University of Maine News
The Free Press reported University of Maine Assistant Libra Professor of Mechanical Engineering Andrew Goupee will discuss “Floating Offshore Wind: Becoming a Reality?” at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery in Searsport on Sept. 25. Goupee is an engineer at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center.
Ryan Low, interim vice president for administration and finance at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article titled, “Cost of Maine’s public colleges tops legislative panel’s agenda.” For the last three years, University of Maine System tuition has been frozen and the state hasn’t cut the allocation, according to the Press Herald. University officials have said they plan to ask for more state funding this year, which Low said will be difficult given the tough economic climate, the article states.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant are offering a five-session fall workshop for people interested in improving their facilitation skills.
“Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Level 1,” will be held 4–8 p.m. Oct. 14, Oct. 28, Nov. 10, Nov. 25 and Dec. 9, at North Berwick Town Hall, 21 Main St., North Berwick.
The workshop features experiential learning, including a chance to practice facilitation skills and receive feedback in a safe environment. The $120 fee covers instruction, a resource notebook and light meals.
For 20 years, instructor Kristen Grant has created programs that build individual skills and group capacities. She has a background in providing interactive, educational programs and works extensively in team settings.
Enrollment is limited to the first 15 registrants. To register or to request a disability accommodation, contact UMaine Extension, 207.324.2814. For more information, call 207.646.1555, ext. 115, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website.
On Sept. 18, the Maine Development Foundation and the University of Maine’s School of Economics released the fourth quarterly report analyzing critical economic indicators in Maine.
The latest report, “Strategic Land Conservation in Maine,” looks at the multiple benefits of conserved land, such as recreational opportunities and protection of habitats and working landscapes, and the distribution of conserved acreage in an attempt to understand the impacts of conserved lands, set priorities and ensure a high return on investment.
Michelle Johnson of the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, who recently received her doctorate in ecology and environmental sciences from UMaine, wrote the report.
Mario Teisl, director of the UMaine School of Economics and professor of resource economics and policy, is overseeing the series of reports that further explore the economic indicators in “Measures of Growth in Focus,” an annual report issued by the Maine Economic Growth Council.
The Maine Development Foundation news release and the full report are online.
Karlton Creech, the University of Maine’s director of athletics, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for an article about UMaine lowering its season ticket prices and cutting the cost of single-game seats for several home games. “We made some price changes based on the opponent, the game time and the time of year,” Creech said. “I think it will be beneficial for both revenue and attendance. The goal is to make sure the arena is full for every game.”
Information from the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article about the new Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative and the fate of the state’s lobster industry. According to the Lobster Institute, the industry is estimated to have a $1.7 billion annual impact on the state.
The University of Maine Counseling Center and St. Joseph Healthcare, in conjunction with several area sponsors, will host the sixth annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Sunday, Oct. 5 on the UMaine campus.
Funds raised from the event will benefit research initiatives of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
Registration for the noncompetitive 5K walk through campus and surrounding areas will begin at 1 p.m. The walk, which is open to the public, begins at 2 p.m., preceded by an opening ceremony.
More information, including how to register, is online.
The Orono walk is one of more than 200 Out of the Darkness walks that take place in communities across the country each year. Approximately 350 people participated in last year’s Orono walk which raised more than $10,000 for AFSP.
Other major sponsors for this year’s walk include Emera Maine, Acadia Hospital, Community Health and Counseling Services, Veazie Veterinary Clinic, Bangor Savings Bank and Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Northern New England.
University of Maine Dining is promoting double dining discounts for the fall semester for UMaine students, faculty and staff who use Black Bear Bucks for food purchases in the Memorial Union.
A total of 18 percent savings will be offered when MaineCard funds are used. Black Bear Bucks always grant students and employees state sales tax exemption and an automatic discount of 5 percent, saving the student 13 percent off their total purchase year round. This fall, the dining discount doubles to 10 percent plus the sales tax savings.
The savings apply to purchases made at the Bear’s Den, previously known as the Marketplace; Going Bananas frozen yogurt shop; the Cafe and Pub; as well as the Oakes Room in Fogler Library. Discounts do not apply to alcohol purchases.
“Hundreds of thousands of dollars go to the banks because of credit card purchases,” says Daniel Sturrup, executive director of Auxiliary Services. “There are only minimum costs for UMaine when using Black Bear Bucks. The university keeps more of that money on campus and the students save money on meals. It’s really a win-win situation for everyone involved.”
Funds now can be transferred into Black Bear Bucks at dining registers in the Union, as well as through the MaineCard website and at several MaineCard kiosks around campus.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the new wind and wave laboratory being built at the University of Maine. Earlier this summer, UMaine broke ground for an $8 million facility that will house W² — the world’s first wind and wave lab to feature a rotating open-jet wind tunnel above a 100-foot-long by 30-foot-wide by 15-foot-deep wave basin. Waves and wind can be created from different directions converging at a point and creating a storm. The W² facility is an expansion of the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center. “We’ve surveyed over 50 companies across the U.S. that are in different sectors — in the oil and gas sector, in the ocean energy sector, as well as in the boat-building sector. And they all are excited about a facility like this, where they can come and test their devices,” said Habib Dagher, director of the UMaine Composites Center. “If you’ve seen the movie ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,’ essentially we’ll be shrinking ships here, we’ll be shrinking offshore wind devices, tidal devices and testing them here under these extreme storms.” The Maine Edge also carried a report about the facility.
The Portland Press Herald spoke with James Breece, an economics professor at the University of Maine, for the article, “Economic growth in Portland, Bangor, Lewiston-Auburn lagging behind nation.” According to new statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the economies of Maine’s three metropolitan areas grew sluggishly in 2013, significantly lagging behind the nation, the article states. Breece said the figures, especially for Portland, were a surprise. “I expected there to see mild growth, but not this mild,” Breece said, noting Portland has attracted a lot of young residents. He told the Press Herald some factors that may have contributed to the slow growth include a skills gap, higher salaries to attract workers from out of state with the necessary skills, higher utility costs and increased transportation costs.
WVII (Channel 7) reported on a 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 discussed “Where are Women in Violent Conflicts? Finding out will Make us Smarter!” in Minsky Recital Hall. She addressed situations in Syria, Ukraine, Gaza and Israel during the free, public lecture. “Where are the women? Why aren’t they at the table when they see the next photograph of all men at the peace negotiations?” Enloe asked the audience. “I want them to ask, ‘Why are there just guys from both sides? What about all those women we just heard about who are organizing and have ideas of their own? Why aren’t they at the peace table?’ That’s my hope.”
A retired wildlife biologist, author and outdoor enthusiast will deliver the 13th Annual Geddes W. Simpson Lecture at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, in the McIntire Room in Buchanan Alumni House at the University of Maine.
William Krohn’s free, public talk is titled “Using Historical Information in Wildlife Science: A Personal Journey.”
Krohn, who earned his master’s degree at UMaine, uses historical documents to understand changes in wildlife populations and distributions.
For nearly 40 years, Krohn held various research and administrative posts in bureaus of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which is charged with protecting America’s natural resources and heritage. Those jobs were with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and, for 27 years, the U.S Geological Survey’s Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at UMaine.
Krohn also has written books about two Maine naturalists and is senior author of Early Maine Wildlife, a reference book about deer, moose, Canada lynx, wolves and other animals. In addition to lecturing about Maine’s outdoor heritage and wildlife, Krohn, an avid angler, is researching early fishing lures and the Mainers who made them.
In 2001, Simpson’s family established the Geddes W. Simpson Lecture Fund. Simpson was a well-respected faculty member whose 55-year career in the College of Life Sciences and the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station began in 1931. He chaired the entomology department from 1954 until his retirement in 1974. The lecture was established to support a series that highlights speakers who have provided significant insight into the area where science and history intersect.
A reception will follow Krohn’s lecture.
Renae Moran, a tree fruit specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was a recent guest on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio show. The show, titled “Apples, apples and more apples,” included discussion about favorite apple types and recipes.
Jason Bolton, a food safety specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with WVII (Channel 7) about safe canning practices. Bolton said the best part of canning is that it gives your food shelf life. He stressed the importance of using accurate and reliable resources, such as UMaine Extension classes, that are tested and approved to make sure you hit the appropriate times and temperatures and are using the right equipment. Bolton said when instructions are followed and the basics are learned, canning is a fairly easy process.
Amy Fried, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Maine Public Broadcasting Network report about one of Gov. Paul LePage’s recent appointments to the University of Maine System Board of Trustees. LePage nominated Susan Dench, who leads the Falmouth-based Informed Women’s Network that encourages women to advocate for conservative views and is a former blogger for the Bangor Daily News where she wrote a controversial column on the influence of feminism in schools, the report states. “Most appointees to the board of trustees are not particularly well known. In this case, Gov. LePage has picked someone who has a very strong public profile,” Fried said, adding that by choosing Dench, the governor is sticking with his well-established, political approach of appealing to his voting base.
WVII (Channel 7) reported on a panel discussion about how science is represented on film at the Penobscot Theatre in Bangor. Neil Comins, a University of Maine professor of physics and astronomy, and Marcella Sorg, a medical and forensic anthropologist at UMaine, were part of the panel that touched on the silver-screen portrayals of topics from physics to zombies. The talk, titled “Good, Bad and Ugly: Science in Film,” was a preview event for the first Maine Science Festival to be held in March 2015.
The University of Maine was mentioned in a Maine Public Broadcasting Network report about the Portland-based Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) receiving $1.1 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Energy to help study how winged creatures such as bats and birds avoid wind turbines. The project is a partnership between BRI, UMaine, the UK-based HiDef Aerial Surveying and First Wind, the report states.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension has published a new bulletin about strengthening a community’s capacity for cross-cultural conversation.
Jane Haskell, UMaine Extension professor, and Ashley Storrow, assistant program manager with Language Partners and Refugee and Immigration Services of Catholic Charities Maine, co-authored Using Refugee Voices to Improve Cross Cultural Conversations: Research with New Mainers.
Researchers in 2013–2014 investigated communication methods to better understand newly arrived refugees’ perceptions and experiences. Agencies can implement the findings to help ensure new Mainers’ voices are heard and to build effective programs that meet communities’ needs. The four-page bulletin discusses immigration and resettlement, and includes an explanation of the scope of the research project, along with recommendations.
Untreated and sustained hypertension has an adverse effect on brain structure and function, and is a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. Blood pressure (BP) variability from measurement-to-measurement has been associated with lower cognitive functioning and is considered a stronger predictor of mental performance than averaged BP.
However, recent studies suggest that BP measurements on a single health care office visit are insufficient to detect relations between variability in BP and cognitive performance, as compared to significantly more expensive ambulatory blood pressure assessments in the home.
In a new study published in Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association, a team of University of Maine investigators report that BP assessments during an office visit using an optimal measurement procedure are sufficient to find relations between blood pressure variability and cognitive performance and function. The UMaine researchers also report that the relation between higher BP variability and cognitive performance is seen only for hypertensive individuals whose blood pressure cannot be reduced to normal levels (140/90 mmHg), despite aggressive treatment and sustained treatment.
Using the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Data (MSLS) set, the UMaine study employed 972 community-dwelling women and men who are free from stroke, dementia and kidney disease requiring dialysis (mean age 62 years, range 23-98 years). In cross-sectional analyses, the researchers found variability in BP and averaged BP from 15 BP measurements at a single study visit were related to cognitive function, including measures of overall performance, fluid ability and abstract reasoning ability.
They also found variability in BP was a stronger predictor of cognitive ability than averaged BP, with statistical control for demographic variables, including age, cardiovascular risk factors, and cardiovascular disease.
There were four important new findings in the UMaine study:
- There were no significant relations between variability in BP and cognition with only two assessments at a single occasion.
- Measuring BP values five times in each of three positions — sitting, reclining and standing — resulted in the strongest relations between variability in BP and cognition.
- Variability in diastolic BP was a stronger predictor of cognitive performance than variability in systolic BP.
- These relations were only seen in persons for whom BP could not be reduced to normal levels despite aggressive treatment.
The findings are clinically important because scheduling demands in health care settings and research studies often result in only one or two BP measurements being taken in the sitting position. Including measurements of recumbent and standing BP can increase the information gained about variability in BP, according to the UMaine researchers.
Office visit BP readings can be used as an important preliminary diagnostic tool in terms of future brain injury and cognitive decline at very low cost, compared to more expensive ambulatory BP methods, say the researchers. Further, these findings indicate that the target of concern for relations between variability and cognition are important in treatment-resistant hypertension, where BP is not reduced to acceptable levels.
Research literature suggests that averaged BP values do not capture the beat-to-beat high and low values in BP, which may be more destructive to the brain than high steady-state average pressure on the arterial wall.
The Maine-Syracuse Study, initiated in 1975, was the first longitudinal study specifically devoted to the study of hypertension and cognitive performance and has been supported by the National Institute on Aging and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of NIH for many years. UMaine’s MSLS investigators include Georgina Crichton, who also is affiliated with the National Physiology Research Centre, University of South Australia. Crichton, the lead author of the journal article, had research support from the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia.
Other members of the UMaine research team: Merrill Elias and Michael Robbins, faculty members in the Department of Psychology and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Maine; Gregory Dore, a former UMaine student now at the National Institute of Aging in Baltimore; and Rachel Torres, an undergraduate research assistant in psychology.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 581.3745
University of Maine President Sue Hunter met with the Bangor Daily News to discuss her goals, the challenges UMaine faces and the role the university should play in the state’s economic future. Hunter spoke about the UMaine’s 150-year-old tradition of being the state’s land grant university, and what that means in terms of teaching, research, economic development and public service. Hunter also spoke about the Signature and Emerging Areas and the importance of enrollment management.