UMaine Outdoor Survey to Guide State, Press Herald Reports

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:36

The Portland Press Herald reported an outdoor recreation survey being conducted by the University of Maine and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands is expected to give state parkland managers better insight into how residents and visitors spend their time outdoors. The results of the survey will be used for a bureau report on how and why people recreate in Maine. The report, called the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, is required every five years by all states to help decide what outdoor recreation programs get funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This is the first year the bureau has partnered with UMaine. Sandra De Urioste-Stone, an assistant professor of nature-based tourism who is leading the survey, said the sample size is already at 14,000. “We’re very happy with the response rate,” she said. “Now we can talk with confidence about what Maine residents think of recreational opportunities, and what they like to pursue.”

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BDN Cites Gabe’s Waterfront Concerts Study

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:35

A 2013 study conducted by University of Maine economics professor Todd Gabe was cited in a Bangor Daily News article titled, “City reviewing noise complaints in wake of season’s first Bangor Waterfront concert.” In his study, Gabe found the series brought $30 million into the local economy in its first three years. Waterfront Concerts promoter Alex Gray said an updated version of the report is in the process of being finalized and has been sent out for peer review.

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UMaine, 4-H Youth to Connect on Campus

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:34

The University of Maine will host more than 100 Maine 4-H youth this weekend at the annual 4-H@UMaine: Connecting Kids to Campus.

Youth 12 to 17 years old will stay overnight on the UMaine campus, explore careers and take part in experiential learning during a variety of workshops offered by UMaine faculty and graduate students. The event will be held from 3 p.m. Friday, May 16 until 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17.

Workshop topics include composite materials, embryology, fundamentals of acting, aquaculture, high-altitude ballooning, dance, field skills for the forest, ecology, waves in the ocean, veterinary medicine, permaculture, chemical engineering, CSI-geology, nanotechnology, and nutrition and health.

Some 4-H members will also judge the Maine Invention Convention state competition from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at UMaine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center. During this event hosted by UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, students from around the state will showcase their inventions to solve real-world problems.

More information about 4-H — the youth development program of University of Maine Cooperative Extension — is available online, or by calling Karen Hatch Gagne at 207.592.6980 or Barbara Baker at 207.212.8397.

Categories: Combined News, News

Correll Book Award Winners Announced

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:33

Winners of the third Correll Book Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Informational Text were announced at the Correll Early Literacy Conference in April.

Children’s book author and illustrator Ted Lewin won the award for the birth to 3-year-old category for his book, “Look!” Wildlife photographer Ingo Arndt was named the winner in the 4- to 8-year-old category for “Best Foot Forward: Exploring Feet, Flippers, and Claws.”

Also, for the first time, three honors books were announced: “One Gorilla: A Counting Book” by Anthony Browne, “Woodpecker” by Dee Phillips and “Bats Biggest! Littlest!” by Sandra Markle.

The national award was created in 2012 through the University of Maine’s College of Education and Human Development to draw attention to the need for quality informational text for young children. The seven-person committee considers informational texts published in the United States in the last calendar year. The winning books are chosen as exemplars of the genre, appropriate for the age group, engaging for young children and sources of accurate information, according to Susan Bennett-Armistead, Correll Professor of Early Literacy at UMaine.

Past award winners include Gail Gibbons for “Gorillas” and Melissa Stewart for “A Place for Bats.”

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Office of Student Records Newsletter Available Online

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:32

The University of Maine’s Office of Student Records has published its most recent newsletter. The February–April 2014 issue of the quarterly newsletter “For the Record” is available online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Building Community Through Cultural Works

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/13/2014 - 08:23

The University of Maine Humanities Initiative will host the second annual Downtown Bangor Public Humanities Day at various downtown locations on Saturday, May 17.

From 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., free events for participants of all ages will be offered at venues such as the UMaine Museum of Art, Bangor Public Library, Maine Discovery Museum and the Brick Church.

The Downtown Bangor Public Humanities Day was created in 2013 as part of the University of Maine Humanities Initiative (UMHI) to create a better forum for connecting UMaine faculty, staff and students with the general public in our region of the state, according to organizer and UMaine history professor Liam Riordan.

“The goal of the day is to share high-quality cultural work of all sorts that stimulates thought in a fun and informal setting. From student research to music, movies, visual arts and conversation, the day offers a range of engaging events,” Riordan says.

Local partners of the day are Bangor PechaKucha, Downtown Bangor Arts Collaborative, KahBang, Northeast Historic Film, River City Cinema and the string ensemble of The Eastern Maine Pops Orchestra (TEMPO) for Young Musicians.

Featured events include:

10:30 a.m. to noon

  • National History Day Open House at the Bangor Public Library where prize-winning research by middle and high school students will be on display

11 a.m.

  • Graphic novel author and illustrator Jimmy Gownley at The Briar Patch

12:30 p.m.

  • University of Maine Museum of Art sculpture lecture by Andy Mauery, UMaine art professor, and a photography exhibit tour led by George Kinghorn, UMMA’s director and curator

1:30 p.m.

  • TEMPO youth string ensemble performances at the Maine Discovery Museum

3 p.m.

  • Student and parent discussion at the Bangor Public Library about National History Day’s national competition in Washington, D.C.

4 p.m.

  • Northeast Historic Film’s world premiere public showing of three short films shot by Bangor resident Charles E. Gilbert in 1929, co-hosted with River City Cinema and KahBang at the Brick Church

6 p.m.

  • Humanities 20×20 PechaKucha presentations by UMaine faculty and local practitioners at the Brick Church, co-hosted with PechaKucha Bangor and the Downtown Bangor Arts Collaborative

The Downtown Bangor Public Humanities Day is one of several UMHI events planned for 2014. The initiative, housed in UMaine’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and established in 2010, advances the teaching, research and community outreach of the arts and humanities to enrich the lives of all Maine residents.

More information about UMHI and a complete Bangor Public Humanities Day schedule are online. Details are also available on the Bangor Public Humanities Day event page on Facebook.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

categories: blue sky news, liberal arts and sciences, outreach, pathway 1

Categories: Combined News, News

Communicating Value, Importance of Humanities

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/13/2014 - 08:23

The University of Maine Humanities Initiative (UMHI) and the Maine Humanities Council will host the second annual Maine Humanities Summit at the Governor Hill Mansion in Augusta on Friday, May 16.

This year’s summit, “The Humanities and Public Policy,” will feature speakers from across the nation who will discuss ways humanities administrators, faculty and the general public can effectively communicate the value and importance of the humanities to residents and media.

“The summit offers the opportunity to speak to the public and legislators in concrete terms about how important humanities are to our state’s civic and economic well-being,” says Justin Wolff, UMHI director and an associate professor of art history at UMaine. “We hope to persuade policymakers that funding these areas from kindergarten up through higher education is a strong investment with a high return.”

Wolff says in a time of increasing emphasis on STEM education, it’s important to remember the value of the humanities, as well.

“The humanities form the foundation of all disciplines,” he says. “They teach critical writing and communication skills, as well as awareness and sensitivity to place and identity.”

For example, Wolff says, if an engineer plans to build a bridge, it’s important for them to understand the cultural heritage and the needs and desires of the people who live in the region that would be affected by the bridge.

Humanities advocates are often faced with the challenge of not having the hard data that STEM backers may have, according to Wolff.

“It’s very hard for humanities advocates to find and share the hard data to prove what we know. We know the value of critical thinking, and we know employers want workers with the skills the humanities teach, but it can be hard to prove it with charts and graphs,” he says. 

About 60 humanities constituents from throughout the state attended last year’s summit. Participants came together to talk about areas of broad concern, new initiatives and programs, and ways to coordinate efforts to advocate humanities. Wolff says the inaugural event led to encouraging conversations, including the idea to make future summits more instrumental.

In an effort to make the second summit more focused, the organizers decided to give this year’s event a theme — “Humanities and Public Policy.” The summit will feature speakers from around the nation who will discuss subjects in one of three areas: advocating the humanities through the use of data and media; the humanities and education policy; and the importance of cultural tourism and the humanities to the state’s economy.

Scheduled speakers include Maine residents, including Hugh French, director of the Tides Institute & Museum of Art in Eastport; and Laura Lindenfeld, an associate professor of communication and journalism at UMaine; as well as national leaders of humanities advocacy, such as Stephen Kidd, executive director of the National Humanities Alliance; and Theda Skocpol, director of the Scholars Strategy Network and Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University.

UMaine President Paul Ferguson; Jeff Hecker, UMaine’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost; and Hayden Anderson, executive director of the Maine Humanities Council, are slated to give opening remarks.

“Anyone interested in humanities will gain something from the summit,” Wolff says. “It’s meant to initiate lasting partnerships and collaborations. We want to throw possibilities out and see them take root. It offers a place for people to share ideas for coherent and effective advocacy.”

The summit is one of several UMHI events planned for 2014 and serves as a key program in the initiative’s outreach efforts. The initiative, housed in UMaine’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and established in 2010, advances the teaching, research and community outreach of the arts and humanities to enrich the lives of all Maine residents.

The mission of UMHI is twofold: To support and promote the excellent humanities scholarship being created on campus, and to bring that research and scholarship into contact with all Maine residents through an aspect known as public humanities, according to Wolff.

“UMHI is a very strong advocate of the public humanities and efforts to break down walls between the university and the community at large,” Wolff says, adding that UMaine humanities professors and students are working on behalf of all Maine residents.

More information on the Maine Humanities Summit and UMHI is online.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

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