Amy Blackstone, a sociology professor at the University of Maine, was a recent guest on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio program. The show, titled “Childless by choice,” focused on the decision not to have children, why some people make that choice, and the related cultural effects.
The Bangor Daily News published the opinion piece “A ticket into the shrinking middle class,” by Mick Peterson, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County announces the fall schedule for “Cooking for Crowds: Food Safety Training for Volunteer Cooks.”
The first session will be held 9 a.m.–noon Tuesday, Sept. 29 at University of Maine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth. Additional classes also are scheduled for Oct. 14 and Nov. 5.
Many organizations and community groups rely on volunteers for food events such as fundraising, fellowships, food pantries or other service to the community. The workshop offers up-to-date information on safely preparing, handling, transporting, serving and storing food for large group functions.
Participants receive “Cooking for Crowds,” a manual designed for volunteer cooks, a certificate of attendance, posters and an instant-read thermometer. The class meets the Good Shepherd Food Bank food safety training requirements.
The cost is $15 per person; scholarships are available. Registration is online. Call 781.6099 or email email@example.com to be placed on a list for future dates. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 781.6099 or 800.287.1471 (in Maine).
Anne Lichtenwalner, a University of Maine professor, veterinarian and director of UMaine’s Animal Health Laboratory, was quoted in articles by the Sun Journal and Associated Press about a Turner egg farm. Four years ago, Jack DeCoster’s corporate entities leased his Maine farms to Moark LLC, which last month quietly leased them to Hillandale Farms Conn LLC, the same farm family involved with DeCoster in the massive Iowa salmonella outbreak in 2010, according to the Sun Journal. Lichtenwalner, who sits on a salmonella risk reduction team for the state, says Moark, a subsidiary of Land O’Lakes, has been “terrific” to work with, and she hopes for the same with Hillandale, the article states. “We are vitally interested in the health of Maine people (and) we want our state to have a poultry industry as well,” Lichtenwalner said. “We want transparency and we want collaboration, and I think that they are walking into a positive situation. One hopes that they embrace that.” Good hygiene; rodent control; processing eggs quickly; and happy, healthy birds can prevent the spread of salmonella within a barn, said Lichtenwalner, who added Maine hasn’t had a positive environmental salmonella enteritidis test in at least six years. “I think it’s been a combination of people working together with one goal in mind,” she said. “The producer doesn’t want to be in trouble; they don’t want to have all of the bad PR and economic problems and the obvious bad public health outcomes.” Fox Business and Centre Daily Times carried the AP report.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Anna Sims Bartel, an associate director of Cornell University’s Center for Engaged Learning and Research, as part of a series that focuses on the importance of humanities. Bartel wrote an article in the special issue of Maine Policy Review earlier this year on the humanities and policy, produced by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center in cooperation with the UMaine Humanities Center. Bartel spoke on MPBN’s “Morning Edition” about the influence of the humanities on public policy.
John Jemison, a soil and water quality specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Bangor Daily News about the Orono Community Garden for the latest “Conversations with Maine” column. Jemison launched the garden in 2004 while teaching a class in sustainability at UMaine, according to the article. As part of their 24-hour service requirement, students could help with the garden Jemison created. Today, UMaine students still are a regular part of the garden’s “core team,” the article states, but community support also has helped keep it going. Jemison, who has worked on many projects since he started at UMaine Extension in 1990, says the community garden is one of the most rewarding. “I’m proud of a lot of things,” he said. “But when all is said and done, this is probably the most fun. It’s very meaningful. When I retire, I will look back most fondly on this.”
WLBZ (Channel 2) reported on Scratchpad, a new startup accelerator program offered by the University of Maine and Maine Technology Institute. The pilot program aims to help people who want to develop a startup company in the Bangor area. The program, known as a “seed accelerator,” works to provide entrepreneurs with funding and mentors, according to the report. Scratchpad is accepting applications online through Aug. 28 for three spots in the program. So far, 10 applications have been received, the report states.
WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on the Maine Army National Guard’s inaugural Educator Flight. Officials from the University of Maine, Husson University and other local schools gathered at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Bangor to get hands-on experience with lifesaving equipment used by the Maine Army National Guard as part of an organized tour for educators. Members of the military demonstrated training gear such as night vision goggles and iStan, a realistic mannequin that can cost up to a quarter of a million dollars. They also offered rides in a small Black Hawk helicopter. “We flew with the doors open the whole time and I got a door seat, so that was very exciting. It was a bucket list thing to be able to do. I had never done that before,” said Jeff Hunt, director of UMaine’s Campus Recreation. The educators also learned about opportunities and benefits offered by the Army Guard and UMaine’s ROTC program, which includes 100 percent tuition assistance and job training in more than 100 career fields that are all part time with full-time benefits, WVII reported.
The University of Maine’s First Year Residential Experience is recruiting volunteers to welcome UMaine’s Class of 2019 during Maine Hello on Friday, Aug. 28.
Maine Hello is a campuswide event where returning students, faculty and staff welcome new students and their families as they arrive on campus.
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Maine Hello volunteers will assist with greeting families, answering questions, directing traffic and moving first-year students’ belongings into their residence hall rooms.
Student volunteers who will be living on campus can move into residence halls from 6–9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26. Registration is online. For more information, call 207.581.1420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism and First Year Residential Experience also are seeking project leader volunteers for the Welcome Weekend Day of Service, Aug. 29.
The Welcome Weekend Day of Service falls on the first weekend students are at UMaine to give them an opportunity to participate in volunteer activities at community organizations.
Registration is online. For more information, email Jennifer Aldrich on First Class.
Researchers at the University of Maine have created a unique computer memory architecture that increases system performance by nearly 40 percent. It is designed for use in Phase Change Memory (PCM) systems, which is important because PCM is one of several contenders under development to become next-generation memory technology for computers, phones and other devices. More information is online.
Seacoast Online reported on recent archaeological findings on land protected by Seabrook Station nuclear power plant in New Hampshire by Brian Robinson, a professor of anthropology and quaternary and climate studies at the University of Maine. The 4,000-year-old artifacts, which range from fish bones to archaeological remnants of Native American huts, tell researchers about the lives of indigenous people, what they fished, and possibly why some fish species no longer exist in the Gulf of Maine, according to Robinson, who led a recent excavation. Robinson was accompanied by graduate students from UMaine and the University of Connecticut, and the team completed the excavation over the course of three weeks, according to the article. In the 1970s, Robinson and his team discovered human remains on the same site, which have since been returned to the Abenaki tribe, as well as swordfish remains, which indicated the species, now gone from the Gulf of Maine, was abundant 4,000 years ago, the article states. “We’re doing things we can do now that we could literally not do 40 years ago,” Robinson said. “We keep getting more and more precise perspectives and that takes increasingly precise work.”
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Kristy Townsend, a neurobiology professor at the University of Maine, about the “Body Worlds” exhibit that’s set to open in the new Portland Science Center. The exhibit offers visitors the chance to see the interconnectedness of the human body through cadavers that have been treated with plastination, a method of halting decomposition and preserving by replacing bodily fluids with plastics such as silicon rubber, according to the report. “Body Worlds” first appeared in Japan in the late ’90s and has since been displayed in major cities throughout the world to more than 40 million people, making it the most popular exhibition of all time, the report states. “I think the controversy that surrounds the initial plastination experiments is a little unsettling at first, but I actually think the exhibit does a great job of getting people excited about science and about their own bodies,” Townsend said, adding she saw the exhibit in London about seven years ago, and will encourage her students to see it in Maine. “I do think for people interested in a career in medicine, this is maybe one of the first times they can see inside the human body. So I think it’s a great opportunity for pre-med students,” she said.
Robert Seymour, the Curtis Hutchins Professor of Forest Resources at the University of Maine, was quoted in the Bangor Daily News editorial, “Maine can’t cut more trees from its public forests on a whim.” As lawmakers left Augusta last month, they left a debate unsettled about how much wood to cut from Maine’s public forests, how to use the revenue from those logging operations, and what will become of $11.5 million in voter-approved, land-protection bonds, according to the article. In the coming weeks, a commission will start discussing parts of the debate, the article states. Over the past decade, the Bureau of Public Lands has generally had conservative harvest levels and seen tree growth on public lands that is 18 percent faster than all of Maine’s other forests, according to the article. “What that means is their foresters practice a level of forest management that is more refined,” Seymour said. With more wood on its lands and recent favorable harvesting conditions, the bureau has increased its cut over the past seven years, the article states. “That the harvest can go up now, I think, is a tribute to their excellent historical stewardship,” Seymour said.
WABI (Channel 5), Maine Public Broadcasting Network and WVII (Channel 7) reported on a telemedicine conference and discussion held at the University of Maine. Health care provided through a video conference helps connect Maine’s rural areas to better health care resources, WABI reported. Sen. Angus King, who participated in the conference and an accompanying sensor lab tour, led the roundtable discussion on the need to increase federal investment and support for telemedicine. King said he would also like to see regulatory changes that can improve access to vital health care services for people, especially the elderly, in rural states like Maine, according to MPBN.
Approximately 30 area law enforcement officers were on campus Aug. 12 for a daylong training program hosted by the University of Maine Police Department. The program that focused on cultural awareness and professionalism for police officers was led by Francis Amoroso, the New England regional director with the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS). CRS offers training programs to help state, local, and tribal governments and communities address racial and ethnic conflict, and prevent and respond to violent hate crimes committed on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or disability, according to the Justice Department website. Amoroso has offered this training for central Maine area law enforcement agencies in the past, and according to UMaine Police Chief Roland Lacroix, this and other awareness programming is an important part of the department’s responsibility to the safety of members of the UMaine community — one of Maine’s most diverse communities.
As climate policies evolve through the legislative process, public acceptance and support may change, as well. A recent study conducted by a team of University of Maine researchers found that even though acceptance is an important process through which policy perceptions and economic ideology influence support, acceptance doesn’t always lead to support.
Through a national survey of Australian residents to better understand the role elections play in changing the public’s view on policies, the team determined acceptance and support for the country’s carbon pricing policy remained stable before and after the 2013 federal election.
Stacia Dreyer, a former Ph.D. student with the School of Economics, Department of Psychology and the Sustainability Solutions Initiative, led the study that was published online Aug. 10 in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Dreyer worked with Mario Teisl, director of the UMaine School of Economics and professor of resource economics and policy; Shannon McCoy, an associate professor of psychology at UMaine; and Iain Walker, researcher at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Floreat, Western Australia and the University of Western Australia’s School of Psychology in Crawley. Dreyer is now a research associate in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington.
The team conducted the survey to investigate acceptance of, and support for, the Australian carbon pricing policy two weeks before and two weeks after the election, and how perceptions of the policy, economic ideology and voting behavior affect acceptance and support.
Acceptance, a positive attitude toward an existing policy; and support, which adds an active behavioral component; were stable before and after the election, even though the climate policy was a highly contentious topic and despite that different policy outcomes were expected depending upon election results, according to the researchers.
Policy acceptance was higher than support at both times, and acceptance did not always lead to support, making acceptance a necessary but insufficient condition of support, and highlighting the necessity of measuring acceptance and support as two distinct concepts, the researchers say. Additionally, they found higher levels of perceived fairness and effectiveness were associated with increased levels of acceptance and support, whereas higher levels of free-market ideology were associated with decreased levels of acceptance for and support of the carbon pricing policy.
The report, “Australians’ views on carbon pricing before and after the 2013 federal election,” is online. This is the third article from Dreyer’s dissertation to be published, and the second to be published with UMaine researchers Teisl and McCoy.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 581.3747
Entomology Today published a University of Maine news release on Edith Marion Patch, UMaine’s first female entomologist, and a newly published biography by Cassie Gibbs, UMaine’s second female entomologist. The biography, “Without Benefits from Insects: The Story of Edith M. Patch of the University of Maine,” is a publication of the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station. Its publication coincided with UMaine’s 150th anniversary. “Edith Patch is recognized as the first truly successful professional woman entomologist in the United States,” Gibbs said. “She was among the early scientists to write and speak of the threats to the environment from the widespread applications of chemical insecticides and to bring this to the public’s attention.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education spoke with Jeff Thaler, assistant university counsel and a visiting professor of energy policy, law and ethics at the University of Maine, for the article “Why a global education doesn’t have to mean going abroad.” According to the article, some educators believe that given the diversity of the United States, it’s no longer necessary to cross national borders to give students beneficial intercultural skills and global experience colleges. The article mentioned an immersive program founded by Thaler that places Williams College students in the homes of Portland immigrants and refugees and gives them the opportunity to volunteer in schools or with community groups. Over seven years, Thaler has placed students with families from Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, according to the article. Thaler said one student who had also studied overseas told him she was challenged more in Portland “because abroad she felt like a visitor. Here, she was still in the U.S. yet immersed in a culture not her own. It made the experience richer.”
Liam Riordan, director of the University of Maine Humanities Center, was an Aug. 13 guest on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio program. The show, titled “The importance of humanities,” focused on how and why the humanities matter in not only the academic world, but the world at large. William “Bro” Adams, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, also was a guest. Adams will be delivering a keynote address at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 13, at Point Lookout in Northport as part of a free public Celebration of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Humanities in Maine, coordinated by the UMaine Humanities Center.
The Lincoln County News reported on the Darling Marine Center’s 50th anniversary celebration. Events included free walking tours of the campus in July and August, a seminar series called Science on Tap hosted by faculty and staff at the Newcastle Publick House, and an open house at the center with family-friendly activities. “The Darling Marine Center is a really strong node for marine science in research and teaching on the coast of Maine and of the Northeast region,” said Heather Leslie, DMC director. “We are known as the birthplace of oyster aquaculture and the leading work on developing the oyster farming industry was done here in the 1980s.” The open house included a touch tank, face painting, and block printing for children, and buildings including the electron microscopy lab and shellfish hatchery were open for the public to tour and learn more about the research at the DMC, according to the article. “A lot of the visitors who live around here were amazed at what all goes on,” said Mary Jane Perry, a professor of oceanography at the DMC.