University of Maine News
The Portland Press Herald reported best-selling author Tess Gerritsen and singer-songwriter David Mallett will receive honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees and share remarks at the 212th Commencement May 10 at the University of Maine. Mallett will address the 10 a.m. ceremony, and Gerritsen will speak during the 2:30 p.m. ceremony. Gerritsen, who lives in Camden, has published suspense novels in 40 countries, and has sold more than 25 million copies. Mallett lives in Sebec and has a music career spanning four decades. His songs have been recorded by more than 150 artists.
The Associated Press, NBC Sports, Portland Press Herald, WABI (Channel 5), 92.9 The Ticket, WLBZ (Channel 2), WVII (Channel 7) and the Bangor Daily News were among news organizations to report on the University of Maine’s decision to buy out the contract of men’s basketball head coach Ted Woodward. The decision was reached after evaluation of the program by Director of Athletics Karlton Creech and university administration. The BDN also published a statement from Woodward who said he is “extremely proud of the Black Bear basketball program” and respects Creech’s decision. USA Today and Boston.com carried the AP report.
The Black Bear Food Guild, a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that is organized and managed by students in the University of Maine’s Sustainable Agriculture program, is offering CSA shares for the season.
In an effort to increase accessibility to fresh, seasonal produce for all members of the community, the Black Bear Food Guild is offering full, half and quarter shares. The 2014 season marks the first time the guild will be offering quarter shares, which are recommended for one person and an ideal choice for students. Quarter shares cost $175. Full shares are $475 and will feed four people, and half shares are $300 and will feed two people.
Shareholders can pick up produce each week at the university’s Rogers Farm. The guild’s season runs from mid-June through early October.
A limited number of shares are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in purchasing a share for the 2014 season should email the Black Bear Food Guild at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1994, students have farmed two acres of MOFGA-certified organic vegetables and cut flowers on Rogers Farm. The farmers for the 2014 Black Bear Food Guild are Laura Goldshein, Lindy Morgan and Abby Buckland.
The University of Maine School of Performing Arts’ Opera Workshop will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 19, in Minsky Recital Hall.
A feature of the evening will be the modern one-act opera “The Worst One Ever,” written by Gary Belshaw and directed by Christian Giddings. It takes place in a college dorm where three female students express their frustrations.
Nancy Ogle directs the remainder of the workshop, which includes excerpts from “The Mikado” and “Yeoman of the Guard” by W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Also included will be “The Magic Flute” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Albert Herring” by Benjamin Britten and “Der Freischutz” by Carl Maria von Weber.
“The Opera Workshop involves students in all aspects of musical theater production. Admission is $9, or free with a student MaineCard. For tickets or disability accommodations, call the Collins Center for the Arts, 207.581.1755.
A University of Maine research team says stratification of the North Atlantic Ocean contributed to summer warming and glacial melting in Scotland during the period recognized for abrupt cooling 12,900 to 11,600 years ago in the Northern Hemisphere.
Prevailing scientific understanding has been that glaciers advanced in the Northern Hemisphere throughout most of the Younger Dryas Stadial (YDS) — a 1,300-year period of dramatic cooling.
But carbon-dated bog sediment indicates the 9,500-square-kilometer ice cap over Rannoch Moor in Scotland retreated at least 500 years before the end of the YDS, says Gordon Bromley, a postdoctoral associate with UMaine’s Climate Change Institute (CCI).
“Our new record, showing warming summers during what traditionally was believed to have been an intensely cold period, adds an exciting new layer of complexity to our understanding of abrupt events and highlights the fact that there is much yet to learn about how our climate can behave,” Bromley says.
“This is an issue that is becoming ever more pressing in the face of global warming, since we really need to know what Earth’s climate system is capable of. But first we have to understand the full nature of abrupt climate events, how they are manifest ‘on the ground.’ And so we were compelled to investigate the terrestrial record of the Younger Dryas, which really is the poster child for abrupt climate change.”
Glaciers, says Bromley, respond to sea surface temperatures and Scotland is immediately downwind of the North Atlantic Ocean.
“Scotland was the natural choice as it lies within the North Atlantic Ocean — widely believed to be a driver of climatic upheaval — and thus would give us a robust idea of what really transpired during that critical period,” he says.
What the team found was that amplified seasonality driven by greatly expanding sea ice resulted in severe winters and warm summers.
While sea ice formation prevented ocean to atmosphere heat transfer during winters, melting of sea ice during summers created a stratified warmer freshwater cap on the ocean surface, he says. The increased summer sea surface temperature and downwind air temperature melted the glaciers.
Bromley says this research highlights the still-incomplete understanding of abrupt climate changes throughout Earth’s history.
“Ever since the existence of abrupt climate change was first recognized in ice-core and marine records, we’ve been wrestling with the problem of why these tumultuous events occur, and how,” he says.
Kurt Rademaker, Brenda Hall, Sean Birkel and Harold W. Borns, all from UMaine’s Climate Change Institute and School of Earth and Climate Sciences, are part of the research team. So too is Aaron Putnam, previously from CCI and now with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University/Earth Institute. Joerg Schaefer and Gisela Winckler are also with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Thomas Lowell is with the University of Cincinnati.
The team’s research paper, Younger Dryas deglaciation of Scotland driven by warming summers, was published April 14 on the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” website.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
Two icons in literature and music in Maine — international best-selling author Tess Gerritsen and singer-songwriter David Mallett — will receive honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees and share remarks at the 212th Commencement May 10 at the University of Maine.
Mallett will address the 10 a.m. ceremony; Gerritsen will address the 2:30 p.m. ceremony, both in Harold Alfond Sports Arena.
“We are so pleased that Dave Mallett and Tess Gerritsen will join us for the 212th Commencement and share perspectives from their remarkable careers with the UMaine community,” says University of Maine President Paul Ferguson. “It is UMaine’s distinct privilege to present honorary degrees in recognition of the contributions of Tess and Dave to the arts and humanities.”
Tess Gerritsen earned a medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco in 1979. It was while on maternity leave from her work as a physician that she began to write fiction.
In 1987, her first romantic suspense novel, Call After Midnight, was published. She then wrote eight more romantic thrillers and a screenplay, Adrift, which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson. In 1996, Gerritsen debuted on the New York Times best-seller list with her first medical thriller, Harvest. She has since published the suspense novels: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), The Bone Garden (2007), The Keepsake (2008; UK title: Keeping the Dead), Ice Cold (2010; UK title: The Killing Place), The Silent Girl (2011) and Last To Die (2012.) Her books have been published in 40 countries. More than 25 million copies have been sold around the world.
In addition, her books have been top-three best sellers in the United States and abroad. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon). Critics around the world have praised her novels as “pulse-pounding fun” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “scary and brilliant” (Toronto Globe and Mail) and “polished, riveting prose” (Chicago Tribune). Publishers Weekly has dubbed her the “medical suspense queen.”
Her series of novels featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles inspired the TNT television series Rizzoli & Isles starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.
Now retired from medicine, Gerritsen writes full time from her home in Camden, Maine.
David Mallett of Sebec, Maine, has had a music career spanning four decades. His songs, which take place in or are written about experiences of Maine have been recorded by more than 150 artists, including Pete Seeger, Alison Krauss, John Denver, Emmylou Harris and even the Muppets. His Garden Song has become an American folk classic. He has performed in town halls and folk clubs across America and Europe, in addition to major venues, such as Barns of Wolf Trap, Newport Folk Festival and Prairie Home Companion.
The Bangor Daily News recognized him as one of the 58 most memorable Mainers of the 20th century, along with Marshall Dodge, Andrew Wyeth, E.B. White, Stephen King and Edna St. Vincent Millay. He has recorded 15 albums, including The Fable True (2007), based on Thoreau’s expeditions in the Maine Woods, a spoken word CD with accompanying music.
Mallett began his musical career in Bangor at age 11, performing in a country-folk duo with his older brother Neil. He began writing songs when he was a theater student at the University of Maine. After living in Nashville for many years, Mallett returned to Maine in 1995 and established his own label, North Road Records. He continues to travel and perform on the world stage. His sons, Luke and Will, founded the six-member alt-country/rock Mallett Brothers Band in Portland, Maine.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
University of Maine President Paul Ferguson has announced that the university is buying out the contract of men’s basketball head coach Ted Woodward, ending his tenure as coach effective April 14, 2014. The decision was reached after evaluation of the program by Director of Athletics Karlton Creech and university administration.
“I would like to thank Ted for his 18 years of service to the University of Maine, first as an assistant coach and then a head coach,” said Creech. “Ted’s commitment to the University of Maine and its student-athletes — both athletically and academically — have been the trademark of his tenure here.”
Woodward had two years remaining on his contract extension. He will be paid a 13-month buyout of approximately $113,800 related to one year’s salary. UMaine will use only privately raised funds from the President’s Discretionary Account to meet that obligation. No funds will be reallocated from the current university budget committed to academic programs, or faculty, student or operational needs.
A formal national search for Woodward’s replacement will begin immediately.
Woodward recently finished his 10th season as head coach of the Black Bears, compiling a record of 117–178 with the program.
Woodward came to the University of Maine in 1996 as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator for then head coach John Giannini. He also served as an assistant coach at Central Connecticut State University and Harvard University, after beginning his career as a graduate assistant at the University of Connecticut. Woodward also coached golf at the University of Maine from 1997–2001.
Jake Ward, the University of Maine’s vice president for innovation and economic development, will be featured on an upcoming episode of the Maine Center for Economic Policy’s television show, “State of the State.” The weekly talk show focuses on Maine issues and is hosted by MECEP staff. The new episode will focus on research and development and will look at the university’s role in the growth of two Maine companies — Acadia Harvest and Kenway Corp. The episode will air on Time Warner Cable’s Channel 9 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17 and Thursday, April 24. A podcast of the full program also will be available on MECEP’s website. More information about the upcoming show can be found on the MECEP blog.
WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on the University of Maine’s celebration of World Languages Day. More than 100 area high school students attended the event that highlighted French and Spanish with traditional dance lessons, a campuswide scavenger hunt and a culture bowl competition. Danielle Beaupre, a lecturer in UMaine’s Department of Modern Languages and Classics, said the best way to learn a language is through immersion. “Getting to spend a whole day in the target language that they’re studying has been a great experience for them,” Beaupre said of the students. The UMaine Department of Modern Languages and Classics, The Canadian-American Center and the Foreign Language Association of Maine (FLAME) sponsored the event.
WABI (Channel 5) covered the Maine National History Day competition held at the University of Maine. More than 300 students, teachers and chaperones from about 20 Maine middle and high schools gathered at the event to show off their exhibits, websites, documentaries and performances. National History Day (NHD) is an academic program that promotes critical thinking, research and presentation skills through project-based learning for students of all abilities. Students’ projects were judged, and the top two winners in each category became eligible to compete in the national contest in Washington, D.C. in June. A scavenger hunt with activities from a half dozen museums and history organizations, including a Civil War re-enactment group, also were offered to students.
University of Maine doctoral student Skylar Bayer, aka “The Lonely Lady Scientist” among fans of “The Colbert Report,” was quoted in a Slate article titled, “Stephen Colbert is the Best Source of Science on TV.” Article author David Shiffman, a University of Miami doctoral student, said he hoped Colbert would continue to showcase scientists when he succeeds David Letterman as host of “The Late Show.” Bayer told Shiffman that Colbert’s method of using humor and sarcasm to explain science is effective. After she played the Colbert segment in which she appeared to high school students, she asked them for their impressions. “I asked them what they thought about scientists afterwards. They said I seemed pretty normal,” she said. “I asked them if they learned anything about scallop reproduction. They said they got that it was important to the fishery. Getting some high-schoolers to get those two pieces of information out of a TV segment while laughing hysterically is a huge accomplishment.”
WABI (Channel 5) reported volunteers from the University of Maine helped children celebrate NanoDays at the Maine Discovery Museum in downtown Bangor. The museum set up hands-on activities to help children understand small particles. Trudi Plummer, the museum’s education director, said there is a lot of nanoscience research happening at the the University of Maine, and the displays show children what can be done using nanoscience technology.
James McCleave, a University of Maine professor emeritus of marine sciences and a leading expert on eels, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for an article about Maine’s elver industry. McCleave, who has spent the last 40 years studying eels, said he has seen eels go from being considered a food source for humans, to fish bait, and now an expensive export while in their early stages as elvers. McCleave also spoke about the “muddy” flavor of wild eels. He said the eels’ natural fattiness makes it easy for them to retain toxins. “Eels in the wild that are 10 years old have been out there collecting nasties for 10 years,” he said.
Data from a 2006 University of Maine study was cited in a Portland Press Herald article titled, “Maine residents seek state help on arsenic in well water.” The article states about 40 percent of Mainers use private water wells, and according to the UMaine research, a quarter of those wells have arsenic concentrations more than 10 parts per billion — the federal legal standard for public drinking water.
WABI (Channel 5) covered the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s 14th annual Great Maine Bike Swap that was held at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center. More than 400 bikes, including road bikes, mountain bikes and unicycles, were on sale at the event.
Ian Dickey, MD, FRCSC, lead physician of Eastern Maine Medical Center’s orthopedic surgical specialists, has been invited to serve as the first chair of the University of Maine Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering’s new external advisory board, EMMC announced.
UMaine established the school in 2006 as a collaborative effort between the university, The Jackson Laboratory, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, University of Southern Maine and University of New England. About 40 Ph.D. students and 100 faculty members are currently involved with the school, researching molecular and cellular biology, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, toxicology and functional genomics.
“To move to the next stage, the program needs the advice of a high-powered, knowledgeable external advisory board,” said David Neivandt, director of the UMaine Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering. “This board, with Dr. Dickey’s leadership, will provide external counsel and perspective regarding scientific direction and curricula, assist in identifying and securing external funding, aid in networking for students and faculty, and serve as an advocacy role both internal and external to the university.”
The full EMMC news release is online.
The Bangor Daily News reported two music professors at the University of Maine — Ludlow Hallman and Dennis Cox — will retire at the end of the semester, and the upcoming Bangor Symphony Orchestra concert will be their last time working with the UMaine vocal groups they’ve led for decades. Hallman has conducted the Oratorio Society since he began teaching at UMaine in 1970, and Cox has led the University Singers for more than 30 years. Hallman said the two have been through a lot together and have become “very good friends.” Both men spoke highly of UMaine’s music program, facilities and students. “We have great students right now, and I mean that sincerely,” said Cox. “It’s always about the students. It’s always the most rewarding part of any day,” added Hallman.
The Portland Press Herald and WVII (Channel 7) reported on the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation’s 64th annual Paper Days held at UMaine. The event brought together UMaine students, faculty and professionals in the pulp and paper industry to discuss how to better prepare students for careers in the field. Carrie Enos, president of the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation, said for the past three years, the foundation has placed 100 percent of its scholarship students in jobs after graduation. “One of our goals is to expand our outreach and help people understand that the paper industry is vibrant. There is still significant demand for people to fill jobs in the industry,” Enos said. Nicholas Hart, a UMaine senior studying chemical engineering, told WVII Paper Days is a great networking opportunity and recommends the event to other students.
The Free Press reported on the upcoming symposium, “Maine and The Mortal Sea: Taking Stock of the Past, Present and Future of Our Living Sea,” to be held at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center (DMC) in Walpole on Saturday, April 26. Fishermen, historians, marine scientists, authors, students, economists and fisheries managers are expected to gather at the interdisciplinary event that is based on the award-winning book, “The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail,” by University of New Hampshire historian W. Jeffrey Bolster.
During a segment on tuning up bicycles for spring, WVII (Channel 7) advanced the 14th annual Great Maine Bike Swap that will be held at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center on Sunday, April 13. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine (BCM) is hosting the swap to give people the opportunity to buy affordable and used bikes, as well as sell their own.