University of Maine News
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.”
WLBZ (Channel 2) covered the University of Maine football team’s Armed Forces Appreciation Day during the home opener Saturday against Bryant University. Members of the armed forces were honored by running onto the field with the team and receiving free tickets to the game. The Black Bears won 35–22.
The Bangor Daily News published the editorial “Bangor, UMaine should make the most of Black Bears hoops at the Cross Center” after the UMaine basketball teams got a glimpse of their new home venue in Bangor. The editorial urged the importance of boosting the university’s reputation as a cultural asset to the broader region.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network interviewed Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, for the article “Maine civil rights advocate expected to seek Collins’ senate seat.” Brewer spoke about the contrasting campaigns of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and Shenna Bellows, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, if Bellows seeks the Democratic nomination to become Maine’s next U.S. senator.
The Portland Press Herald published an Op-Ed written by Jeffrey Thaler, assistant university counsel for environmental, energy and sustainability projects and initiatives at the University of Maine. The piece, titled “With much at stake, UMaine right to keep wind farm details confidential,” focused on UMaine’s offshore wind development proposal that was submitted to the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
Maine Insights previewed a free bus ride offered to University of Maine students from campus to Bangor to attend the fall Downtown Bangor Arts Collaborative Art Walk on Friday, Sept. 13. Receptions were scheduled at the Maine Discovery Museum and University of Maine Museum of Art.
The Bangor Daily News reported the University of Maine was ranked 167 in the U.S. News & World Report’s list of top national universities. Institutions in the category offer a full range of undergraduate majors, as well as master’s and doctoral programs.
An 11-member delegation of scientists and industry officials from Japan, including the president of Hirosaki University, will be at the University of Maine Sept. 16–18 for the second Marine Energy International Symposium.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson and Hirosaki University President Kei Sato will open the symposium, designed to be a collaborative exchange between researchers in the Maine Tidal Power Initiative, based at UMaine, and various Japanese institutions.
Also expected to be on hand are U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, and representatives from the Governor’s Office and Ocean Renewable Power Company.
Highlights of the three-day visit include a presentation by Tetsuo Yuhara, research director of the Tokyo-based Canon Institute for Global Studies, focusing on Japan’s marine energy development; and UMaine and other researchers of the Maine Tidal Power Initiative, including director Michael Peterson, discussing the status of ocean energy development in the state.
The Japanese delegation also is expected to travel to Eastport to visit Ocean Renewable Power Company’s generation site.
Last year, the first symposium involved several UMaine researchers traveling to Japan to discuss tidal power development and potential research opportunities in Maine and Aomori Prefecture. Maine and the prefecture have similar geography, climate and industrial structure, and a common interest in ocean energy development.
In addition to research collaboration, symposium participants are exploring the potential of student exchange programs involving ocean renewable energy research.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The Maine Public Broadcasting Networkinterviewed former University of Maine researcher Ian McCullough about a study he co-authored on Maine water quality. The study analyzed data from 547 lakes and large ponds throughout the state and found water clarity — which is a strong indicator of water quality — is declining. McCullough said although the results are discouraging, property owners and lake associations can do several things to help water quality such as restoring shoreline buffers or updating septic systems of lakefront homes.
The Bangor Daily News and WABI (Channel 5) covered the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the basketball court at the new Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. The University of Maine men’s and women’s basketball teams got a look at their new home venue where they will play most of their games. UMaine President Paul Ferguson, UMaine Athletics Director Steve Abbott and Black Bear basketball coaches Ted Woodward and Richard Baron spoke at the event.
Renae Moran, a tree fruit specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a Portland Phoenix food feature on apple varieties found in Maine. Moran said the gold rush variety is rare in New England because it doesn’t ripen until late October when it’s often too cold. She also said customer demand for organic apples hasn’t matched the hype and that it demands a lot of extra work and money for lower yields.
WVII (Channel 7) reported the University of Maine Counseling Center will host an Out of the Darkness suicide prevention walk Sunday, Sept. 29 in Orono as part of the group’s ongoing efforts to raise suicide awareness.
A graduate of the University of Maine School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA) debuts her documentary Quinoa Soup 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in Minsky Recital Hall in the Class of 1944 Hall on the Orono campus.
The free screening is open to the public. A $10 donation is suggested to assist with film production costs. To request a disability accommodation, call David Adkins at 207.581.1781.
Kate Kirby, who earned a master’s in global policy in 2013, says she was motivated to act after reading that Bolivians could no longer afford quinoa — their staple grain — due to it being in high demand by health-conscious and gluten-free consumers in the U.S.
“I had been studying food security and sustainable community development, but was looking for a poignant way to raise awareness and inspire change around issues I had been exposed to abroad that are directly related to the decisions we make here,” she says.
A month later, Kirby borrowed two cameras and flew to Bolivia to document discoveries with fellow 2013 SPIA graduate Muna Abdullahi and childhood friend Natalia Valdivia Salinas.
For more information, visit facebook.com/QuinoaSoupDocumentary.
In the wake of dramatic glacier retreat and ice shelf collapses on the Western Antarctic Peninsula, a University of Maine marine scientist will explore how Antarctic corals, which provide habitat for thousands of connected species, cope with warming ocean water.
Rhian Waller, an associate research professor in the School of Marine Sciences, received a National Science Foundation grant of more than $381,380 for her two-year project titled “Cold Corals in Hot Water — Investigating the physiological responses of Antarctic coral larvae to climate change stress.”
Cold-water corals, Waller says, are “important ecosystem engineers” that benefit many organisms, including commercially important species such as rockfish, orange roughy (deep sea perch) as well as young cod, and many crab species.
Accelerated climate change, she says, “is likely to affect in presently unidentified ways the many benthic (organisms living on or in sea or lake bottoms) marine invertebrates that live within narrow temperature windows along the Antarctic Continental Shelf.”
In this first systematic study of the larval stages of polar cold-water corals, Waller will examine whether larvae can develop normally in the next century.
Scientists predict water around the Western Antarctic Peninsula, which has warmed nearly 1 degree Celsius the last 50 years, could warm at an even more accelerated pace the next 50 years.
Understanding how the coral larvae react will help scientists predict future changes in those benthic communities around the planet, says Waller, who is based at the university’s Darling Marine Center in Walpole, Maine.
Waller will conduct climate change experiments on coral larvae at Palmer Station on Anvers Island in Antarctica, just north of the Antarctic Circle, beginning in November 2014. The Western Antarctic Peninsula, she says, is experiencing “rapid climate change at one of the fastest rates of anywhere on the planet.”
Waller’s findings will be placed on a research website and distributed via social media. She’ll also make presentations in local schools.
In March 2013, Waller was featured as a risk taker in the “New Age of Exploration” in National Geographic Magazine. The National Geographic Society, one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world, is celebrating its 125th birthday in 2013 with a yearlong series highlighting 21st-century explorers who “press the limits.”
Waller has pressed the limits of diving during more than 40 expeditions around the planet. In a submersible, in 2005 she plunged to a depth of 3,600 meters for corals on the New England Seamount chain.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777