The Bangor Daily News reported on research being conducted by Matthew Hodgkin, a fourth-year animal and veterinary sciences major at the University of Maine, under the guidance of Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute at UMaine. The cross-discipline research project focused on developing and testing a noninvasive procedure to determine the viability of lobsters for shipping based on claw strength. A couple of years ago, Bayer approached UMaine mechanical engineering professor Michael “Mick” Peterson about developing a way to measure how hard a lobster can squeeze, according to the article. Peterson and Thomas McKay, a fourth-year mechanical engineering technology student, developed a pressure sensor that could fit in a lobster’s claw. Under Bayer’s guidance, Hodgkin has spent a couple of years studying the results of claw pressure tests. When comparing them to the more invasive serum test results, they found a close correlation between each lobster’s serum level and the power of its grip, the article states. Phys.org published the UMaine news release on the research.
WABI (Channel 5) and Mainebiz reported the Maine Sea Grant Program at the University of Maine will receive $798,312 in grant funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support its research, education and outreach efforts done on behalf of Maine’s coastal communities. U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King announced the award in a press release. “Maine’s coastal communities are a vital part of our economy,” the senators said in a joint statement. “We are pleased NOAA has invested these funds in Maine Sea Grant, which will enable them to continue their important work as a resource and advocate for communities up and down the Maine coast.” Designated as a Sea Grant College, UMaine is one of 33 NOAA Sea Grant Programs throughout the coastal and Great Lakes states. The award is part of Sea Grant’s regular funding in a four-year cycle that extends to 2018, according to the release. The full release is online.
Robert Lilieholm, the E.L. Giddings professor of forest policy at the University of Maine, was quoted in a WLBZ (Channel 2) report about a teleconference town hall meeting planned for Wednesday, April 1 to discuss the proposed Katahdin-region national park. The amount of jobs the park would generate has been researched and predicted by Headwaters Economics and peer reviewed by state economists, according to the report.
“There are plenty of examples across the U.S. where national parks and other types of protected areas have really become these engines of economic growth, and we’re seeing as these areas are created and as they grow, new businesses come into the area. It’d be very, very unusually for this not to be an economic success,” said Lilieholm, one of the reviewers of the Headwaters prediction.
The Weekly and The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release about a new guide that shows communities how to start a wood bank. Jessica Leahy, an associate professor of human dimensions of natural resources in the School of Forest Resources, and Sabrina Vivian, a senior in the Ecology and Environmental Sciences Program, wrote “A Community Guide to Starting & Running a Wood Bank” to provide guidance for establishing a wood bank, as well as topics to be considered, including types of wood banks, location, legalities, security, eligibility, firewood sources, volunteers, processing, distribution and equipment. Wood banks are similar to food pantries, but instead of providing food for those in need, they provide firewood at little to no cost for those who rely on wood to heat their homes.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release about the Graduate Student Government’s 2015 Graduate Academic Exposition April 2–3. Work will be presented, judged and on display in the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center on campus. The event will feature four areas of competition — posters, oral presentations, intermedia and fine arts exhibits, and a PechaKucha, or rapid-fire slide show event. Students from a variety of disciplines are expected to present 129 submissions at this year’s event.
The Weekly reported the University of Maine System Board of Trustees has approved promotion and/or tenure for 19 University of Maine faculty members. The faculty were nominated by UMaine President Susan J. Hunter based on a peer and administrative review of their successful work in teaching, research and public service. “The annual tenure and promotion process is truly a celebration of the excellence of our faculty,” said President Hunter. “They are key to helping UMaine fulfill its statewide mission of teaching, research, scholarship, economic development and outreach. And they are essential to the UMaine distinction — from the student experience and community engagement to the national- and international-caliber research.”
University of Maine students can enjoy authentic cuisine from Mexico, South Korea and Jamaica at three on-campus dining locations during UMaine Dining’s Taste of the World event April 2.
During the annual event, menus, decor and music of each dining facility will spotlight a different culture, often in consultation with students or other resident experts from the university’s international community.
This year, Mexico will be at Hilltop featuring various salads, quesadillas, fish, steak, rice, beans and salsa; with churros, flan and cakes for dessert. South Korea will be showcased at Wells Central complete with a Dim Sum station, sushi and spring roll station, Pho bar, and other entrees with beef, chicken, rice and noodles; with desserts made with rice or green tea. York will highlight Jamaican fare filled with jerk chicken, soups, plantains, vegetables, salads, soups, and — for dessert — pineapple upside-down cake and coconut banana and chocolate bread pudding.
UMaine Dining uses local foods and produce in their recipes including the international cuisine for the Taste of the World event. A part of UMaine Dining’s mission is raising awareness of the value and sustainability of supporting locally sourced produce and products from Maine.
Although aimed primarily at resident students, anyone in the UMaine community can enjoy any of the all-you-care-to-eat menus for $11.50 per adult and $5.75 per child 12 or under. The international fare in the three dining facilities will be served during dinner starting at 4:30 p.m. To prepare of the event, the three locations will close at 2 p.m.
The Black Bear Food Guild, a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that is organized and managed by students in the University of Maine’s Sustainable Agriculture program, is offering CSA shares for the 2015 gardening season.
In an effort to increase accessibility to fresh, seasonal produce for all members of the community, the Black Bear Food Guild is offering full, half and quarter shares. Full shares are $500 and are recommended for four people; half shares are $325 and will feed two people; and quarter shares, ideal for one person, are $175.
Shareholders can pick up produce weekly from mid-June through early October at the university’s Rogers Farm.
A limited number of shares are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in purchasing a share for the 2015 season should email the Black Bear Food Guild at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1994, students have farmed two acres of MOFGA-certified organic vegetables and cut flowers on Rogers Farm. The farmers of the 2015 Black Bear Food Guild are Laura Goldshein, Sara Lyons and Mariah Fujimagari.
The University of Maine Hutchinson Center will receive $500,000 from the estate of Belfast, Maine resident Marilyn Duane to benefit scholarships and outreach efforts.
The gift will be one of four presented April 15 during a meeting of the Belfast Rotary Club at the Hutchinson Center. A total of $2 million is being awarded from the estate of Marilyn Duane to four organizations: UMaine’s Hutchinson Center, United Mid-Coast Charities, Belfast Rotary Club and the Boy Scouts of America.
Marilyn Johnson Duane grew up in Bangor, the daughter of Dr. Henry and Dorothy Carlton Johnson. Marilyn and her late husband, James T. Duane, retired to Belfast in 1987. James was an early computer engineer, who worked for General Electric and was a member of the Belfast Rotary Club. Marilyn was a member of the Belfast Garden Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The couple strongly believed in supporting scholarships, according to attorney and friend Lee Woodward, who is handling Marilyn Duane’s estate with co-personal representative Cindy Klewin.
Marilyn was inspired by the work of UMaine alumnus James Patterson, the founding director of the Hutchinson Center and member of the Belfast Rotary, who she said opened the door for students to access quality, affordable higher education in a supportive, flexible environment. With the gift from the Marilyn Duane estate, three funds have been established:
- The James C. Patterson Scholarship Fund will award scholarships to nonmatriculated students served by the Hutchinson Center who are enrolled in a University of Maine undergraduate or graduate coursework.
- The Marilyn Duane Scholarship Fund will benefit University of Maine System matriculated students with financial need who are served by the Hutchinson Center.
- The Marilyn and James T. Duane Community Outreach Fund focuses on creating access to lifelong learning opportunities that otherwise would not be available. The fund will be used for educational programming at the Hutchinson Center for personal enrichment, professional development, continuing education and/or early college opportunities at reduced or no cost to participants.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The University of Maine Graduate School is pleased to announce the following award recipients for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Chase Distinguished Research Assistantship (CDRA)Kalyn Bickerman Ecology and Environmental Science Shengen Chen Electrical Engineering Amber Heller Anthropology and Environmental Policy Siglinde Langholz Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Hannah Lawrence Clinical Psychology Erik Reardon History Won Joon Song Earth and Climate Sciences Cong Tian Biomedical Science Daniel Weaver Wildlife Ecology Lisa Weeks Chemical Engineering
Michael J. Eckardt Dissertation Fellowship in MEIF Areas (Formerly MEIF)
Janet Waldron Dissertation Research Fellowship (JWDRF)
M. Peter McPherson, the president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), will receive an honorary doctorate and share remarks on May 9 at the 213th Commencement at the University of Maine.
In 1865, the University of Maine became the Maine’s land grant university and this year’s Commencement ceremonies are part of the celebration of that 150th anniversary.
McPherson will deliver a keynote address during the 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ceremonies, and will receive his honorary degree in the morning.
“In 2015, with UMaine celebrating its 150 years of leadership in Maine and beyond, it’s particularly timely and important to have Peter McPherson join us,” said UMaine President Susan J. Hunter. “His reflections and insights will add to our anniversary observance and inform our perspective on the role of the land grant university in the 21st century.”
Since 2006, McPherson has been president of the Washington, D.C.-based APLU. The association, founded in 1887, is North America’s oldest higher education association, comprised of public research universities, land-grant institutions and universities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, four territories, Canada and Mexico. APLU is the leading research, policy and advocacy organization for public research universities like UMaine.
McPherson also chairs the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, an organization he cofounded to address agricultural production and rural income issues. He is also chair of advisory committee for HarvestPlus, an organization funded at approximately $40 million annual to research the biofortification of crops grown by workers in poor countries. Biofortification is the genetic improvement of crops to fortify them with vitamin A, iron and zinc.
From 1993–2004, McPherson served as president of his alma mater, Michigan State University. Prior to that, he was a group executive vice president with Bank of America, based in San Francisco. He also served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). McPherson is a former chair of the board of directors of Dow Jones and Company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
More than 200 University of Maine students will display their research during the 2015 Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase on Tuesday, April 14 at Wells Conference Center.
The sixth annual event, which runs from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., is sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) and is open to any undergraduate at the university. A total of 121 presentations from 229 students in the form of 92 posters, 16 oral presentations or performances, and 13 exhibits will be featured. Several presentations include multiple students.
A new electronic judging system will allow the 40 judges to score presentations online using a tablet or smartphone.
Students presenting projects that receive the highest scores from judges in each format will receive research scholar medals and cash awards ranging from $100 to $200 in various categories.
Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies David Neivandt will deliver opening remarks at 9 a.m. UMaine President Susan J. Hunter and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jeff Hecker will present awards and give closing remarks starting at 4 p.m. The awards presentation will include the announcement of five Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowship winners, who will each receive a $3,000 fellowship.
The UMaine community and general public are welcome to attend the free event. Participants and guests can follow the showcase on Twitter and Instagram using #CUGR2015. For more information or to request disability accommodations, call CUGR at 581.3583, or email CUGR@maine.edu, using “CUGR showcase guest request” as the subject. More information is online.
Alyssa Chauvette, a first-year graduate student in the School of Social Work at the University of Maine, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “Maine’s criminal justice system needs a better way to handle the mentally ill.” Chauvette received her undergraduate degree in social work from UMaine and works as a graduate research assistant in the UMaine Office of Assessment.
The Weekly and The Maine Edge reported on the University of Maine Museum of Art’s spring exhibitions that will open to the public on April 3 and run through June 6. The exhibits are Andy Warhol’s “Photographs and Screenprints,” Elizabeth Livingston’s “Dark Houses” and Jennifer Caine’s “Amnesia.”
The Ellsworth American reported two University of Maine studies found a diet containing wild blueberries may improve certain characteristics of metabolic syndrome, including lipid status and inflammation. The studies were conducted by Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, a clinical nutritionist and professor at UMaine, and were published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry and British Journal of Nutrition. Having metabolic syndrome increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to the article. “Metabolic syndrome is a growing health problem in the United States, impacting roughly one-third of our adult population,” Klimis-Zacas said. “We are pleased to report our research indicates that wild blueberry consumption can have significant and positive health impacts on several components of this serious health condition.”
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release about Send Silence Packing, a national traveling public education exhibit of 1,100 backpacks that represent the 1,100 college students who annually die by suicide. Members of the UMaine and local community are invited to experience the exhibit from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 2. Send Silence Packing is a program of Active Minds Inc., a national nonprofit with a mission to engage students in discussions about mental health.
The Weekly published a University of Maine news release announcing 47 members of the UMaine community, including 41 undergraduate and graduate students, were inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and largest collegiate honor society, during the chapter’s annual meeting on campus March 19. Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at UMaine by 10 seniors in an effort to start an honorary society that recognizes outstanding students, faculty and staff from all disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi has since grown to an international society with more than one million members from more than 300 campuses across the United States, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
The University of Maine Department of Art will present the 2015 annual Juried Student Art Exhibition that features work by current studio art, art history and art education students.
The exhibition will be on display from April 3 to May 1 in the Lord Hall Gallery on campus. The venue provides the opportunity for undergraduate students at all levels to exhibit their work.
This year, more than 90 works of art were selected from over 300 submissions in a range of media. Paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, collages and design, as well as sculptures and ceramic works are included in the exhibition.
The exhibition was juried by Julie Horn, visual arts director of the Maine Arts Commission, and Department of Art faculty Laurie Hicks and James Linehan.
During the April 3 opening reception, approximately 40 awards and recognitions will be given in studio, art history and art education areas. Awards, in the form of scholarships and travel grants, as well as book and exhibition awards, will be presented to students who have excelled in their work. The campus community, family and friends are welcome to attend the opening from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
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.
Students who recently returned from a spring break trip to Cuba will share their experiences in presentations from 4–5:30 p.m. April 15 in 107 D.P. Corbett Business Building. The travel study course, Cuba: Myths and Realities, led by faculty member Barbara Blazej, is offered by the Peace and Reconciliation Studies Program. On the trip to Cuba, March 2–11, students toured many sites and institutions in Havana and in outlining rural areas. They also met with many individuals and organizations to learn about Cuban national priorities.
University of Maine professors and Center for Research on Sustainable Forests leaders Sandra De Urioste-Stone and Robert Lilieholm are conducting a survey under the Bay-to-Baxter initiative. The study seeks to identify sustainable economic development pathways for the Penobscot River corridor that protect and leverage the region’s natural resources and quality of place.
De Urioste-Stone, leader of the CRSF Nature-Based Tourism Program, and Lilieholm, conservation lands lead for CRSF, are mailing 3,000 surveys to residents along the Penobscot River to learn their views on recreational use of the river, as well as their thoughts on the community and its ability to adapt to changing social, economic and environmental conditions.
“It is extremely important to understand and incorporate residents’ views and feedback for effective land and sustainable development planning to occur,” De Urioste-Stone says.
The survey is part of the larger project, “Promoting Sustainable Economic Development and Quality-of-Place in Maine: The Penobscot River ‘Bay-to-Baxter Corridor’ Initiative,” which is led by De Urioste-Stone with team members Lilieholm; Claire Sullivan, associate dean for community engagement; Linda Silka, of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center; and John Daigle, associate professor in the School of Forest Resources.
The researchers hope the survey will inform ongoing and future sustainable economic development and environmental efforts in the region that stretches from Penobscot Bay to Baxter State Park.
The area faces sustainability threats, as well as opportunities, and the team will use community feedback to support improved land use and economic development decisions across the region.
Research objectives include determining:
- Characteristics of residents’ use of the Penobscot River, including activities, predicting future recreation use and perceptions of environmental conditions of the river;
- Characteristics of residents, including attachment to the Penobscot River, status of employment, education and other socio-demographic descriptions; and
- Beliefs associated with community resilience to environmental and economic development changes.
The Lower Penobscot River Watershed offers an ideal setting for studying and integrating stakeholder participatory scenario modeling, community resilience and sustainable economic development, De Urioste-Stone says.
The region faces multiple sustainability challenges, including an aging population, poverty, energy and food insecurities, high dependence on resource extraction, heavy reliance on social assistance programs, strong urban-rural gradients, active species and watershed restoration efforts, and public health challenges.
The difficulties, which aren’t unique to Maine, pose risks to social, political and economic systems around the world, according to the researchers. They hope what they learn in Maine will have widespread applicability.
Even with its set of growing challenges, the watershed has several assets that can develop and leverage community health and economic growth. These assets include UMaine, the Greater Bangor area, the I-95 corridor, Bangor International Airport, an international border, an abundant coastline and natural and cultural amenities that attract tourists. Recent development proposals have sought to build upon and leverage those resources, the researchers say.
The project will integrate information generated through the resident and user survey for an alternative futures modeling study led by Harvard Forest and funded by the National Science Foundation that aims to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of decision making.
The study includes service-learning opportunities for several undergraduate and graduate students and is funded by UMaine’s Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the UMaine Rising Tide/NSF ADVANCE Award.
The Conservation Lands and Nature-Based Tourism programs at CRSF conduct applied and collaborative research to better understand, monitor and anticipate important issues regarding Maine’s conservation lands, and to understand the economic impacts of tourism.