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News from the University of Maine
Updated: 9 hours 41 min ago

Brewer Quoted in BDN Article on LePage’s Proposed Budget

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 11:07

Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in the Bangor Daily News analysis, “Why LePage’s Portland offensive is a stroke of political genius.” According to the article, LePage has been traveling the state to promote his proposed budget that centers on tax reform. “If you’re a lawmaker, and you’re on the fence, and all of a sudden you start hearing from constituents who have seen this audit, and who think it’s perfectly clear the spending is wasteful, that can only help [LePage],” Brewer said.

Categories: Combined News, News

Boothbay Register Reports on 2015 Outstanding Professional Employee

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 11:06

Boothbay Register reported Timothy Miller, laboratory manager at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center, has been selected to receive the 2015 Outstanding Professional Employee Award. The annual award, presented by UMaine’s Professional Employees Advisory Council, recognizes dedication to serving others, the highest level of professional services and standards within disciplines or areas of responsibility, a commitment to creating a better campus environment and significant public service contributions. For more than two decades, Miller has been the laboratory manager at the center in Walpole. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the 170-acre, 22-building campus that has an extensive teaching, research and community outreach mission in marine sciences.

Categories: Combined News, News

Leadership Unplugged to Feature Address by President Hunter

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 11:05

Leadership Unplugged, sponsored by the Maine Development Foundation, opens its spring series at the University of Maine on March 25. UMaine President Susan J. Hunter will discuss “Preparing the Next Generation of Women in Leadership” at the 7:30–9 a.m. breakfast at Wells Conference Center. Online registration is required; the registration fee, which includes breakfast, is waived for members of the UMaine community. More information about the Maine Development Foundation series is online.

For UMaine community members: When completing the online registration form, indicate that your organization is the University of Maine. Select member or nonmember rate to allow the form to go through. When you get to the credit card payment page, simply close out of it. You will receive registration confirmation.

Categories: Combined News, News

Women in Leadership Week

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 10:35

Women in Leadership Week at the University of Maine, March 24–26, will feature a series of public events leading to the Installation of UMaine President Susan J. Hunter on March 26.

Women’s Leadership Week is part of UMaine’s yearlong 150th anniversary celebration.

“Women in Leadership Week is a celebration of the installation of UMaine’s first woman president, but it is also a time to reflect on the many ways that women have shaped our university, to recognize the challenges that women continue to face, and to recommit ourselves to nurturing the next generation of women leaders,” says Jeffrey E. Hecker, UMaine executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, and chair of the Women in Leadership Week committee.

Highlighting the Installation Ceremony of UMaine’s 20th president will be a keynote address, “Leading with a Cause,” by Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York System. The Installation Ceremony begins at 3 p.m. and will be followed by a reception, all in the Collins Center for the Arts.

In 2009, Zimpher became the 12th chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY), the nation’s largest comprehensive system of higher education. Prior to joining SUNY, Zimpher served as president of the University of Cincinnati, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and executive dean of the Professional Colleges and dean of the College of Education at Ohio State University. She has written or co-written numerous books, monographs and academic journal articles on teacher education, urban education, academic leadership and school/university partnerships.

Women in Leadership Week begins with a panel discussion on March 24. A list of all public events follows:

Women in Leadership Panel Discussion
4–5:30 p.m. March 24
Minsky Recital Hall
A discussion based on “Centered Leadership” by Joanna Barsh with panelists Emily Cain, Elizabeth Sutherland and Meredith Jones.
Moderated by Carol Kim, vice president for research and dean of the graduate school.

Maryann Hartman Awards Ceremony
5:30–7 p.m. March 24
Buchanan Alumni House
Award winners: Maria Girouard, Deborah Thompson, Florence Reed and Nicole Maines.

Leadership Unplugged
7:30–9 a.m. March 25
Wells Conference Center
Guest speaker UMaine President Susan J. Hunter on “Preparing the Next Generation of Women in Leadership.”
Sponsored by the Maine Development Foundation.
Registration required (; no fee of members of UMaine community.

Tea and Conversation with Women Student Leaders
2:30–3:30 p.m. March 25
Wells Conference Center
Panel discussion, “Perspectives from UMaine Student Leaders,” moderated by Emily Haddad, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Sponsored by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and the Division of Student Life.

Why Networking Matters to You
4–6 p.m. March 25
Buchanan Alumni House
Hosted by the University of Maine Alumni Association with guest speaker alumna Emily Cain.

Installation of the University of Maine’s 20th President Susan J. Hunter
3 p.m. March 26
Collins Center for the Arts
Keynote address, “Leading with a Cause,” by Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor of the State University of New York System.
Immediately following the Installation, a reception for President Hunter will be held at the Collins Center for the Arts.

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine, Maine Potato Board Release New Caribou Russet Variety, Mainebiz Reports

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 11:08

Mainebiz reported the University of Maine and the Maine Potato Board have unveiled a new potato variety, Caribou Russet. The potato is a cross between a Silverton Russet and Reeves Kingpin and is described as having “high yields, mid-season maturity and moderate common scab resistance,” as well as “good baked and mashed quality for fresh market consumption,” the article states. The potato also is expected to be useful for processing markets. The new variety was developed at UMaine in the breeding program overseen by Gregory Porter, chairman of the Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences. The Bangor Daily NewsPotato News Today and also reported on the Caribou Russet. The full Maine Potato Board release is online.

Categories: Combined News, News

WABI Covers Expanding Your Horizons Conference

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 11:06

WABI (Channel 5) reported on the 28th Expanding Your Horizons conference at the University of Maine. Nearly 500 middle school girls from around the state attended the event that aims to provide a safe and encouraging environment to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Expanding Your Horizons, which is coordinated by the UMaine Women’s Resource Center with support from the Maine Girls Collaborative Project, featured workshops for students and teachers. Workshops were offered on a variety of STEM-related topics, as well as on gender equity and confidence building. “It’s really introducing the girls to the different STEM fields and careers that are out there. Giving the females role models in those fields so they can see that it’s attainable,” said Jennifer Dunham, special projects assistant at the Women’s Resource Center.

Categories: Combined News, News

Doctoral Student’s Fishermen’s Forum Presentation Cited in Free Press Article

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 11:04

The Free Press reported Kisei Tanaka, a doctoral student at the University of Maine, was one of several presenters at the 40th annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum held in Rockport. Tanaka, who spoke during a session on climate change, explained a new computer model developed to show prime lobster habitat in the Gulf of Maine, according to the article. Tanaka used environmental data from 1978 to 2012 to illustrate the changes in ideal lobster habitat along the coast, the article states. He found that by the 2000s, nearly all of the eastern counties had an increase in good lobster habitat, particularly during the spring months. “Temperature and salinity have changed due to climate change; depth and bottom type haven’t,” Tanaka said, adding that juvenile lobsters pick a place to settle and grow based on water temperature, bottom type, salinity and depth.

Categories: Combined News, News

National AgrAbility 2015 Training Conference in New York

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 10:55

The 2015 AgrAbility National Training Conference will cover issues of disability in the agricultural industry April 13–16 at the Hyatt Regency Rochester in Rochester, New York. The conference also will include tours of area farms and other attractions.

Lani Carlson, University of Maine Cooperative Extension AgrAbility project coordinator, says there are many reasons to participate in the training workshop.

“It provides a chance for rural professionals to get together with AgrAbility staff, as well as clients and their families from across the nation. The breakout sessions and tours will offer a variety of learning opportunities from some great speakers on timely topics geared specifically toward farmers and ranchers, and other topics concerning military veteran farmers,” Carlson says.

The keynote address will be given by motivational speaker Chris Koch who, born with no arms or legs, works on his family’s farm in Alberta, Canada.

Event registration and more information is online. More information about Maine AgrAbility is available online or by contacting Carlson at 944.1533, 800.287.1471 (in Maine) or

The USDA-funded national AgrAbility program assists farmers, loggers and fishermen with disabilities and chronic illnesses so they may remain active in production agriculture. In Maine, AgrAbility is a nonprofit partnership between UMaine Extension, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and Alpha One.

Categories: Combined News, News

Gill Quoted in Nature Article on Sexual Harassment, Assault

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 14:33

Jacquelyn Gill, an assistant professor of paleoecology and plant ecology at the University of Maine, was quoted in an article published in the journal Nature that focuses on sexual harassment and assault during field research and on campuses. The topic has gained less attention in scientific fields with greater gender equality, such as ecology, according to the article. Gill and Joshua Drew, a conservation ecologist at Columbia University in New York, will speak about the topic as part of a panel discussion at the August meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Baltimore, Maryland, the article states. “We want to start important conversations — for example, sharing university reporting procedures with students in their own labs, departments and institutions,” Gill said, adding she feels responsible for her graduate students. “We need to create a culture where incidents are rare and reporting is easy.”

Categories: Combined News, News

WABI Covers Summer Camp Fair for Kids

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 14:31

WABI (Channel 5) reported on the University of Maine’s fourth annual Summer Camp Fair for Kids that was held in the New Balance Student Recreation Center on campus. Representatives from more than 50 summer camps provided information and answered questions about the available programming for children and teenagers. “It gives all the families in the area a chance to actually look and see pictures of previous camps and to interact with camp directors and counselors and get to kind of have more of a tangible experience of what they might be doing this summer,” said event organizer Lisa Carter, who is assistant director of the Maine Bound Adventure Center.

Categories: Combined News, News

Spencer Named 2015 Outstanding Classified Employee

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 14:31

Cheryl J. Spencer, a scientific research specialist in the School of Forest Resources, has been selected to receive the 2015 Outstanding Classified Employee Award.

The annual award, presented by UMaine’s Classified Employee Advisory Council (CEAC), recognizes exceptional service by UMaine classified employees who inspire others through dedication, commitment and work ethic; maintain the highest level of professional service; and help create a better UMaine community.

The Outstanding Classified Employee Award will be presented at the Employee Recognition and Awards Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., March 18 at Wells Conference Center.

For 30 years, Spencer has been dedicated to running the operation of soil science professor Ivan Fernandez’s research and teaching labs in the Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences Department. She continuously works to meet the forest soils program’s training goals and mentors students of all ages, as well as completes extramurally funded research grants the program is awarded.

Spencer is referred to as the “point of coordination and organization” for the biogeochemistry of forests research program which includes multiple field sites and research laboratories, as well as undergraduate student employees, graduate students, technical staff, postdoctoral associates and collaborators from UMaine and around the world.

Spencer, who instructs sections of the soil science laboratory, is described as loyal to the program and community and compassionate to students and colleagues. Graduate students rely on and respect Spencer for her practical knowledge and guidance. The same respect also is regularly recognized and expressed by collaborating faculty and scientists from across U.S. and Europe.

In the community, Spencer reaches out through her service to the Soil and Water Conservation Society; the Maine Association of Professional Soil Scientists; and Maine Envirothon, a high school environmental competition.

Categories: Combined News, News

Miller Named 2015 Outstanding Professional Employee

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 15:19

Timothy Miller, laboratory manager at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center, has been selected to receive the 2015 Outstanding Professional Employee Award.

The annual award, presented by UMaine’s Professional Employees Advisory Council, recognizes dedication to serving others, the highest level of professional services and standards within disciplines or areas of responsibility, a commitment to creating a better campus environment and significant public service contributions.

The Outstanding Professional Employee Award will be presented at the Employee Recognition and Awards Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., March 18 at Wells Conference Center.

For more than two decades, Miller has been the laboratory manager at UMaine’s marine sciences center in Walpole. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the 170-acre, 22-building campus that has an extensive teaching, research and community outreach mission in marine sciences. His duties can range from overseeing Darling Center safety protocol and facility maintenance to ensuring the best residential experience for Semester by the Sea students, and supports visiting scientists and college groups in their work at the center.

Miller is described as the “glue” that keeps the Darling Center functioning efficiently and effectively. He is well known for his “make things work” attitude, and initiatives to improve the overall Darling Center environment and infrastructure. Members of the UMaine community and visitors to the Darling Marine Center recognize and appreciate his deep level of concern and caring.

Beyond the Darling Center campus, Miller also is active in his community, serving as Bristol’s assistant fire chief and volunteering with area youth groups, including 4-H and the Boy Scouts.

Categories: Combined News, News

Sun Journal Advances University Singers Concert at South Paris School

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 11:01

The Sun Journal reported the University of Maine’s University Singers will perform a free concert at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School on March 13. The concert is one of several shows around central and northern Maine as part of the choir’s annual spring tour. Under the direction of Francis Vogt, a School of Performing Arts faculty member, the group of about 60 singers will perform evening shows at middle and high schools and a church before ending the tour with two performances on campus.

Categories: Combined News, News

Student’s Honors Thesis Cited in Pacific Standard Report on Circus Elephants

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 11:00

A 2014 Honors thesis by University of Maine psychology student Sophie Veilleux was cited in the Pacific Standard article, “Why do circus elephants get all the sympathy?” According to the article, Veilleux’s paper, “Coping with Dissonance: Psychological Mechanisms that Enable Ambivalent Attitudes Toward Animals,” focuses on four possibilities for why the majority of Americans, who generally care about the treatment of animals, show ambivalence toward livestock.

Categories: Combined News, News

Hopkins, UMaine Study Quoted in BDN Article on Start of Maple Season

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 10:57

A University of Maine maple syrup expert and economics study were mentioned in the Bangor Daily News article, “LePage opens Maine’s maple season by tapping Blaine House tree.” Maine is the third-largest maple industry in the U.S., generating $17.3 million in annual income for the nearly 600 people it employs, according to economist Todd Gabe’s 2014 study that was funded by the state and the Maine Maple Producers Association, the article states. Kathy Hopkins, a maple syrup expert with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in the article. “We have the trees. If we decide to get organized, get more young people and develop the market — Maine could do anything it wants,” she said of the state’s maple industry.

Categories: Combined News, News

Maine Sea Grant Crabmeat Facts Mentioned in Article

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 10:43

Information from the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine was mentioned in a article about cooking crab cakes. The article states that according to Maine Sea Grant, crab meat is low in fat, high in zinc and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Categories: Combined News, News

Master Food Preserver Course Applications Available April 1

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 10:41

Applications will be available April 1 for a University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Food Preserver course that starts June 18 at Gorham Middle School in Gorham, and at the UMaine Extension office in Falmouth.

The 10 three-hour, hands-on kitchen labs are slated to be held 5:30–8:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 17; dates may change due to produce availability.

The course will cover food preservation techniques, including canning, drying, freezing, fermenting and winter storage. Upon successful completion, graduates will serve as volunteer community resources, providing the public with research-based information from UMaine Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The training fee is $220; partial scholarships are available. Application packets will be available online or will be mailed when requests are made at For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099.

Categories: Combined News, News

UVAC Receives Campus Safety Recognition at National Conference

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 10:40

The University of Maine’s University Volunteer Ambulance Corps (UVAC) recently was named a HEARTSafe CAMPUS at the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation’s (NCEMSF) 21st annual conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

The NCEMSF encourages and promotes community awareness of the potential for saving the lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims through the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and increased public access to defibrillation.

In 2013, NCEMSF, with support from HEARTSafe Communities, the American Heart Association, the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation and industry partners, developed an initiative to designate college communities as HEARTSafe Campuses based on quality campus-based EMS organizations.

The HEARTSafe Campuses act as examples to other campuses as a means to improve overall cardiac arrest care, according to the organization.

UVAC was recognized with EMS organizations from seven other institutions including Georgetown University, Fordham University, Tufts University and Virginia Tech.

More about the recognition is online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Latest UMaine Invention: Nontoxic Fiberboard

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 08:55

A new type of fiberboard invented by University of Maine researchers is made with nontoxic, biobased additives and is 25 percent stronger than conventional products.

Most particleboard contains a formaldehyde-based binder that releases toxins into living spaces, causing health concerns. The UMaine fiberboard uses a safe, nontoxic binder of nanocellulose, a gel composed of small particles of cellulose. Cellulose is an important structural component of plants and the most abundant natural polymer on Earth. In this invention, the nanocellulose is made using a low-energy grinding process.

The fiberboard, patent-pending in the United States and Canada, was developed by UMaine researchers Doug Bousfield and Mike Bilodeau.

More information is online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Partnerships in Engineering Innovation: RollEase and AMC

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 16:15

RollEase Innovation Center in Brunswick, Maine, opened in 2014 and began taking advantage of the research and development capabilities of the University of Maine’s Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC). The innovation center has collaborated with AMC in numerous projects — from testing products and new materials to doing new component design and running software programs to validate designs and calculations.

RollEase Inc., headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, is the leading designer and largest manufacturer of clutch-based window covering operating systems worldwide and the third largest distributor of roller shade fabric in the U.S.

“One of the primary reasons we decided to make a multimillion dollar investment to locate our new innovation center here was to be within close proximity of the University of Maine and be in a position to work with their advanced manufacturing program,” said Greg Farr, senior vice president and chief innovation officer for RollEase in written testimony to the legislative committees of appropriations and financial affairs, and education and cultural affairs.

“Our company is very fortunate to have access to the world-class people and facilities of the Advanced Manufacturing Center, for we would never have made the kind of progress we’ve made to date on our own,” said Farr, writing on behalf of the requested appropriation for the University of Maine System from the Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF).

The Advanced Manufacturing Center is an engineering support and service center that is dedicated to promoting manufacturing economic development in Maine.

Categories: Combined News, News