An opinion piece published in the Bangor Daily News titled “For a strong economic future, education must be forefront” cites a study by Philip Trostel, a University of Maine economist. Trostel’s study, “Path to a Better Future: The Fiscal Payoff of Investment in Early Childhood in Maine,” looks at the fiscal benefits of creating a statewide early childhood education system for those with low incomes.
Elizabeth Chalecki, a nonresident research fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C., will give a talk titled “Environmental Security: A Guide to the Issues,” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11 in 140 Little Hall on the University of Maine campus.
Chalecki’s book of the same name focuses on understanding the links between international security and ecological health, such as climate change, deforestation and extreme weather events.
Her areas of research include climate change and security, international environmental policy, environmental terrorism and nontraditional security threat analysis.
The Stimson Center, where Chalecki is a research fellow, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank devoted to enhancing international peace and security.
The School of Policy and International Affairs is sponsoring the free event as part of its lecture series. The talk is open to the public and no registration is required.
For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.581.1835 or visit the School of Policy and International Affairs website.
The University of Maine School of Performing Arts hits the road as the University of Maine Pride of Maine Marching Band performs Sept. 6 at halftime of the Falmouth High School football game.
The Yachtsmen’s game with the Gorham Rams kicks off at 7 p.m.
The UMaine band will also perform Sept. 7 at the Black Bears’ football game with the University of Massachusetts Minutemen at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Christopher White directs UMaine’s Pride of Maine Marching Band, which includes 88 musicians, dancers and majorettes.
“It is important for us to visit schools in Maine,” says White. “Many high school music programs do not have an opportunity to see a band of our size and it gives our students additional performance time.”
The band’s halftime Fire and Ice show performance features fire batons, kick lines and dancing musicians.
UMaine’s band performs at major university events and football games, in addition to special guest appearances, including at the American Folk Festival in Bangor.
The latest post on the Portland Press Herald blog “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources” focuses on the upgrades to the Portland Public Schools’ food program and centralized kitchen. The new kitchen will service the district’s 10 elementary schools, providing 2,500 breakfasts and 2,000 lunches daily. Jason Bolton, assistant extension professor and food safety specialist at the University of Maine, assisted with the design, layout, equipment and regulatory aspects of the new facility.
The Bangor Daily News spoke with Karen Keim, associate director of the Maine Educational Opportunity Center at the University of Maine, and Alan Parks, director of College Success Programs at UMaine, for an article about females outnumbering males on U.S. college campuses. Keim spoke about the importance of education during the middle school years and said attendance during that time is a “huge predictor of high school graduation and college-going.” Parks said men are less likely to enroll in college after working for a few years.
The Bangor Daily News and WABI (Channel 5) reported on the University of Maine’s Welcome Weekend and Maine Hello, where staff and student volunteers help move new students into their dorm rooms. Robert Dana, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, told WABI that welcoming 2,200 new students is “one of the most magnificent days of the year.”
Kate Garland, horticulturist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with WVII (Channel 7) for the latest installment of its “Backyard Gardener” series. Garland spoke about the Maine Harvest for Hunger program and the importance of giving food back to the community.
WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) and the Associated Press reported on a rare two-tone lobster at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. The half-orange and half-brown lobster was donated to the institute by Ship to Shore Lobster Co. in Owl’s Head. The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine told WMTW that type of two-tone lobster is one in 50 million. MPBN, INFORUM and the Kennebec Journal were among news organizations to carry the AP report.
WLBZ (Channel 2) reported around 19 incoming University of Maine freshmen volunteered Saturday to help Momentum, a support program for adults with developmental disabilities. Students spent the day doing chores such as yard work, washing cars and organization inside the Momentum building.
Certified therapy dogs will return to Fogler Library this semester to offer stress relief and comfort for any student, staff or faculty member interested in visiting the animals, according to Fogler’s Public Relations Manager Gretchen Gfeller.
Therapy dogs are scheduled to be in the Reserve Reading Room on the library’s first floor from 12–2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9 and Monday, Sept. 16 and from 2:30–4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11 and Thurs. Sept. 19.
No appointment is necessary.
For more information or to request disability accommodations, call Gfeller at 207.581.1696.
One of the largest incoming classes in University of Maine history, coupled with two major construction projects, will make on-campus parking particularly challenging this fall, according the UMaine’s Parking and Transportation Services Office.
Construction of the Emera Astronomy Center near the intersection of Rangeley and Long roads has displaced 107 parking spaces, and the Field House and Memorial Gym renovation project has temporarily eliminated parking for 50 vehicles.
UMaine’s residence halls are at capacity occupancy, and at New Student Orientation, first-year students were encouraged to consider leaving their vehicles at home for the fall semester.
Additional commuter parking will be available off Rangeley Road, adjacent to the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. Staff parking has been designated on Gym Drive.
In addition, a 116-space commuter lot is under construction between Nutting and Libby halls. It is expected to be open in November.
Some first-year students may be asked to park in the Aroostook residential parking area rather than the Hilltop lot.
In the parking lot adjacent to the Bridge Family Tennis Courts, 80 spaces have been temporarily reassigned to limited parking for patrons of the New Balance Student Recreation Center. This lot is closed daily from 12:30–5:30 a.m.
For any questions or concerns, please contact Parking and Transportation Services, 207.581.4047.
Every couple of years at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center on the banks of the Damariscotta River estuary in Walpole, Maine, graduate students from all over the world converge at the research laboratory for four weeks of intense, hands-on ocean optics training.
The class, “Ocean Optics: Calibration and Validation for Ocean Color Remote Sensing,” allows students the opportunity to stay at the center during the summer to learn from seven optical oceanographers, including course coordinator Emmanuel Boss and course creator Mary Jane Perry, both professors in the UMaine School of Marine Sciences.
The course is sponsored by NASA and UMaine with the goal of creating a new generation of oceanographers trained in ocean optics by teaching students about light in the ocean — both practical measurement and theory.
“You can use optical measurements to learn an incredible amount about the ocean,” Perry says.
Using a combination of lectures, hands-on laboratory activities, field sampling, models and group projects in an interactive learning environment, the course provides students with the skills to accurately measure light in and above water, the knowledge to interpret satellite ocean color images, and the ability to use the information to better understand biogeochemical and ecological processes in the ocean as well as apply it to practical problems such as tracking oil spills and harmful algal blooms.
Other instructors this year included Curtis Mobley, vice president for Science at Sequoia Scientific, Inc., in Washington; Collin Roesler, chair of the Earth and Oceanographic Science Department at Bowdoin College; Ken Voss, professor of physics at the University of Miami; Jeremy Werdell, research oceanographer at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; and Ron Zaneveld, director of research at WET Labs in Oregon. Alison Chase, a UMaine graduate student in oceanography, was the course’s teaching assistant.
More than 65 students from 35 countries applied for this year’s one-of-a-kind course. Twenty students, including Thomas Leeuw a UMaine graduate student, were selected. Other accepted students hail from all around the United States, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Spain and Saudi Arabia.
“Such training is not available anywhere else,” Boss says. “Many leaders in the field are graduates of the course.”
Perry started the ocean optics course in 1985 at the University of Washington’s marine lab and brought the class to UMaine when she joined the faculty in 1999.
“At that time, optical oceanography was just starting to blossom,” Perry says of when she started the course. “Newly developed optical sensors were particularly well suited to study phytoplankton, and I realized that teaching a graduate-level course was a good way to jumpstart the use of these wonderful new tools.”
Phytoplankton, also known as microalgae, are similar to land plants because they contain chlorophyll and depend on sunlight. In a balanced ecosystem, phytoplankton provides food for a wide range of sea creatures, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“Phytoplankton are key to the health of oceanic food webs, and in a simplistic way, one could say if you’re going to have fish, you have to have phytoplankton,” Perry says.
Boss first took the class in 1995 when he was a graduate student, three years later he returned as a teaching assistant, and by 2001 he was an instructor. In 2004, Perry turned the course coordination over to Boss, but remained involved. The next course will likely be held in 2015 — 30 years since Perry created the class, Boss says.
Besides optical measuring techniques, Perry and Boss say the class teaches students how to collaborate with others, make high-quality measurements, and understand the broader responsibility of sharing data.
“They have a scientific responsibility to collect high-quality data, but they also have a civic responsibility to collect and make their data widely available,” Perry says. “Very often when a scientist makes measurements, they collect data for a specific hypothesis, but other researchers can mine that data for other purposes. Since the taxpayers are paying for these studies, our goal is to help the students collect the highest quality data.”
Jing Tao, a graduate student studying oceanography at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, says she will use optical measurements in her Ph.D. research on sediment transport in coastal areas.
“I will use ocean optics as a tool to study sediment size, particle size and particle distribution in the water for my Ph.D. program, so it’s a good tool for me,” Tao says.
Before taking the class, Tao says she had never worked with optical measurements, but uses remote sensing for research in the Bay of Fundy. She is confident she can now convert the remote sensing data to more useful measurements for her project.
“Initially there were more biologists in the class, but now we get a very diverse group of students,” Perry says. “This course attracts a lot of students who have broad interests. They’re interested in optical technology and ocean ecology, so it’s a really nice blend.”
Ashley York, a graduate student at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., who is studying geography, is taking the class in preparation of her Ph.D. research on glacier-ocean interaction.
“I have no ocean experience,” York says. “I’ve been coming from the glacier side of things and now this is introducing me to the ocean side.”
York says the class is challenging, but she is learning a lot.
“The course is very intensive,” York says. “It’s just a lot of information to soak up, but I definitely think it was worth taking.”
She says one of the instruments she was introduced to during the class — the radiometer — is similar to an instrument she will use in the field in Greenland in March 2014 and March 2015.
Sam Wilson, a graduate student studying physical oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, Calif., says he comes from a math and fluids background, but respects biology and wants to use more of it.
“I want to approach biology from a fluid mechanics side and apply optical techniques I’m learning with my fluid mechanics background and bring it all together,” Wilson says, adding he’s excited to take optical measurements in the future and plans to recommend the course to others.
Wilson, who has “been able to go kayaking and eat a lot of lobster,” during his first trip to Maine says he enjoys studying at the Darling Marine Center.
“It’s neat to have a facility that’s dedicated to ocean sciences as clearly as Darling is,” he says. “You may not have all the resources a large city would provide, but I think it’s good for our uses. We need uninterrupted science.”
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
Bloomberg reported $16 million in U.S. Department of Energy funding for 17 tidal energy-related projects, including one from the University of Maine. The funding will help UMaine continue evaluation of fish interactions with a turbine now in Cobscook Bay and provides an opportunity to explore previously collected data to enhance understanding of the fish communities prior to more turbine deployments.
University of Maine sociologist Amy Blackstone was interviewed for an article posted Aug. 29 on the TODAY show website about what factors, other than price, are important to parents looking to buy a home. Blackstone says it’s not surprising that proximity to family was cited by just 33 percent of the more than 2,000 parents surveyed by Trulia.com, an online residential real estate site. “Geographic proximity is one measure of closeness and support, but type and quality of contact are others,” says the chair of UMaine’s sociology department. Parents surveyed indicated that size of home (70 percent), neighborhood crime rates (69 percent), schools (63 percent), length of commute to work (58 percent), and proximity to amenities (50 percent) are top considerations.
Felicia Dumont, food preservation program aide with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, demonstrated how to freeze green beans on WABI (Channel 5).
Aug. 30, there will be traffic and parking changes on campus for Maine Hello, which will welcome one of the largest incoming classes to UMaine.
To accommodate the needs of new students, their parents and Maine Hello volunteers with the move into residence halls, temporary parking and traffic changes are as follow:
- One-way roadways: Flagstaff Road from Long Road to the Collins Center for the Arts intersection; Long Road at Gym Drive; Munson from Long to Sebec; and Square Road by York, Aroostook and Kennebec halls.
- Three staging areas — Hilltop and the Recreation Center lots, the Gannett Hall and Cutler Health Center lots, and Jenness Hall and Advanced Structures and Composites Center lots — will minimize the number of vehicles in the first-year student area of campus. These staging areas will close these lots through Aug. 30.
- Parking for the New Balance Student Recreation Center will be moved to the lot adjacent to the Bridge Family Tennis Courts.
Residence Life advises members of the campus community not involved in Maine Hello to avoid the first-year area of campus, where traffic is expected to be heavier and slower than usual throughout much of Friday.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, for an article about racist comments reportedly said about President Barack Obama by Gov. Paul LePage and David Marsters, a Sabattus GOP candidate for selectman. Brewer said both incidents may have damaged the state’s image and put a negative face on Maine to the rest of the United States and beyond.
WABI (Channel 5) previewed the annual Bear Necessities Tent Sale which will be held Aug. 29–31 at the University of Maine Athletics Department store in Alfond Arena. Deals on Black Bear merchandise — $5 T-shirts, $15 sweatshirts and $20 jackets — will be featured.
Doctor Tipster reported on research by Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, a clinical nutritionist and professor at the University of Maine, that found eating 2 cups of wild blueberries a day for two months can reduce chronic inflammation, improve metabolism of fat and lower LDL cholesterol. She also found a diet enriched with the fruit can normalize gene expression of inflammatory markers and those related to lipid and lipoprotein metabolism.
Fenceviewer, the community news and information website for Hancock County, Maine, quoted David Yarborough, a wild blueberry specialist and horticulture professor at the University of Maine, in an article on this year’s blueberry harvest. Yarborough said the crop is looking “above average” and “the recent showers and the cooler, drier air have provided for excellent crop quality.”