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University of Maine News
News from the University of Maine
Updated: 8 hours 44 min ago
The Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) reported on the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast sponsored by the Greater Bangor Area NAACP and the University of Maine. Wabanaki reconciliation was the focus of this year’s keynote address by Esther Attean and Denise Altvater, advisers to the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission. “For me, the work of Martin Luther King was about giving everyone a voice,” Altvater said. The Portland Press Herald also mentioned the breakfast in a report on celebrations around the state.
The Bangor Daily News reported on the upcoming student-run benefit concert “150 Years of American Song: A Celebration of the University of Maine.” The Jan. 23 event at the Collins Center for the Arts will celebrate UMaine’s 150th anniversary and serve as a School of Performing Arts fundraiser. More than 75 students will bring to the stage selections from the Great American Songbook through performances by a full big band, string orchestra and singing groups. UMaine alumnus and Broadway performer Merritt David Janes will perform during the concert and teach a free master class on musical theater on Jan. 22. “[Janes] has experienced much success since leaving UMaine, so this is a great opportunity to have an artist of his caliber perform on stage alongside our students,” said Ben McNaboe, a music education major who is the show’s music director and conductor. “It’s just an unbelievable experiential learning experience for us all.”
Professor of mechanical engineering Michael Peterson’s work with the New York Racing Association was cited in the New York Times and Queens Chronicle following the deaths of 11 horses since late November while running at Aqueduct Racetrack. The New York Racing Association is working with Peterson, executive director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory in Orono, as one measure to ensure the safety of equine athletes and jockeys.
The Mount Desert Islander reported Acadia Senior College in Bar Harbor will host University of Maine history professor Liam Riordan at its Food for Thought program at Birch Bay Village in Hulls Cove on Jan. 23. Riordan is expected to present his talk, “Does the American Revolution Look Different from the Penobscot River?” His presentation will focus on three events of the Revolution — the capture of the Margaretta, the burning of Falmouth and British control of Castine — to better understand the Revolution in Maine, according to the article.
Krista Capps, a research assistant professor in the University of Maine Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology, is leading a project that aims to provide the foundation for greater understanding of urban rivers in developing countries.
The project, “Mexican Urban Stream Ecology Collaboration (MUSE),” received a $60,690 grant from the National Science Foundation for initial data gathering in Mexico.
Much of what scientists know about the influence of urbanization on stream ecology comes from studying rivers and streams in countries such as the United States and Australia, according to the researchers. However, urban rivers in developing economies may be used by humans for sources of untreated drinking water, direct conduits for sewage and freshwater fisheries.
Understanding how biological communities and processes are affected by increasing urbanization is essential to correctly manage urban watersheds in developing regions, the researchers say.
MUSE will bring together stream ecologists and fish biologists from the United States and Mexico to begin to understand the links among urbanization, stream ecology, and freshwater fisheries in southern Mexico.
The researchers say they hope the project initiates a new collaboration that will generate knowledge and resources for scientists and natural resource managers.
The Portland Press Herald covered the University of Maine’s FY16 Community Conversation, a follow-up to a similar gathering held in October. UMaine President Susan Hunter; Jeff Hecker, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost; and Ryan Low, interim vice president for administration and finance, spoke during the event. The officials said they expect to cut $8.5 million from the school’s $242 million budget the year ending June 2016 without layoffs or eliminating academic programs, according to the article. The officials also said enrollment and credit hours are up this year, boosting tuition revenue.
The Kennebec Journal covered an online marketing session for farmers led by Tori Jackson at the 74th Maine Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta. Jackson, an associate professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke about the importance of marketing a farm like any other business. “The first thing you want to do is sell things your customers want. Sometimes that’s not going to match what you think you want to do initially,” Jackson said. The presentation targeted startup farmers or those seeking to change or grow their business, according to the article. Jackson stressed the importance of building a brand and creating an online presence.
The Bangor Daily News reported Ten Bucks Theatre Company and Orono Community Theatre are coming together for the first time to offer Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” at the Cyrus Pavilion Theater on the UMaine campus. The Cyrus Pavilion Theater was named after Orono Community Theatre director Sandy Cyrus’ late husband and former UMaine theatre professor Edgar Allan “Al” Cyrus. Bringing both acting groups to the theater means a lot to the directors — Sandy Cyrus and UMaine theatre instructor Julie Lisnet, who was a student of Al Cyrus, according to the article. “We all feel so much affection for this building. Al had his eye on the building for so long. It was a sheep barn when I was a student at UMaine,” Lisnet said. “There’s a lot of memories here. It means a lot to all of us.” The play is slated for 7 p.m. Jan. 16–17 and Jan. 23–24; and 2 p.m. Jan. 18 and 25.
The University of Maine’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology (WFCB) formally recognized its new name and celebrated the department’s tradition of education and research at a recent event.
The division, previously known as the Department of Wildlife Ecology, officially changed its name in September 2014 to better reflect its current graduate and undergraduate programs.
About 300 supporters of the department were invited to the Jan. 15 event on campus.
“The change directly mirrors the department’s academic structure,” says Lindsay Seward, an instructor and coordinator of the undergraduate ecology and environmental sciences program.
Wildlife education at UMaine began with the establishment of the Maine Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit in 1935 and approval of a master’s degree in wildlife management. A bachelor’s degree in wildlife management was created in the mid-1940s, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees were offered in 1983 with the creation of the Department of Wildlife in a new College of Forest Resources. In 1994, the name was changed to the Department of Wildlife Ecology.
The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology offers programs that lead to undergraduate and graduate degrees. Undergraduate students pursue concentrations in fisheries, wildlife science and management, and conservation biology.
Over the past several years, WFCB has experienced growth in both academics and research. Undergraduate enrollment has nearly doubled over a four-year period and research productivity continues to be high, according to department officials.
“We look forward to a promising future as our program continues to grow and evolve to meet the conservation needs of today,” says Daniel Harrison, current chair of the department.
The curriculum offered through the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology allows students to meet the requirements for professional certification by the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society.
Aquatic and fisheries work within the department has increased over the last decade. More than 40 percent of current graduate students have projects that are directly linked to commercial and recreational fisheries, according to Joseph Zydlewski, an associate professor in the department and assistant leader of fisheries for the Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.
The name change also conforms to similar college departments throughout the country, as well as state agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
Richard Kersbergen, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator on sustainable dairy and forage systems, was interviewed by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for the report, “Organic milk scarce on Maine store shelves as demand outstrips supply.” The shortage is caused by basic supply and demand, according to the report. “Organic milk production has been relatively flat in terms of the amount of milk being produced, but the demand is obviously going up,” Kersbergen said. He added that transitioning from being a conventional dairy farmer to an organic dairy farmer could take up to three years.
Programs and services offered by the University of Maine and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension were mentioned in articles about the Maine Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta. The Kennebec Journal reported on a talk given by a state inspector who described how to obtain a home food processing license in order to sell homemade jellies, jams and baked goods. The inspector said acidified foods, such as salsa, pickles, dilly beans and relishes, need to have the process approved by UMaine’s Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, the article states. The Sun Journal article included quotes from Alexandra Tomaso, a business assistant at Pietree Orchard in Sweden, Maine, who is on the board of Maine AgrAbility, a program that assists farmers, loggers and fishermen with disabilities and chronic illnesses so they can remain active in production agriculture. AgrAbility is a nonprofit partnership between UMaine Extension, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and Alpha One. “The coolest thing, I think, is [AgrAbility will] come to the farms and they do free assessments,” Tomaso said. “There are so many options that people don’t know are there. We just want to get the word out on how to stay safe and farm as long as you can.”
One-Bid Wonders carried a feature about the friendship of University of Maine men’s basketball teammates Zarko Valjarevic, a Serbian, and Marko Pirovic, a Croatian. While killing along ethnic lines occurred for more than a decade in the former Yugoslavia, these two are as close as brothers. Valjarevic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1991, months before war was declared. Pirovic was born in 1994 to Croatian parents who had escaped to Canada. Basketball, they both said, brought them comfort. “You can tell their friendship is really deep right away,” UMaine men’s basketball coach Bob Walsh was quoted in the article. “They’re both really intelligent — it’s not like they don’t know the history: they’ve been through it, they understand the history from their country. They get along so well, they’re literally like brothers on the court and off the court.”
The University of Maine was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article about Maine’s growing aquaculture industry. The article states fish farms are having an easier time getting loans from commercial lenders and are attracting capital from private equity investors, according to industry leaders and financial experts. Sebastian Belle, executive director of the Maine Aquaculture Association, said Maine’s research facilities, such as UMaine’s Darling Marine Center in Walpole and UMaine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) in Franklin, are the best in North America, but the state faces a shortage of “intellectual capital” because few researchers specialize in aquaculture. Paul Anderson, director of the Aquaculture Research Institute, said there will be more opportunity for research projects soon, thanks to a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the article states.
Maine youth are invited to describe their “Growing the Taste of Maine” garden in the Portland Flower Show student essay contest.
Three prizes ($50, $30 and $20) will be awarded in each of three age categories (6–9, 10–13 and 14–18). Essays will be judged on creativity, focus and passion in describing the garden and what grows in it. Winning essays will be announced at the opening night preview Wednesday, March 4; selected essays will be posted for viewing during the show, which runs March 5–8, 2015, at the Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore St., Portland.
Wednesday, Feb. 11 is the deadline to enter the ninth annual contest, which is co-sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. For an application and rules, call 800.287.1471 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications and information also are available at portlandcomapny.com and umaine.edu.
Three experts will discuss sourcing, selecting and preparing seafood and seaweed Saturday, Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Cumberland County office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
Barton Seaver, Hillary Krapf and Sarah Redmond will share their knowledge about Maine seafood and edible seaweed during the February edition of the yearlong “From Scratch: Your Maine Kitchen” series.
Seaver, a National Geographic Fellow, chef and author, seeks to restore people’s relationship with the ocean, land and with each other — through dinner. In his book, “For Cod & Country,” he showcases seasonal seafood, vibrant spices and farm-fresh produce with recipes for family-friendly meals. In 2009, “Esquire” magazine named Seaver Chef of the Year and in 2008, “Bon Appetit” named his restaurant Hook one of the top 10 eco-friendly restaurants in America. Seaver, who accepted a Fellowship with the Explorer Program at the National Geographic Society, believes sustainability is an ecological and a humanitarian issue. He directs the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard’s School of Public Health.
Krapf founded the 2014 Maine Seaweed Festival, which highlighted diverse uses and beneﬁts of seaweed as well as the seaweed industry in the state. She says while seaweed is low in calories, eating seaweed and sea vegetables shouldn’t be viewed as a fad diet trend. Krapf will showcase how to incorporate seaweed in soups and salads and demonstrate that it can be a comfort food. Seaweed, she says, is an ideal source of iodine, which is key for healthy thyroid function and overall health. Vitamin K, calcium, iron and essential trace minerals not easily found in other foods also are in seaweed and sea vegetables.
Redmond, a marine associate with the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine, says sea vegetables, which are both vegetables and seafood, bridge the gap between land and ocean. Maine is a major producer of wild foraged and cultivated sea vegetables. Maine seafood — including cod, clams, herring, lobster, mackerel, mussels and oysters — is a half-billion dollar industry that supports fishing families, working waterfronts, local economies and the state’s heritage. Redmond will discuss when each seafood is in season, where it is fished and what to look for when choosing, buying and preparing it.
Cost is $40; proceeds benefit the UMaine Extension Nutrition Program in Cumberland County. Register at umaine.edu/cumberland/programs/from-scratch-your-maine-kitchen. For more details, or to request a disability accommodation, contact 207.781.6099, 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine), email@example.com.
Additional installments in the “From Scratch: Your Maine Kitchen” series are slated to include “Weird Maine Fermentables” in March, as well as “Maine Cheese Pairings,” “Foraging Maine Greens” and “Drinking the Maine Harvest.” Some topics may change.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
University of Maine students Ben McNaboe and Tori Mason spoke with WABI (Channel 5) about the upcoming student-run benefit concert “150 Years of American Song: A Celebration of the University of Maine.” The Jan. 23 event at the Collins Center for the Arts will celebrate UMaine’s 150th anniversary and serve as a School of Performing Arts fundraiser. More than 75 students will bring to the stage selections from the Great American Songbook through performances by a full big band, string orchestra and singing groups. “It really showcases the dynamic nature of our students because not all of these students are majoring in music or even theatre or performing arts,” Mason said. “We’re all equally involved in the arts and really engaged.” UMaine alumnus and Broadway performer Merritt David Janes will perform during the concert and teach a free master class on musical theater on Jan. 22.
Sarah Nelson, a researcher with the George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine, spoke with Valley News for an article about high school students in Hartford, Vermont who are acting as citizen scientists to study the presence of mercury in the environment. Nelson, who studies environmental water quality issues, works with the data the students produce, according to the article. Nelson and her colleagues decided studying dragonflies would be the best way to measure mercury levels, and in the fall the students gathered dragonfly larvae for the study, the article states. Nelson said citizen science can promote scientific understanding throughout communities and help train a new generation of scientists. “There’s a kind of stereotypical view of a scientist in a white lab coat working on highly technical equipment that’s very expensive,” she said. “We help students understand there’s lots of ways to do science. Science is just figuring out how the world works.”
Dorion Loop, a cross-country ski trail located in the University Forest, was the focus of a Bangor Daily News “1-minute ski” article. BDN reporter Aislinn Sarnacki wrote about the trail and her experience skiing through the 2.9-mile loop. The article also mentioned skis are available to rent at the Maine Bound Adventure Center.
Village Soup reported the Camden Conference has announced that seats for the 28th annual conference at the Camden Opera House are sold out. The Feb. 20–22 event, “Russia Resurgent,” will also be live streamed at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast and the Strand Theatre in Rockland. Seats are still available at the remote locations, according to the article. “Russia Resurgent” will go behind the news to examine Russia’s role in the world from multiple perspectives. The University of Maine also is offering an accompanying course on the topic. More about the 2015 Camden Conference is online.
The University of Maine has been informed by the Maine Center for Disease Control about widespread influenza activity across the state in December and January. This activity includes both 33 newly reported outbreaks and increased hospital admission related to influenza across the state. These two metrics are indicators of the severity of illness this flu season.
Given this information, the University of Maine is working to increase campus community awareness of the Maine Center for Disease Control influenza prevention recommendations. The latest information is online.
Influenza vaccination is still strongly encouraged to prevent or lessen the severity of influenza, especially to protect those persons at risk of more severe disease. The vaccine is widely available. January is not too late to get vaccinated. After administration, the vaccination takes about two weeks to take full effect. For questions about vaccination, contact the Maine Immunization Program, firstname.lastname@example.org; 800.867.4775.
Be familiar and follow the Maine CDC “No Flu 4 You” prevention guidelines, which include:
- Wash your hands: Remember to wash your hands frequently to prevent transmission of influenza. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer between hand washings.
- Cover your cough: Use tissues, or cough into your sleeve or elbow
- Stay home when you are sick: To lessen the spread of the virus, symptomatic individuals should remain home and practice social distancing while sick. Maine CDC recommends staying home until 24 hours after fever resolves without the use of medications.
- Get Vaccinated: Maine CDC recommends vaccination for everyone age 6 months and older. Influenza vaccine is provided at no cost by the state of Maine for young adults under age 19. For your convenience, vaccine is still available through UMaine’s Cutler Health Center; call for an appointment, 207.581.4000, or contact your personal health care provider for vaccine availability. Visit flu.gov and input your local zip code to locate a flu shot offering in your area.