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University of Maine News
News from the University of Maine
Updated: 18 hours 51 min ago
The Boston Globe Magazine printed an excerpt from the book “The President’s Salmon,” by Catherine Schmitt, communications director for Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine. Schmitt’s book is expected to be released in June.
Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was a recent guest on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio program. The show focused on the predicted prevalence of ticks this season and what can be done to prevent bites.
The Haskell family, which has had five generations graduate from the University of Maine since it opened its doors in September 1868, was mentioned in the Bangor Daily News genealogy column “Family Ties.” Edwin Haskell was one of the six men in the first-ever graduating class at the university, then called the Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, in 1872. Haskell’s great-great-granddaughter Johanna Haskell was among the graduates at this year’s commencement. The column includes information on Edwin Haskell found through Ancestry.com.
The Daily Bulldog reported the University of Maine singing group Renaissance will perform at 7 p.m. May 19 at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington. Renaissance is a women’s auditioned a cappella vocal ensemble that performs a variety of choral music including contemporary pop vocal styles, according to the article.
Enjoy the taste of summer fruits and vegetables all throughout the year by taking the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Preserving the Harvest workshop 5:30–8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 23 at UMaine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
The workshop, led by UMaine Extension staff members, includes hands-on, USDA-recommended food preservation methods. Participants will preserve low-sugar strawberry jam and learn basics of hot water bath canning and freezing to preserve pickles, jam and vegetables. Fresh produce, canning jars and other equipment will be provided. Participants should bring a pot holder.
Cost is $20 per person; partial scholarships are available. Register online by June 19. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 781.6099, 800.287.1471 (toll-free in Maine).
The Associated Press, Portland Press Herald, Bangor Daily News, The Ellsworth American, WVII (Channel 7), Sun Journal and the Maine Public Broadcasting Network reported on an analysis released by the Maine attorney general’s office and conducted by Marcella Sorg, a research professor of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine. The study found Maine residents who died of drug overdoses in 2014 hit a record number of 208 — an increase of 18 percent over the previous year, according to reports. “What is remarkable about the numbers in 2014 is a new increase in heroin and fentanyl deaths driving the number of total deaths to an unprecedented level for Maine,” Sorg said, citing statistics that found heroin deaths increased from 34 in 2013 to 57 in 2014, and fentanyl-related deaths increased from nine in 2013 to 43 in 2014. WABI (Channel 5), Fosters.com and The Houston Chronicle carried the AP report.
Mainebiz published a feature article on recent University of Maine graduate Matthew Hodgkin, an animal and veterinary sciences major. The article focused on Hodgkin’s research, lobster-related business and his working relationship with Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute. While at UMaine, Hodgkin was involved with research related to developing a noninvasive way of testing the viability of lobsters for shipping, as well as finding a way to commercialize the invasive green crab. Hodgkin also co-owns Lobster Unlimited LLC with Bayer; Lobster Institute Associate Director Cathy Billings; and Stewart Hardison, a business partner from outside the UMaine community. The company aims to develop products from lobster-processing industry waste, such as shells with the goal to get more money to lobstermen and improve Maine’s economy. Hodgkin spoke about how Bayer and UMaine’s Innovation Engineering program helped him discover his interest in research. “It’s been fun, it’s always exciting. And once you reach those milestones where your idea is getting closer and closer to fruition, it’s very exciting,” Hodgkin said.
Research and development of technologies being conducted at the University of Maine’s Center on Aging were mentioned in U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ weekly column, “The aging and thriving in place movement.” The column also cited a recent testimony before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging by Carol Kim, vice president for research and dean of the graduate school at UMaine. The hearing of the committee, which Collins chairs, was held to examine how advances in technology can help seniors live independently and age in place, according to the column. Kim spoke about UMaine’s multidisciplinary initiatives focused on helping elders to age and thrive in place.
Maine EPSCoR, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, was mentioned in the Mainebiz article “Training budding scientists: Federal funding boosts Maine’s science and technology workforce.” EPSCoR was established by the National Science Foundation in 1978 for states that typically receive small amounts of federal R&D funding, according to the article. Maine became an EPSCoR state in 1980, with the program that is based at the University of Maine. “Since then, more than $97 million has been used to expand our research capacity as a state,” said Laurie Bragg, outreach and program manager for Maine EPSCoR. From 2009–15, more than 100 faculty and 752 high school, undergraduate and graduate students have taken advantage of the program, which is largely hands-on field work, according to the article. Bragg expects about 5,000 students, from kindergarten through high school, to participate in the program annually over the next five years, she said. “We want to build capacity to build a larger STEM workforce in Maine. We need scientists and consumers of science,” she said. “You need science just to operate your cellphone.”
Mick Peterson, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Baltimore Sun article about track conditions at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore ahead of the 140th Preakness Stakes horse race. In the week leading up to the race, sun and wind drew moisture from the track, requiring that up to 70,000 gallons of water be sprayed on the track each day, according to the article. Peterson, whose research focus is horse racing track surfaces, said mud isn’t necessarily dangerous and a 1980s study showed wet tracks were safer. He said the problem is when racing surfaces become uneven and inconsistent, making it difficult for horses to see slippery places or puddles.
Jennifer Hooper, the mentoring and business coordinator at the Foster Center for Student Innovation and the Target Technology Incubator at the University of Maine, wrote a column for Mainebiz titled “How to develop a workforce using interns.” Hooper wrote about the Innovate for Maine program, managed by UMaine, which connects Maine college students with growing companies and business leaders in the state. The program includes mandatory training with an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, the article states. Hooper also mentioned Intern-to-Work, a new pilot program offered by the Target Technology Center that lets Maine businesses advertise internship positions through the University of Maine Career Center.
The Associated Press reported citizen volunteer training began May 16 at the University of Maine for the Maine Bumble Bee Atlas project. The training workshop is the first to begin to show residents how to gather information about the range and abundance of the state’s bees, according to the report. The Maine Bumble Bee Atlas project aims to help determine the state’s bee range and abundance, according to the report. The project is being coordinated by the state, UMaine and the University of Maine at Farmington. Portland Press Herald, WABI (Channel 5), WLBZ (Channel 2) and SFGate carried the AP report.
Online registration is available for the University of Maine’s Communicators Summit 2.0, “Beyond the Brand: Integrated Communication.”
Provost Jeffrey E. Hecker will give a welcome and overview at the Wednesday, May 20 event that will be held 9–11:30 a.m. in Wells Conference Center.
The summit will feature a discussion of UMaine’s current communication and branding efforts, as well as emerging initiatives from 9–10:30 a.m., followed by topical breakout sessions.
Sign up online for sessions and to submit questions or comments.
For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 581.3743.
Rob Lilieholm, the E.L. Giddings professor of forest policy at the University of Maine, was quoted in an article by The Guardian about Apple’s forest conservation efforts in the United States and China. Apple recently announced a plan to work with the World Wildlife Fund to improve management of one million acres of forests in China. The company also is donating money to the Conservation Fund to buy and protect 36,000 acres of forests from commercial development other than forestry product production in Maine and North Carolina, according to the article. “What’s exciting is that a company of Apple’s profile is doing this. They are good at marketing,” Lilieholm said. “It’s tying the producers with the supply chain and customers. Other companies are going to look at this and think they might want to try to do the same.”
CBC News reported on research by Jesica Waller, a University of Maine master’s student in marine biology, that focuses on the effects climate change may have on lobster. Waller is working with a University of Prince Edward Island professor to determine why lobster larvae are growing more slowly, according to the article. The researchers test the larvae by growing them in water conditions expected 85 years from now due to climate change, the article states. “I saw that they grew to the same size and length but had decreased measures of metabolism, specifically respiration rates,” said Waller. “This gives us a clue that the impacts of ocean acidification and ocean warming may be happening internally, affecting a lobster’s ability to grow and breathe correctly.” This summer the researchers will test swimming speed and ability to catch prey, actions that could be harmed by poor breathing, Waller said.
The Bangor Daily News published five major points made by Dr. Jonathan Shay, a psychiatrist and combat trauma expert, during his talk “Combat Trauma and the Trials of Coming Home” on May 13 at the University of Maine. More than 250 people attended the keynote address of the fifth annual Conference of the Maine Military & Community Network. According to the BDN, Shay’s main messages were “Let veterans sleep;” “Learn and care about the boring stuff, the not-dramatic stuff;” “Understand moral injury;” “You can do something to help;” and “Healing happens by having one’s story told and understood, often through the arts.”
The Free Press reported Environmental Living and Learning for Maine Students (ELLMS), a collaboration between five residential environmental learning centers in Maine, received an award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA 2015 Environmental Merit Award recognizes individuals and organizations for environmental stewardship and dedication to environmental progress, according to the article. ELLMS was formed in 2010 by Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset, The Ecology School in Saco, Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park in Winter Harbor, University of Maine 4-H Center at Bryant Pond, and University of Maine 4-H Center at Tanglewood in Lincolnville.
WBNS-TV (10TV) of Columbus, Ohio cited a 2008 University of Maine study in the report “Hidden hazing: Reports of abuse rampant across Ohio’s colleges.” The study, which was conducted by researchers Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden, polled more than 11,000 students and found that more than half experience hazing on college campuses, according to the report.
Blueberry research conducted by Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, a clinical nutritionist and professor at the University of Maine, was cited in The Raw Food World news article “Blueberries for diabetes and heart disease? Studies show blueberries can improve disease symptoms.” The article cites a 2013 study co-written by Klimis-Zacas that found a diet rich in wild blueberries is associated with less risk of metabolic syndrome. Klimis-Zacas defines metabolic syndrome as “a group of risk factors characterized by obesity, hypertension, inflammation, dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, and endothelial dysfunction,” according to the article. The study suggests implementing wild blueberries into a diet long term may help improve the pathologies, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, associated with metabolic syndrome, the article states.
The University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation will host the annual Maine Invention Convention from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 16 at the New Balance Student Recreation Center on campus.
About 120 students from 12 middle schools will compete in the 2015 statewide competition that promotes innovative problem solving and inventing by Maine middle school students.
Throughout the school year, students work with peers and teachers to identify and solve problems, create inventions, search patents and test ideas. The curriculum is based on UMaine’s Innovation Engineering program. After competing at the school level, top students are invited to the state conference.
More about the Maine Invention Convention is online.