2014 Homecoming, Parents Weekend Oct. 17–19

University of Maine News - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 12:03

The University of Maine will host alumni and parents of current student for the 2014 Homecoming and Parents Weekend. The joint event will take place Friday to Sunday, Oct. 17–19.

The UMaine Alumni Association will host the Homecoming Craft Fair and Maine Marketplace in the newly renovated New Balance Field House. The craft fair runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 18 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 19.

This year’s Homecoming will honor the reunion classes of 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009.

A football game against Albany, and two men’s ice hockey games against Union College are among scheduled events. Other activities include the Emera Astronomy Center dedication, a jazz brunch and a silent auction.

A complete schedule of Homecoming events is on the UMaine Alumni Association’s website. More about Parents Weekend also is online.

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UMaine Ecologist Joins Role Models as Mercer Award Recipient

University of Maine News - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 09:43

A University of Maine marine scientist has won a prestigious award for publishing an outstanding ecological research paper before the age of 40.

Douglas Rasher, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center in Walpole. Maine, received the Mercer Award at the 99th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) Aug. 11, in Sacramento, California.

Rasher joins influential scientists, and some of his role models — E.O. Wilson, Jane Lubchenco, Robert MacArthur and Joseph Connell — as a recipient of the award.

“Over the past half-century, many well-known ecologists received this award for publishing what are now considered ‘classic’ papers,” Rasher says. “These studies shaped who I am as a scientist and how I view the natural world. That makes receiving this award very personal and special to me.”

Rasher was chosen the recipient of the 2014 Mercer Award for his eye-opening study on Fiji’s coral reefs that provided insight into management and conservation of coral reefs.

He was a graduate student at Georgia Institute of Technology when he conducted the research that demonstrated diverse grazing fish are essential to keep coral reefs clean and free of harmful seaweeds that quickly out-compete baby corals for space on the reef.

Clean reefs, he found, are healthy reefs and are better able to recover from hurricanes and other disturbances. Ecology published the study online in June 2013.

The Mercer Award, which has been presented annually since 1948, is named in honor of George Mercer, a young ecologist killed in World War II. ESA gives the award to promote contributions of early-career ecologists.

Bob Steneck, professor of marine ecology and biology at UMaine, said some awards are for a lifetime of achievements — for a job well done.

“Others are bellwethers of great things to come,” he says. “The Ecological Society of America’s Mercer Award is clearly in the later camp.”

Rasher says he pursued funding for a position at UMaine, in general, and the Darling Center, in particular, because it would enable him to work with Steneck, whom he calls a “world-class scientist,” as well as to study “one of today’s most pressing environmental issues.”

Rasher’s awarding-winning research paper, “Consumer diversity interacts with prey defenses to drive ecosystem function,” may be read at online.

Contact: Linda Healy, 207.563.8220

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BDN Interviews Cooperative Extension Staff About Bond Proposal for Pest Lab

University of Maine News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 10:32

The Bangor Daily News spoke with several University of Maine Cooperative Extension staff members about Question 2 on the November ballot that will ask Maine voters to approve an $8 million bond for animal and plant diagnostic services. The bond would allow UMaine Extension to build a new facility on campus to house labs for the monitoring and testing of insects and pests that plague domestic and wild plants and animals in Maine, the article states. Anne Lichtenwalner, director of UMaine’s Animal Health Laboratory; John Rebar, executive director of UMaine Extension; and Jim Dill, a pest management specialist, spoke about the proposed lab’s benefits, such as early Lyme disease detection.

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WABI, WVII Cover UMaine’s Test of Emergency Notification System

University of Maine News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 10:31

WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on the University of Maine’s test of its full emergency notification system. The system, which was established in 2007, allows university safety and communications professionals to use mechanisms such as sirens, text alerts and social media to quickly communicate information to the community during emergency situations. UMaine’s Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Robert Dana and Wayne Maines, UMaine’s director of safety and environmental management, spoke with WABI about the importance of emergency drills and preparedness. UMaine community members are reminded to register to receive emergency notifications of public safety issues, as well as announcements about class cancellations due to inclement weather. Registration for texts and/or email alerts is available online.

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UMaine Students Participating in NYC Climate March, BDN Reports

University of Maine News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 10:29

The Bangor Daily News reported more than 100 University of Maine students are heading to New York City this weekend to take part in the People’s Climate March, which is being called the biggest demonstration in the history of the climate justice movement. “We are going because the climate crisis is the biggest challenge our world faces today, and it needs to be addressed, plain and simple,” said Michael Bailey, a UMaine student who helped organize the trip. The Sun Journal also carried the BDN report.

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WVII Previews Suicide Prevention Walk

University of Maine News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 10:28

WVII (Channel 7) reported the University of Maine Counseling Center and St. Joseph Healthcare, in conjunction with several area sponsors, will host the sixth annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Oct. 5 at UMaine. Funds raised from the event will benefit research initiatives of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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UMaine Mentioned in Sen. King Op-Ed Published in Sanford News

University of Maine News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 10:26

University of Maine programs were mentioned in an opinion piece by Sen. Angus King that was posted on, a service of Sanford News. In the column, titled “Education must be dynamic to keep pace with changing world,” King wrote about partnerships between UMaine and state high schools, including the Bridge Year Program and the College of Engineering’s agreement with Thornton Academy in Saco. “These partnerships and programs all recognize the same truth: If Maine is to grow and succeed in an increasingly complex world, the way we deliver education to our students must be as dynamic as the world into which we’re sending them,” King wrote.

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Free Press Advances Goupee’s Searsport Talk on Offshore Wind Power

University of Maine News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 10:25

The Free Press reported University of Maine Assistant Libra Professor of Mechanical Engineering Andrew Goupee will discuss “Floating Offshore Wind: Becoming a Reality?” at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery in Searsport on Sept. 25. Goupee is an engineer at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center.

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Low Quoted in Press Herald Article on Cost of Maine’s Public Colleges

University of Maine News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 10:24

Ryan Low, interim vice president for administration and finance at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article titled, “Cost of Maine’s public colleges tops legislative panel’s agenda.” For the last three years, University of Maine System tuition has been frozen and the state hasn’t cut the allocation, according to the Press Herald. University officials have said they plan to ask for more state funding this year, which Low said will be difficult given the tough economic climate, the article states.

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Learn How to Strengthen Facilitation Skills

University of Maine News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 10:23

University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant are offering a five-session fall workshop for people interested in improving their facilitation skills.

“Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Level 1,” will be held 4–8 p.m. Oct. 14, Oct. 28, Nov. 10, Nov. 25 and Dec. 9, at North Berwick Town Hall, 21 Main St., North Berwick.

The workshop features experiential learning, including a chance to practice facilitation skills and receive feedback in a safe environment. The $120 fee covers instruction, a resource notebook and light meals.

For 20 years, instructor Kristen Grant has created programs that build individual skills and group capacities. She has a background in providing interactive, educational programs and works extensively in team settings.

Enrollment is limited to the first 15 registrants. To register or to request a disability accommodation, contact UMaine Extension, 207.324.2814. For more information, call 207.646.1555, ext. 115, email or visit the website.

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Academic Advising Workshop: Monday, September 29th at Buchanan Alumni House

Grad School NEWS - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 08:47
The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Advising Center (CLAS) is hosting the 3rd annual Academic Advising Workshop for faculty, staff, and graduate assistants covering a wide variety of advising topics. This workshop will better acquaint anyone with some form of advising responsibilities regarding the rigors of student advising. The workshop is designed to provide additional resources for addressing complex questions often asked by students and/or advisees. Please view the information below and consider attending at least one of the 50 minute sessions being offered by our wonderful presenters. 


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UMaine, Maine Development Foundation Release Report on Strategic Land Conservation

University of Maine News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 16:00

On Sept. 18, the Maine Development Foundation and the University of Maine’s School of Economics released the fourth quarterly report analyzing critical economic indicators in Maine.

The latest report, “Strategic Land Conservation in Maine,” looks at the multiple benefits of conserved land, such as recreational opportunities and protection of habitats and working landscapes, and the distribution of conserved acreage in an attempt to understand the impacts of conserved lands, set priorities and ensure a high return on investment.

Michelle Johnson of the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, who recently received her doctorate in ecology and environmental sciences from UMaine, wrote the report.

Mario Teisl, director of the UMaine School of Economics and professor of resource economics and policy, is overseeing the series of reports that further explore the economic indicators in “Measures of Growth in Focus,” an annual report issued by the Maine Economic Growth Council.

The Maine Development Foundation news release and the full report are online.

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Creech Talks to BDN About Change in Hockey Ticket Prices

University of Maine News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:56

Karlton Creech, the University of Maine’s director of athletics, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for an article about UMaine lowering its season ticket prices and cutting the cost of single-game seats for several home games. “We made some price changes based on the opponent, the game time and the time of year,” Creech said. “I think it will be beneficial for both revenue and attendance. The goal is to make sure the arena is full for every game.”

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Lobster Institute Data Cited in Press Herald Article on Industry’s Fate

University of Maine News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:53

Information from the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article about the new Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative and the fate of the state’s lobster industry. According to the Lobster Institute, the industry is estimated to have a $1.7 billion annual impact on the state.

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UMaine, St. Joseph Healthcare to Host Community Suicide Prevention Walk

University of Maine News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:52

The University of Maine Counseling Center and St. Joseph Healthcare, in conjunction with several area sponsors, will host the sixth annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Sunday, Oct. 5 on the UMaine campus.

Funds raised from the event will benefit research initiatives of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Registration for the noncompetitive 5K walk through campus and surrounding areas will begin at 1 p.m. The walk, which is open to the public, begins at 2 p.m., preceded by an opening ceremony.

More information, including how to register, is online.

The Orono walk is one of more than 200 Out of the Darkness walks that take place in communities across the country each year. Approximately 350 people participated in last year’s Orono walk which raised more than $10,000 for AFSP.

Other major sponsors for this year’s walk include Emera Maine, Acadia Hospital, Community Health and Counseling Services, Veazie Veterinary Clinic, Bangor Savings Bank and Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Northern New England.

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Double Dining Discounts for Students, Employees Using Black Bear Bucks

University of Maine News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:51

University of Maine Dining is promoting double dining discounts for the fall semester for UMaine students, faculty and staff who use Black Bear Bucks for food purchases in the Memorial Union.

A total of 18 percent savings will be offered when MaineCard funds are used. Black Bear Bucks always grant students and employees state sales tax exemption and an automatic discount of 5 percent, saving the student 13 percent off their total purchase year round. This fall, the dining discount doubles to 10 percent plus the sales tax savings.

The savings apply to purchases made at the Bear’s Den, previously known as the Marketplace; Going Bananas frozen yogurt shop; the Cafe and Pub; as well as the Oakes Room in Fogler Library. Discounts do not apply to alcohol purchases.

“Hundreds of thousands of dollars go to the banks because of credit card purchases,” says Daniel Sturrup, executive director of Auxiliary Services. “There are only minimum costs for UMaine when using Black Bear Bucks. The university keeps more of that money on campus and the students save money on meals. It’s really a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

Funds now can be transferred into Black Bear Bucks at dining registers in the Union, as well as through the MaineCard website and at several MaineCard kiosks around campus.

For more information on Black Bear Bucks, ask a dining cashier or visit the UMaine Dining website or the MaineCard website.

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WABI Reports on New Wind and Wave Facility

University of Maine News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 10:54

WABI (Channel 5) reported on the new wind and wave laboratory being built at the University of Maine. Earlier this summer, UMaine broke ground for an $8 million facility that will house W² — 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. Waves and wind can be created from different directions converging at a point and creating a storm. The W² facility is an expansion of the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center. “We’ve surveyed over 50 companies across the U.S. that are in different sectors — in the oil and gas sector, in the ocean energy sector, as well as in the boat-building sector. And they all are excited about a facility like this, where they can come and test their devices,” said Habib Dagher, director of the UMaine Composites Center. “If you’ve seen the movie ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,’ essentially we’ll be shrinking ships here, we’ll be shrinking offshore wind devices, tidal devices and testing them here under these extreme storms.” The Maine Edge also carried a report about the facility.

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Press Herald Interviews Breece About Economic Growth Lagging in Maine Cities

University of Maine News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 10:53

The Portland Press Herald spoke with James Breece, an economics professor at the University of Maine, for the article, “Economic growth in Portland, Bangor, Lewiston-Auburn lagging behind nation.” According to new statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the economies of Maine’s three metropolitan areas grew sluggishly in 2013, significantly lagging behind the nation, the article states. Breece said the figures, especially for Portland, were a surprise. “I expected there to see mild growth, but not this mild,” Breece said, noting Portland has attracted a lot of young residents. He told the Press Herald some factors that may have contributed to the slow growth include a skills gap, higher salaries to attract workers from out of state with the necessary skills, higher utility costs and increased transportation costs.

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WVII Covers Talk on Role of Women in War

University of Maine News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 10:52

WVII (Channel 7) reported on a talk on the role of women in war by Clark University political scientist Cynthia Enloe. The award-winning scholar specializing in feminism, politics and global affairs discussed “Where are Women in Violent Conflicts? Finding out will Make us Smarter!” in Minsky Recital Hall. She addressed situations in Syria, Ukraine, Gaza and Israel during the free, public lecture. “Where are the women? Why aren’t they at the table when they see the next photograph of all men at the peace negotiations?” Enloe asked the audience. “I want them to ask, ‘Why are there just guys from both sides? What about all those women we just heard about who are organizing and have ideas of their own? Why aren’t they at the peace table?’ That’s my hope.”

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Retired Wildlife Biologist to Deliver Geddes W. Simpson Lecture

University of Maine News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 10:50

A retired wildlife biologist, author and outdoor enthusiast will deliver the 13th Annual Geddes W. Simpson Lecture at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, in the McIntire Room in Buchanan Alumni House at the University of Maine.

William Krohn’s free, public talk is titled “Using Historical Information in Wildlife Science: A Personal Journey.”

Krohn, who earned his master’s degree at UMaine, uses historical documents to understand changes in wildlife populations and distributions.

For nearly 40 years, Krohn held various research and administrative posts in bureaus of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which is charged with protecting America’s natural resources and heritage. Those jobs were with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and, for 27 years, the U.S Geological Survey’s Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at UMaine.

Krohn also has written books about two Maine naturalists and is senior author of Early Maine Wildlife, a reference book about deer, moose, Canada lynx, wolves and other animals. In addition to lecturing about Maine’s outdoor heritage and wildlife, Krohn, an avid angler, is researching early fishing lures and the Mainers who made them.

In 2001, Simpson’s family established the Geddes W. Simpson Lecture Fund. Simpson was a well-respected faculty member whose 55-year career in the College of Life Sciences and the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station began in 1931. He chaired the entomology department from 1954 until his retirement in 1974. The lecture was established to support a series that highlights speakers who have provided significant insight into the area where science and history intersect.

A reception will follow Krohn’s lecture.

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