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Updated: 10 hours 49 min ago

BDN, Others Report UMaine’s ‘Green College’ Recognition

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:03

The BDN and AP reported on UMaine’s selection for the Princeton Review’s annual list of “green colleges.” This is UMaine’s fifth consecutive year on the list, which totaled 332 colleges in the United States and Canada. The Princeton Review cited UMaine’s composting and recycling initiatives, programs to reduce the number of vehicles on campus, and sustainable energy research opportunities for students and faculty as reasons for its inclusion. The Sun Journal and Portland Press Herald carried the AP report.

Categories: Combined News, News

Top of Their Class

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:01

University of Maine President Paul Ferguson has announced the 2014 valedictorian, Sierra Ventura of Belfast, Maine, and salutatorian Jennifer Chalmers of Foxborough, Mass.

Both will receive their degrees at UMaine’s 212th Commencement ceremonies in Harold Alfond Sports Arena May 10.

“Sierra and Jenn personify the best of the University of Maine undergraduate experience in their academic excellence, community engagement, and dedication to research and scholarship,” says President Ferguson. “We are proud of their achievements and their leadership in the UMaine community.”

Ventura will receive a bachelor’s degree in music education. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has been active in UMaine’s chapter of the National Association of Music Education, including two years as treasurer, and she is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Her leadership roles on campus include serving as assistant conductor of the University of Maine Singers and of Euphony, the Orono-based chamber choir, both in 2013–14. The previous year, Ventura was the assistant accompanist of Collegiate Chorale.

Ventura also was a member of other musical ensembles in the UMaine School of Performing Arts, including Opera Workshop, Concert Band and Athena Consort, and she worked on the technical and events crews. Since 2009, she has had her own business, S.J. Ventura Music Instruction, teaching 35 students in piano, voice, flute, clarinet and saxophone. Ventura plans to pursue a graduate degree in music education at the University of Maine.

“UMaine has helped me shape my pursuits in the music education field,” Ventura says. “UMaine has also provided me the opportunity to connect with many veteran teachers and other professionals in my field throughout my undergraduate career, as well as give me tools to become a better private music teacher for my students. During my undergraduate career, I was also blessed to have met my fiancé during my time in University Singers.”

Chalmers will receive two bachelor’s degrees in English and in history. She has majored in English and history, with minors in education and Spanish, and received highest honors for her honors thesis, a historical and literary research project, entitled “Teaching Literature in America: Demonstrating Relevance in the Early Cold War (1945–1963).”

Chalmers is a member of multiple honor societies, including All Maine Women, Sophomore Eagles and Phi Beta Kappa. The UMaine Presidential Scholar Award recipient received Roger B. Hill Scholarships in both history and English, and the Ellis Prize in English. She also received a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

While at UMaine, Chalmers had two internships that advanced her professional writing skills. She was a human resources intern with the Massachusetts State Police in Framingham, Mass., and an English editorial intern with Pearson Higher Education in Boston, Mass. She was a journalist for the Maine Journal and a tutor for UMaine’s Writing Center. In addition, Chalmers was a student supervisor for Black Bear Dining concessions and a clarinetist in the UMaine Symphonic and Pep bands. Her community service activities included volunteering, serving as a note taker for UMaine Disability Support Services, and being involved in Autism at UMaine and the History Club.

“Since the moment I first visited UMaine, I have always felt at home,” Chalmers says. “I’m particularly appreciative of the way my professors have been so willing to help me achieve my goals and have always been on the lookout for opportunities that might be beneficial for me. I also really appreciate the wealth of opportunities that UMaine has provided outside the classroom. I have had so many opportunities to join organizations that I genuinely care about, gain leadership experience and make lasting friendships. My coursework, jobs and activities at UMaine have provided me with the experience that I have needed to get scholarships, internships and jobs, both inside and outside UMaine. The people, the organizations, and the generally encouraging atmosphere at UMaine have been invaluable to my personal, professional and intellectual growth during college, and I know that taking advantage of the opportunities that UMaine has to offer has allowed and prepared me to achieve my goals.”

Chalmers has accepted a position with Teach for America. For the next two years, she will teach secondary special education English in southern New Jersey and then will pursue graduate school.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

Categories: Combined News, News

Billings Book Signing May 1

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 10:09

Cathy Billings of the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute will offer a book signing for her first volume, The Maine Lobster Industry: A History of Culture, Conservation and Commerce, 11 a.m.–noon, May 1, at the Martin Luther King Plaza outside the Memorial Union. In case of rain, the event will be moved to Rogers Hall, second floor conference room. The book, published by The History Press, reveals the hardworking history beyond the trap. Since the first recorded lobster catch in 1605, the Maine lobster fishery has grown into a multibillion dollar force. Billings’ book embarks on a journey from trap to plate, introducing readers to lobstermen, boat builders, bait dealers, marine suppliers and the expansive industry that revolves around the fishery. Strides in sustainability have been a hallmark of the Maine fishery throughout the centuries, from the time lobstermen themselves introduced conservation measures in the mid-1800s. Today, Maine’s lobster fishery is a model of a co-managed, sustainable fishery and the people who work Maine’s lobster fishery have developed a coastal economy with an international influence and deep history.

Categories: Combined News, News

Diversity Mini-Grants Available

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 08:07

The University of Maine System Diversity Steering Committee is again pleased to offer mini-grants totaling $6,000 for planning and implementing programs that strengthen campus diversity initiatives. Faculty and staff may send proposals electronically by Sept. 19, 2014 for diversity programs or initiatives that will be conducted during FY15. Proposals should include the following information: a brief description of the program, the amount of financial support requested, the amount of financial support that is being provided by the faculty/staff member’s university, contact information for the person(s) submitting the proposal. Proposals that involve collaborations with diverse communities or organizations external to the university are encouraged. Proposals and questions about the mini-grant programs should be directed to Sally Dobres, UMS director of equity and diversity, sallyd@maine.edu, 207.973.3372. Grant awards will be announced by Oct. 17. Successful recipients are expected to submit a short report at the end of the fiscal year.

Categories: Combined News, News

The Scotsman Reports on Biodiversity Research Findings by McGill, Others

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 11:38

The Scotsman reported on the recently published findings of a biodiversity research project led by the University of St. Andrews in collaboration with researchers from around the world, including Brian McGill, an associate professor of ecological modeling at the University of Maine. The researchers found that despite fears of a global biodiversity crisis, there has been no consistent drop in the number of species seen locally around the world. The research into 100 communities and a total of 35,000 species found that while there were major changes in species found in any one place, the total number of plants and animals did not significantly change. The findings were published in the journal Science.

Categories: Combined News, News

WLBZ Interviews Rice About Cate Street Capital’s Thermogen Project

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 11:37

WLBZ (Channel 2) spoke with Robert Rice, a professor of wood science and technology at the University of Maine, for a report on the scrutiny surrounding a proposed $25 million Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) loan that would support Cate Street Capital’s Thermogen Project that aims to build a pellet mill in Millinocket that uses new, steam-based technology. Rice, a consultant to FAME on the project, says the new method is a radical change, but is an improvement in technology. He warned Thermogen will need about three times as much biomass to make pellets using steam, which has to be taken into account.

Categories: Combined News, News

Lawmakers Support Bond for UMaine Cooperative Extension Lab, AP Reports

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 11:37

The Associated Press reported Maine’s Legislature approved roughly $50 million in bond proposals as it wrapped up for the session. One of the six approved bond proposals includes borrowing $8 million to renovate and improve a University of Maine Cooperative Extension lab that assists farmers and foresters and identifies pests, as well as plant and animal diseases. WABI (Channel 5) and seattlepi.com also carried the AP report.

Categories: Combined News, News

Research by McGill, Others Challenge Understanding of Biodiversity Crisis

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 11:36

The University of St. Andrews in Scotland reported on the findings of a biodiversity research project that were recently published in the journal Science.

The project, which was led by the University of St. Andrews in collaboration with researchers from around the world — including the University of Maine’s Brian McGill — found that despite fears of a global biodiversity crisis, there has been no consistent drop in the number of species found locally around the world.

The research into 100 communities and a total of 35,000 species — from trees to starfish — found that while there were major changes in species found in any one place, the total number of plants and animals did not significantly change, according to the release.

The researchers, who were surprised by the findings, say the study should not detract from the threat many of the world’s species are under, but that policymakers should focus on changes in biodiversity composition, as well as loss, the release states.

“Conservation scientists will need to shift from just talking about how many species are found in a place to talking about which species are found in a place,” said McGill, an associate professor of ecological modeling. “Put simply, species composition changed more often than species number, and these kinds of changes should be a focus for future study.”

The full news release is online.

Categories: Combined News, News

2014 Maine Studies Research and Creativity Award Winners Announced

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 11:35

The Maine Studies Program at the University of Maine has announced the winners of the 10th annual Maine Studies Research and Creativity Awards.

Each year the award is given to an undergraduate and graduate student — or group of students — to highlight exemplary student research related to the study of Maine. All UMaine research papers or projects related to Maine and created within the last year are eligible for the award.

This year’s undergraduate winner is a group of students: Benjamin Algeo, Shannon Brenner, Alexandria Jesiolowski, Joshua Morse, Victoria Schuyler and Braden Sinclair. Their interdisciplinary research project, “Building a Better Orono Together: Cultivating Organic Community Connection with University and Orono Stakeholders,” examined the relations between UMaine and Orono and exposed the students to the valuable practice of engaged research under the guidance of Robert Glover, an assistant professor of political science.

Hollie Smith is this year’s graduate winner. Her research paper, “Science and Policy in Maine: Opportunities for Engagement with the Maine State Legislature,” examines ways graduate students at UMaine might contribute more effectively to Maine’s policymaking process. Laura Lindenfeld, an associate professor of mass communication and media studies and public policy, supervised the project.

For the past 10 years, the University of Maine Foundation has provided financial support for the awards.

Categories: Combined News, News

Applications Being Accepted for 2014 Summer FLAS Awards

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 11:34

The Canadian-American Center at the University of Maine announced it is accepting applications for the 2014 Summer Foreign Language and Areas Studies (FLAS) Award.

The award is federally funded and is offered to students during the academic year and summer to support the bilingual research (English and French) of master’s and doctoral candidates whose studies focus on Canada.

Summer FLAS Awards are specifically aimed at developing language skills. The awards are open on a competitive basis to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who seek to improve their proficiency in French as a tool for graduate research.

Candidates must be willing to commit to six weeks of intensive French study. Programs covered by the award are offered in the U.S. for students with novice level of proficiency, and in Canada for students with higher levels of proficiency. The federal grant covers up to $4,000 in tuition and offers a living allowance stipend.

The Canadian-American Center is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Resource Center on Canada and provides the award as part of its mission.

More information, including how to apply, is available online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Cited for Sustainability

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 11:04

For the fifth consecutive year, the University of Maine has been named a “green college” by Princeton Review for its exemplary commitment to sustainability in academics, campus infrastructure and programming.

The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition profiles 330 schools in the United States and two in Canada that are the most environmentally responsible. Other universities that have made the guide for the past five years include Georgia Tech, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Oregon.

The annual guide is produced by Princeton Review in collaboration with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council. Four-year colleges are surveyed to measure their commitment to the environment and sustainability. The free 216-page guide is online.

“The University of Maine’s sustainability focus is comprehensive and impactful,” says UMaine President Paul Ferguson, who this month was elected vice chair of the Steering Committee of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). “Maine’s flagship campus has a national leadership role in sustainability and a statewide stewardship responsibility in keeping with the university’s five-year Blue Sky strategic plan. At UMaine, sustainability helps define the institution.”

UMaine’s sustainability initiatives cited in the guide include the Blue Bike program and the Black Bear Orono Express shuttle, providing free transportation on and around campus in an effort to reduce vehicle traffic. One of the overarching goals of UMaine’s full-time Sustainability Coordinator and the President’s Council on Sustainability, made up of students, faculty and staff, is to achieve carbon neutrality on campus by 2040.

Initiatives in UMaine dining and housing programs are key to promoting green living on campus. They include the student-run UMaine Greens project, which supplies salad greens to the Bear’s Den dining facility. Compost for the salad greens project and landscaping campuswide comes from UMaine’s advanced composting facility, which has the potential to convert more than 1 ton of organic waste per day from campus dining facilities into a rich soil amendment.

Also noted was UMaine sustainability leadership in its student organizations, curricula and research. The university has five LEED-certified buildings, including three silver and one gold, and a comprehensive Zero-Sort recycling program. It also participates in STARS — the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System.

Among UMaine’s other recent honors and distinctions recognizing its national leadership as a green campus:

  • In 2007, UMaine became a charter signatory of ACUPCC.

  • In 2009, UMaine developed an award-winning Campus Master Plan focused on sustainability.

  • In 2010, UMaine received a Special Recognition Award from the U.S. Green Building Council.

  • In 2011, UMaine received a Second Nature Climate Leadership Award representing doctoral institutions.

  • In 2012, UMaine was featured on the Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll for the second consecutive year.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

Categories: Combined News, News

Study to Focus on What the Public Wants in Outdoor Recreation

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 08:46

Sandra De Urioste-Stone, assistant professor of nature-based tourism, and John Daigle, associate professor of forest recreation management, have received a $34,499 grant from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry for the study: “How Well Are We Serving the Outdoor Recreation Public?” The purpose of this study is to investigate perspectives on outdoor recreation preferences and priorities, and perceptions on tourism development to help the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and other outdoor recreation managers to better understand current demand and improve decision-making. An online survey will be used to test conventional wisdom and open up new thinking regarding what the public wants and how they can best be served. In addition, study participants will be asked questions about their attitudes and beliefs about developing sustainable tourism in their communities. Data collected will be used to develop the 2015–20 Maine State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). The plan requires that an analysis of outdoor recreation demand, supply, trends, and ultimately priorities be documented.

Research Objectives:

  • Generate new baseline data to inform the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands about what the recreation preferences and needs are for people who live in or visit Maine including basic background demographic data.
  • Identify the factors that influence outdoor recreation participation behavior, including identification of needs, opportunities, and constraints associated with outdoor recreation in Maine.
  • Determine how Maine State Parks are used and what can be done to improve the experiences and services they provide.
  • Determine the differences between perceptions from people who participate in outdoor recreation activities in Maine and a general population of Maine residents.
  • Measure Maine residents’ attitudes toward sustainable tourism and development.

The survey population for this study seeks to entice responses from both the general residents of Maine as well as nonresidents who have recreated in Maine and have paid some type of recreation fee for fishing, hunting, camping reservations, etc.

While the data collected on recreational preferences and behaviors will benefit the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, the questions related to sustainable tourism will have new scientific significance. Questions on sustainable tourism will utilize an attempt to revalidate the Sustainable Tourism Attitude Scale, a published psychometric instrument that has not yet been implemented on a statewide scale.

Categories: Combined News, News

Morin Receives Governor’s Award for Excellence in Volunteer Administration

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 13:38

Lisa Morin, coordinator of the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism at the University of Maine, received the Excellence in Volunteer Administration Award at the 28th annual presentation of the Governor’s Awards for Service and Volunteerism, presided over by first lady Ann LePage.

Morin has helped launch several successful programs at UMaine, including Welcome Weekend Day of Service, GobbleFest and Black Bear Leaders.

“These multifaceted programs take on challenges presented by the community and incorporate thoughtful reflections to help students understand how their service impacts themselves as well as the community,” the award announcement reads.

According to a media release from the Governor’s Office, “the winners are selected because their efforts and leadership have made a significant difference in the quality of life for Maine residents.”

Three other individuals and two organizations were also honored at the ceremony, held annually during National Volunteer Week in April.

More information is available online.

Categories: Combined News, News

‘Making it in Maine’ Business Conference, Networking Event April 25

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:37

The University of Maine Alumni Association invites UMaine students, faculty, staff and alumni to the Black Bear Business Conference “Making it in Maine: Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology in the 21st Century” on Friday, April 25 at the Buchanan Alumni House on the UMaine campus.

A half-day, intensive conference from 1 to 5:30 p.m. is designed to bring Maine’s small-business owners and entrepreneurs together with UMaine faculty, economic development staff, business students and successful Maine business leaders to share ideas, strategies and techniques that promote growth. The day’s program includes presentations; tours; exhibits; and panel discussions on topics such as marketing, financing, technology and innovation engineering.

The conference will be followed by a networking event and reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The reception will feature a showcase of innovators and entrepreneurs who are helping to build Maine’s economic future, such as keynote speaker, Desmond Fitzgerald, entrepreneur in residence for the Maine Venture Fund.

Registration is required and student attendance is limited on a first-come, first-served basis. Students, faculty and staff can attend for free, and alumni registration is $25. The deadline for online registration is 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 22. To register after April 22, participants can call 800.934.2586, ext. 11146. More information, including a complete schedule and registration forms, is available online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Brewer Talks to MPBN About Maine Governor Race Poll

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:28

Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report titled, “New poll shows LePage with slim lead in Maine governor’s race.” Brewer said undecided voters and supporters of Eliot Cutler and Mike Michaud are the people who will decide the outcome of the election.

Categories: Combined News, News

Black Bear Food Guild Offering CSA Shares, WABI Reports

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:27

WABI (Channel 5) reported the Black Bear Food Guild, a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that is organized and managed by students in the University of Maine’s Sustainable Agriculture program, is offering CSA shares for the season. The guild is selling full ($475), half ($300) and quarter ($175) shares. Shareholders can pick up fresh produce each week from mid-June to October at the university’s Rogers Farm.

Categories: Combined News, News

Village Soup Publishes Article on Commencement Speakers Gerritsen, Mallett

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:23

The Village Soup reported best-selling author and Camden resident Tess Gerritsen and singer-songwriter David Mallett will receive honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees and share remarks at the 212th Commencement May 10 at the University of Maine. Mallett will address the 10 a.m. ceremony, and Gerritsen will speak during the 2:30 p.m. ceremony. Gerritsen has published suspense novels in 40 countries, and has sold more than 25 million copies. Mallett lives in Sebec and has a music career spanning four decades. His songs have been recorded by more than 150 artists.

Categories: Combined News, News

BDN Reports on New Balance Field House, Memorial Gym Closure for Renovations

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:22

The Bangor Daily News reported the New Balance Field House will be closed May 12 for about 16 weeks to complete the exterior improvements as part of the $15 million renovation project that includes Memorial Gym. The facility’s exterior renovations include replacing approximately 22,000 square feet of insulated wall system and installing 5,200 square feet of windows. All renovations and construction are scheduled be completed as early as September.

Categories: Combined News, News

Cosgrove to be Inducted into Maine Sports Hall of Fame, WLBZ Reports

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:22

WLBZ (Channel 2) reported Jack Cosgrove, head coach of the University of Maine football team, is one of nine people to be inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame on May 4 at its 39th annual awards banquet in Augusta. Other inductees include Joseph L. Ferris, who pitched for UMaine in the 1964 College World Series, and Edward J. Flaherty, an All-American performer at UMaine in 1975.

Categories: Combined News, News

MAAV Event to Raise Awareness, Attempt to Set World Record

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:21

The University of Maine student group Male Athletes Against Violence will sponsor an event at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 30 in Alfond Arena to raise awareness about relationship violence.

The event, Unwrapping the Not-So-Sweet Truth of Relationship Violence, also will be an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of candies unwrapped at one time.

The current world record of 614 candies unwrapped at one time is held by Tarleton State University.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will include speakers and information tables by Spruce Run, Rape Response Services and the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. For those participating in the record book event, wrapped candies will be provided.

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Sandy Caron, 207.581.3138.

Categories: Combined News, News