News

Danielle Walczak: Writing for Environmental Change

University of Maine News - Tue, 02/04/2014 - 11:14

Click here to view more student profiles

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.

Categories: Combined News, News

Get Hooked on Indoor Fish Farming

University of Maine News - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 16:18

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

Categories: Combined News, News

Functioning Family Forests

University of Maine News - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 16:18

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.

Categories: Combined News, News

Maine Potato Board, UMaine Unveil Two New Potato Varieties, BDN Reports

University of Maine News - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:32

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.

Categories: Combined News, News

WABI Covers Third Annual BearFest Dance Marathon

University of Maine News - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:30

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.

Categories: Combined News, News

BDN Feature Focuses on UMaine Grad Student’s Work Educating Children

University of Maine News - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:29

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.

Categories: Combined News, News

WVII Reports on Kepware’s Software Donation to Engineering Program

University of Maine News - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:28

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.

Categories: Combined News, News

Foster Center Cited in Council Chairman’s Ideas to Attract People to Bangor, BDN Reports

University of Maine News - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:28

The University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation was mentioned in City Council Chairman Ben Sprague’s 38 ideas for how to attract more people to live and work in Bangor, the Bangor Daily News reported. “Work to link University of Maine Innovation Center efforts to Bangor” was listed in Sprague’s proposal of 38 “action steps” he would like to see implemented.

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Student Featured in BDN Article on Maine GOP Youth Movement

University of Maine News - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:27

Lee Jackson, a 19-year-old University of Maine student and Old Town school board member, was featured in a Bangor Daily News article titled “With cadre of young leaders, Maine GOP launches youth movement.” Jackson said problems facing Maine and the country will only be solved through bipartisan conversations. He added “neither party has a monopoly on good ideas” and to be on his team, all that’s needed is a goal of helping Maine people. The Sun Journal also carried the BDN report.

Categories: Combined News, News

Cooperative Extension Mentioned in Press Herald Gardening Column

University of Maine News - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:26

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension was mentioned in the latest column in the Portland Press Herald’s Maine Gardener series. The article focused on the state of Maine preparing to hire a specialist in invasive plants whose first project will be to develop a list of invasive plants for Maine. UMaine Extension currently has a list of potentially invasive plants, the article states.

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Museum of Art Exhibitions Focus of Press Herald Article

University of Maine News - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:25

The Portland Press Herald reported on the University of Maine Museum of Art’s winter exhibitions that will run through March 22. The exhibits, “From Piranesi to Picasso: Master Prints from the Permanent Collection,” Hannah Cole’s “Time’s Wife” and Kenny Cole’s “Parabellum (Prepare for War)” include art from a Maine local to famous artists such as Francisco Goya and Pablo Picasso.

Categories: Combined News, News

Kepware Donates $30,000 Worth of Software to UMaine Students

University of Maine News - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 15:10

Kepware Technologies, a software development company focused on communications for automation, announced it is donating $30,000 worth of software to the University of Maine’s Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) Program. Kepware will outfit each of the 12 computers in the programmable logic controller lab with licenses for its professional-grade suite. About 100 students in the EET program will use Kepware’s software for required classes, which the other 370 full-time students in the School of Engineering Technology can also take as electives. Kepware Technologies’ office is located in Portland, Maine. The full news release is available online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Bangor Business Helps Raise Funds for BearFest, WABI Reports

University of Maine News - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 13:10

WABI (Channel 5) reported Sweet Frog, a frozen yogurt shop in Bangor, hosted a spirit night to raise funds for the University of Maine’s third annual BearFest. During the event, 20 percent of the shop’s proceeds went to the 12-hour BearFest Dance Marathon that is being held Feb. 1 to raise money for Eastern Maine Medical Center, an EMHS Foundation Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. About 600 students are expected to dance during the event.

Categories: Combined News, News

Program Founded by Thaler Focus of BDN Article

University of Maine News - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 13:09

The Bangor Daily News reported on an immersive program founded by Jeff Thaler, assistant university counsel and a visiting professor of energy policy, law and ethics at the University of Maine, that places Williams College students in the homes of Portland immigrants and asylum seekers. The experience aims to help students of the private school in rural Massachusetts gain insight into the lives of people who came to urban America for safety from persecution. Thaler, a Williams College alumnus who helped found the Williams-at-Home program, said families who host students also learn more about America and its culture.

Categories: Combined News, News

Engineering Students Volunteer at Challenger Learning Center Event, WVII Reports

University of Maine News - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 13:08

University of Maine students were on hand at the Challenger Learning Center’s Family Engineering Night in Bangor, WVII (Channel 7) reported.

The annual event is held to get children and their families excited about math and science. Evelyn Fairman, vice president of UMaine’s Society of Women Engineers, said at the event children are given a task and challenge to complete, which is similar to engineering in real life.

Categories: Combined News, News

Rice Quoted in MPBN Report on Mill Merger

University of Maine News - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 13:07

Robert Rice, a professor of wood science and technology at the University of Maine, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report titled “Maine paper mill merger plans hit snag.” Verso Paper recently announced it would buy NewPage Holdings, but in a letter released this week, Verso told the NewPage Board of Directors that not enough of its debt holders are willing to participate in a swap required to finance the deal. Rice said on paper the deal looks good, and after an adjustment period the mills would likely be in a more competitive position in the market.

Categories: Combined News, News

Righthand Talks to BDN About Juvenile Offenders, Treatment

University of Maine News - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 13:06

The Bangor Daily News spoke with Sue Righthand, a clinical psychologist who works with the Department of Corrections and an associate professor of psychology at the University of Maine, for the article “Experts: Sex assaults by children in Maine not rare, but treatment works.” Righthand, who has published several reports on sexual offenders in Maine, said educating young people about what is appropriate behavior and helping offenders develop healthy relationships are keys to preventing recurrence and should be a statewide goal.

Categories: Combined News, News

Athletic Training Student Featured in BDN Photos, Article

University of Maine News - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 13:05

Patrick Hapworth, an athletic training major at the University of Maine, was featured in a Bangor Daily News article and series of photos about him and his gymnastics hobby. Hapworth, a former high school wrestler, said he became interested in gymnastics after he saw a wrestler from a competing school celebrate a state title by doing a backflip. He then taught himself gymnastics by watching YouTube videos.

Categories: Combined News, News

MPBN Interviews Rebar for Report on Farm Bill, Hemp Growing

University of Maine News - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 13:04

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with John Rebar, executive director of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, for a report about how the final enactment of the current version of the Farm Bill, which is expected to be approved in the U.S. Senate, would remove a federal ban on growing hemp. Although growing hemp is already legal in Maine, Rebar said with federal bans in place, UMaine Extension never cultivated a crop or studied the issue beyond a 2003 study that found hemp could be a possible crop for Maine. He said if the bill passes, UMaine Extension will take time to understand what it would mean to grow hemp and the implications.

Categories: Combined News, News

Free Press Advances Stancioff’s Talk on Coastal Maine’s Changes

University of Maine News - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 13:04

The Free Press reported the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association of Newcastle, Maine, will host a talk by Esperanza Stancioff, an educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant, as part of its winter talk series “Citizen Science in the Sheepscot Watershed.” Stancioff will speak Feb. 5 about the current research on how coastal Maine’s climate is changing, how it might change in the future and the current adaptations that are under way.

Categories: Combined News, News
Syndicate content