University of Maine News
University of Maine Cooperative Extension has updated its classic publication explaining why leaves change color in autumn.
While some people believe frost causes the color explosion, some leaves begin to turn red, orange or yellow even before the first frost. In Bulletin 7078, Facts About Leaf Color in Maine, UMaine Extension Professor Kathryn Hopkins explains the science of fall foliage. The bulletin also includes leaf projects that can be done at home and in the classroom.
University of Maine President Susan Hunter joined University of Maine Foundation President Jeffery Mills for the University of Maine Foundation Scholarship Recognition Reception Aug. 20 in Falmouth. The reception was held to thank scholarship donors and honor recipients from southern Maine. UMaine 2014 graduate Kimberly Dao was the guest speaker. Dao spoke about her personal experiences with scholarship support and her transition to medical school at Tufts University. Gorham Savings Bank President Chris Emmons represented the Southern Maine Executives Club of the University of Maine and provided the welcome. A similar event is planned on the University of Maine campus Oct. 17 as part of Homecoming weekend.
Jeff Hecker, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Maine, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “No quick fixes for keeping students in college.” Hecker cited his newly released 2014 Action Plan for Retention and Graduation to kickstart the university’s renewed commitment to student success. The plan has several components, starting with a focus on early action, Hecker wrote.
WABI (Channel 5) spoke with University of Maine student Matt Dexter about his participation in 4K for Cancer — a 4,000-mile team run from San Francisco, California, to Baltimore, Maryland, to raise awareness of cancer and raise money for cancer research. For 42 days during the summer, Dexter and more than 20 other college students ran about 10 miles a day. On rest days, the students visited cancer patients at hospitals and performed service projects. “Meeting the people at the hospitals — that, I think was the best part and the hardest part of the run,” said Dexter, whose mother died from cancer when he was 13. “Four-thousand miles of running aside; hearing their stories, having your own emotions coming up, your past coming out, and just reflecting on why you’re doing what you’re doing, really sums up the whole trip.” Dexter raised nearly $7,300 in donations, exceeding his goal of $5,000.
The Associated Press reported technology developed by the University of Maine is being used by a Vermont Transportation Agency program that aims to cut construction time, save money and reduce the backlog of bridges that need replacement. Last month, construction crews placed a series of hollow tubes over the Wanzer Brook in Fairfield, Vermont. The composite arch bridge, known as Bridge-in-a-BackpackTM, was developed at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center. Sun Journal, Burlington Free Press and Fox Business carried the AP report.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine report about an upcoming 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 will discuss “Where are Women in Violent Conflicts? Finding out will Make us Smarter!” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, in Minsky Recital Hall. She plans to address situations in Syria, Ukraine, Gaza and Israel during the free, public lecture.
The Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News reported U.S. News & World Report recently released its latest rankings on nearly 1,800 schools nationwide. The news magazine considered measures of academic excellence, including acceptance rates, strength of faculty and average student debt. The University of Maine was ranked 173 on the Best National Universities list.
Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quote in a Portland Press Herald article about the Maine Republican Party and the campaign of U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, the Democratic candidate for governor, arguing over advertisements that both say contain false claims and want pulled from the air. “Campaigns still overwhelmingly drop their money into TV. That tells you that TV is still a dominant player in influencing voter choice and moving public opinion,” Brewer said.
The University of Maine Department of Art is accepting applications for the fall 2014 session of after-school art classes for area children in grades K–8.
The ArtWorks! program provides children an opportunity to explore the world of art through: hands-on experiences with a variety of visual media, the history of art, and the viewing of art.
Classes will be held in Lord Hall on the UMaine campus from 3:30–5 p.m. Fridays, Oct. 17 through Nov. 14. A $25 fee covers the cost of materials, and a limited number of scholarships are available. Applications are online and will be accepted until Oct. 3.
The program consists of four teaching sessions and one children’s exhibition. The lessons are taught by art education students under the supervision of art professor Constant Albertson. Class sections are organized by age or grade level, and are limited to 22 students per group. Acceptance is determined on a first come, first served basis.
Parents or guardians are responsible for transportation to and from the program.
For more information, call Albertson at 207.581.3251 or email email@example.com.
Judy Walker, an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Maine, received a three-year $174,000 grant from Next Generation Foundation of Maine to support the expansion of an innovative graduate-level training program in speech therapy telepractice.
The UMaine Speech Therapy Telepractice program, which started in 2011, uses a secure Web-hosted video conferencing system to provide speech therapy services to adults and children anywhere and at any time through computers or other devices connected by high speed internet.
Telepractice is an efficient way to provide speech therapy services to underserved children and adults with disabilities in the state while reducing costs, Walker says.
The grant will go toward hiring additional supervisors and increasing the number of graduate students who are able to train, while providing services to more people in need of speech therapy services.
The grant will go toward hiring additional supervisors and increasing the number of graduate students who are able to train, while providing services to more people in need of speech therapy services.
“We want to branch out and develop partnerships with community health centers, public schools and state organizations in Maine,” Walker says.
The first phase of the program was successfully completed with positive clinical outcomes, according to Walker. The program was piloted on children and adults with a variety of communication disorders including aphasia, apraxia of speech, fluency disorder, articulation and language delay and voice disorders. Telepractice services were provided to eight areas in Maine throughout Aroostook, Penobscot, Kennebec, Cumberland and York counties, as well as to a school in Fiji.
More than 90 percent of the clients made satisfactory progress toward achieving their therapy goals, Walker says. On a consumer satisfaction survey, more than 90 percent said the program met their expectations and they were satisfied with the outcomes. All of the clients said they would recommend the program to others.
“Thus far, the telepractice program has exceeded my expectations,” Walker said. “This grant will now enable us to help even more people in the state.”
The UMaine Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is one of only a few programs in the country that offers speech therapy telepractice training in a university setting, she says. The program complies with American Speech-Language-Hearing Association guidelines for demonstrating competencies and skills in speech telepractice services.
The department hopes the program will serve as a model for other CSD graduate programs, and Walker has already consulted with faculty at a North Dakota institution to build a speech therapy telepractice program of their own.
The University of Maine Speech Therapy Telepractice program is accepting new clients this fall. Telepractice is covered by many insurance plans, including MaineCare. For more information or to make an appointment, call the University of Maine, Madelyn E. & Albert D. Conley Speech, Language and Hearing Center, 207.581.2003, or visit the telepractice website.
The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, Mainebiz and WVII (Channel 7) covered an event held in Castine where officials from the University of Maine and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and members of Maine’s congressional delegation marked one year since the deployment of VolturnUS, a prototype that’s one-eighth the scale of a full-size offshore wind turbine. UMaine officials reported the turbine successfully withstood more than a dozen severe storms in its first year. UMaine also signed an agreement with the DOE that will give the university $3.8 million to continue design and engineering work on the full-scale turbine. “Today, we can declare VolturnUS mission accomplished,” said Habib Dagher, the director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, who added he is now preparing to turn his attention to designing and building the full-scale version. WABI (Channel 5) and The Republic carried the AP report, and the Sun Journal carried the BDN report.
The Bangor Daily News spoke with Emily Haddad, the new dean of the University of Maine’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, about the importance of studying the humanities and making the most of a liberal arts degree. “Studying something because you think it’s a good idea, but you don’t like it, is probably counterproductive,” she said. “I think it’s essential that students choose to study a field to which they feel some genuine interest.” Haddad, who came to UMaine in July after working as associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Dakota, said she has encouraged past students to study what they’re passionate about, but pick a minor or second major that gives them another skill. The Sun Journal also carried the BDN report.
Renae Moran, a tree fruit specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a the Portland Press Herald article, “Maine peaches may be tricky to grow, but they’re easy to eat.” Moran said Maine gardeners can have a peach tree in their backyard without using conventional farming practices, such as spraying pesticides or integrated pest management techniques, but added, it’s “nearly impossible to produce a commercial peach crop in Maine without them.”
Daniel Williams, interim executive director of the Collins Center for the Arts, was a recent guest on the George Hale, Ric Tyler Radio Show on WVOM, The Voice of Maine. Williams spoke about the center’s upcoming season.
Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for an article about two lobstermen who caught two white lobsters within a week for the same lobster pound. Albino lobsters — the rarest of all the crustacean’s color mutations — are believed to be about one in 100 million, according to statistics from the Lobster Institute. Bayer, who has only seen a couple of albino lobsters in his lifetime, said he’s not sure if the Owls Head lobsters are true albinos because it seems at least one of the lobsters has a blueish hue, which means it has some pigmentation. “It’s nothing I’ve seen before,” Bayer added. The Bangor Daily News also reported on the lobsters, citing Lobster Institute data.
Phys.org carried a University of Maine report about extreme weather research and the upcoming CLAS (Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability) Conference at UMaine. Researchers at UMaine’s Climate Change Institute have developed online tools to assist local community planners prepare for climate changes, the article states. The tools, which will be explained at the Oct. 23 conference, provide users access to station data, climate and weather models, and pollution and health indices, according to Sean Birkel, a research assistant professor with CCI.
The University of Maine International Programs’ Study Abroad Fair will be held Thursday, Sept. 11 to inform students about the variety of programs available for all majors to study, intern, research or teach abroad. The fair will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the first-floor ballroom of Estabrooke Hall. The fair is free and open to all UMaine students, faculty and staff. Information will be available on UMaine’s direct exchange and recommended programs, as well as scholarships and financial aid. Former UMaine study abroad and current exchange students will be available to answer questions. More than 50 students typically participate in study abroad opportunities, according to C K Kwai, director of the Office of International Programs. More information on UMaine’s study abroad program is available online.
A decorated, retired diplomat who was U.S. ambassador to Syria from 2011 until earlier this year, will discuss ongoing conflicts in Syria and the Middle East at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, in the Buchanan Alumni House at the University of Maine.
Robert S. Ford, who served 30 years in the U.S. Department of State and Peace Corps, will address how domestic politics and U.S. strategy intersect in Syria in a free talk titled “Syria and Washington Politics — Hard to Agree.”
In 2011, after Syria’s civil war erupted, he traveled to Hama in a display of solidarity with Syrians protesting the rule of Bashar al-Assad. Ford then worked with Syrian opposition forces and was instrumental in bringing them to the Geneva peace talks. He served three times in Iraq between 2003 and 2010, including as the ambassador’s senior political adviser during elections for the new Iraqi government. From 2008 to 2010, as deputy ambassador in Iraq, he led a team that developed logistical and security plans that the Obama administration utilized to establish diplomatic posts in Iraq. Ford also served in Cameroon during a civil war, as well as in Egypt and Turkey. Ford, who speaks Arabic and French, began his career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a master’s degree at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.
His efforts have been recognized and lauded; he has received the Presidential Honor Award and the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award. In 2012, he was presented a Profile in Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston for “courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences.”
The resident scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. also teaches at Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife, Alison Barkley, who is a Foreign Service officer.
The School of Policy & International Affairs (SPIA) is sponsoring Ford’s talk at UMaine.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud welcomed top officials from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to Castine on Sept. 5 to celebrate a successful year of the VolturnUS floating wind turbine deployed off Castine.
“This anniversary is another great day for our state, the university and its many partners, and for the advancement of clean, renewable energy for our nation,” said Collins. “This is a remarkable achievement and confirms my belief that the most innovative and dedicated wind energy researchers in the world are working right here in Maine.”
Michaud said the VolturnUS wind turbine is an incredible project and a great example of the type of forward-thinking ideas that can strengthen our economy in the years to come and define Maine as a leader in innovative technologies.
“The UMaine team has done incredible work to get not just VolturnUS up and running, but many other promising initiatives as well. I look forward to continuing to partner with them on advancing these projects that will strengthen Maine’s economy,” he said.
The federal officials were joined by representatives from the University of Maine, Maine Maritime Academy and Cianbro, who discussed highlights of the yearlong deployment off the coast of Castine. VolturnUS, a one-eighth scale model of a 6 MW floating wind turbine with more than 50 sensors on board, has been successfully operating and collecting data related to design capabilities for more than a year, including throughout the Maine winter.
Among the data highlights:
- The VolturnUS 1:8 successfully withstood 18 severe storms equivalent to 50-year storms, and one 500-year storm.
- The maximum acceleration measured was less than 0.17 g for all 50- and 500-year storms, which matched numerical predictions.
- The maximum tower inclination angle measured was less than 7 degrees in all 50- and 500-year storms, and these numbers matched predictions.
In addition, as part of the event, DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson signed a $3.8 million cooperative research agreement with UMaine to continue the design and engineering work of the full-scale VolturnUS floating hull.
The other members of the Congressional Delegation also sent congratulations on the VolturnUS project.
“I am pleased to offer my congratulations to the University of Maine as it welcomes this important award and celebrates more than a year of continued success by VolturnUS. This pioneering project represents the next generation of wind technology, and it has the potential to revolutionize how we think about and how we utilize our energy resources. Today’s investment by the Department of Energy is another milestone in its progress and is a renewed recognition of the excellent work done by so many across Maine who will continue to strive to secure a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy future through VolturnUS,” said Sen. Angus King.
“This project is an example of two of Maine’s most valuable resources at work: offshore wind that can become a new source of clean energy and the ingenuity and technical skill that can harness that wind. Maine is uniquely positioned to be a leader in offshore wind technology and this successful demonstration project is proof of that,” said Rep. Chellie Pingree.
“We appreciate the continued support of the Department of Energy in the University of Maine’s ongoing efforts in deepwater offshore wind technology research and development,” said UMaine President Susan Hunter. “It’s through partnerships like this in the federal, state, education and industry sectors that the University of Maine most efficiently and effectively addresses the needs of the state.”
The VolturnUS floating turbine is a patent-pending technology developed at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Laboratory by UMaine and Cianbro personnel. In June 2013, it became the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine deployed in the Americas, and the first floating turbine in the world designed using a concrete hull and a composites material tower to reduce costs and create local jobs. The turbine is a 1:8 geometric scale test program to prepare for the construction of a larger 6 MW floating turbine. The project brought together more than 30 organizations as part of the DeepCwind Consortium, led by UMaine and funded through a competitive DOE grant and industry contributions.
“The success of the VolturnUS 1:8 test project deployed off Castine is a critical milestone on our path to allow us to economically harness the enormous wind power far offshore the U.S.” said Habib Dagher, director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. “The VolturnUS concrete floating hull technology has the potential to harness over 50 percent of the U.S. 4,000 GW offshore wind resource. With 156 GW of offshore wind capacity off the Maine coast, and 4,000 GW off the U.S. coast, we have an opportunity to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, stabilize energy prices over the long run, help protect the environment, stimulate local economic activity and create a new industry.”
Contact: Joshua Plourde, 207.581.2117
The Washington Post published an opinion piece by Michael Socolow, an associate professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Maine, titled “Five myths about the Sunday television talk shows.” The article is part of The Washington Post’s “Five Myths” series; a weekly feature “challenging everything you think you know.”