University of Maine News
James Breece, an economics professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for the article, “A surprise: Aroostook County has sharpest rise in personal income.” The article states Aroostook County’s personal income grew by 4.4 percent in 2013; above the national average for the year of 1.3 percent. In Piscataquis County, which has been Maine’s poorest county for several years, personal income rose by 4.2 percent, ranking second in the state, according to newly released Bureau of Economic Analysis figures. Breece said the state’s northern region has had solid, but not amazing, economic growth since the 2008–09 recession. He said the figures likely reflect the exodus of people from the area, adding Aroostook County’s population dropped by more than 1 percent last year and many people who left were likely looking for better job opportunities and would have negatively affected the county’s average income.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on an annual memorial service held at the University of Maine honoring the life of Laurence A. Jones, Jr., a 1992 UMaine graduate who held a psychology degree. Jones was killed while he was a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University. Jones’ mother, Yong Jones, established a scholarship in memory him to be awarded to students who demonstrate excellence in psychology. This year’s recipient, Amber Rowley, spoke at the event that was held near the Laurence A. Jones, Jr. memorial tree on campus. “The recipient today — Amber Rowley — is also planning to study and also work in the field of child psychology and so we are hoping that she will do that and continue on the living memory of Laurence,” said Jeffery Mills, president and CEO of the University of Maine Foundation. Yong Jones attended the memorial.
Dana Morse, a Maine Sea Grant researcher who works at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center, was quoted in an article published by The Free Press about Maine Foodie Tours — tours of restaurants and markets that offer local food — coming to Rockland in the summer of 2015. The Rockland tour will include information on Maine aquaculture. Morse said fish farming in the state is booming. He listed mussels, hard- and soft-shell clams, scallops, sugar kelp, oysters and salmon as the focus of sea-farm industries in Maine.
The University of Maine Humanities Center has partnered with the Bangor Daily News on “My Maine Culture,” a project to celebrate Maine’s sense of place.
The public is encouraged to submit a digital postcard — an image or video with accompanying text — to the BDN by Dec. 16. Visuals should capture participants’ Maine culture or what they love about the state. Submissions should include 200 words or fewer that explain what the image or video depicts and why it was chosen.
Submissions can be sent to Erin Rhoda, BDN Maine Focus editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or can be posted on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #MyMaineCulture.
The BDN will publish highlights from the digital postcard collection before the Downtown Bangor Public Humanities Day on Jan. 24, to contribute to the day’s events. The Downtown Bangor Public Humanities Day is hosted by UMHC and began in 2013 to create a better forum for connecting UMaine faculty, staff and students with the general public.
The Maine Folklife Center at UMaine also may choose to preserve the digital postcards in its archives.
Editor’s note: This is not a complete list; additions will be made.
Several University of Maine student, staff and faculty groups are leading charitable efforts this holiday season in an effort to give back to the community.
The UMaine Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism is collecting Thanksgiving turkeys for Crossroads Ministries Food Pantry in Old Town, and will hold a holiday food drive at IGA in Orono on Dec. 6. Turkeys can be dropped off by Nov. 24. at the Bodwell Center, 311 Memorial Union, or at Crossroads Ministries on Wood Street in Old Town.
The Black Bear Exchange, UMaine’s food pantry and clothing exchange, will provide Thanksgiving meals to its clients who will be in the area for the holiday.
The Bodwell Center also is collecting gifts for the Holiday Sharing Program, which serves more than 450 children in the local community. The program is a partnership between the center, Crossroads Ministries, Toys for Tots, Orono-Old Town Kiwanis, Orono Health Association, and many student and staff groups on campus.
Gifts can be dropped off at the Bodwell Center or Crossroads Ministries. The deadline for gift donations is Dec. 10. For more information about the Holiday Sharing Program, contact Jennifer Aldrich, community engagement coordinator at the Bodwell Center, at 207.581.3097.
The UMaine Office of Human Resources is holding an Adopt-A-Family program this holiday season. For more than 20 years, UMaine’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) held a similar program to help UMaine families that are most in need. This year, Human Resources is looking to continue the tradition.
Supporting a family can be done by department or individually. Family information will be shared with participants once the office is notified of the commitment. The office also is seeking nominations for families that would benefit from the program, and so far has more donors than eligible families. Families will remain anonymous.
To sign up to support and/or nominate a family, contact Kasey Richards at email@example.com or 207.581.2366 by Wednesday, Nov. 26.
The Classified Employees Advisory Council (CEAC) recently collected and delivered several items to the Black Bear Exchange. The group continues to accept donations, and has boxes located around campus including in Alumni Hall, rooms 201 and 218; Fogler Library’s east entrance; Chadbourne Hall, rooms 122 and 226; and the Graduate School’s front desk in Stodder Hall.
Several UMaine fraternities and sororities also are getting involved by hosting clothing and food drives.
Kappa Sigma held its annual Coats for the Cold drive, where they collected coats to be sold for $5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 21 and 22 at the Kappa Sigma house, 4 Munson Road on campus. Proceeds go to the Fisher House Foundation for aiding military families. HerCampus will be selling baked goods by donation during the sale, with all proceeds also benefiting Fisher House. Leftover coats will be donated to the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.
Alpha Tau Omega is hosting Blue and Gold Christmas, a competition-based philanthropy event that collects clothes, books, nonperishable food and monetary donations for Crossroads Ministries. Teams of students from Greek Life and other organizations will be given a tree to decorate, along with a donation box. Teams score points for donations and tree decorations. The trees, which will be on display in the Memorial Union from Nov. 23 to Dec. 7, will be judged by university officials.
Pi Beta Phi and Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) will host the annual Pi Phi/FIJI Christmas event from 4–6 p.m. Dec. 12 at the FIJI fraternity house, 79 College Ave. Donations for the Bodwell Center and Crossroads Ministries will be collected during the Christmas-themed reception.
The Kappa Delta Pi International Honors Society is collecting new or gently used winter clothing for children, such as jackets, gloves, hats, scarves, boots and snow pants. Donations will be accepted at 102 Shibles Hall until Dec. 5. All donations will be brought to a Salvation Army Coats for Kids drop box.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension was mentioned in an article published by The Guardian that looks at Maine’s growing artisan grain industry. The article focuses on Skowhegan’s Somerset Grist Mill and Maine Grains, a wholesaler producing stone-milled flour and related products from grains grown by local farmers. “Lots of people are experimenting and working to get the quality of grain to a place where they can sell it,” said Amber Lambke, co-founder of Somerset Grist Mill and Maine Grains. “The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has been studying organic bread wheat production in Maine and are supporting the farmers to grow grains.
The Boothbay Register reported Damian Brady, an assistant research professor in the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences at the Darling Marine Center, has been appointed the assistant director for research at Maine Sea Grant. Brady’s research combines approaches from disciplines including marine biology, biogeochemistry and environmental engineering to address questions about water quality and ecosystem function. Brady will oversee Maine Sea Grant’s research portfolio and will manage the next request for research proposals in early 2015. He will serve as a liaison between Sea Grant faculty, students and staff at UMaine and other research institutions, and the Marine Extension Team.
Data provided by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension was mentioned in the Michigan State University Extension article, “Why do we eat cranberries at Thanksgiving?” According to UMaine Extension, American Indians used cranberries as a food source, to dye fabric and as medicine, the article states. Due to the importance of cranberries in the 1500s and their abundance, it is believed the pilgrims and the American Indians would have eaten them at the first Thanksgiving, the article continues.
Looking to give unique, locally crafted gifts this holiday season?
Check out the Ye Olde Holiday Shoppe from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at the University of Maine Page Farm and Home Museum. Twenty-seven area artisans, including woodcarvers, bread-makers, felters, photographers, knitters, jewelers and quilters, will be selling their wares at the annual holiday market.
The public event is free, as is parking. For more information, including directions and to request disability accommodations, call 581.4100.
University of Maine data was mentioned in the USA Today report, “Snow way! U.S. ‘hammered’ by freak freeze, whiteout.” According to UMaine, the eastern half of North America is the only part of the Northern Hemisphere that’s experiencing dramatically below-average, frigid temperatures, the report states. Overall, the hemisphere is about 1.35 degrees warmer than average for Nov. 18.
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.