to help. That has proven to be true for me; it’s a very positive environment.
What is the most interesting, engaging or helpful class you’ve taken at UMaine? Why?
Principles of Sustainable Agriculture would have to be one of them. Professor Eric Gallandt has a wealth of knowledge, but also makes sustainable agriculture something accessible to students. In a lot of environmentally related classes, I leave thinking, “How in the world am I going to make a change?” I left Eric’s class feeling empowered and equipped with the right information to make a difference, especially here in Maine.
What difference has UMaine made in your life, helping you reach your goals?
UMaine has helped me reach my goals by giving me so many options in my education. With such a wide variety of classes, I can be a journalism major while also taking on minors that allow me to delve into my passion for the environment. I think environmental thinkers are what the world needs most to enact social change right now and in future years, and UMaine has given me a dynamic environmental education to help me get started on that path.
Have you had an experience at UMaine that has shaped the way you see the world?
It’s hard to pick just one. As a whole, my experience with the Honors College has given me perspective in my life. It has forced me to question how I see and process the world. I have learned to question my own biases and to not be afraid to push past walls just because they make me uncomfortable. I think those are skills that make a huge difference, not just in class but also in how I perceive everything I do in my life.
What advice do you have for incoming students?
Get involved. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, even if you’re scared to. Take a wide range of classes and really seek out your interests. Go to all sorts of events. There are so many things happening on campus people should take advantage of.
Chefs often go to the docks to select fresh catch to prepare their evening seafood dinners.
In the near future, area chefs and the public may routinely be getting fresh, sustainable fish from a Maine-based indoor fish farm.
A number of locals are working toward that future, including middle-school students, educators, marine scientists, businesspeople, funders, and a fisherman who helps run a cooperative. Participants involved in this cutting-edge indoor fish farming technology project will gather at Herring Gut Learning Center in Port Clyde on Thursday, Feb. 6.
Following are snapshots of the participating organizations:
School of Roots at the Herring Gut Learning Center, Port Clyde, Maine
The School of Roots, a student-run aquaponics business established in 2010, is managed by middle-school youth in RSU 13’s Alternative Education Program at the Herring Gut Learning Center. The students learn academic concepts while developing, marketing and selling products to grocers, restaurants and community members. They previously test-marketed and sold black sea bass produced by Acadia Harvest and are now premarketing Acadia Harvest’s California yellowtail. Feb. 6, the students will help harvest the fish; they plan to have them all sold within 48 hours of harvest.
For more information on the School of Roots, visit herringgut.org/schoolofroots.html?id=1.
For more information on Herring Gut Learning Center, visit herringgut.org.
Acadia Harvest Inc., Brunswick, Maine
Acadia Harvest was formed in early 2011 as RAS Corporation. Acadia Harvest (AHI) is working at the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin, Maine, to develop new technologies in land-based, indoor sustainable fish farming, known as recirculating aquaculture systems. Principals Chris Heinig (CEO), Tap Pryor (chief scientist) and Ed Robinson (chairman) have been growing and test marketing high-quality, nutritious, affordable fish, both California yellowtail and black sea bass. By 2016, they anticipate having their first commercial-scale production facility in Maine to initially produce 250 to 450 metric tons of fish annually. With a SBIR Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation, the company has experimented with marine worms and various forms of algae in the recirculating aquaculture system to achieve an environmentally friendly “zero-waste” facility. AHI has a purchase option on a parcel of land in Gouldsboro, on the site of a former naval facility at Corea. The construction of a first-phase production facility would involve a multi-million dollar investment and the creation of 10–15 new jobs for the area.
University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, Franklin, Maine
UMaine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, directed by Nick Brown, is a business incubation facility and a center for applied aquaculture research, development and demonstration. CCAR is assisting Acadia Harvest in its development of recirculating aquaculture technology by providing sophisticated aquaculture business incubation facilities, recirculation technology and marine research expertise. CCAR also will provide juvenile fish from its state-of-the-art hatchery for Acadia Harvest.
For more information about UMaine’s CCAR, visit www.ccar.um.maine.edu/index.html.
Port Clyde Fresh Catch: A Maine Fishermen’s Cooperative, Port Clyde, Maine
Port Clyde Fresh Catch is the country’s first community-supported fishery. It’s part of a movement seeking to do for small-scale local fishermen what community-supported agriculture does for farmers. On Feb. 6, Glen Libby and the Port Clyde team will process the California yellowtail grown by Acadia Harvest.
For more information about Port Clyde Fresh Catch, visit portclydefreshcatch.com.
Both Maine Technology Institute and Coastal Enterprises, Inc. have provided funding that has been instrumental in Acadia Harvest’s development of indoor fish farming technology.
Maine Technology Institute (MTI), Brunswick, Maine
The Maine Technology Institute is a private nonprofit organization chartered by the state to “invest in innovation” in seven key sectors. MTI funds entrepreneurs, growing businesses and research institutions engaged in research and development of innovative technologies in Aquaculture & Marine, Agriculture & Forestry, Biotechnology, Precision Manufacturing, Advanced Composites, Information Technology and Environmental Technology. In addition to a competitive grant and loan program, MTI also makes equity investments in promising technologies. Since its founding in 1999, MTI has invested more than $178 million in the Maine economy, bringing in more than $250 million of additional investment to Maine, and creating high-quality jobs and long-term value for the state.
For more information about MTI, visit mainetechnology.org.
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), Wiscasset, Maine
CEI, a 501(c)(3) private, nonprofit Community Development Corporation (CDC) and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), is among the leading rural finance entities in the Northeast. Founded in 1977, and headquartered in Maine, CEI has provided $1.05 billion in loans and investments, and business and housing counseling services to more than 43,082 people, helping to create economically and environmentally healthy communities in New England, upstate New York, and throughout rural America.
For more information about CEI, visit ceimaine.org.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
Finding more efficient ways to serve Maine landowners by incorporating social work strategies — including effective communication and resource- linking skills — into forest management is the goal of a collaborative project between researchers at two schools in the University of Maine College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.
Jessica Leahy, an associate professor of human dimensions of natural resources in the UMaine School of Forest Resources, is leading the study that tests social work approaches to conservation in the Cumberland County town of Baldwin and surrounding communities. Researchers hope to determine if these strategies could lead to more effective outcomes to landowners’ challenges as opposed to using traditional forestry solutions, such as management plans and outreach materials.
“Social workers are good at listening to people — understanding their needs and connecting people to appropriate resources,” Leahy says. “That’s why we need social workers to help landowners; to listen to what they’d like to do with their land, and then connect and coordinate services from natural resource professionals.”
There are more than 85,000 families in Maine that own at least 10 acres of woods, Leahy says. Their needs can be addressed by UMaine, the Maine Forest Service and others if those organizations can provide services that work for landowners, she adds.
Many conservation problems are related to social and economic factors. While foresters and other natural resource professionals help landowners make decisions about land management, they may not be equipped to handle the challenges landowners face that involve family dynamics. A social work approach could be the answer to solving these conservation problems, Leahy says.
“Foresters specialize in land management and trees, but landowners are often dealing with human issues such as how to afford their taxes and how to talk to their family about what they’d like to happen with their land after they pass away,” she says. “Landowners also often don’t know what a forester can do for them nor do they know how to coordinate all the potential natural resource professionals that are there to help them.”
Leahy, the project’s forestry expert, hired Doug Robertson and Chris Young, students in the UMaine School of Social Work. Both Robertson, a senior in the bachelor’s of social work program from Benton, Maine, and Young, a first-year graduate student of social work from Bangor, Maine, grew up around Maine woodland owners. They’re interested in connecting with landowners through the project and learning more about the land that many families rely on and how community organizations can help.
Pam Wells, a licensed clinical social worker, is supervising the students and translating the social work aspect of the project. She is also a landowner who recognizes areas where social work and forestry intersect.
“Pam often talks about how challenging it is to find, understand and coordinate the various assistance programs that are out there for landowners like the Tree Growth Tax Law, Natural Resources Conservation Service cost-share programs and programs offered by the Maine Forest Service,” Leahy says.
Kevin Doran and Andy Shultz of the Maine Forest Service are also helping with the study.
The one-year project, which began in Sept. 2013 and runs through August 2014, received a $6,500 Maine Community Foundation grant. The project’s social work approach to conservation has been untested to date, Leahy says.
“It’s an innovative, highly experimental, never-been-done-before project that is bridging forestry and social work together in an effort to better engage and serve rural families who own forestland in southern Maine,” she says.
Part of the project will include the development of a forest-specific wraparound case management process that will be implemented with one landowning family. The wraparound process in social work recognizes that all aspects of someone’s life — social, economic and ecological — are related. This understanding is then used to help the individual by focusing on incremental progress, involving community support and using science-based interventions, according to Leahy.
The focus of the project will be on measuring and evaluating the outcomes of the approach to improve future efforts.
“Ultimately, we hope more landowners will be empowered to be stewards of their land, and that will lead to healthy forests, healthy rural economies and healthy families,” Leahy says.
Other aspects of the community project include assisting the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine with succession planning efforts, offering peer-to-peer learning experiences such as suppers and forums, organizing workshops for natural resource professionals to increase their cultural competency and researching community interest in creating a low-income wood bank — similar to a food bank — for the Baldwin area.
Upcoming peer-to-peer learning events include the project’s second woods forum and community supper Feb. 7, a workshop on estate planning for landowners Feb. 27 and a Forester’s Institute brown bag lunch on cultural competency April 11.
Robertson and Young are looking for a family to work with on the project. Interested families must live in Sebago, Hiram, Cornish, Limington, Baldwin or Standish and own at least 10 acres. To participate or for more information on the project or scheduled workshops, call Robertson, 207.435.4798, or Young, 207.992.6182.
The Bangor Daily News reported 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. Kris Burton, director of technology commercialization in the UMaine Department of Industrial Cooperation, told the BDN several other varieties are currently being evaluated for release over the next few years through the university’s partnership with the Maine Potato Board. “Working closely with the board allows us to commercialize the best varieties to support the Maine potato industry and further research in the field,” Burton said. FreshPlaza also carried the BDN report.
WABI (Channel 5) covered the third annual 12-hour BearFest Dance Marathon held at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center. The student-run event was held to raise money for Eastern Maine Medical Center, an EMHS Foundation Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Theo Koboski, a student organizer of the event, said BearFest offers a great chance for UMaine students to give back to local families while having fun.
The Bangor Daily News published a feature article on Roosevelt Boone, a former University of Maine football player and current graduate student pursuing master’s degrees in kinesiology and physical education as well as human development. Boone is the co-founder of Strong Mind-Strong Body Inc., a nonprofit organization that sponsors free programs that promote physical education, wellness and nutrition for children ages 10–17. Boone, who co-founded the organization with his mother, has run three summer camps at UMaine and has traveled to Ghana twice to share his knowledge with less fortunate children. GHANAsoccernet and Sun Journal also carried the BDN report.
WVII (Channel 7) reported on Kepware Technologies’ recent donation of $30,000 worth of software to the University of Maine’s Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) Program. Kepware, a Portland-based software development company focused on communications for automation, will outfit each of the 12 computers in the programmable logic controller lab with licenses for its professional-grade suite.