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University of Maine News
News from the University of Maine
Updated: 8 hours 12 min ago
The Bangor Daily News published the latest article in the yearlong “The People Next Door” series by Sandra Butler, a professor of social work at the University of Maine, and Luisa Deprez, a professor and department chair of sociology and women and gender studies at the University of Southern Maine. “She escaped domestic violence, but now she needs to start over in Maine,” is the pair’s latest column to share stories of Mainers struggling in today’s economy.
The University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center has completed static strength testing of a 56-meter (184-foot) wind turbine blade for Gamesa, a global technological leader in the wind industry, based in Spain. The blade was manufactured in North America and delivered to the University of Maine in late August.
In the testing, the blade was subjected to loads in four directions to prove the structure met international strength standards.
The Gamesa blade was the largest tested to date in the UMaine Offshore Wind Laboratory. The full-service facility offers testing and material characterization services for every stage of blade development. The lab, which opened in 2011, was funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Maine Technology Asset Fund through the Maine Technology Institute, and a 2010 Maine bond.
“We are honored to have served one of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers,” said Habib Dagher, director of the UMaine Composites Center. “This is the biggest structure we have tested to date, extending nearly 80 percent of the length of our blade test lab.”
“Our engineers, technicians and students did a great job designing, building and operating the equipment needed to safely rotate and test the 56-meter blade,” said John Arimond, the business development executive with the UMaine Composites Center. Arimond joined UMaine in 2013 after 28 years in industry, most recently serving as CTO of a New Zealand-based manufacturer of 500-kilowatt wind turbines.
Juan Diego Díaz, marketing director for Gamesa, said his company is excited to be partnering with UMaine for blade testing. “North America was a logical place to conduct this important step in our product development, supporting our growing commercial opportunities in that region and globally. We were impressed by the testing quality, safety and attention to detail provided by the UMaine team in successfully testing our blade,” said Díaz.
Contact: Josh Plourde, 207.581.2117; email@example.com
In a holiday tips story Dec. 23, health reporter Diane Atwood cited the research of UMaine psychologist Sandy Sigmon and ways to avoid the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
A Bangor Daily News story about events statewide for welcoming in the new year includes the children’s activities planned at the University of Maine Museum of Art. More information about the Dec. 31 UMMA family event is online.
UMaine School of Economics energy expert Jonathan Rubin was quoted in a Detroit News story on the downside of low gas prices. Rubin and other economists told the Detroit News that, while low fuel prices have short-term economic benefits, there can be serious long-term consequences, including increased sales of larger, less energy-efficient vehicles. “It’s a lost opportunity,” Rubin said. “New vehicles last for 16 years, on average. So whatever momentum we saw toward smaller cars will slow.”
The founder and faculty adviser of the community outreach organization MBS Corps at the University of Maine is this year’s recipient of the Steve Gould Award.
Nory Jones is a professor of management information systems in the Maine Business School who joined the UMaine community in September 2001.
MBS Corps was established in 2005 in the Maine Business School as a way for students to help small Maine-based nonprofit organizations while developing their leadership, organizational, management, marketing, networking and other business skills.
MBS Corps won the 2013 Active Citizenship Award from UMaine’s Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism.
This academic year, 20 students are actively involved in MBS Corps, participating in projects that include food drives to benefit community pantries, and volunteer efforts with the Ronald McDonald House, Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, Spruce Run and the Bangor Humane Society.
Most recently, MBS Corps students worked with Aunt Nellie’s Attic in Holden, the retail arm of Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor, providing operations analysis and a marketing plan to increase revenues.
The students also have served as Troop Greeters at Bangor International Airport — an initiative Jones has been volunteering for since 2008. At UMaine, Jones chairs the UMaine Student Veterans Advisory Committee.
In nominating Jones, the staff of the Maine Business School noted that she “epitomizes the spirit, achievement and zest for life that Steve Gould espoused.”
The annual Steve Gould Award was created to honor the former UMaine police chief. Gould had a 14-year career with the Maine State Police before joining the UMaine community in 1956. During his 13 years as UMaine police chief, Gould was noted for his student-centered approach. Gould was an active community volunteer and musician who went on to serve in the Maine House of Representatives.
The Steve Gould Award will be presented to Jones as part of the Employee Recognition Luncheon in March.
The woodworking art of UMaine new media major Travis Higgins was featured in a Bangor Daily News story. Higgins makes 3-D cribbage boards using the state-of-the-art tools at UMaine’s Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center.
The Portland Press Herald noted that the University of Maine Museum of Art is featuring the works of four artists — John Gallagher, Suzanne Laura Kammin, Roz Leibowitz and Matt Phillips. The exhibits are on display through Jan. 3.
Six new faculty grant projects, including two based in the community, have been funded by the University of Maine Humanities Center (UMHC).
Jordan LaBouff, assistant professor of psychology and honors, is collaborating with the Penobscot Theatre on the play End Days, opening in March as part of the Maine Science Festival. The collaboration will include panel discussions with the creative team, local faith leaders, audiences and undergraduate researchers who will measure changes in attitudes toward science and the humanities as a result of this work.
The second UMHC-funded public engagement project is led by Kirsten Jacobson, associate professor of philosophy, who has gathered a large group of Orono High School faculty and students, as well as UMaine faculty, staff and students to develop shared humanities programs in the area.
A third UMHC-funded project supports the joint work of Jennifer Moxley, professor of English, and Beth Wiemann, professor of music, who have co-authored the chamber opera Until the War Is Over, adapted from an autobiographical novel by the American poet H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), and set during air raids on London in World War I.
Two summer research projects also have been funded: Josh Roiland, assistant professor of communications and journalism and honors, will examine extensive manuscript material by the pioneering nonfiction and creative writer David Foster Wallace at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin; Carlos Villacorta, assistant professor of Spanish, will do archival work in Lima, Peru, on that metropolis’ distinctive poetry during an era of rapid political and economic change in the 1970s.
In the History Department, Mazie Hough, associate professor of history and director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, and Howard Segal, the Adelaide C. and Alan L. Bird Professor of History, will convene a series of discussions about pedagogy that will culminate with an end-of-semester conference to highlight the work of undergraduates, graduate students and faculty, and will include online publication of the best research papers by history majors in the senior seminar capstone course.
The UMaine Humanities Center, established in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2010, advances exceptional research and teaching by humanities faculty and works to share our rich resources through meaningful collaboration with communities across the state. UMHC’s next grant deadline is Jan. 26, 2015. More information about UMHC is available online (umaine.edu/umhc) or by contacting director Liam Riordan, firstname.lastname@example.org; 207.581.1913.
At the annual UMaine Employee Holiday Lunch on Dec. 17, the Classified Employees Advisory Council collected 277 pounds of nonperishable food items and $52 to benefit the Black Bear Exchange, the campus-based food pantry and clothing exchange. This was the second holiday donation drive coordinated by CEAC to support the Black Bear Exchange. Upward of 800 members of the UMaine community attended the lunch.
The research of Michelle Smith, assistant professor in the School of Biology and Ecology, is the focus of a National Science Foundation Discovery feature, “Rules of engagement: Transforming the teaching of college-level science.” Smith is the principal investigator on four projects and a co-principal investor on another, all aimed at improving nationwide science instruction and assessments. The Dec. 18 NSF story notes that Smith is a science education advocate and molecular biologist who “uses her analytical background to create teaching strategies that energize both students and faculty.” The story quotes UMaine faculty Mary Tyler and Farahad Dastoor, and includes photos by UMaine student Amanda Clark.
The University of Maine was highlighted in a MassLive.com story about Paperlogic, a 120-year-old paper mill in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, seeking to make new products with innovative cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) produced at the university. UMaine was recently awarded $350,000 to construct a commercial-scale CNF manufacturing plant with a capacity of 2 tons per day. The plant will accelerate CNF commercialization by making large quantities of it available to support the growth in application development activities. Paperlogic is a collaborator on the plant project that is funded by P3Nano.
Foster’s Daily Democrat carried a University of Maine Cooperative Extension release announcing that Jan. 5 is the deadline to apply for the Master Gardener Volunteer training in York County that begins Jan. 27 at the Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen St., Springvale.
University of Maine Climate Change Institute scientists Paul Mayewski, Sean Birkel and Ivan Fernandez shared their research about climate change with Keith Shortall on MPBN’s Maine Calling, an interactive radio program.
Several media outlets, including the Portland Press Herald, Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported University of Maine men’s ice hockey coach Red Gendron will annually donate 5 percent of his salary to the Grant Standbrook Maine Hockey Forever Fund. Tom and Sally Savage have pledged $1 million to match endowment gifts from UMaine men’s ice hockey players and coaches. Standbrook, UMaine’s assistant men’s ice hockey coach and primary recruiter from 1988 to 2008, won national titles with the Black Bears in 1993 and 1999. The Associated Press report of the Standbrook Fund ran in papers nationwide.
Several Bangor Metro entrepreneurial award recipients are graduates of the University of Maine.
Abe and Heather Furth, who graduated in 2004, own Verve, Woodman’s Grill and The Orono Brewing Co. “Brewery tourism is growing, and we hope that our brewery will help bring more people to Orono. We think this will help Orono become the college town we know it can be,” said Heath Furth about the recent opening of the brewery.
Winner Gerry Nasberg, owner of Pat’s Pizza in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor, earned an MBA at UMaine. He says 20,000 UMaine grads who live in the Ellsworth area most likely ate a pizza or two at Pat’s when they were in school. He thought that nostalgia would attract customers and it has.
After being inducted into the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame, University of Maine graduate and football all-star John Huard spoke highly of his Black Bear teammates in a Bangor Daily News article.
“The University of Maine was phenomenal and our guys were really close … I just reflect back to the fact that we were never bigger, we were never faster or stronger, but we always found a way to win. To me that speaks volumes to the character and the type of people in Maine and at the University of Maine,” says Huard, a two-time All-Yankee Conference first-team selection, played for the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints.
Former University of Maine men’s ice hockey goalie Scott Darling was included in a Washington Post blog that recapped “Road to the NHL Winter Classic” on Epix.
Darling has made his way to the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL after he quit drinking alcohol several years ago and sought help for social anxiety. He rattled off the squads he’s been on since he left UMaine: Louisiana IceGators, Reading Royals, Florida Everblades, Mississippi RiverKings, Las Vegas Wranglers, Wheeling Nailers, Wichita Thunder, Cincinnati Cyclones, Charlotte Checkers, Hamilton Bulldogs, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Milwaukee Admirals, Rockford Ice Hogs and Chicago Blackhawks.
A professorship in petrology and mineralogy has been established in the University of Maine by UMaine research professor Edward Grew.
The Edward Sturgis Grew Professorship will allow for the hiring of a tenure-eligible faculty member in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences in the 2016 academic year. The professorship will focus on teaching and research in igneous and/or metamorphic petrology, geochemistry and mineralogy, and will be part of the Geodynamics, Crustal Studies and Earth Rheology research group.
Grew, a research professor of geological sciences, also established an Earth Sciences Endowment Fund in the University of Maine Foundation to support the educational and research activities of students.
This is the second professorship created in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture through private donations in the past two years. In 2013, Farm Credit of Maine (which merged with Farm Credit East on Jan. 1, 2014) established a term professorship in agricultural economics and agricultural finance. Xuan Chen was appointed to the professorship to teach production economics, assist with agricultural and natural resource-based industry cost-of-production studies, and lead the UMaine’s Farm Credit Fellowship Program.
Farm Credit East, a nearly century-old cooperative, has a long history of hiring UMaine graduates.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
John Linehan and Beau, Franklin Park Zoo
Photo courtesy Zoo New England
In 1980, John Linehan planned to use his University of Maine degree in wildlife management to improve the lives of wild animals by working in Africa, Alaska or Maine.
While waiting for that dream job to materialize, he took a temporary position in what, for him at that time, was an unlikely field — zookeeping.
As a child growing up in Canton, Massachusetts, Linehan was fascinated by the animals, but found zoos sad and depressing in their approach to helping the public appreciate the beauty and importance of animals.
Years later, the same was true when he got his first zoo keeping job at Boston’s 72-acre Franklin Park Zoo, founded in 1912. And it wasn’t just at that zoo. The nearby 26-acre Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Massachusetts, founded in 1905, held the same disappointment.
“When I first started, the two zoos were a joke. They only had farm animals and birds for exhibits. Not only that, inebriated people could just walk right in with no problem, and people could even bring their dogs in. It was an unsafe situation for both animals and humans,” says Linehan.
Yet Linehan stayed on because there were so many opportunities for him to make a difference. Every time his weekend came and he was off work for a couple of days, he would always think, “Will these animals be OK if I’m not there?”
He worked as a temporary laborer, zookeeper, head zookeeper, and mammal curator for 21 years. Throughout, Linehan voiced his opinions, concerns and enacted changes in an effort to improve Franklin Park for the animals and the patrons. He also worked to help establish Zoo New England — a nonprofit corporation created in 1991 to operate both Franklin and Stone zoos.
In 2002, Linehan was named president and CEO of Zoo New England, with a depth of experience and high expectations to move the zoological parks more in the direction of educational outreach and conservation.
Today, Zoo New England’s mission is to “inspire people to protect and sustain the natural world for future generations by creating fun and engaging experiences that integrate wildlife and conservation programs, research and education.”
“Ultimately, modern zoos are a critical component in introducing urban kids to nature,” Linehan says. “The zoos introduce the kids to the environment that will lead to a heightened appreciation and understanding of the animals, which will hopefully lead to learning about them in a higher education and, ultimately, will lead to them conserving the animals they grew to love.”
Zoo New England is committed to creating an emotional and intellectual connection to animals. Rather than making zoos a passive experience in which people simply view the wildlife, Linehan is working to make the exhibits more interactive, particularly so that children can learn while having fun.
To jump-start that process, Franklin Park is building a new children’s zoo that will have fewer animals, but is more interactive and features learning-based activities.
“The planet is like a fuse. If we don’t do anything, soon enough all biological ecosystems will start unraveling,” says Linehan of the importance of educating younger generations.
Linehan’s work focuses on conserving ecosystems and everything in them. That’s why Zoo New England is a participates in conservation projects, locally and around the globe.
For example, one of Franklin Park Zoo’s head veterinarians also does fieldwork in the cloud forest area of Panama, helping to reintroduce the golden frog that is extinct in the wild. His work involves not only the amphibians, but also human inhabitants in the area, recruiting them to help in the reintroduction effort.
In addition, Franklin Park has introduced a conservation awareness-raising Quarter Token program, called Quarters for Conservation,in which 25 cents of patrons’ admission fees goes toward conservation projects. Visitors receive a token upon admission that they then can deposit on-site toward one of a handful of conservation projects. Not only do the visitors know that they are helping to conserve species, they can be involved in deciding which project to fund.
Linehan admits that, even now as a zoo CEO able to bring his leadership vision to bear on improving zoos, he still misses hands-on zookeeping. Now he can only watch as zookeepers and curators perform the duties he used to do. Today he is more of a facilitator, making sure the zoos are running efficiently, and the animals are safe and healthy.
He also gets great satisfaction in helping people — from zoo patrons and donors to urban youths in his after-school programs — gain a healthy perspective on the wild kingdom and its place on the planet.
Making a difference is important to Linehan.
“I want people to come to my zoos and think, ‘Wow, those animals are incredible. What can I do in my life to make sure they don’t go extinct?’” he says.
People need to know that ecosystems are like a neighborhood, says Linehan, and that we have a reliance on other animals and that we share the planet with them.