The Bangor Daily News published the opinion piece “The shock of a husband’s death — and the loss of all Social Security benefits” by Sandra Butler, a professor of social work at the University of Maine, and Luisa Deprez, a professor and department chair of sociology and women and gender studies at the University of Southern Maine. Butler and Deprez are members of the Maine Regional Network, part of the Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together scholars across the country to address public challenges and their policy implications.
The Associated Press advanced a July 31 public meeting in Penobscot to provide information on the science of shellfish aquaculture. State officials will also inform the public about the ecological impacts of aquaculture, according to the article. Maine Sea Grant staff are facilitating the meeting and officials with the Maine Department of Marine Resources will lead discussions. WLBZ (Channel 2) and the Maine Public Broadcasting Network carried the AP report.
John Piotti, executive director of the Maine Farmland Trust, was interviewed by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network about his Maine Policy Review article, “Farming’s Future Depends on Continued Innovation.”
University of Maine political scientist Mark Brewer was interviewed for a Portland Press Herald article about independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler being endorsed by Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence, a group that advocates “for personal responsibility, practical legislation, enforcement of laws, and increased manufacturer responsibility.”
“Put it this way: Very few people in Maine are using Second Amendment issues to make up their mind between Eliot Cutler and Mike Michaud,” Brewer said.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Eat Well Nutrition Program will be offered 9:30–11 a.m. Tuesdays from Sept. 16 through Nov. 4 at the UMaine Extension office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
This program is free for income-eligible adults with dependent children. Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the program, which includes hands-on food preparation, budgeting information and tips on how to shop at farmers markets and grocery stores. Eat Well Program graduates save an average of $36 per month on food bills, according to UMaine Extension.
To register, call 207.781.6099 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information or to request a disability accommodation or an interpreter, call 207.781.6099 or 800.287.1471 (in Maine).
The RSVP program at the University of Maine Center on Aging was awarded a one-year $14,340 grant by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Paula Burnett, RSVP program director, submitted the proposal to the Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) within Maine’s DHHS.
RSVP is part of the national Senior Corps — volunteers age 55 and older who serve nonprofit groups, schools and government agencies within their communities. The program is sponsored by UMaine Center on Aging with support from OADS, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the United Way of Eastern Maine and other local funding sources. OADS funding for RSVP partially supports the salaries of two employees.
Volunteer opportunities are available at 40 partnering agencies in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Washington counties. About 200 volunteers, who average 75 years of age, are taking part in the program.
RSVP recruits volunteers in four major areas of impact: education, aging in place, access to care, and veteran and military family support services.
John Jemison, a soil and water quality specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was featured in the latest installment of the “Backyard Gardener” series on WVII (Channel 7). Jemison spoke about common weeds in the garden and gave advice on how to combat them. He said an efficient way to remove weeds is to use a shovel and get all of the roots, then dispose of the plant in the trash or woods. Jemison added the best thing a gardener can do is stay ahead of the game and not let the weeds go to seed.
WABI (Channel 5) reported the order of bond questions for the November ballot was determined by a drawing in Augusta. A bond referring to funds for an animal and plant disease and insect control lab administered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension was selected as Question 2. The question reads, “Do you favor an $8,000,000 bond issue to support Maine agriculture, facilitate economic growth in natural resources-based industries and monitor human health threats related to ticks, mosquitoes and bedbugs through the creation of an animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory administered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service?”
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, for a report about the viability of Maine gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler’s campaign in the wake of recent finance reports. Brewer said Cutler’s defense of having to finance his own campaign because of Maine’s election laws is valid, but he added the figures don’t look favorable for the campaign in the coming months. “For me, the more important takeaway is that if it wasn’t for money he was willing to loan himself, he wouldn’t have any money,” Brewer said.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on a recent trip of Houlton High School students to the University of Maine. The students are participants in the Bridge Year Program, an educational collaborative involving UMaine that aims to increase the number of Maine students who earn a college degree by giving them access to college classes during their junior and senior years in high school. Bridge Year Program students can earn enough credits during their last two high school years to start their college careers as sophomores, according to the report. During the trip, the students learned about UMaine engineering programs.
University of Maine President Susan Hunter has announced that Vice President for Human Resources Megan Sanders also will serve as chief of staff in the Office of the President, effective Aug. 1.
Sanders replaces Julie Hopwood, whose tenure as senior advisor to the president and chief of staff ends July 31.
“I am delighted that Meg has agreed to serve as vice president for human resources and chief of staff,” said Hunter. “She is a skilled, capable member of the cabinet and has a proven track record of working collaboratively to build consensus across multiple constituencies. The chief of staff position will play an important role in ensuring that UMaine continues to achieve the goals described in the Blue Sky Plan, namely continued focus on enrollment management strategies to attract more students to campus, implementation of Signature and Emerging academic and research programs that enhance the national competitiveness of the university, and continued attention to the research and development enterprise, a key economic driver within the state.”
Sanders’ appointment as chief of staff coincides with Hunter’s tenure as University of Maine President. As chief of staff, Sanders will serve as a liaison between the President’s Office and UMaine constituents, and assist the president in managing inquiries and responses that impact the university, among other duties.
“Vice President Sanders will also assist me in ensuring that UMaine remains a collaborative and dynamic member institution of the University of Maine System,” said Hunter.
Sanders joined the University of Maine community in 2012, serving as assistant and associate director of human resources, and associate vice president for human resources and administration. She was named vice president for human resources on July 1, 2014.
Prior to joining UMaine Human Resources, Sanders practiced law for five years at one of northern New England’s largest law firms, focusing on general litigation, and labor and employment matters. Sanders graduated from the University of Maine School of Law (magna cum laude), and has a bachelor’s degree in history and psychology from Bates College (summa cum laude).
The University of Maine Division of Marketing and Communications, which previously reported to the senior advisor to the president and chief of staff, will now report to Provost Jeffrey Hecker.
The Maine Edge published a report about an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that documents nearly 15 years of vernal pools research and management by the University of Maine’s Aram Calhoun who is leading an interdisciplinary team at the Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI), a program of the Sen. George J. Mitchell Center. In the article, Calhoun and three co-authors analyze a timeline of action and scholarship that spans from 1999 to the present. In that time, the professor of wetland ecology and director of UMaine’s Ecology and Environmental Sciences program has collaborated closely with academic colleagues, government at all levels, nongovernmental organizations, landowners, developers and concerned citizens in an effort to create an environment in which these small, but significant, wetlands can flourish.
WLBZ (Channel 2) spoke with University of Maine President Susan Hunter for a report on University of Maine System trustees approving a five-year plan aimed at closing the system’s budget deficit. “Our goal is to really make education accessible, affordable — certainly very high quality — and have it relevant and have people in Maine really want to get educated, because they see it as the best way forward,” Hunter said.
The Orono Bog Boardwalk will open for its twelfth season at 7 a.m. Thursday, July 24. A ceremony celebrating the completion of the first phase of reconstruction and the official reopening will be held at noon. University of Maine President Susan Hunter is scheduled to speak during the event.
More than 50 volunteers from campus and the community have worked more than 1,000 hours since March to replace the first 105 sections of the boardwalk, which had deteriorated through rot and insect damage during the facility’s 11 years of heavy use. The newly installed sections are constructed of composite decking with cladded aluminum siding and stainless steel footings and are expected to last many years.
The boardwalk is located in the Rolland F. Perry (Bangor) City Forest and extends through forested wetland and out onto a broad, open peat bog. Since it opened in June 2003, the boardwalk has been visited by almost 300,000 people. The boardwalk is free and open from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. seven days a week during the summer, with hours adjusting for day-length changes in the fall.
Volunteers maintain the boardwalk and provide information and education for visitors, including school and community groups. The facility is jointly managed by the Orono Land Trust, UMaine and the city of Bangor. Its operation and maintenance are funded through donations, sales of boardwalk merchandise, and grants. Phase II of the reconstruction campaign is now underway.
More information, including how to volunteer or contribute to the reconstruction and continued operation of the boardwalk is available online or by contacting Jim Bird, director of the Orono Bog Boardwalk, at email@example.com or 207.866.2578.
All five of the Upward Bound Math Science student groups will present their final videos for the summer program’s Group Sustainability Design Project from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 25, in the Foster Center for Student Innovation.
The Upward Bound Math Science Program is affiliated with the UMaine College of Education and Human Development and offers a six-week college preparatory program to first-generation college students from eight Maine high schools. The program specifically targets students who are interested in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors and careers.
This summer, 35 students are attending from Central High School in Corinth, Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, Portland High School, Stearns High School in Millinocket, and Schenck High School in East Millinocket.
Students will present posters of their individual research projects and explorations completed over the summer from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, July 28 in the atrium of the D.P. Corbett Business Building during the program’s conference-style STEM symposium.
Due to predicted thunderstorms, the University of Maine’s free screening of the movie “Frozen” originally slated for Wednesday, July 23 has been rescheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday, July 24. The movie will be played on the Harold Alfond Stadium’s new high-definition scoreboard. The event is free and open to the public.
WABI (Channel 5) reported the University of Maine Museum of Art has begun a new 17-year lease with Eastern Maine Development Corporation, maintaining the downtown Bangor location it has occupied in Norumbega Hall for more than a decade. The lease was approved by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees in May, and the Bangor City Council penned a letter of support for the deal. “Our role is to expose the community to new art forms that they may not typically be able to see here in Maine and bring those significant artists in. That’s really an important role of the university and the university land grant mission of service and community engagement, so the downtown location certainly extends the university’s reach,” said George Kinghorn, executive director and curator of the UMaine Museum of Art. WVII (Channel 7) also reported on the museum.
University of Maine student Ray Peck spoke with Bill Green for a segment on WLBZ (Channel 2) about Maine’s declining heron population. This summer, Peck is assisting biologist Danielle D’Auria of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. To study the birds, Peck and D’Auria are visiting dozens of heron colonies and monitoring bird behavior and reproductive rates. “There’s an aura to them — the way they act, the way they look,” Peck said. “They don’t look like they should be able to fly but they do. They’re really beautiful creatures; really amazing.”
The Maine Edge published an article about University of Maine researchers receiving funds to design and test a wireless leak detection system for the International Space Station (ISS). The project was one of five in the nation to receive funding from NASA’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) for research and technology development onboard ISS. Ali Abedi, a UMaine associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, was awarded a three-year, $100,000 NASA grant through the Maine Space Grant Consortium in Augusta for the project. “This will be a great training experience for our students to learn how to take a prototype out of the lab, and not only to the field but also to space,” Abedi said.
John Dorrer, a consultant with Georgetown University’s Center on Education in the Workplace, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report based on his Maine Policy Review article, “Do we have the workforce skills for Maine’s innovation economy?”