News

Vernal Pool Conservation

University of Maine News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 15:21

A new article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 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, published this week online at pnas.org, 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.

The article’s co-authors and SSI collaborators are Jessica Jansujwicz, a SSI postdoctoral fellow, Kathleen Bell, associate professor of economics, and Malcolm Hunter Jr., Libra professor of conservation biology and professor of wildlife ecology. The authors acknowledge and thank the many additional faculty and students who contributed to the research and outreach reported in the article.

“It is our hope that the work presented in this paper will inspire other researchers, practitioners and citizens dedicated to planned development and conservation of natural resources to forge new working relationships,” Calhoun said. “Our work shows that time, patience, open-mindedness and the willingness to assume a bit of risk are key to successful collaborations on difficult conservation issues. We have found that the time invested is well worth the effort. The exchange and synthesis of diverse ideas lead to outcomes that are more widely embraced and enduring.”

The effort to protect vernal pools has required a high level of perseverance and creativity, Calhoun says. Tensions among private landowners, ecologists and government entities over resource location, function and management strategies have stymied progress for years. Thus, vernal pools require a different kind of attention than many other types of natural resources, Calhoun and colleagues say. The pools, located mainly on private land, are a key-breeding habitat for several amphibians and serve as an important wetland resource for wildlife. They can be hard to detect. The tiny pools fill with water each spring and often dry up by summer’s end. Researchers stress that multidisciplinary, stakeholder-engaged efforts open the door to innovative strategies that can conserve pools while encouraging development. The diverse perspectives provide a basis for compromise, they say. It is the very nature of these pools, their size and locations that introduce this opportunity for practice of a new sustainable science model, researchers say.

In her 15-year involvement with vernal pools in Maine, Calhoun has played a major role in shepherding in a new era. In 1999, Calhoun and others in a diverse working group pushed for a new state law that better protects vernal pools. It passed. They coupled important scientific discoveries with successful public education programs. More recently, Calhoun, SSI researchers and key stakeholders collaborated to develop a streamlined, locally-tailored approach to regulation, one that could make compliance less encumbering for towns and land developers while better protecting vulnerable amphibian populations. Bell says the successful collaboration laid out in the article is a model of sustainability with real world impact.

“This paper is exciting because it advances interdisciplinary, engaged research as a viable tool to address complex conservation challenges,” Bell said. “It is a story about sustainability science — a journey to link knowledge with action along the road to conservation solutions.”

Hunter added that the team’s work has major implications for conservation far beyond Maine and the region. “One of the most important aspects of this work is that it nicely illustrates a larger principle: that focusing conservation on small bits of the landscape can have disproportionately large effects on ecological integrity at a much larger scale,” he said. Vernal pool conservation was the focus of Jansujwicz’s dissertation. She emphasizes SSI’s mission to include stakeholders as partners in research and solutions: ”Our research demonstrates the value of engaging stakeholders throughout the research process. With their participation, we can design and conduct research that is more flexible, creative, and responsive to diverse concerns.”

Next up for Calhoun and SSI vernal pool researchers: continued study funded by a $1.49 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems Competition (CNH) Program. The four-year project, Of Pools and People, began in 2013 and supports research focused on greater protection of vernal pools and small, natural landscape features that contribute disproportionately to larger ecosystem functions.

Supported by National Science Foundation award EPS-0904155 to Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine.

Contact: Tamara Field,  207.420.7755

Categories: Combined News, News

Wabanaki Youth Science Program Featured in Bangor Daily News

University of Maine News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:40

The University of Maine’s Wabanaki Youth Science Program was the focus of the Bangor Daily News article, “Summer camp aims to create future environmental leaders in Maine’s tribes.” The program includes a weeklong earth science camp hosted at Schoodic Point for native students from each of Maine’s tribes, as well as the Haudenosaunee tribes in New York. Students in the program learn about science and their cultural heritage simultaneously, according to the article. They receive lessons on forestry, climate change and local plant species, along with basket-weaving and tribal history.

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Segal Talks with MPBN About History of Innovation in Maine

University of Maine News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:38

Howard Segal, a University of Maine history professor, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for Part 2 of its “Innovation in the Maine Economy” series. Segal spoke about what innovation in Maine looked like in the 19th century, and how the state’s economy was more complex at that time than people may think. Segal also wrote an essay on the topic, titled “Economic and Technological Innovation in Maine before the Twentieth Century: Complex, Uneven, but Pervasive and Important,” which appears in the latest Maine Policy Review.

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Media Report on New UMaine Women’s Ice Hockey Head Coach

University of Maine News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:38

The Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported Richard Reichenbach has been named the University of Maine women’s ice hockey head coach for the 2014–15 season. Reichenbach’s wife Sara, who co-coached with him last year, will be an assistant coach for the coming season. Reichenbach recently completed his fourth season with the Black Bears, serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator the previous three years before co-coaching last season. Reichenbach said he plans to continue to reinforce “a culture of hard work and positive attitudes.” Karlton Creech, UMaine’s athletic director, said after talking with several people he learned the Reichenbachs are “really good people, and you can’t undervalue that in an organization.”

Categories: Combined News, News

BDN Interviews Davenport About Supermoon

University of Maine News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:37

The Bangor Daily News spoke with Alan Davenport, director of the Jordan Planetarium at the University of Maine, for an article about full moons in July, August and September that will look larger than normal. Davenport said the “supermoons” will especially look bigger when the moon is rising, because it occurs when the moon is at or near its closest orbital point to Earth. “The moon’s orbit is an elliptical one — it’s not a circle — so it’s constantly moving closer and further away from us,” Davenport said. “The supermoon cycle only occurs when you have both a full moon and at the same time you have a perigee — that is where it’s closest to the Earth in its orbit.”

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Press Herald Advances Food Preservation Workshops

University of Maine News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:36

The Portland Press Herald reported on July food preservation workshops hosted by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The workshops teach techniques for hot water bath and pressure canning, as well as fermentation and drying of herbs, fruits and vegetables. Workshops are scheduled in Lisbon Falls, South Paris and Falmouth. The cost is $15 per person for materials, and registration can be completed online.

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Cooperative Extension Composting Course Cited in Press Herald Article

University of Maine News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:35

A University of Maine Cooperative Extension composting course was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald feature on composter Geoff Hill, 67, of Belgrade. Hill said he first became interested in composting on April 22, 1970 — the first Earth Day — as a way to improve the planet’s health. In the early 1990s, he took a UMaine Extension course to earn the title of Master Composter. He also joined the Maine Compost Team, a group that won the gubernatorial Teamwork Award during his time of service, between 1992 and 1997.

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UMaine Extension Preps Public to Safely Cook for Crowds

University of Maine News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:34

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a Cooking for Crowds workshop 12–4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at the UMaine Extension Penobscot County office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor.

Learn up-to-date methods for safely preparing, handling and serving food for large groups, including at soup kitchens, church functions, food pantries and community fundraisers. The workshop meets Good Shepherd Food Bank food safety training requirements. It covers the following food safety guidelines: planning and purchasing; storing food supplies; preparing food; transporting, storing and serving cooked foods; and handling leftovers.

Cost is $15 per person; scholarships are available. Register online or bring a check to class. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call Viña Lindley at 207.342.5971 or 800.287.1426 (in Maine).

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Extension Cited in AP Report on Late Blight Symptoms in Buxton

University of Maine News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 12:08

The Associated Press reported officials with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association say late blight symptoms have been found in a potato field in Buxton. According to officials, late blight is a nontreatable disease that affects potatoes and tomatoes and spreads rapidly in warm and wet conditions. UMaine Extension and MOFGA ask growers and gardeners to take precautions to prevent infections and spread of the disease, according to the article. Maine Public Broadcasting Network, The Republic, Portland Press Herald, WLBZ (Channel 2) and WABI (Channel 5) carried the AP report.

Categories: Combined News, News

Lichtenwalner Quoted in MPBN Report on Vehicle-Moose Collisions

University of Maine News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 12:05

Anne Lichtenwalner, director of the University of Maine’s Animal Health Laboratory, was interviewed by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report on moose collisions in Maine. Lichtenwalner said moose are likely out foraging for food such as tender young plants to try to make up for a tough winter. She said according to research, moose are more active during twilight hours and there is no silver bullet to stop moose-car crashes. “The best thing is just realizing you live in a place where these animals are going to be close to the road, and being extremely careful as a driver” she says. “You know, we do co-exist with these animals and I think we just have to be very watchful.”

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Caron’s 20-Year Study Cited in Huffington Post Piece

University of Maine News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 12:02

Research by Sandra Caron, a University of Maine professor of family relations and human sexuality, was cited in the Huffington Post article “No, Millennials Aren’t Obsessed with Hooking up.” According to Caron’s research, when it comes to sex in college, Gen Y and Gen X have similar habits. “Today’s college students may think they’re unique, but the data shows that the incidence of ‘hooking up’ — or what used to be referred to as ‘casual sex’ — has remained steady,” she said. Caron added if any aspect has changed, it’s that millennials are better at practicing safe sex than the previous generation. The findings were a result of a sexuality survey Caron administered to 5,000 students over the past 20 years

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Working Waterfront, Phys.org Publish Report on Grad Student’s Sea Urchin Research

University of Maine News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:56

The Working Waterfront and Phys.org carried a report on sea urchin research being conducted by University of Maine marine bioresources graduate student Ung Wei Kenn. His research focuses on enhancing green sea urchin egg production to aid Maine’s depressed urchin market. Ung hopes to increase the egg or roe yield of farm-raised green sea urchins through high-quality feed, a process known as bulking. “I was always interested in the vertical integration of aquaculture and seafood processing,” says Ung. “I am also passionate about seafood that is popular in Asia. This topic is a blend of all that.”

Categories: Combined News, News

Castine Patriot Covers Riordan Lecture at Wilson Museum

University of Maine News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:53

The Castine Patriot reported on a lecture given at the Wilson Museum in Castine by Liam Riordan, a University of Maine history professor. More than 30 people attended Riordan’s June talk titled, “Does the American Revolution look different from the Penobscot River?” During the talk, Riordan spoke about the complex nature of Maine’s history regarding its involvement — and lack of involvement — in the American Revolution. His focus was on Castine, once known as Bagaduce, and the area surrounding the Penobscot River.

Categories: Combined News, News

Terrell House Community Garden Focus of Weekly Article

University of Maine News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:51

The Weekly published the article “UMaine community garden grows sustainability,” about the community garden at the University of Maine’s Terrell House Permaculture Living and Learning Center. The project began as a small garden shared by the Terrell House and its neighbors. Starting this year, house residents have initiated the first phase of a larger community garden with plots available for individuals and groups interested in practicing sustainable agriculture, the article states. “We want the garden to become a hub for sustainability on campus,” said Dee Clark, Terrell House resident and finance and records coordinator. The article cited the garden as one part of a growing sustainability movement on campus. UMaine Greens, a student-run greenhouse project, and the Black Bear Food Guild, a student-run community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, also were mentioned.

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Summer Technology Camp Held at UMaine Noted in BDN, Weekly Articles

University of Maine News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:50

A monthlong technology camp offered in July at the the University of Maine’s Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center by the new business High Touch Courses was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article. The curriculum over four weeks of courses uses video game development as a way to attract young people to subjects in Web design and development, 3-D art and graphic design, game development and hardware architecture, according to the article. “It’s about getting them interested in programming at a younger age,” said entrepreneur Elizabeth Chabe, who last fall founded High Touch Group and its sister company, High Touch Courses. The Weekly also carried a story on the camp.

Categories: Combined News, News

Richard Reichenbach Named UMaine Women’s Ice Hockey Head Coach

University of Maine News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:48

Richard Reichenbach has been named the University of Maine women’s ice hockey head coach for the 2014-2015 season. Reichenbach’s wife Sara, who co-coached with him last year, will be an assistant coach for the coming season.

Reichenbach recently completed his fourth season with the Black Bears, serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator the previous three years before co-coaching last season. The Black Bears finished fifth in Hockey East last season and lost in triple overtime to the University of Vermont in the Hockey East playoffs.

Reichenbach came to UMaine from Cortland State where he was responsible for recruiting and organizing team travel, practices and video breakdown. He also worked primarily with the Cortland State defense.

The native of Baldwinsville, New York, is a 2006 graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. He played hockey and lacrosse for the Continentals for four years. Following graduation, he played a year of professional hockey with the Richmond Renegades of the Southern Professional Hockey League.

Reichenbach worked as a hockey specialist and Bluestreak Sports Training in Stamford, Connecticut where he trained elite athletes who played in Division I and III hockey, as well as in the NHL and Olympics. Reichenbach recently completed his master’s degree in sports management from Cortland State.

Categories: Combined News, News

Blackstone a Guest on Virginia Talk Show

University of Maine News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:46

Amy Blackstone, an associate professor and chairwoman of the University of Maine’s Sociology Department, will appear with her husband Lance on Virginia’s “The Joy Sutton Show” on Sunday, July 13.

On the show, which was taped Sunday, July 6, Blackstone discusses her research on childfree adults, as well as the blog she runs with Lance titled “we’re {not} having a baby!”

“The Joy Sutton Show” is a 30-minute talk show that features life-changing stories and lifestyle segments on beauty, fashion, fitness, career and family. The show airs on WDBJ (Channel 7) in Virginia, and also streams online.

Categories: Combined News, News
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