University of Maine News
Channel 5 (WABI) spoke with Maine Bound Coordinator Lisa Carter during the 2013 Maine Summer Camp Fair for Kids at the New Balance Student Recreation Center on campus Wednesday evening. Representatives from about 65 camps from all over the state spoke with prospective campers and their parents. Some camps brought hands-on examples of activities that are offered during the summer. Fair attendees also received a free day pass to the recreation center. Two interviews from the fair are online.
The Bangor Daily News published an op-ed titled “Biofuels development in Maine: Using trees to oil the wheels of sustainability.” The article, which is part of a longer piece that appeared in “Maine Policy Review,” published by the University of Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, was written by Caroline L. Noblet, a lecturer in UMaine’s School of Economics; Mario F. Teisl, a professor in the School of Economics; Katherine H. Farrow, a recent graduate of the master of science program in natural resource economics; and Jonathan Rubin, a professor with a joint appointment in the School of Economics and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center.
Islam Awareness Weekend at the University of Maine March 22–23 features free public lectures by Yassir Fazaga, the religious leader of the Orange County Islamic Foundation in Mission Viejo, Calif.
Fazaga’s first presentation, “Misconceptions about Islam,” will be at 9 a.m., March 22 in Room 1, Wells Conference Center. A continental breakfast will be served.
He also will speak on “Psychology of a Terrorist” as part of the annual Open House at the Islamic Center of Maine, 151 Park St., Orono, from 4:30–6 p.m., March 23.
Islam Awareness Weekend is coordinated by UMaine’s Muslim Students Association and the Islamic Center of Maine. For more information or to request disability accommodations, visit the Muslim Students Association website.
Author Nina Shengold will present a public reading with University of Maine Intermedia MFA students from 5–7 p.m., March 15 at Coespace, 48 Columbia St., during the Downtown Bangor Artwalk. The event, “Eat Your Words: A Literary Potluck,” is part of the Spring 2013 Visiting Artist series, co-sponsored by the UMaine Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series. Shengold writes in many genres. Her novel “Clearcut,” was a Book Sense Notable selection. She has won a Writers Guild Award for her teleplay “Labor of Love,” starring Marcia Gay Harden, and the ABC Playwright Award for “Homesteaders.” Writing as Maya Gold, she has published eight books for young readers, including the “Cinderella Cleaners” series. For more information on the Bangor event or to request disability accommodations, contact Bethany Engstrom at email@example.com.
A Portland Press Herald blog post titled “Basics of Pruning” linked to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s website, calling it an “excellent resource for information on pruning techniques.” The blog post also cited Cooperative Extension Educator Richard Brzozowski on pruning tools and his favorite place to buy them.
To sample cuisine from India, Morocco and Italy, University of Maine students need only eat in the three resident dining facilities on campus March 27.
In the popular Taste of the World event, offered annually for resident students by UMaine Dining, both menus and decor in each of the dining facilities are transformed, often in consultation with students from the university’s international community.
This year, there will be a Taste of Morocco at Wells and a Taste of Italy at Hilltop. Taste of India at York will be UMaine’s entry in the special event category of the National Association of College & University Food Services dining awards. The cuisine will include: lamb stew with tomato and southern Indian spices, mixed rainbow vegetables with homemade kadai paneer, sweet and sour asparagus with cashews, potato and peas with masala, and mango ice cream.
The international fare in the three dining facilities will be served during dinner.
Local foods will similarly be celebrated March 21 in the Marketplace in the Memorial Union. Maine-based producers and suppliers will provide information and food samples to raise awareness of the value and sustainability of supporting locally sourced produce and products from Maine.
The University of Maine is planning a bus trip Thursday and Friday, March 14 and 15, to watch the Black Bear men’s ice hockey team take on UMass-Lowell in the Hockey East Quarterfinals. Tickets are $85 and include transportation and admission to both games. A hotel discount is also available for bus trip participants. The bus will leave Orono late Thursday morning and head back after Friday night’s game. Call 207.581.4849, or email your name, phone number and number of people in your group to GoBlackBears@yahoo.com by 4 p.m. Tuesday if you would like to attend.
The Portland Press Herald interviewed Mary Ellen Camire, professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Maine, in a story about Portland’s proposed ban on Styrofoam containers. Some people, and scientists, believe Styrofoam can make coffee taste better. Camire said Styrofoam is made from petrochemicals and some of those can be “extracted” by hot coffee. “I personally go for paper cups because plastics and Styrofoam both have material that can leak out into the beverage. And that doesn’t sound that good to me,” Camire said.
The Portland Press Herald interviewed Rick Wahle, research associate professor in UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences, and Jeff Runge, professor of oceanography in UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences and a researcher at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, on the effects of changing ecosystems. Because humans are dumping carbon dioxide into seawater, oceans are getting warmer and more acidic, even in the Gulf of Maine, according to researchers. Runge says “it’s starting to become recognized as a serious issue” but scientists aren’t doing a good job at understanding the effects in the Gulf of Maine yet, while Wahle says the changes have lobstermen worried about potential negative effects.
Channel 7 (WVII) and Channel 5 (WABI) covered the 75th annual Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show at the University of Maine over the weekend. The event, hosted by the Penobscot County Conservation Association, included organizers and vendors who volunteered their time to showcase items such as RVs and boating and fishing equipment. The money raised from admission goes toward a scholarship for students studying wildlife ecology, forestry and law enforcement at the University of Maine and Unity College.
Channel 5 (WABI), Channel 2 (WLBZ) and the Bangor Daily News reported on the 2013 Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition at UMaine over the weekend where 10 teams competed by defending against computer hacking attempts made by national cybersecurity professionals. The media spoke to event organizer George Markowsky, associate director of the UMaine School of Computing and Information Science, who says the event is a great experience for students training to be cyberprofessionals. Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., took top honors. The winners of the northeast division will compete in the nationals in Texas next month. The University of Maine team, which was missing two of its eight members, ranked sixth.
Daniel Sandweiss, dean and associate provost for graduate studies, was interviewed for a Feb. 26 story in El Comercio, Peru’s leading newspaper, about the use of archaeological and paleoclimatic data to look for ways that past peoples adapted to climate change and to help test models for climate prediction. It’s important to know if models reproduce past climate accurately in order to know how well they might predict future change, Sandweiss says. In some times and places, such as on the coast of Peru, paleoclimate signals from archaeological sites are among the most useful sources of data we have available.
Parents and children are invited to attend the 2013 Summer Camp Fair for Kids, 4–7 p.m., Wednesday, March 13 at the University of Maine New Balance Student Recreation Center. Admission is free and all attendees will also receive a day pass to the recreation center. The event is sponsored by the UMaine Division of Student Affairs, Campus Recreation and Foster Center for Student Innovation. Jesse Moriarity, Foster Center coordinator, says at least 65 Maine summer camps have signed up to offer information during the fair, with more expected to attend. For more information or to request disability accommodations, call 581.1454.
The University of Maine’s Paint, Plant and Polish Program, which began last year as a Presidential Initiative, continues to improve the UMaine campus as part of the Blue Sky Plan Pathway 5, chaired by UMaine alumnus John Rohman and co-chaired by Stewart Harvey, executive director of facilities and capital management services.
To improve campus infrastructure and appearance, UMaine President Paul Ferguson initially reallocated approximately $2.5 million. This funding was derived from energy cost-savings realized through improved utility and fuel contracts, increased campuswide efficiencies, as well as overall cost reductions on a one-time basis. Paint, Plant and Polish now will be sustained annually by approximately $320,000 from the newly endowed Hosmer Fund in the University of Maine Foundation.
This first year included more than a dozen campus buildings and academic areas identified as improvement and deferred maintenance priorities by the deans of UMaine’s colleges, including the Honors College, as well as staff of Facilities Management. More than $1.6 million is earmarked for classroom upgrades and improving accessibility, and approximately $800,000 will be directed for painting and minor maintenance to preserve the integrity of campus buildings, including UMaine’s “legacy assets.” Much of the work began last summer and employed numerous local Maine painting and construction companies, as well as elevator, furniture and equipment suppliers.
Paint, Plant and Polish is a four-pronged approach to infrastructure improvement, focusing on classroom upgrades, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades, energy-saving initiatives and painting projects. Many are aimed at addressing deferred maintenance that has resulted from decades of budget cuts. All will improve the quality of life for students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus, according to Janet Waldron, UMaine’s senior vice president for administration and finance.
“How the campus looks really matters,” Waldron says. “We have a beautiful campus with legacy buildings. The benefit of these investments is improved aesthetics, higher quality classrooms, more accessible facilities, and an enhanced impression of campus for visitors and prospective students.
“Proper stewardship of our infrastructure is important, but also because it makes financial sense. Maintenance costs quadruple if not timely executed,” Waldron says. “Facilities Management is pleased to partner in the initiatives of the Blue Sky Project to care for UMaine’s irreplaceable campus assets, such as Fogler Library.”
Among the buildings slated for improvements:
- Estabrooke Hall, where the first floor is being renovated for office space for Honors College faculty and the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE), as well as an interactive, general-purpose classroom with sophisticated audiovisual equipment. The project is expected to be completed by fall 2013.
- Fogler Library, which will receive exterior painting and partial first-floor renovation to create additional collaborative academic space for student study groups. Painting was completed last summer and renovations are planned for this summer.
- Crosby Lab, where an elevator will be installed to provide handicapped access to the second floor, and restrooms will be renovated to meet ADA guidelines. The project is expected to be completed this summer.
- Clapp Greenhouse, which will receive some upgrades in the south end teaching area. The project is expected to be completed this spring.
- D.P. Corbett, which received exterior painting last summer, and where desks and seating in two first-floor classrooms will be replaced. The project is expected to be completed this summer.
In addition to the projects associated with the Paint, Plant and Polish Program, several other capital projects are under way that will significantly enhance the UMaine campus, including a $5.2 million Astronomy Center in 2013. Other capital improvement projects:
- Nutting Hall received a $3.95 million energy upgrade with roof, insulation, façade and window replacements. Construction was completed in late summer.
- Alumni Hall will receive an estimated $495,000 second-floor renovation and repurposing to relocate the Division of Marketing and Communications from the Keyo Building. While the renovation will address safety, structural and access issues, it will also enable the strategic relocation of Marketing and Communications consistent with the Blue Sky Pathways 2 and 3 through enhanced synergies resulting from the proximity to Enrollment Management, Academic Affairs and Research. Renovation to this historic building will be accomplished in summer 2013 and make available the Keyo Building to support the strategic procurement initiative.
- Memorial Gym and New Balance Field House will receive a $15 million renovation, made possible by a state-backed revenue bond, gifts from New Balance, the Harold Alfond Foundation, and several other private donors, including Tom and Sally Savage. Renovations are expected to begin May 13.
- A $6.4 million Wind and Wave Research Facility will be built as a 12,000-square-foot addition to the Offshore Wind Laboratory of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The facility will house a robotics laboratory for the manufacture of wind blade components and a 10-meter by 30-meter freshwater basin for testing scale models of scale-model turbines. The 5-meter deep basin will be equipped with wind and wave generators. The facility is funded by a $2.9 million EDA grant and a $3.5 million match from UMaine. Construction will begin in March and is expected to be completed this fall.
Regular updates on projects in the Paint, Plant and Polish Program, as well as other major projects associated with Pathway 5 to promote our stewardship of place at UMaine can be found on the Blue Sky Implementation website.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has awarded a University of Maine marine researcher up to $957,871 to improve ways to detect and track changes in the oceanic carbon pool, subsequently allowing scientists to better understand its role in oceanic ecosystems and the removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Ivona Cetinić, a research associate in the School of Marine Sciences and the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, Maine, is leading a four-person team that will develop a novel way of detecting particulate organic carbon (POC) in oceans, using data collected by satellites.
POC — which includes phytoplankton, zooplankton and marine debris — is part of the oceanic mechanism that “pumps” carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the depths of the ocean to be stored.
Oceanographers seek to better understand how POC distribution varies in oceans around the world. Together with policy makers, they are interested in learning whether the changing climate is impacting POC and the global carbon cycle.
Cetinić and her team will analyze seawater collected from multiple places in the world’s oceans, including from coastal Maine, equatorial and polar regions, to see how POC distribution varies in different marine ecosystems. The team will use those oceanographic measurements to develop an algorithm — a set of calculations that can be used to detect POC from space.
NASA’s Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry program is funding the three-year project through November 2015. Mary Jane Perry, a professor at the School of Marine Sciences and Ira C. Darling Marine Center; Nicole Poulton, a research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine; and Wayne Homer Slade, who earned a doctorate in oceanography at UMaine and is now at Sequoia Scientific Inc. in Bellevue, Wash., are collaborating with Cetinić on the study.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
In a story on the Portland Flower Show, Channel 2 (WLBZ) advanced the silent and live plant auctions that will take place Sunday at the Portland Company Complex and will benefit the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Demonstration Garden at Tidewater Farm and the Maine Harvest for Hunger Gardens in Cumberland County.
Several media outlets including the Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald, Channel 5 (WABI) and Channel 2 (WLBZ) reported on University of Maine System Chancellor James Page’s address at a joint session of the legislature Thursday. Page, along with other higher education leaders, vowed to continue to adapt to the state’s needs and build a skilled workforce, but said they need the legislature’s support. Page told the legislature education must be affordable, and the first step is to “break the back of year-to-year tuition increases.”
The Bangor Daily News reported that American pianist Jonathan Biss will make his third appearance at the University of Maine at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at Minsky Recital Hall.