The University of Maine was mentioned in a SeacoastOnline article about a Kittery business owner who hopes to open Maine’s first sake brewery. Dan Ford, owner of Blue Current Brewery, launched a Kickstarter campaign to help launch his company. Ford said he designed his own fermentation and storage tanks, and the rice steamer he uses was created to his specifications by UMaine engineering students.
Staff from the University of Maine’s Highmoor Farm in Monmouth will be on the Orono campus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, selling apples and pumpkins. The sale will be located by the Cyrus Pavilion Theatre between Winslow Hall and Fogler Library, weather permitting. A rain date is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16. For more information, including pricing information, visit the Highmoor Farm website or contact Greg Koller, Highmoor Farm superintendent, at 207.933.2100 or email@example.com.
The Lord Hall Gallery at the University of Maine presents a new installation, “Ground/Underground,” by sculptor and painter Dudley Zopp.
The exhibition, which runs from Oct. 10 through Nov. 14, is a continuation of Zopp’s “Erratics” sculptures, and features new, large-format watercolor paintings and 700 smaller oil paintings that suggest geological sediments.
For “Ground/Underground,” Zopp will install a series of articulated builder’s paper forms that reference glacial erratics, grouping these articulations with four oversized watercolor paintings inspired by Chinese landscape scrolls. The installation will also feature a “river” of 700 8-by-10-inch oil paintings. Taken together, the installation’s components serve as reminders of the limitations of humanity’s ability to control the forces of nature.
Zopp was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and attended the University of Kentucky where she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in modern foreign languages, and went on to study painting and drawing at the University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. She lives and works in Lincolnville, Maine, and has exhibited at universities and nonprofit galleries in Maine and nationally, with a recent solo exhibition at June Fitzpatrick Gallery in Portland, Maine.
Zopp is scheduled to speak during a reception from 5:30–7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Lord Hall Gallery is open from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Friday and is wheelchair accessible.
“Ground/Underground” is funded in part by a grant from UMaine’s Cultural Affairs and Distinguished Lecture Series; and the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the University of Maine Foundation’s “Ensuring the Future” 80th anniversary celebration. During the event, the foundation awarded one graduate from each of UMaine’s colleges with the President Abram W. Harris Award. Each awardee was a scholarship recipient as a UMaine student, and evidences exemplary and extraordinary leadership, contributions to his or her community and/or service to UMaine. “We wanted to honor each one of the representatives from the different colleges to show other students, give them aspirations at the University of Maine and also show the importance of scholarship support because none of these people would have been able to go on to have the careers they have today without private donations of scholarships,” said Jeffery Mills, president and CEO of the University of Maine Foundation.
The Associated Press reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Poultry Growers Association are looking for entries into the 2015 Maine Poultry Coop Contest. The groups are accepting submissions from farmers and hobbyists until Nov. 1. The contest is to recognize poultry keepers who have valuable and creative ideas for coop use and design. As many as three photos may accompany each entry, which may be submitted online. The winner of the contest will receive $150. WABI (Channel 5) and Beaumont Enterprise carried the AP report.
WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on the sixth annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk held at the University of Maine. Funds raised from the 5K walk through campus and surrounding areas will benefit research initiatives of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). “We are here to raise awareness about the issues of suicide and suicide prevention efforts in our community in hopes that we can — by talking about it — reduce the number of people who die every year to suicide,” said Kelly Shaw, outreach coordinator and clinical psychology resident at the UMaine Counseling Center.
Frank Drummond, an entomology specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and a UMaine professor of insect ecology, was quoted in a CBC News article about a workshop sponsored by Dalhousie University and held in Montague, Prince Edward Island that focused on pollinating crops during a global decline in bee populations. Drummond, who attended the workshop, was one of several researchers that presented ideas for growing the population and attracting more wild pollinating bees. Drummond spoke about the importance of trying to get municipalities involved by mowing fields, and private companies, such as landfills, involved by using pollinator plantings. “It’s a whole sort of village approach — not to put all of the responsibility on individual farmers,” he said.
WABI (Channel 5) covered the 35th Black Bear Triathlon held at the University of Maine. The event was sponsored by UMaine Campus Recreation and sanctioned by USA Triathlon. The race featured a 525-yard swim in UMaine’s Wallace Pool, and a 12.5-mile bike race and 3.1-mile run along the UMaine trails and local roadways.
Mick Peterson, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine, was quoted in an Augusta Chronicle article about Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, beginning its fall meeting with a new state-of-the-art dirt surface to replace the synthetic surface known as Polytrack. Peterson, head of the Racing Surfaces Testing Lab at UMaine, became heavily involved in testing surfaces for the Keeneland horse racing track, according to the article. “We developed standard tests for both synthetic and dirt surfaces,” Peterson said. “Dirt tracks are never as simple as synthetics, which are less dependent on weather. We can’t change the weather, so the dominant issue becomes maintenance. We’re working hand-in-hand with Keeneland’s maintenance crew to assure that the new surface will be fair and safe.”
WVII (Channel 7) reported on the Black Bear Attack Adventure Race held at the University of Maine. The 3.5-mile race began at the New Balance Student Recreation Center and led participants through an obstacle course in the wooded trails behind the gym where runners encountered mud, tire obstacles and a climbing wall. Race director Lauri Sidelko said 350 people participated in the race, raising about $1,200 for the charity StopHazing.org.
Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Kennebec Journal article about Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race, as well as an Associated Press article about the state’s gubernatorial candidates preparing for debates. Brewer told the AP the debates in the state’s governor race have the potential to be significant because there appears to be a relatively large group of “swayable” voters. Portland Press Herald and SFGate carried the AP report. Brewer also spoke with Maine Public Broadcasting Network and Portland Press Herald about how the closing of the Verso Paper mill in Bucksport could potentially affect the outcome of the gubernatorial race. “Anytime something like this happens, those who are in office at least have a greater likelihood of being impacted by that than a challenger who wasn’t in office and didn’t have anything to do with these things,” Brewer said.
The Associated Press, WABI (Channel 5), Bangor Daily News, WLBZ (Channel 2), Maine Public Broadcasting Network, WVII (Channel 7) and Portland Press Herald reported on Michelle Obama’s visit to the University of Maine to campaign for Maine gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud. The first lady; Michaud; Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund; Emily Cain, the Democratic candidate in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District; and UMaine President Sue Hunter spoke at the rally that was held in the Collins Center for the Arts. Fox News carried the AP report.
The Portland Press Herald reported master beekeepers Jack Hildreth, Peter Richardson and Chris Rogers will lead two beginner beekeeping schools at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office in Falmouth. One class will be held on five consecutive Thursdays from Oct. 16 through Nov. 13, and another from Feb. 5 through March 5. Hildreth and Richardson will also be instructors for an intermediate beekeeping school, offered on six consecutive Tuesdays, from Jan. 6 to Feb. 10. The beginner school is suitable for beekeepers with one to two years of experience, and the intermediate school is designed for beekeepers with two or more years of experience.
University of Maine sociologist Kyriacos Markides was cited in The Washington Post piece “Why Hispanic-Americans live longer: The mystery that has puzzled researchers for decades.” The article noted that Hispanics in the U.S. die at slower rates than non-Hispanic whites, even before taking into account discrepancies in incomes and health care accessibility, which put Hispanics at a disadvantage. Markides noted the irony in his 1986 paper “The Health of Hispanics in the Southwestern United States: an Epidemiologic Paradox.” He reported that Hispanics in the Southwest had lower death rates from cardiovascular disease and cancer than whites, as well as lower rates of infant mortality. Hispanic culture, in which close families tend to care for sick loved ones, could play a role, Markides said. Hispanics, especially immigrants, also tend to smoke and drink less than whites, he said.
Mehdi Tajvidi, an assistant professor of renewable nanomaterials at the University of Maine, spoke with WABI (Channel 5) about research he is involved in to develop eco-friendly particleboard panels with adhesive made of cellulose nanofibrils (CNF). Tajvidi is working with several other UMaine researchers — William Gramlich, Doug Bousfield, Doug Gardner and Mike Bilodeau — as well as John Hunt from the USDA Forest Service to make strong, stiff and fully recyclable particleboard panels that can be used in countertops, door cores and furniture. “The materials that we are working with are just coming from mother nature. We don’t synthesize them, we just extract them from wood,” Tajvidi said. “And so this is basically biomaterial and has a very good potential because it has very exciting properties such as very high stiffness and strength, and a very wide range of applications for that.”
The University of Maine was mentioned in a Presque Isle Star-Herald article published in the Bangor Daily News about officials celebrating job creation at four forestry-based businesses in Ashland. One of the businesses — shingle manufacturer Ecoshel — worked with UMaine’s Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC) to produce cedar shingle panels. Brian Kirkey, CEO of Ecoshel, gave a tour of the facility and explained how the company worked with UMaine to create state-of-the-art equipment that will reduce waste and improve production, according to the article.
WVII (Channel 7) covered the second annual open house of the Virtual Environment and Multimodal Interaction (VEMI) Laboratory at the University of Maine. The lab, located in Carnegie Hall, is part of the spatial informatics program in the School of Computing and Information Science and houses Maine’s only research facility that combines a fully immersive virtual reality installation with augmented reality technologies in an integrated research and development environment. Nicholas Giudice, a professor in the School of Computing and Information Science, and Richard Corey, the lab’s director of operations, spoke about some of the lab’s technology, as well as the latest research projects. “Our argument is, if you can provide the same information through accessible means, nonvisual means, you can learn it in the same exact way and activate the same parts of the brain,” Giudice said.
James Breece, an economics professor at the University of Maine, spoke with Star 97.7 FM about the closing of the Verso Paper mill in Bucksport. Breece said the ripple effect from the closure could be devastating and that laying off nearly 600 people will have a multiplier effect. He said some towns do recuperate from similar losses, but it can be a long and painful process.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the 7th annual Mitchell Lecture on Sustainability, hosted by the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine. This year’s talk featured Harvard University’s William Clark who spoke about “Mobilizing knowledge to shape a sustainable future.” Mitchell, who also spoke at the event, talked about the importance of finding a long-term solution to climate change in order to create opportunity for Maine’s future. “The real issue is, if we wait much longer the effects will be irreversible,” Mitchell said.
Melissa Maginnis, a microbiology professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald about the first confirmed case of enterovirus D68 by Maine health officials. Maginnis said people should be concerned about the virus because it has quickly spread across the U.S. this year, and was not contained to a region. “It’s really hard to predict what’s going to happen. This is a very serious virus, and there is potential for it to continue to spread,” she said, adding the virus has the potential to become more widespread than West Nile virus.