- Events Calendar
- Graduate School News
- Student Diversity
- Student Center
- Faculty Hub
University of Maine News
News from the University of Maine
Updated: 2 hours 49 min ago
The Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal reported Maine artists, 50 and older, are invited to participate in the Senior College at Belfast 13th annual Festival of Art May 21–24 at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast. The event is co-sponsored by Senior College at Belfast and the University of Maine Hutchinson Center. Amateur and professional artists are welcome. Registration ends March 31.
Craig Russell and Kristen Russell, two members of the University of Maine’s event safety team in the Department of Safety and Environmental Management, will be among those honored as “Real Heroes” by the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross of Maine. The Real Heroes program recognizes “ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” going above and beyond to serve others. The Russells were cited for their quick actions that saved the life of a man attending the Sportsmen’s Show on campus in 2014. The two were the first responders on the scene when one of the attendees went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. The Russells radioed for an ambulance, performed CPR and used an AED on the man, who was breathing and talking by the time medical personnel arrived. This year’s Heroes Breakfast will be April 15 at Jeff’s Catering and Event Center, Brewer. More information is online.
Damian Brady, assistant research professor in the School of Marine Sciences, has been awarded $25,294 to improve a sediment model of the Chester River in Maryland in order to enhance the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Modeling Package that is utilized to clean the bay. Water-quality models provide information about how much pollution — in the form of nutrients from wastewater treatment plants and inorganic fertilizers — it takes to create dead, or hypoxic, zones, in Chesapeake Bay. Brady says models are proficient at determining the relationship between pollution and ecosystem damage, but they’re less proficient at predicting the impact of nutrient pollution on shallow water connected with sediment underneath. The University of Maryland is administering the funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The project began in June 2014 and continues through May 2016.
Jesica Waller, a University of Maine graduate student, spoke about her research with The Boston Globe for the article, “Rising acid levels in oceans imperil region’s shellfish.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists found a surge of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from fossil fuels has made oceans on average 30 percent more acidic at the surface since the Industrial Revolution, and they predict oceans will become 150 percent more acidic by 2100, according to the article. Waller and researchers at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay are studying the effect of more acidic water on lobster larvae and copepods. Initial findings have shown a decline in respiration rates of the larvae and copepods in waters that simulate the chemistry of the oceans that scientists predict for the next century, the article states. Lower breathing rates could reduce swimming speeds, according to Waller. “That shows us some part of their physiology may be compromised, and that they may be experiencing internal stress,” she said.
Renae Moran, a tree fruit specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, gave her predictions on this year’s apple season for the Kennebec Journal article “Maine’s cold winter and slow-starting spring are good for apple crops, expert says.” Moran said the colder and snowier winter has been good for apples, and she is “optimistic” about the season, which typically runs from August through October. She said the snow cover hasn’t been deep enough to be a problem for apple trees across Maine, and temperatures have remained stable and freezing without often reaching dangerously low levels that could harm trees, according to the article. A forecasted slight rise in temperatures over the next couple weeks also will benefit the trees, Moran said. She did caution that the deep snow could crust in spring, which would harm trees by breaking off low-hanging branches. It “could be bad,” she said, but it’s too early to tell, the article states.
Foster’s Daily Democrat published a University of Maine news release about Doles Orchard in Limington and Portland-based Allagash Brewing Co. donating money to Maine AgrAbility. Doles Orchard owners Nancy and Earl Bunting began working with Allagash in 2010 when brewers inquired about purchasing their sour cherries to use in a fermented beer. The farmers have since provided the company with more than 6,000 pounds of cherries, as well as custom-built wood crates to ship the beer. In honor of the Buntings, the brewery named its October 2014 limited edition beer “Nancy.” When Allagash officials asked Nancy, who severed four fingers in a table saw accident two years ago, which group she’d like a portion of the beer’s proceeds to be donated to, she did some online research. She stumbled upon AgrAbility — the nationwide U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded program established to assist farmers, ranchers and other agricultural workers and farm family members impacted by a limiting health condition. In Maine, the program is a nonprofit partnership between the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and Alpha One. “To educate people about the program is a huge thing,” Nancy said. “I’m happy to be getting the word out about this great program and all the ways it can help people.” Allagash Brewing has gifted nearly $10,000 to the organization.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network reported on three sheep shearing schools offered by the Maine Sheep Breeders Association and University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The schools, which will be offered in March and April, are designed for people with different levels of experience. Richard Brzozowski, a small ruminant and poultry specialist with UMaine Extension, said as farming continues to grow, a shearing skills gap is starting to be noticed. “Everybody that has sheep wants to have good-quality wool or the highest quality wool they can,” Brzozowski said. “And if the shearer doesn’t know what he or she is doing, they can mess up a nice fleece pretty quickly.”
Sean Birkel, a research assistant professor at the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute (CCI), was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about the Department of Homeland Security partnering with the state of Maine for the first study of the effects of climate change on energy, water, transportation and telecommunications systems. CCI has been researching the effects of climate change for more than a decade, according to the article. Birkel said the work that has been conducted in the last year will help communities better understand the challenges that lie ahead. “We know that climate boundary conditions are changing,” he said. “We can’t provide all the answers yet, though.”
Kate Garland, a horticulturist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was interviewed by the Bangor Daily News for an article about Maine’s increase of community gardens. “I think it’s due to the interest in locally sourced food but also knowing where your food comes from, and a lot of folks are realizing they don’t have the resources they need in their backyard,” Garland said of the increase. The article also included tips from UMaine Extension on how to organize a community garden.
Tim Godaire, a graduate student in the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “There’s a better option than Keystone XL pipeline to create jobs.” Godaire also is a member of the Bangor chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Lois Berg Stack, an ornamental horticulture specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke at the 2015 New England Grow trade show in Boston, according to the latest column in the Portland Press Herald’s Maine Gardener series. Stack spoke about research she is conducting on what native plants are most beneficial to bees and how those plants could attract younger gardeners, according to the article. “Young people are not gardening, but they are concerned about the environment and concerned about bees,” she said. “If we can get them to plant a little place for pollinators, there is huge potential.”
Youth in grades K–12 are invited to learn about horses with large animal veterinarians at a University of Maine 4-H Science Saturday workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 4 at the J.F. Witter Teaching and Research Center, 160 University Farm Road, Orono.
Youth will learn to use stethoscopes on a model of a horse heart and learn to understand sounds as a basis for a physical exam, focusing on digestive, heart, percussion of feet and hoof sounds. Participants also will learn about training a Standardbred for riding, conformation and judging.
Anne Lichtenwalner, UMaine Extension veterinarian, and Robert Causey, associate professor, animal and veterinary sciences, will lead the workshop.
The $8 fee includes the program and lunch. Registration materials are online. Maximum enrollment is 40; March 27 is the deadline to register. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Jessica Brainerd, 581.3877. The program is supported by the Maine 4-H Foundation.
The National Science Foundation awarded $657,000 to Acadia Harvest Inc. (AHI), which is working to achieve a commercial-scale, land-based, indoor Maine seafood farm with low to zero waste. AHI, which formed in 2011, has conducted collaborative research at the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) in Franklin, to advance the technology of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) used to raise fish, including California yellowtail and black sea bass. The grant will enable AHI to increase the scale of its research project and to add new species for studies in an integrated saltwater system. The goal, says AHI officials, is to deliver fresh seafood from Maine to people throughout the U.S., perhaps by 2017–2018.
Sarah Redmond, a marine extension associate with the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine, was quoted in Down East magazine’s article “Kelp: It’s What’s for Dinner,” published in the March 2015 issue. Redmond said when most people think of seaweed, they picture plants that have been washed up on the beach. “There’s just not a lot of awareness that we have all these amazing sea vegetables in our own backyard,” she said. “What we’re talking about are beautiful, healthy, living sea plants.”
University of Maine economist Todd Gabe’s 2014 study on the maple industry’s financial impact on the state was cited in the Sun Journal article “Unseasonable cold, deep snow hindering Maine maple syrup season start.” According to Gabe’s study, Maine’s maple industry contributes an estimated $27.7 million directly to the state’s economy. The study also found the industry, which counts the licensed producers, and sales at retail food stores and businesses affected by Maine Maple Sunday, generates 567 full- and part-time jobs and $17.3 million in labor income, the article states.
WABI (Channel 5) previewed the University of Maine’s fourth annual Summer Camp Fair to be held 4–7 p.m. March 11 in the New Balance Student Recreation Center on campus. Representatives from more than 50 summer camps will be on hand to provide information and answer questions about the available programming for children and teenagers. The fair is free and open to the public. All attendees will receive a free day pass to the New Balance Student Recreation Center. More information about the Summer Camp Fair for Kids is online.
The University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute (CCI) was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article about Sen. Angus King partnering with Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to influence U.S. policies on Arctic issues. King and Murkowski announced the creation of an “Arctic Caucus” in the Senate, stating they believe the United States should be a leader in guiding international policy decisions that affect the Arctic, according to the article. The partnership shows that Maine for the first time wants to play a role in shaping U.S. policy on Arctic issues and that CCI has focused much of its research on the Arctic, the article states.
John Bear Mitchell, Wabanaki Center Outreach and Student Development Coordinator at the University of Maine and University of Maine System Native American Waiver Coordinator, was quoted in a Morning Sentinel article about the debate over the American Indian image Skowhegan schools are using as a sports mascot. The issue was discussed during a school board meeting that followed the superintendent’s talk with a former chief of the Penobscot Nation, according to the article. Mitchell, who has been involved in the debate, said people who support use of Indian images and nicknames for sports teams believe mascots aren’t racist because they themselves aren’t offended, and that “tradition” often is used to defend the mascots, the article states.
The Sun Journal reported on a grant-writing workshop in Augusta being offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The March 23 event is designed for people interested in submitting federal applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program. The training is free; online registration is required by March 16. UMaine Extension is conducting the workshop under the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance Project, in collaboration with the Maine Federation of Farmers Markets and the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension presents “Weird Maine Fermentables” in the Saturday, March 21 installment of the yearlong “From Scratch: Your Maine Kitchen” series.
UMaine Extension educator Kathy Savoie and guest instructors will discuss fermented foods, including kefir, kombucha, tempeh and maple-sweetened goat milk yogurt, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
They also will talk about equipment and the safety of fermentation, as well as demonstrate the process. In the fermentation process, natural bacteria feed on sugar and starch, creating lactic acid that preserves the food. A variety of fermented products from Thirty Acres Farm in Whitefield, Lalibela Farm in Bowdoinham and Urban Farm Fermentory in Portland will be available to sample.
Cost is $40; proceeds benefit the UMaine Extension Food and Nutrition Program in Cumberland County. Registration is online. For more details or to request a disability accommodation, contact 207.781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine) or email@example.com.