John Rebar, executive director of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report about a proposed rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to crack down on the use of pesticides when bees are on a farm. With about 90 percent of all honeybees living in hives maintained by beekeepers, the rule aims to protect the endangered population that is trucked across the country to pollinate fields, according to the report. “Maine is second only to the almond crop in California in the amount of imported hives,” Rebar said, adding Maine’s wild blueberries rely heavily on the traveling bees, with apples and other crops not far behind. “You know, tomatoes and strawberries, all your squash and pumpkins — all really dependent on pollinators,” he said.
WAGM (Channel 8 in Presque Isle) reported on the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s 4-H STEM Ambassador program. Four students at the University of Maine at Presque Isle are 4-H STEM Ambassadors. They are trained to facilitate hands-on science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) activities with children 8–14 years old. Through 4-H STEM Ambassadors, youth across the state become connected to the research, resources and scientists at Maine’s public universities.
A University of Maine photo of the 213th Commencement was featured in the column “Speak up. Stand up. Stand out,” on the Maine Community Foundation’s blog Real Time. The article, a college commencement address, was written by Meredith Jones, president and CEO of the Maine Community Foundation. The article’s accompanying photo shows University of Maine President Susan J. Hunter with 2015 salutatorian Katelyn Massey of Waterville, a psychology major with a concentration in development and a minor in communication sciences and disorders, and a member of the UMaine women’s ice hockey team. Real Time is a community building blog that seeks to provoke thought, encourage conversation and help friends and colleagues understand what goes on behind the scenes at the Maine Community Foundation.
The University of Maine Office of Sustainability has been selected to be one of the 100 curators nationwide of the Lexicon of Sustainability pop-up shows — art exhibitions designed to spur community dialogue to help strengthen local food systems.
The next pop-up show will be hosted June 5 at COESPACE, 48 Columbia St., Bangor. The exhibit will be open at noon, and from 5—9 p.m. as part of the Bangor Artwalk.
Collaborating on the exhibit is the Bangor Area Food Council. Members are expected to be on hand to provide information.
The Lexicon of Sustainability, founded in 2009 by farmers and filmmakers Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard-Gayeton, focuses on sharing stories that explain sustainability. Lexicon uses information artworks, pop-up shows, street art, short films series and other formats to educate and engage people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America. Nearly 200 leaders in food and farming from across the country have shared their experiences as part of Lexicon of Sustainability.
Annually, Lexicon offers 100 artwork sets to curators. UMaine and the other 2015 curators each will organize at least five pop-up art shows that involve local communities, then will act as lending libraries to schools and community groups.
At UMaine, the Sustainability Office is collaborating in its shows with the Humanities Center and the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center.
Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in reports by WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) and NECN on climate change affecting the region’s tick population. The Natural Resources Council of Maine presented a report by the National Wildlife Federation which states warmer winters “serve as a welcome mat for pests like ticks to expand their range,” according to NECN. Dill said climate change helps ticks thrive in Maine because warmer temperatures and heavier rains support tick populations in the summer, and insulating blankets of snow protect them in the winter. He said the concern about ticks is that last year the state had 1,400 cases of Lyme disease, as well as other co-infections and tick-borne pathogens. Dill also was quoted in the Portland Press Herald article “Lyme disease down so far, but ticks are gearing up for summer.” “Those ticks were quite fat and happy under the snow, but they were not going to start coming out until the snow was gone,” Dill said. “It’s going to pick up pretty quickly. The population looks pretty strong right now.”
A Portland Press Herald article on the closing of a substance abuse recovery center in Westbrook mentioned an analysis released by the Maine attorney general’s office and conducted by Marcella Sorg, a research professor of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine. Mercy Hospital plans to close the center in part because of low reimbursement rates for addiction services, according to the article. The analysis found Maine residents who died of drug overdoses in 2014 hit a record number of 208 — an increase of 18 percent over the previous year. The drugs involved ranged from cocaine to heroin and other opioids, and the number of heroin deaths jumped from 34 to 57 in 2014, the article states.
The Weekly reported that Andrew Moreira, a senior at Old Town High School, recently earned first place in the High School Poster Competition at the 2015 Maine Sustainability and Water Conference. Moreira’s poster, “Recovering Organic Acids from Water Through Extraction and Precipitation,” derives from the research he conducted through his Maine EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) internship with G. Peter van Walsum, a chemical engineering professor at the University of Maine. Maine EPSCoR at UMaine fosters research and development in STEM disciplines in underrepresented and underserved states, according to the article. It provides Maine high school students with paid, hands-on opportunities to participate in research with UMaine faculty, postdoctoral students and graduate students, the article states.
WABI (Channel 5) and The Weekly reported a Bangor senior center’s rooftop garden has been selected as one of several University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer projects this season. The Hammond Street Senior Center’s garden will receive support from the volunteers through assistance with garden planning, soil preparation, planting, establishment of space-saving structures, harvesting and public education, according to the reports.
The Weekly and The Maine Edge reported on scheduled public star shows in June 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 June feature “Undiscovered Worlds” and Sunday afternoons feature “Little Star that Could,” for younger sky watchers. The third week in June will kick off the planetarium’s summer schedule with two additional public shows 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, according to the reports. Admission to all shows is $6, and seating is limited.
“Man and Superman” will be broadcast on the big screen at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 4, at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine. Originally scheduled for May 14, technical difficulties forced the postponement of the broadcast of Simon Godwin’s reinvention of Bernard Shaw’s witty 1903 classic.
Academy Award-nominee Ralph Fiennes played Jack Tanner in the sold-out stage production at the Lyttelton Theatre in London. “Man and Superman” is billed as a romantic comedy, an epic fairytale and a fiery philosophical debate that asks fundamental questions about how we live.
Tanner, a celebrated radical thinker and rich bachelor descendant of Don Juan, seems an unlikely choice as guardian to Ann (Indira Varma), an alluring heiress. Despite the love of a poet, Ann decides she will marry and tame Tanner. When Tanner’s chauffeur tips him off to Ann’s plan, Tanner flees to Spain, where he’s captured by bandits and meets The Devil (Tim McMullan). A dream debate of heaven versus hell ensues. When Tanner awakens, Ann is there, as fierce in her certainty as he is in his.
Since 2009, NT Live has transmitted the best of British theatre from London to cinemas and venues around the world. The broadcasts are filmed in front of a live audience, with cameras carefully positioned throughout the theatre to ensure cinema audiences get the best-seat-in-the-house view. Productions are transmitted via satellite to the CCA, then projected onto a 40-foot high-definition screen — one of the largest in the state. To date, more than 3.5 million people have experienced the broadcasts.
Tickets, which are $18 for adults and $8 for students, are available online or by calling 581.1755, 800.622.TIXX.
The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald and Maine Public Broadcasting Network reported University of Maine President Susan J. Hunter has agreed to extend her two-year post for an extra year. University of Maine System Chancellor James Page and the system board of trustees requested that she continue her work through June 30, 2017. “President Hunter and her leadership team are doing important work on and off campus,” Page said in a notice sent to the UMaine community. “Her experience and leadership are critical as we work through the significant system changes now underway, especially as these changes will require substantial integration with the flagship and across all campuses.” Hunter has been serving as president since July 2014 and was inaugurated in March. “I look forward to a third year of leading Maine’s flagship university, championing the mission of the state’s research university to constituents statewide and beyond,” Hunter said. Seattlepi and SFGate carried the AP report.
WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on the 2015 Top Gun Regional Pitch Competition and Product Showcase at the University of Maine Foster Center for Student Innovation. Two regional entrepreneurs — Matt James of CourseStorm and Chuck Donnelly of RockStep Solutions — were selected by a panel of judges to compete in the statewide Top Gun Showcase in June where they will pitch for a chance to win $10,000. The Top Gun entrepreneurship accelerator is a five-month program that engages entrepreneurs in growing their businesses. It combines education, mentoring, pitch-coaching and networking opportunities. “It is all about sort of fast-tracking their growth, and so this is kind of the culmination of all of those months,” said Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of the Foster Center. The program is a partnership of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Maine Technology Institute, Blackstone Accelerates Growth and UMaine.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension was mentioned in a Prevention magazine article on tick-borne illnesses and what can be done to avoid them. Dr. Daniel A. Kinderlehrer who practices in Boulder, Colorado, suggested using a natural, chemical-free insect repellent that’s derived from black pepper plants. According to UMaine Extension, the natural repellent helps keep ticks away for four to eight hours, the article states.
The Bangor Daily News reported students from the University of Maine’s School of Forest Resources have reported preliminary findings related to a study of suspected wetlands near Lincoln Regional Airport that threatens the town’s ability to develop an industrial zone outside of a local paper mill’s campus. The town is paying the students about $1,050 to determine the environmental significance of the vernal pools, according to the article. After reviewing the land in early May, the students reported that many of the areas that town officials feared might be wetlands requiring preservation are insignificant vernal pools, the article states. A final determination on how much of the industrial park is compromised is expected in July.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release announcing UMaine researchers are part of a collaborative international team studying plankton. During expeditions aboard the research vessel Tara, researchers collected 35,000 samples from the world’s oceans. Data generated from the samples are providing unprecedented resources — including a catalog of several million new genes — expected to transform how oceans are studied and establish a global-scale baseline to evaluate the impact of climate changes on oceanic ecosystems. In five articles in a special issue of Science, the team maps the biodiversity of a range of planktonic organisms, exploring their interactions and how they impact and are affected by their environment, primarily temperature. UMaine oceanographers Emmanuel Boss and Lee Karp-Boss are part of the science team and participated in six expedition legs. UMaine doctoral student Alison Chase; Ivona Cetinić, research associate at the Darling Marine Center; and Tom Leeuw, who earned a master’s degree in oceanography at UMaine in 2014, also contributed to the research.
Trey Stewart, a third-year student at the University of Maine, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “Thoughtful engagement the key to bridging college town divides.” Stewart conducted research this year along with Jacob Hatch, Cameron Marcotte, Jake Posik and Adam Thibodeau in professor Rob Glover’s practicum in engaged policy studies class. He was invited to contribute a guest piece for the Maine chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together scholars across the country to address public challenges and their policy implications.
The University of Maine will host an annual six-day undergraduate student leadership training program for women that aims to educate and empower young leaders.
Maine NEW (National Education for Women) Leadership runs from Thursday, May 28 through Tuesday, June 2 at the Orono campus with trips to Augusta and Skowhegan.
A diverse group of 28 students with a variety of majors and interests from 15 institutions around the state, including all of the University of Maine System campuses, will take part in the seventh annual residential conference that aims to strengthen political skills and build confidence.
Throughout the free conference, students will participate in workshops hosted by women leaders from politics, business and education. They will learn skills including public speaking, networking and how to advocate for a cause and run for public office.
As part of the program, students will develop political action projects on the debate over vaccine choice in the state with guidance from Carol Kim, vice president for research and dean of the graduate school at UMaine; Jennifer O’Leary, special assistant to the vice president for innovation and economic development and business and government relations liaison; Ginger Taylor from the Maine Coalition for Vaccine Choice; and other experts in public policy and research.
On June 1, participants will tour the State House in Augusta and the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan.
While in Augusta, the students will be addressed by Attorney General Janet Mills; Muriel Mosher, president of Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership in Augusta; and Cary Olson-Cartwright, director of community relations at Unum, a workplace insurance provider in Portland, Maine and a sponsor of this year’s Maine NEW Leadership.
Maine NEW Leadership is offered by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at UMaine with support from local sponsors. The program was developed to address the under-representation of women in politics and is designed to provide students skills to become the next generation of effective civic and political leaders.
More information about Maine NEW Leadership is available online or by calling Mary Cathcart at 944.1411.
The University of Maine is accepting applications for the Maine Summer Transportation Institute.
The free program for area middle school students will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 6–17. It is designed to introduce students at an early age to careers in engineering and Maine’s transportation industry.
About 20 accepted students will participate in field trips, leadership activities and workshops with hands-on laboratory experiences on topics including safety, air-flight simulation, biofuels, wind energy, construction materials and computer-aided design.
The majority of the activities will take place at the Foster Center for Student Innovation, engineering labs and various off-campus locations. Students also will participate in recreational activities at the New Balance Student Recreation Center.
More information and application forms are online. Application and required documents can be mailed to: MSTI, Dean’s Office, College of Engineering, 213 AMC Building, University of Maine, Orono 04469. Application deadline is May 31.
Chancellor James H. Page and the University of Maine System Board of Trustees have asked University of Maine President Susan J. Hunter to extend her tenure for an additional year, through June 30, 2017. President Hunter has graciously agreed to do so.
“President Hunter and her leadership team are doing important work on and off campus,” said Chancellor Page. “The UMaine community and stakeholders will benefit from her continued leadership, and the continuity she and her team provide. Her experience and leadership are critical as we work through the significant System changes now underway, especially as these changes will require substantial integration with the flagship and across all campuses.”
This one-year extension is strongly endorsed by the UMaine Board of Visitors as well as other internal and external constituencies.
“I look forward to a third year of leading Maine’s flagship university, championing the mission of the state’s research university to constituents statewide and beyond,” said President Hunter. “I’ve had the distinct honor of serving as president during the 150th anniversary year of UMaine’s founding as the state’s land grant university. It will be a privilege to serve as president in the first year of UMaine’s next era of leadership in teaching, research and community engagement.”
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
Pika Energy in Westbrook, Maine, focuses on wind and solar energy technology, including scalable options for homeowners and small businesses. Ben Polito, president of Pika Energy, talked about his company’s interest with UMaine:
How long have you worked with the University of Maine?
We have been involved with UMaine through the Innovate for Maine Fellows program. We have had interns each summer since the start of the program, and we have hired two of them so far for full-time positions, with a third starting this summer. We build highly technical products that require specific skills, and the intern program is a great way to get to know innovative young people and learn if there is a fit.
Are you able to provide an an example or two on your experience?
Our intern from the first year, Tony Nuzzo, was an engineering student from Orono, and he had great hands-on experience that helped him to get up to speed quickly. When he graduated, we offered him a full-time job and now he is leading our Quality/Customer Experience Department.