University of Maine News
Amy Witt, home horticulturist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County, spoke with The Forecaster for the article “Falmouth garden fertile ground for UMaine farm educators” about UMaine Extension’s Falmouth demonstration garden. Witt said common teaching themes at the garden include farming skills to help with food security and sustainable practices.
Penobscot Bay Pilot included an article on cold-water coral research by Rhian Waller, an associate research professor in the School of Marine Sciences. Waller’s two-year project is titled “Cold Corals in Hot Water — Investigating the physiological responses of Antarctic coral larvae to climate change stress.”
The Bangor Daily News published an opinion piece by Amy Blackstone, a sociology professor at the University of Maine, titled “Setting the record straight on 6 myths about childless adults.”
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network included a statement from Jim Bird, a science librarian at the University of Maine and director of the Orono Bog Boardwalk, about a quarrying proposal near the bog. In Bird’s written testimony he submitted to the Orono planning board, he said the bog is home to a variety of plants and animals unique to bogs and highly sensitive to environmental changes.
The Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) were among several news organizations to report Maria Lewis, University of Maine women’s ice hockey coach, was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation focusing on NCAA compliance issues. The Island Packet and Boston.com also carried a report by The Associated Press.
The Portland Press Herald and Offshore Wind reported two environmental groups — Environment Northeast and the Conservation Law Foundation — are pressing the Maine Public Utilities Commission and the University of Maine to release the details of an offshore wind power project proposal.
The University of Maine School of Performing Arts music faculty will present its annual Cadenzato concert featuring small vocal and music ensembles at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5 in Minsky Recital Hall on the Orono campus. Admission is $9, or free with a valid student MaineCard. For tickets or disability accommodations, call the Collins Center for the Arts, 207.581.1755. Tickets may also be purchased at the door one hour before the show.
Empowering female and minority high school students, their teachers and communities to create innovative solutions to the environmental problems related to stormwater management is the goal of a new three-year project at the University of Maine, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The more than $735,000 award from NSF’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is part of the portfolio of projects of Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine. It is expected to involve approximately 180 Maine high school students and 45 teachers in hands-on projects led by science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals in areas such as engineering design, science, computer modeling and information technology to monitor and map water quality around several Maine communities.
The UMaine award was announced Sept. 17 by NSF as one of five projects aimed at broadening STEM participation through regional improvements to education and human resources infrastructure. A news release about the other projects at the University of New Hampshire, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nevada System of Higher Education and University of Kentucky Research Foundation is online.
The goal of UMaine’s project, which will begin in January 2014, is to attract students who are often underrepresented in the engineering field to STEM education by investigating innovative and cost-effective solutions to local stormwater problems.
“Bringing together a diverse community of high school and middle school students, teachers, local and regional water authorities, environmental protection groups and tribal communities with university scientists and students, this project has the potential to make significant improvements in water quality across the state while engaging participants in STEM education.
“Using the tools of engineering technology, real-time data management and Web-based digital mapping, students will be directly involved in every project stage — from design of water-quality sensing units to implementation of community outreach programs about stormwater pollution issues,” according to Mohamad Musavi, UMaine associate dean of the College of Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering, who is also the principal investigator of the project.
The project activities will begin in the summer of 2014 with a five-day Stormwater Institute at the University of Maine, to introduce the students and their teachers to the issues, science and engineering related to managing stormwater runoff.
With a focus on investigating and improving water quality, which plays a role in the health of our environment and economy, the project is expected to attract a variety of individuals and community groups.
Along with advancing the knowledge of a variety of students and teachers in STEM education, the project will produce new watershed maps and management plans for several streams that will lead to improved water quality.
In the long term, the research aims to benefit society by offering a viable and cost-effective solution to the problem of stormwater through a project that has been designed to be replicated, scaled and used by other educators nationwide.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
WLBZ (Channel 2) reported on University of Maine sociologist Amy Blackstone’s appearance on Katie Couric’s talk show ‘Katie.’ Blackstone, chair of UMaine’s Sociology Department, shared her research and personal experience about being a childfree adult.
The Bangor Daily News, WLBZ (Channel 2) and Bloomberg Businessweek were among several news organizations to report on the Marine Energy International Symposium being held at the University of Maine. A delegation of 11 scientists and industry officials from Japan are visiting UMaine for the three-day conference on tidal power. The conference is a collaborative exchange between Maine Tidal Power Initiative researchers and Japanese institutions.
Judy Smith, community outreach assistant for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Franklin County, spoke with the Sun Journal for an article about a 4-H photo display at the Farmington Fair. Smith said the display is one of several ways 4-H leaders have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of 10 active clubs in Franklin County. She also said she hopes people will identify themselves or others in the photos.
The latest article of the Bangor Daily News column by Wayne Reilly on Bangor’s history a century ago cited an article written by Richard Judd, University of Maine history professor and chair of the History Department. The column refers to Judd’s ‘interesting’ article on the movement to build better roads in Maine that was published in the June 2008 issue of the Maine Historical Society’s Maine History.
A Portland Press Herald opinion piece by Mike Tipping titled “Once LePage showed compassion, now all he does is urge cuts,” cites a study by Sandra Butler, a University of Maine social work professor. Butler’s study, “TANF Time Limits and Maine Families: Consequences of Withdrawing the Safety Net,” found 39 percent of the 16,000 people who lost Temporary Assistance for Needy Families because of new time limits have a work-limiting disability and 26 percent have a child with a disability.
Music, theatre and dance performances by accomplished faculty, students and guest artists are among the fall events to be presented by the University of Maine School of Performing Arts.
The season opens Sept. 20 with a “Dear Darwin” concert with music faculty members Nancy Ellen Ogle and Ginger Yang Hwalek.
On Oct. 27, for the first time, the Jazz Ensemble will join the University of Maine Symphonic band for a concert at the Collins Center for the Arts.
Mary Zimmerman’s November play “Metamorphoses” promises to be a splash; much of it will take place in a large swimming pool on the Hauck Auditorium stage. The play is based on the classic Ovid poem, “Metamorphoses.”
More than 100 vocalists will sing in the annual Yuletide Choral Concert on Dec. 8 at the Collins Center for the Arts.
Ludlow Hallman, music department interim chair and longtime professor, will conduct his last oratorio, “Ein deutsches Requiem” by Johannes Brahms, on Dec. 15 at the Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center.
In addition, ensemble concerts, a Reader’s Theatre series and several dance performances, including the featured Fall Dance Showcase Dec. 12–14, will be held. The School of Performing Arts marching and pep bands also play at UMaine athletic events.
Admission prices vary. Events are free for UMaine students with a valid MaineCard. For more information or to request disability accommodations, visit umaine.edu/spa.
Staff from the University of Maine Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory will participate in the fifth annual Acadia Night Sky Festival from 8–10 p.m. Sept. 28 on the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.
Planetarium staff will point out constellations and other night sky features visible with the naked eye, binoculars and telescopes. Shuttle buses will transport visitors from Hulls Cove Visitor Center to the 1,530-foot-high summit free of charge for the event, which is weather-dependent. Call 207.200.1536 for updates.
The Acadia Night Sky Festival in Bar Harbor runs Sept. 26–30. For more information, visit acadianightskyfestival.com.
The University of Maine School of Performing Arts Theatre/Dance Division presents “Spam Rants: slightly raw, fried, burnt, but never boiled” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 in Minsky Recital Hall on the Orono campus.
“Spam Rants: slightly raw, fried, burnt, but never boiled” is by Libra Professor William Yellow Robe Jr. and friends. It’s based on a collection of writings posted on social media about a variety of social issues.
This is the first installment of the 2013–14 Reader’s Theatre series. Admission is free. For disability accommodations, contact the School of Performing Arts, 207.581.1781.
Habib Dagher, a University of Maine engineering professor, was profiled in a first-person feature in Boston Globe Magazine. The article focused on Dagher’s dream of creating offshore floating wind turbines to help power the region and how he is getting closer to reaching his goal with the development of VolturnUS, a turbine created by his team, the UMaine-led DeepCwind Consortium.
The Morning Sentinel reported a group of seven current and former University of Maine students from around the state will attempt to launch an 18-foot-tall, 500-pound rocket they designed and built nearly 35 miles into the atmosphere. The test flight will take place in Nevada during the fourth week of September. If successful, the students’ design will serve as a model for smaller rockets built in classroom’s around the country.
The Associated Press reported a delegation of scientists and industry officials from Japan are visiting the University of Maine for a three-day conference on tidal power. The 11 visitors will attend the Marine Energy International Symposium from Monday through Wednesday. The conference is a collaborative exchange between Maine Tidal Power Initiative researchers and Japanese institutions. The Portland Press Herald and San Francisco Chronicle were among news organizations to carry the report.
The Bangor Daily News spoke with Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, for the analysis “Is LePage’s recent focus on welfare reform a preview of his top 2014 campaign theme?” Brewer said he thinks recent arguments by the Republican Party around welfare reform are pre-staging the 2014 elections. The article also cited a study by the University of Maine and Maine Equal Justice Partners titled “TANF Time Limits and Maine Families: Consequences of Withdrawing the Safety Net.”