A candlelight vigil for victims of the recent earthquake in Nepal will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 30 on the steps of Fogler Library.
More than 4,800 people were killed and more than 9,200 were injured in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred April 25. More than eight million people, including one million children, were affected and are in need of help.
The University of Maine’s Division of Student Life urges people to make donations to help victims as they face a shortage of food, water, shelter and health care. Donations will support medical relief efforts via Grande International Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.
University of Maine Ph.D. student Nadir Yildirim won first place at the 2015 UMaine Business Challenge for his company that aims to develop eco-friendly, recyclable and reusable products for several industries.
Yildirim, a student in the Wood Science and Technology Program in the School of Forest Resources, received $5,000 to further develop his business, Revolution Research, Inc.
After completing the graduate certificate in Innovation Engineering through the Foster Center for Student Innovation in 2014, Yildirim started the Orono-based RRI to develop and commercialize eco-friendly replacements of petroleum-based thermal insulation products.
Yildirim, who has been working to develop nanomaterials and nanocomposites using nanotechnology since 2011, started RRI with Alexander Chasse, a 2013 civil engineering graduate from UMaine. Chasse works at the university conducting nanomaterial research.
RRI’s current focus is the creation and commercialization of eco-friendly thermal and acoustical insulation foam boards for use in the construction industry. Its first invention is a patentable board manufactured with little environmental effects, according to Yildirim.
“RRI’s novel foam boards will not only be better for the environment than current petroleum-based products, but will also provide improved energy efficiency,” he says.
Yildirim of Mugla, Turkey, says it never snows in his hometown and heating, cooling and energy efficiency is not a concern. When he moved to Maine in 2011 — the coldest place he has ever been — he realized the importance of thermal insulation.
“With a better thermal insulation you can save the environment; you can save lots of money,” Yildirim says, citing a lack of available eco-friendly thermal insulation alternatives. “We are planning to have the first 100 percent recyclable and reusable foam board on the market.”
Currently RRI doesn’t have any employees, but within the next five years, Yildirim hopes the company will have its own Maine-based production facility with about 30 employees.
The $5,000 cash prize from the UMaine Business Challenge will be used for prototype flammability tests, Yildirim says.
“Making our foams fire resistant will be a stronger selling point for our product once it hits the market,” he says, adding most similar products are flammable. “We would like to create foam that is ready to go with no need for additional coatings, films or barriers.”
Yildirim says he, Chasse and RRI have benefited from the entire UMaine Business Challenge experience. Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of the Foster Center for Student Innovation, was RRI’s mentor throughout the challenge and provided valuable suggestions, he says.
“It is not just winning something or bringing money to the company; the important part for us was the feedback that we got from the jury,” Yildirim says. “Seeing their support made us believe more in what we are doing. Increasing our professional network and having insight from their experience was a huge opportunity for us.”
Since the company began, RRI also has received a $5,000 award from the Maine Technology Institute and has applied for a larger National Science Foundation (NSF) grant which will be announced in May or June 2015.
The UMaine Business Challenge is the state’s largest student entrepreneurship competition. It was founded in 2011 by a group of 2010 UMaine graduates who wanted to give back to their alma mater while creating more opportunities for student entrepreneurs. This is the first year in which students from any Maine college or university were invited to apply.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
Oceanographer Emmanuel Boss became a member of the International Ocean-Colour Coordinating Group Committee at its 20th annual meeting March 3–5 in France.
Boss is a professor in the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences. Other members hail from South Korea, South Africa, Ghana, Italy, India, Germany, Japan, France, Australia, People’s Republic of China, Canada, Brazil, Scotland and the United States.
IOCCG Committee members include representatives from space agencies and scientists. Objectives include developing consensus and synthesis in satellite ocean colour radiometry at the world scale. Specialized groups investigate aspects of ocean-colour technology and its applications.
A 2005 book on term limits written by three one-time University of Maine professors was cited in the Bangor Daily News editorial “Term limits have changed Maine Legislature — for the worse.” The book, “Changing Members: The Maine Legislature in the Era of Term Limits,” was written by Kenneth Palmer, a professor emeritus of political science; Richard Powell, a current political science professor; and Matthew Moen, former professor and chair of the Political Science Department. The researchers found while term limits have increased turnover in the Legislature, there are many negative consequences, according to the editorial. “They found many detrimental effects, ranging from committee chairs who don’t know how to run meetings to a more than tripling of the number of bills that have only one supporting vote in committee, resulting in a floor debate and other time-consuming administrative procedures for bills that will ultimately die,” the article states.
The Associated Press reported Maine officials are looking for volunteers to help with the Maine Bumble Bee Atlas project to document bee range and abundance. A Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife spokesman said the project is important because of significant declines in some species since the 1990s, according to the article. The project is being coordinated by the state and the University of Maine in Orono and Farmington. The first training workshop is slated for May 16 in Orono, the article states. Portland Press Herald, WABI (Channel 5), Foster’s Daily Democrat and New York’s Times Union carried the AP report.
Danielle Walsh, who will soon graduate from the University of Maine with a master’s degree in social work, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “Police need special tools to help people in mental health crisis.” Walsh of Morrill, Maine is a social worker practicing on the midcoast.
The Bangor Daily News published an article on the 2013 William S. Cohen Lecture at the University of Maine. The excerpt came from a lecture featuring former Secretary of State Bill Cohen and former Sen. Alan Simpson. The full version appeared in “Politics Then and Now, in Maine and the Nation: Conversations with the Sages,” edited by Richard Barringer and Ken Palmer at the Muskie School of Public Service, according to the BDN. The condensed version also appeared in Maine Policy Review, which publishes timely, independent, peer-reviewed analysis of public policy issues relevant to the state of Maine. The journal is published two times a year by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at UMaine.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release announcing the winners of the sixth annual Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase. The event, sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research, was open to any undergraduate at the university and featured 121 presentations from 229 students in the form of posters, oral presentations or performances, and exhibits. Also announced at the April showcase were the five winners of a $3,000 Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowship.
Fosters.com reported the annual plant sale of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers in York County will be May 16 at the UMaine Extension office in Springvale. Annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, trees, shrubs and houseplants will be for sale, as well as gently used gardening books and tools, according to the article. Master Gardener Volunteers will be available to answer questions. Maine Harvest for Hunger representatives also will be in attendance to sign up gardeners who would like to plant an extra row of vegetables to donate to a local food pantry.
The Maine Edge reported on scheduled public star shows in May at the University of Maine’s Emera Astronomy Center. The Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium shows are held 7 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Friday nights in May feature “Cosmic Journey” and Sunday afternoons feature “Magic Tree House: Space Mission,” for younger sky watchers. Admission to all shows is $6, and seating is limited.
University of Maine graduates and distinguished engineers will be inducted into the Francis Crowe Society during two ceremonies on Saturday, May 9.
The College of Engineering will host a ceremony from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Collins Center for the Arts. The School of Engineering Technology will host a ceremony from 10 to 11 a.m. in Hauck Auditorium.
The Francis Crowe Society recognizes UMaine engineering graduates and others who have made considerable contributions to the engineering profession. The society is named in honor of Francis Trenholm Crowe, who earned a degree in civil engineering from UMaine in 1905 and was chief engineer of the Hoover Dam.
For more information on either ceremony, call Vicky Wingo in the College of Engineering at 581.2204 or Scott Dunning in the School of Engineering Technology at 581.2341. More information about the Francis Crowe Society is online.
University of Maine students, faculty and staff will take part in Maine Day, the annual campuswide spring cleanup tradition, on Wednesday, April 29. UMaine community members will complete service projects aimed at sprucing up the campus, enjoy a free barbecue, and compete for the oozeball — mud volleyball — championship.
About 40 projects will include raking, planting flowers, picking up litter and painting at various locations on campus, the bike paths and downtown Orono. Beautification of UMaine’s historic district, including Lord, Alumni, Holmes and Winslow halls; the President’s House; The Maples; and the Cyrus Pavilion Theatre, will help mark the university’s 150th anniversary.
Festivities will begin at 8 a.m. with a parade featuring student organizations, residence halls, fraternities and sororities. The parade, themed “Celebrating 150 Years of UMaine,” will travel around campus starting from Hilltop and ending on the Mall in front of Fogler Library. Parade line up begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Emera Astronomy Center.
From 9 to 11:30 a.m., volunteers will take part in service projects on and off campus. A list of projects is available on the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism website. Online registration ends at 11:59 p.m. April 27. In-person registration for remaining projects will be available on the Mall (or in the Memorial Union in the event of rain).
Projects will continue until the annual Maine Day barbecue takes place in the Steam Plant Lot from noon to 2 p.m. Several student organization philanthropy events, as well as the annual oozeball championship, also will take place in the lot from noon to 3 p.m.
Activities taking place in the Steam Plant Lot include the Sophomore Owls’ battle of the bands, human curling with the UMaine Curling Club, the Delta Tau Delta car bash, and the St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event hosted by UMaine Circle K International.
Drop by the UMaine 150th anniversary celebration table at the barbecue to be part of the photo and video series wishing the university happy birthday. Free 150th anniversary tote bags and window clings will be available.
Also on Maine Day, Seven teams of University of Maine Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) students will unveil their design challenge projects from 9 a.m. to noon in rooms 137 and 140 of Bennett Hall. The 2015 senior capstone projects were created so a local 8-year-old girl born without a left hand can play a Baroque soprano recorder in music class. The girl will select the design that best suits her.
President Arthur Hauck first inaugurated Maine Day in 1935. It is traditionally held on the last regular Wednesday of the spring semester. Classes with three or more weekly meetings are canceled to allow students to participate in volunteerism.
The Maine Day Committee organizes the event, and funding is provided from The University of Maine President’s Office, the Division of Student Affairs, the Vice President for Administration and Finance, Facilities Management and Black Bear Dining.
The Associated Press reported seven teams of University of Maine Mechanical Engineering Technology students are preparing to unveil devices they designed to allow an 8-year-old girl with one hand to play the recorder. The students will present their projects on Maine Day, April 29, in Bennett Hall. Maine Day at the university is about providing service, and for MET students, it’s typically when they debut their senior capstone projects, which often are created to meet needs of people with challenges. A local girl, who was born without a left hand, will select the winner and take home the design that best helps her play a Baroque soprano recorder. WABI (Channel 5), WLBZ (Channel 2), WGME (Channel 13 in Portland), New York’s Times Union and Indiana’s Daily Reporter carried the AP report.
The Bangor Daily News covered the birth of a lamb at the University of Maine’s J. Franklin Witter Teaching and Research Center. Students in the Animal and Veterinary Sciences Program provided care during and after the birth. James Weber, associate professor in the School of Food and Agriculture and the university’s attending veterinarian, is coordinating the student participation. “There’s no better way to learn obstetrics, baby care, the whole thing … we’ll have 20 sheep when we’re all done. That’s a great chance for the students to get immersed and gain a lot of confidence,” Weber said. “That’s how you learn — by getting in there and doing it,” said Jaime Boulos, a student in the program. The sheep have recently returned to campus after the farm’s herd was sold six years ago because of financial constraints. Weber’s $200,000 USDA grant for research on a deadly sheep and goat parasite helped bring the lambs back to the farm. The three-year Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) study aims to develop and implement a winter management protocol for the barber pole worm in northern New England.
The Associated Press and the Bangor Daily News reported on the New England Regional Concrete Canoe Competition hosted by the University of Maine. More than 200 students from 11 New England universities, including UMaine, subjected their concrete canoe creations to judging on a variety of characteristics in Orono. The contest is a precursor for teams aiming to compete in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ National Concrete Canoe Competition to be held in June at Clemson University in South Carolina. Due to ice conditions on Lake George in Skowhegan, the race portion of the competition was canceled. Eric Farnsworth, co-captain of the design team, told the BDN the focus this year was on improving the formula of the concrete so it could better withstand being in the water. The UMaine team placed seventh in the competition, Farnsworth told the BDN. “It was really disappointing not to be in the water this year, but we are going to try again next year,” he said. Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Sun Journal, SFGate, seattlepi and Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel carried the AP report.
The Portland Press Herald reported Acadia Harvest, a startup company that is developing a land-based, indoor fish farm to raise black sea bass and California yellowtail, recently was awarded two grants. The company, which is located at the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) in Franklin, was awarded $657,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop alternative technology to help build a commercial-scale operation with zero fish waste, as well as $367,500 from the Maine Technology Institute, according to the article. CCAR is operated by UMaine as a business incubator for several aquaculture companies that pay user fees and rent to the university. Acadia Harvest is partnering with the center and the university, according to the article. Stephen Eddy, a biologist at CCAR, said Acadia Harvest has brought a lot of energy and much-needed investment to the facility.
The Kennebec Journal reported on a sheep-shearing course in Washington, Maine that was sponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Sheep Breeders Association. Richard Brzozowski, agriculturist and small ruminant and poultry specialist with UMaine Extension, led the daylong intermediate course. Along with the hands-on experience, the six students in the class were given a manual, a “How to Shear Sheep” poster and DVD, the article states. “They keep learning after this,” Brzozowski said.
University of Maine student-athletes and coaches spoke with the Bangor Daily News for the article, “UMaine student-athletes thrive in classroom despite difficult schedules.” During 2013–2014, UMaine’s America East “All Sport” grade point average was 3.19. Student-athletes exceeded a 3.0 average for the 11th consecutive year and placed third among the conference schools, according to the article. Overall, 70 percent of Maine’s student-athletes were named to the 2013–2014 America East Academic Fall Honor Roll, the article states. “We are fortunate that we have got really good, focused and committed students. We have some truly gifted scholars,” said women’s basketball head coach Richard Barron who named Liz Wood as one of his standout performers in the classroom. “Balancing school work is something you have to adjust to. The biggest thing is getting into a routine,” said Wood, a biology major with a chemistry minor who received the 2015 “M” Club Dean Smith Award.
The Bangor Daily News cited a University of Maine Cooperative Extension video and an online how-to guide in the article, “Here’s everything you need to know to start growing strawberries.” The report referenced the UMaine Extension bulletin, “Growing Strawberries,” by David Handley, a specialist of vegetables and small fruit, as well as a video on planting strawberry beds that features Handley.
John William Mukose, a third-year chemical engineering major and Honors College student, is the winner of the 2015 John M. Rezendes Annual Ethics Essay Competition.
Mukose of Kampala, Uganda received $2,800 and a commemorative sculpture for his essay, “The Ethics of Using Indoor Residual Spraying of DDT to Control Malaria in Uganda.”
Afton Hupper, a sophomore from Owls Head, Maine received the second-place prize of $300 for the essay, “A World for Everyone: The Common Good Approach to Reaching Global Peace Through Sustainability.” Hupper is an ecology and environmental sciences major and Honors College student.
All UMaine undergraduates were invited to submit an 8- to 10-page essay for the annual competition. The 2015 theme was “Impacting Nature: The Ethics of Energy, Ecology and the Environment.”
A financial gift from Dennis and Beau Rezendes provides the university the opportunity to annually offer the John M. Rezendes Ethics Essay Competition in conjunction with hosting the John M. Rezendes Visiting Scholar in Ethics.
Baird Callicott, a philosophy professor at the University of North Texas, delivered this year’s John M. Rezendes Visiting Scholar in Ethics Lecture on Earth Day. The topic was “Thinking Like a Planet: The Land Ethic and the Earth Ethic.”