The University of Maine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) has named the 2014–2015 Research Fellows Assistants.
The CUGR Research Fellows Program supports faculty efforts toward improving undergraduate research mentoring skills, expanding curricula to include research and scholarship experiences, and developing proposals for further funding specifically involving undergraduate students.
Each student selected as a Research Fellow Assistant is awarded a $1,000 stipend to assist a CUGR Research Fellow during the 2014–2015 academic year on a research topic of their choice. The faculty participants in this program were nominated by their respective deans and participated in a series of professional development workshops last spring.
More information about the CUGR Research Fellows Program is online.
The 2014–2015 CUGR Research Fellows Student Assistants:
- Ashlyn Boyle of Belfast, Maine; sociology
- Abigail Bradford of Westport Island, Maine; Earth and climate sciences
- Hanjuan Cao of Changsha, China; food science and human nutrition
- Audrey Cross of Brunswick, Maine; ecology and environmental sciences
- Megan Dunphy of Pittsfield, Maine; psychology
- Joseph Goodin of Orono, Maine; anthropology and Earth science
- Thomas P. Hastings of Bear, Delaware; conservation biology
- Cameron Huston of Washburn, Maine; political science, legal studies and sociology
- Katherine Keaton of Caribou, Maine; theatre and dance
- Amber Makela of Lyndeborough, New Hampshire; psychology, child development and disability studies
- Aman Maskay of Kathmandu, Nepal; electrical engineering
- Timothy McGrath of Carmel, Maine; mechanical engineering
- Thomas McOscar of Bangor, Maine; chemistry
- Seraphina Orsini of South Berwick, Maine; computer science
- Kyle Pfau of Westfield, Massachusetts; marine science
- Christopher Plaisted of Jonesboro, Maine; music education
- Ethan Stetson of Woodland, Maine; psychology and military science
- Ashley Thibeault of South Hamilton, Massachusetts; ecology and environmental sciences
- Alex Lee Tuttle of Old Town, Maine; marketing and legal studies
- Eric Veitch of Guilford, Connecticut; biology
- Christopher Vincent of Nashua, New Hampshire; marketing and legal studies
- Eric Wold of Freeport, Maine; mechanical engineering
The 2014–2015 CUGR Faculty Research Fellows:
- Laura Artesani
- Daniel Bilodeau
- Tim Bowden
- Nuri Emanetoglu
- Nicholas Giudice
- Robert Glover
- William Gramlich
- Hamish Greig
- Mark Haggerty
- Sarah Harlan-Haughey
- Kim Huisman
- Karl Kreutz
- Jordan LaBouff
- Roberto Lopez-Anido
- Shannon McCoy
- Reinhard Moratz
- Balunkeswar Nayak
- Brian Robinson
- Mary Shea
- Ebru Ulusoy
- Faren R. Wolter
PBS NewsHour reported on research by University of Maine paleoclimatologist Karl Kreutz in a video titled “Scientists read layers of Alaska’s ice and snow to track climate change.” With support from the National Science Foundation, Kreutz and his team are working to reconstruct the climate history of the area around Alaska’s Denali National Park over the last thousand years. The researchers are studying ice depth measurements to determine the relationship between temperature and precipitation rate, and the response of glaciers to climate changes. Seth Campbell, a UMaine alumnus and geophysicist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Abigail Bradford, an undergraduate student in the UMaine School of Earth and Climate Sciences, also were featured in the video. “There’s thousands of glaciers in Alaska, and very few have had data gathered on them. So we’re hoping to piece that puzzle together,” Bradford said.
The University of Maine was mentioned in a Mainebiz article about seaweed farming and the expansion of Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, a Down East company that sells sea vegetables as whole foods. According to UMaine’s Maine Sea Grant, there are more than 250 species of sea vegetables in the Gulf of Maine. Although most are edible, fewer than a dozen are commercially harvested, the article states. In 2013, Maine Coast Sea Vegetables began working with the UMaine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) in Franklin and Maine Sea Grant to develop seeded nets and ropes for aquaculture production, the article states. Sea Grant’s research on seaweed farming that is building on research conducted by Susan Brawley, a professor of plant biology in the School of Marine Sciences and a cooperating professor in the School of Biology and Ecology, also was mentioned. “There’s a lot of momentum, as a new industry,” said Sarah Redmond, a marine extension agent for Maine Sea Grant at CCAR, of seaweed farming.
WVII (Channel 7) spoke with Robert Dana, the University of Maine’s vice president for student life and dean of students, about the updated policy on sexual assault and harassment that recently was approved by the University of Maine System trustees. The policy strengthens the definition of “consent” to better align with new federal regulations. “What we are trying to do now — we have been for the last two years — is creating a cultural climate where people will say what’s going on with them, what’s happened to them, what they’re concerned about, what their fears are,” Dana said. The Maine Public Broadcasting Network also reported on the updated policy and interviewed UMaine students Megan Dood and Julie Churchill about the changes. The students agreed the policy changes are a step in the right direction, but a change in culture is still needed.
The Boothbay Register reported the Maine Coast Book Shop in Damariscotta will host a Nov. 28 book launch for Warren Riess, a research associate professor of history, anthropology and marine sciences at the University of Maine. When an 18th-century ship was unearthed during a 1982 pre-construction dig in Lower Manhattan, Riess was called in to find out how it got there. After a year of fieldwork that included co-excavating the remains of the merchant ship, as well as more than three decades of analysis, interpretation and writing, Riess has revealed what he discovered in “The Ship That Held Up Wall Street.”
The University of Maine Museum of Art in downtown Bangor will host its seventh annual Art Factory Family Fun Day on Saturday, Dec. 6. Members of the public are invited to drop by the museum anytime between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to take part in the art-making event. Multiple art stations will be set up, each offering creative seasonal art projects. All supplies are free and museum staff will be available to assist families. The event is sponsored by WBRC Architects and Engineers. For more information, contact Eva Wagner, UMMA education coordinator, at 561.3360 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
An artifact from the University of Maine’s Hudson Museum was the focus of several media reports, including the CityLab article, “The indigenous art behind the Seahawks’ helmet.” The native mask, which is on loan to Seattle’s Burke Museum, may be the inspiration of the original team logo for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. The wooden Northwest Coast transformation mask depicts a bird of prey when closed and reveals a painted depiction of a human face when opened. The artifact is part of the Hudson Museum’s William P. Palmer III collection.
It will be on temporary display for the public in Seattle from November 22 to July 27 as part of the Burke’s “Here & Now: Native Artists Inspired” exhibit, according to the article. The exhibit will highlight contemporary art specifically inspired by the museum’s own collection, and the mask will be displayed next to Native artists’ interpretations of the NFL team’s identity, the article states.
Cynthia Erdley, a psychology professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for the article, “‘Let us give thanks’: Psychologists weigh in on importance of gratitude.” Erdley, who specializes in developmental psychology, said children 1 or 2 years old can be socialized to express thankfulness and will learn that it carries great meaning, but without direction, most children will not think to express thanks. “This suggests to me that a lot of prosocial behavior is much more influenced by socialization than by biological tendencies,” she said. In order to feel thankful, a person must have the ability to understand and appreciate intentional acts of kindness from others, Erdley said, adding that children may be close to 10 years old before understanding the meaning of gratitude.
CNBC named High Touch Courses one of the world’s “20 hottest startups of 2014.” High Touch Courses “is an online course system that utilizes gamification and provides on-demand education for the price of a Netflix subscription,” the report states. The startup aims to disrupt the traditional four-year degree system for certain areas of study, such as computer science and video game development, to help solve the student debt crisis and create more talented, technically trained citizens, according to the article. The company is a tenant of the Target Technology Incubator, an Orono facility that was developed by the University of Maine and the Bangor Target Area Development Corporation to provide an environment for business development and commercialization activities for innovation-based startups. The Bangor Daily News also carried an article on High Touch Courses.
WLBZ (Channel 2) reported on the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) in Franklin and its partnership with Acadia Harvest Inc. to develop a startup business of growing yellowtail using land-based aquaculture production. The company, which partnered with CCAR in 2012, now has 16,000 young yellowtail fish that they are growing to market size. Growing the fish in a controlled environment allows the company to control the temperature of the water, PH levels and the food they eat to prevent high mercury content, according to the report.
The Associated Press quoted Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, in an an article about Maine Democrats preparing to choose a new leader after election losses. Brewer recalled the state’s gubernatorial race between Republican Gov. Paul LePage, Democrat Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler. He said LePage ran on the clear and popular platform of welfare reform, while Michaud’s campaign struggled to define its message “other than that they were not Paul LePage.” The Boston Globe, Portland Press Herald, SFGate and Sun Journal carried the AP report. Brewer also spoke with the Bangor Daily News for the article, “How will Maine Democrats rebound after crushing Election Day defeats?” He said Democrats were hurt this year by some factors outside their control. “There’s a lot they could have done, starting with message. But they couldn’t have made Barack Obama more popular, and they couldn’t get bear-baiting off the ballot,” Brewer said.
Dan Kerluke, a former associate head coach for the University of Maine hockey team, was a guest on the Grow Maine Show where he spoke about the startup he co-founded to create a hockey goaltending analytics app. Kerluke started Double Blue Sports Analytics with David Alexander, who was a UMaine goalie coach, and Tim Westbaker, a computer programmer and UMaine alumnus. Kerluke also mentioned Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, who has been with the business from the beginning and has helped them expand. The company is a tenant of the Target Technology Incubator, an Orono facility that was developed by UMaine and the Bangor Target Area Development Corporation to provide an environment for business development and commercialization activities for innovation-based startups. Kerluke also participated in the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Acceleration program, which is sponsored by Blackstone Accelerates Growth and hosted by the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a free workshop on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that starts at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1, at the UMaine Extension office, 24 Main St., Lisbon Falls.
Ben Tettlebaum, a Rhodes Fellow with the Farm and Food Initiative at the Conservation Law Foundation Maine, and Dave Colson, a farmer from Durham and director of agricultural services at Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, will make presentations.
Each year, about 3,000 people in the United States die and 128,000 are hospitalized due to foodborne diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The FSMA, signed into law in 2011, seeks to build in prevention throughout the food safety system and requires farmers to incorporate steps to avoid food contamination.
Through Dec. 15, the FDA is accepting public comments about FSMA; computers will be available at the workshop to send suggestions. For more information, to register or request a disability accommodation, contact KymNoelle Sposato at 207.353.5550 or email@example.com.
The University of Maine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) has announced the recipients of the CUGR Fall Creative and Academic Achievement Fellowships for 2014–15.
The fellowships were developed to enhance and increase undergraduate student involvement in faculty-supervised research, and awarded by the President’s Office.
Each fellowship provides a $1,000 award for the student to help cover costs of the project. The awards are supported through a PRE-VUE grant with additional funding from the Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF).
The winning projects:
- Wilson Adams of Barrington, Rhode Island, bioengineering, “A device for entrapment and microinjection of larval zebrafish”
- Gwendolyn Beacham of Farmington, Maine, biochemistry, “Characterization of lysogeny regulation in the Cluster E mycobacteriophage Ukulele”
- Jennifer LF Burnham of Bangor, Maine, microbiology, “Vaccine awareness assistance within the Greater Bangor area healthcare system”
- Nina Caputo of Canaan, New Hampshire, chemistry, mathematics and environmental sciences, “Fluorescence monitoring of contaminant mixtures in surface fresh water”
- Tyler Carrier of Barre, Vermont, “Cellular and molecular responses of sea urchin embryos to dissolved saxitoxins from the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense”
- Nicklaus Carter of Franklin, Maine, bioengineering, “Magnetic properties of iron nanoparticles”
- Joshua Deakin of Hampden, Maine, business, “Rituals in restaurants: Exploring how newcomers learn organizational culture”
- Vincent DiGiovanni of Belmont, Massachusetts, biology and chemistry, “New approach to the treatment of Type 2 diabetes using inhibitors based on the acarviostatin family of natural products”
- Nathan Dunn of Berwick, Maine, mathematics and computer science, “An enhancement of the P301dx application using advanced statistics”
- Robert Fasano of Jefferson, Maine, physics, “Initialization of composite galaxies in dynamic equilibrium”
- Scott Forand of Hermon, Maine, new media, “Tiny tactics”
- Thomas Fouchereaux of Yarmouth, Maine, new media, “Commentrain”
- Samuel Gates of Old Town, Maine, computer science, “Multi-tag radio frequency indication for indoor positional tracking system enhanced with accelerometer for fall detection”
- Allison Goodridge of Bowdoin, Maine, mechanical engineering, “Motors and power: Generating physical phenomena for examination of spatial cognition and impulse response in virtual environments”
- Katrina Harris of Ellsworth, Maine, business and microbiology, “Characterization of the integration morphology of mycobacteriophage ChipMunk including de novo assembly of the genome”
- Hina Hashmi of Veazie, Maine, microbiology, “Is the ubiquitous antibacterial agent triclosan an uncoupler of mammalian mitochondria?”
- Leslie Hood of Bangor, Maine, new media, “Epitaph: A humanistic approach to mortality and human-computer interaction”
- Meghan Hurlburt of Union, Maine, computer science, “Noninvasive monitoring using radio frequency indicator technology: An inexpensive solution for independent aging in place”
- Eliza Kane of Deer Isle, Maine, anthropology, “The geochemistry and historical ecology of a burnt Mississippian house at the Lawrenz Gun Club site in the central Illinois River Valley”
- Charm Tharanga Karunasiri of Caribou, Maine, biochemistry, “Characterizing the catalytic domain of Calpain 5”
- Jay Knowlton of Camden, Maine, biology, “Transplacental arsenic exposure effects on mouse hepatic protein expression”
- Kathryn Liberman of Sumner, Illinois, marine science and aquaculture, “Developing a zebrafish model for Saprolegnia parasitica to investigate pathogenesis and alternate treatments”
- Jason Lively of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, Earth sciences, “Neutralization capacity of major rock types found in Maine”
- William London of Carrabassett Valley, Maine, mechanical engineering, “Experimental characterization of fatigue response of mechanically fastened joints in 3-D woven carbon composites”
- Isaiah Nathaniel Mansour of Fairfield, Connecticut, marine science, “A comparative study of the hemocyanins of the giant keyhole limpet (Megathura crenulata) and the red abalone (Haliotis rufescens)”
- Zakiah-Lee Meeks of Bangor, Maine, biology and pre-medicine, “Methylation patterns in OPRM1 and COMT variants during opioid withdrawal in the neonate”
- Alexander William Moser of York, Maine, mechanical engineering and mathematics, “Clean CNG snowmobile”
- Chelsea Ogun of North Providence, Rhode Island, anthropology, “Promoting and advancing climate education in Maine middle and high schools”
- Brenden Peters of Orono, Maine, computer science, “Low-power device for indoor mapping and navigation”
- Samuel Reynolds of Ellsworth, Maine, psychology and biology, “Investigating the role of NMDA receptors in long-term ethanol withdrawal”
- Jena Rudolph of Old Town, Maine, human dimensions of climate change, “Assessing the efficacy of scenario building to alter perceptions of climate risk and stimulate climate adaptation planning”
- Andrea Santariello of Tolland, Connecticut, marine science and zoology, “How prey selection contributes to Arctic tern breeding success and chick health at fledging”
- Julia Sell of Cushing, Maine, physics, “Development of a combinatorial deposition method to allow for rapid synthesis and testing of nanolaminate thin film structures”
- Adam Simard of Shelburne, New Hampshire, microbiology, “JCPyV internalization: Insight into scaffolding proteins and associated intracellular binding domains of serotonin 5-HT2 receptors”
- Dustin Sleight of Orono, Maine, mechanical engineering, “Dynamic motion control: Generating physical phenomena for examination of spatial cognition and impulse response in virtual environments”
- Bryer Sousa of Shapleigh, Maine, chemistry and mathematics, “Two-temperature model molecular dynamics study of the coalescence of metal nanoparticles”
- Margaret Stavros of Freeport, Maine, biochemistry, “Prenatal exposure to methadone’s effect on the oxytocin receptor pathway”
- Cody Thies of Pittsfield, Maine, psychology, “Adrenergic modulation of voluntary ethanol intake in C3H/HeJ mice in a chronic intermittent exposure protocol”
- Ethan Tremblay of Mariaville, Maine, economics and journalism, “An examination of the pro-social impacts of local food purchasing”
- Ryan A. Wahle of Round Pond, Maine, new media and Spanish, “New age versatile furniture”
- Emily Whitaker of Westport Island, Maine, molecular and cellular biology, “Identification and characterization of mycobacteriophage Ukulele integration site attP”
WVII (Channel 7) spoke with Marcella Sorg, a forensic anthropologist for the state and a research professor at the University of Maine, about a Maine effort to gather data on violent deaths over the next five years. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded almost $1 million to help pay for compiling information about the relationships between domestic abuse, homicide and suicide. The data will supplement the work of groups such as the Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel, which examines domestic abuse homicides to understand how the deaths can be prevented. Sorg is leading the effort with Margaret Greenwald, the recently retired chief medical examiner.
The Business Insider article, “It’s warmer in Alaska than in Texas right now,” featured maps produced by the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute. The maps, which were created using CCI’s Climate Reanalyzer, showed average temperatures across North America today and how much those temperatures differ from their overall average levels. According to one of the maps, most of the central U.S. is seeing temperatures more than 20 F below their averages for this time of year, while Alaska is more than 20 F warmer than usual in some regions, the article states. Star Tribune’s On Weather blog also featured a Climate Reanalyzer map.
Jessica Leahy, an associate professor of human dimensions of natural resources at the University of Maine, and Sabrina Vivian, a senior studying ecology and environmental sciences, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “How wood banks could help Mainers avoid an eat-or-heat dilemma.”
The Portland Press Herald advanced the first workshop in the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s yearlong monthly series, “From Scratch: Your Maine Kitchen.” The first workshop, “From the Maine Wild,” takes place Saturday, Nov. 15, at the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office in Falmouth. At the event, “Black Fly Stew” cookbook author Kate Gooding will discuss cooking wild game, including venison, moose and goose. She will prepare Burgundian Beaver Stew, which participants can sample for lunch. UMaine Extension Master Food Preserver Karyn Small will give tips on best food preservation practices for wild game. In advance of the workshop, the Press Herald published an interview with Gooding.
The University of Maine was mentioned in two Environment & Energy Publishing articles that focused on ocean energy. The first article mentioned the new wind and wave laboratory being built at UMaine. W² is the world’s first wind and wave lab to feature a rotating open-jet wind tunnel above a 100-foot-long by 30-foot-wide by 15-foot-deep wave basin. The tank will be used to test offshore wind technology and marine hydrokinetic devices, according to the report. The second article cited UMaine’s efforts to monitor ocean energy’s effects on wildlife and fishermen.
The University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute was mentioned in a Current article about the increase of Lyme disease and ticks in Maine. According to the article, Dr. Peter Rand, the senior investigator at the Vector-borne Disease Laboratory in Scarborough who established the Maine Lyme Disease Research Lab, is working with CCI to provide data on the geographic spread of the deer tick, which is used in models to predict its advance as temperatures rise.