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University of Maine News
News from the University of Maine
Updated: 13 hours 32 min ago
WABI (Channel 5) reported from Hudson Elementary School where fourth graders are taking part in the new Follow a Researcher program offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension with support from UMaine’s Climate Change Institute (CCI) and the Maine 4-H Foundation. The program aims to give K–12 students a glimpse into a scientist’s world by providing live expedition updates and facilitating communication between the youth and researchers. Every week, the students take part in a live Twitter session with UMaine climate change researchers Charles Rodda and Kit Hamley who are studying glaciers in Peru. Students in the school also are making connections between the program and projects in other subject areas, such as history and geography, according to the report. “Real life is so abstract when you’re 9 and 10 years old. And so when you can give kids that hands-on experience that connects them to their lives in the moment right now that’s what we want for our kids,” said teacher Sherry Blanchard. The Weekly also published a UMaine news release about the program.
Brian McGill, an associate professor of ecological modeling at the University of Maine, was quoted in the Ars Technica article, “How human land use is changing the number of species in ecosystems.” According to the article, a group of researchers recently compiled the results of 378 published ecology studies of over 11,000 sites around the world, including observations of almost 27,000 species — vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. On average, the researchers found that human land use has reduced local biodiversity by nearly 14 percent and reduced the abundance of organisms by almost 11 percent, with results that vary based on location. The authors also noted a couple of recent studies that found no real trend in local biodiversity, including one McGill was involved in. In an accompanying article in Nature, McGill said the study effectively isolates the impacts of land use change from other human impacts. He writes, “It would be odd if the negative effects of land-use change documented by [this study] were exactly counterbalanced, such that the net effect of all types of human impacts averaged out to zero (at the local scale). Yet that might be the most parsimonious explanation for the results across [these] studies. And it might not be so odd if ecological processes strongly regulate local species richness.”
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release announcing former Celtic Thunder and “Glee” star Damian McGinty will be the special guest artist for “The Very Best of Celtic Thunder” show April 7 at the Collins Center for the Arts. McGinty will join Celtic Thunder performers for the nostalgic Irish music show that includes dramatic lighting and choreography. For more information, visit the Celtic Thunder website. Tickets are available online or by calling 581.1755, 800.622.TIXX.
Betz Golon, Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village herbalist and University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Food Preserver, will share her knowledge of herbs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 18 at the UMaine Extension office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
“Herbal Seasonings” is the title of the April workshop, which is part of the yearlong “From Scratch: Your Maine Kitchen” series sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County. Golon, co-owner of Common Folk Farm in Naples, has been the herbalist for Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester for more than 20 years. She will “salt” herbs, create herb pastes, dehydrate vegetable and herb blends and make beverages, all with herbs that can be grown in a home garden. The workshop includes hands-on demonstrations. Participants will be given recipes and samples to take home.
Cost is $40; proceeds benefit Extension’s Nutrition Program in Cumberland County. Registration is online. For more details, or to request a disability accommodation, contact 781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine), firstname.lastname@example.org.
The third annual Maine Humanities Summit will celebrate the upcoming issue of Maine Policy Review that features expert analysis on the dynamic intersection of the humanities and public policy in Maine.
The public is invited to join the conversation and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and dinner with three of the report’s 40 authors starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 7 at the Senator Inn in Augusta.
Ron Cantor, president of Southern Maine Community College; Sheila Jans, cultural development consultant and founder of CultureWorth; and Jessica Skwire Routhier, coordinator of the Maine Photo Project and past president of the Maine Archives & Museums, will recap their MPR articles and make brief remarks to spark discussion about the vital role of the humanities across the state.
“All of the panelists wrote strong articles for the humanities-themed MPR issue,” says Liam Riordan, a history professor and director of the UMaine Humanities Center. “Each addresses different — though related — issues, and they reflect the geographic and intellectual breadth of the humanities in Maine.”
Cantor, who wrote “Not a Big Stretch: Community College Humanities,” earned a Ph.D. from Syracuse University in cultural foundations of education with a focus on history. His career is dedicated to partnerships for community and individual progress.
Jans founded CultureWorth, a consultancy rooted in the idea of culture as a powerful force to build better places to live. Her work is motivated by the possibilities that emerge from the intersection of arts and culture with economics. Jans wrote “The Role of the Humanities in Rural Community Development,” for the report.
Routhier, who is is an art historian, writer, editor and independent museum professional in South Portland, wrote “The Common Good: Collaboration among Cultural Institutions in Maine.”
Maine Policy Review publishes timely, independent, peer-reviewed analysis of public policy issues relevant to the state of Maine. The journal is published two times a year by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at UMaine. It is intended for a diverse audience, including state policymakers; government, business, and nonprofit leaders; students; and general readers with a broad interest in public policy. The latest issue is expected to be released in May 2015. Current and past issues are online.
The Maine Humanities Summit is co-hosted by the UMaine Humanities Center, Colby College Center for the Arts and Humanities, Maine Humanities Council and Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center.
Registration to the free event is required by contacting Megan Fossa at email@example.com or 859.4165. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, visit the UMaine Humanities Center’s website or contact Riordan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 581.1913.
The summit is one of several UMaine Humanities Center events planned for 2015. A public recognition ceremony for award winners of Maine National History Day will be held 3:30–4:30 p.m. before the summit in Augusta’s Cultural Building atrium in partnership with the Maine State Archives, Museum and Library. A Maine student’s museum exhibit that won first place in the national competition in 2014 also will be on display. A list of winners of the statewide National History Day contest is online.
The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on the Margaret Chase Smith Public Affairs Lecture given by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins at the Collins Center for the Arts. Collins’ address was titled “Incivility and Hyperpartisanship: Is Washington a Symptom or the Cause?” She urged her congressional colleagues to restore civility by putting “progress over partisanship, statesmanship over stridency and compromise over conflict,” the AP reported. Foster’s Daily Democrat and the Greenfield Daily Reporter carried the AP article.
The Bangor Daily News reported on research being conducted by Matthew Hodgkin, a fourth-year animal and veterinary sciences major at the University of Maine, under the guidance of Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute at UMaine. The cross-discipline research project focused on developing and testing a noninvasive procedure to determine the viability of lobsters for shipping based on claw strength. A couple of years ago, Bayer approached UMaine mechanical engineering professor Michael “Mick” Peterson about developing a way to measure how hard a lobster can squeeze, according to the article. Peterson and Thomas McKay, a fourth-year mechanical engineering technology student, developed a pressure sensor that could fit in a lobster’s claw. Under Bayer’s guidance, Hodgkin has spent a couple of years studying the results of claw pressure tests. When comparing them to the more invasive serum test results, they found a close correlation between each lobster’s serum level and the power of its grip, the article states. Phys.org published the UMaine news release on the research.
WABI (Channel 5) and Mainebiz reported the Maine Sea Grant Program at the University of Maine will receive $798,312 in grant funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support its research, education and outreach efforts done on behalf of Maine’s coastal communities. U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King announced the award in a press release. “Maine’s coastal communities are a vital part of our economy,” the senators said in a joint statement. “We are pleased NOAA has invested these funds in Maine Sea Grant, which will enable them to continue their important work as a resource and advocate for communities up and down the Maine coast.” Designated as a Sea Grant College, UMaine is one of 33 NOAA Sea Grant Programs throughout the coastal and Great Lakes states. The award is part of Sea Grant’s regular funding in a four-year cycle that extends to 2018, according to the release. The full release is online.
Robert Lilieholm, the E.L. Giddings professor of forest policy at the University of Maine, was quoted in a WLBZ (Channel 2) report about a teleconference town hall meeting planned for Wednesday, April 1 to discuss the proposed Katahdin-region national park. The amount of jobs the park would generate has been researched and predicted by Headwaters Economics and peer reviewed by state economists, according to the report.
“There are plenty of examples across the U.S. where national parks and other types of protected areas have really become these engines of economic growth, and we’re seeing as these areas are created and as they grow, new businesses come into the area. It’d be very, very unusually for this not to be an economic success,” said Lilieholm, one of the reviewers of the Headwaters prediction.
The Weekly and The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release about a new guide that shows communities how to start a wood bank. Jessica Leahy, an associate professor of human dimensions of natural resources in the School of Forest Resources, and Sabrina Vivian, a senior in the Ecology and Environmental Sciences Program, wrote “A Community Guide to Starting & Running a Wood Bank” to provide guidance for establishing a wood bank, as well as topics to be considered, including types of wood banks, location, legalities, security, eligibility, firewood sources, volunteers, processing, distribution and equipment. Wood banks are similar to food pantries, but instead of providing food for those in need, they provide firewood at little to no cost for those who rely on wood to heat their homes.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release about the Graduate Student Government’s 2015 Graduate Academic Exposition April 2–3. Work will be presented, judged and on display in the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center on campus. The event will feature four areas of competition — posters, oral presentations, intermedia and fine arts exhibits, and a PechaKucha, or rapid-fire slide show event. Students from a variety of disciplines are expected to present 129 submissions at this year’s event.
The Weekly reported the University of Maine System Board of Trustees has approved promotion and/or tenure for 19 University of Maine faculty members. The faculty were nominated by UMaine President Susan J. Hunter based on a peer and administrative review of their successful work in teaching, research and public service. “The annual tenure and promotion process is truly a celebration of the excellence of our faculty,” said President Hunter. “They are key to helping UMaine fulfill its statewide mission of teaching, research, scholarship, economic development and outreach. And they are essential to the UMaine distinction — from the student experience and community engagement to the national- and international-caliber research.”
University of Maine students can enjoy authentic cuisine from Mexico, South Korea and Jamaica at three on-campus dining locations during UMaine Dining’s Taste of the World event April 2.
During the annual event, menus, decor and music of each dining facility will spotlight a different culture, often in consultation with students or other resident experts from the university’s international community.
This year, Mexico will be at Hilltop featuring various salads, quesadillas, fish, steak, rice, beans and salsa; with churros, flan and cakes for dessert. South Korea will be showcased at Wells Central complete with a Dim Sum station, sushi and spring roll station, Pho bar, and other entrees with beef, chicken, rice and noodles; with desserts made with rice or green tea. York will highlight Jamaican fare filled with jerk chicken, soups, plantains, vegetables, salads, soups, and — for dessert — pineapple upside-down cake and coconut banana and chocolate bread pudding.
UMaine Dining uses local foods and produce in their recipes including the international cuisine for the Taste of the World event. A part of UMaine Dining’s mission is raising awareness of the value and sustainability of supporting locally sourced produce and products from Maine.
Although aimed primarily at resident students, anyone in the UMaine community can enjoy any of the all-you-care-to-eat menus for $11.50 per adult and $5.75 per child 12 or under. The international fare in the three dining facilities will be served during dinner starting at 4:30 p.m. To prepare of the event, the three locations will close at 2 p.m.
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 2015 gardening season.
In an effort to increase accessibility to fresh, seasonal produce for all members of the community, the Black Bear Food Guild is offering full, half and quarter shares. Full shares are $500 and are recommended for four people; half shares are $325 and will feed two people; and quarter shares, ideal for one person, are $175.
Shareholders can pick up produce weekly from mid-June through early October at the university’s Rogers Farm.
A limited number of shares are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in purchasing a share for the 2015 season should email the Black Bear Food Guild at email@example.com.
Since 1994, students have farmed two acres of MOFGA-certified organic vegetables and cut flowers on Rogers Farm. The farmers of the 2015 Black Bear Food Guild are Laura Goldshein, Sara Lyons and Mariah Fujimagari.
The University of Maine Hutchinson Center will receive $500,000 from the estate of Belfast, Maine resident Marilyn Duane to benefit scholarships and outreach efforts.
The gift will be one of four presented April 15 during a meeting of the Belfast Rotary Club at the Hutchinson Center. A total of $2 million is being awarded from the estate of Marilyn Duane to four organizations: UMaine’s Hutchinson Center, United Mid-Coast Charities, Belfast Rotary Club and the Boy Scouts of America.
Marilyn Johnson Duane grew up in Bangor, the daughter of Dr. Henry and Dorothy Carlton Johnson. Marilyn and her late husband, James T. Duane, retired to Belfast in 1987. James was an early computer engineer, who worked for General Electric and was a member of the Belfast Rotary Club. Marilyn was a member of the Belfast Garden Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The couple strongly believed in supporting scholarships, according to attorney and friend Lee Woodward, who is handling Marilyn Duane’s estate with co-personal representative Cindy Klewin.
Marilyn was inspired by the work of UMaine alumnus James Patterson, the founding director of the Hutchinson Center and member of the Belfast Rotary, who she said opened the door for students to access quality, affordable higher education in a supportive, flexible environment. With the gift from the Marilyn Duane estate, three funds have been established:
- The James C. Patterson Scholarship Fund will award scholarships to nonmatriculated students served by the Hutchinson Center who are enrolled in a University of Maine undergraduate or graduate coursework.
- The Marilyn Duane Scholarship Fund will benefit University of Maine System matriculated students with financial need who are served by the Hutchinson Center.
- The Marilyn and James T. Duane Community Outreach Fund focuses on creating access to lifelong learning opportunities that otherwise would not be available. The fund will be used for educational programming at the Hutchinson Center for personal enrichment, professional development, continuing education and/or early college opportunities at reduced or no cost to participants.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
M. Peter McPherson, the president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), will receive an honorary doctorate and share remarks on May 9 at the 213th Commencement at the University of Maine.
In 1865, the University of Maine became the Maine’s land grant university and this year’s Commencement ceremonies are part of the celebration of that 150th anniversary.
McPherson will deliver a keynote address during the 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ceremonies, and will receive his honorary degree in the morning.
“In 2015, with UMaine celebrating its 150 years of leadership in Maine and beyond, it’s particularly timely and important to have Peter McPherson join us,” said UMaine President Susan J. Hunter. “His reflections and insights will add to our anniversary observance and inform our perspective on the role of the land grant university in the 21st century.”
Since 2006, McPherson has been president of the Washington, D.C.-based APLU. The association, founded in 1887, is North America’s oldest higher education association, comprised of public research universities, land-grant institutions and universities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, four territories, Canada and Mexico. APLU is the leading research, policy and advocacy organization for public research universities like UMaine.
McPherson also chairs the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, an organization he cofounded to address agricultural production and rural income issues. He is also chair of advisory committee for HarvestPlus, an organization funded at approximately $40 million annual to research the biofortification of crops grown by workers in poor countries. Biofortification is the genetic improvement of crops to fortify them with vitamin A, iron and zinc.
From 1993–2004, McPherson served as president of his alma mater, Michigan State University. Prior to that, he was a group executive vice president with Bank of America, based in San Francisco. He also served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). McPherson is a former chair of the board of directors of Dow Jones and Company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
More than 200 University of Maine students will display their research during the 2015 Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase on Tuesday, April 14 at Wells Conference Center.
The sixth annual event, which runs from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., is sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) and is open to any undergraduate at the university. A total of 121 presentations from 229 students in the form of 92 posters, 16 oral presentations or performances, and 13 exhibits will be featured. Several presentations include multiple students.
A new electronic judging system will allow the 40 judges to score presentations online using a tablet or smartphone.
Students presenting projects that receive the highest scores from judges in each format will receive research scholar medals and cash awards ranging from $100 to $200 in various categories.
Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies David Neivandt will deliver opening remarks at 9 a.m. UMaine President Susan J. Hunter and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jeff Hecker will present awards and give closing remarks starting at 4 p.m. The awards presentation will include the announcement of five Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowship winners, who will each receive a $3,000 fellowship.
The UMaine community and general public are welcome to attend the free event. Participants and guests can follow the showcase on Twitter and Instagram using #CUGR2015. For more information or to request disability accommodations, call CUGR at 581.3583, or email CUGR@maine.edu, using “CUGR showcase guest request” as the subject. More information is online.
Alyssa Chauvette, a first-year graduate student in the School of Social Work at the University of Maine, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “Maine’s criminal justice system needs a better way to handle the mentally ill.” Chauvette received her undergraduate degree in social work from UMaine and works as a graduate research assistant in the UMaine Office of Assessment.
The Weekly and The Maine Edge reported on the University of Maine Museum of Art’s spring exhibitions that will open to the public on April 3 and run through June 6. The exhibits are Andy Warhol’s “Photographs and Screenprints,” Elizabeth Livingston’s “Dark Houses” and Jennifer Caine’s “Amnesia.”
The Ellsworth American reported two University of Maine studies found a diet containing wild blueberries may improve certain characteristics of metabolic syndrome, including lipid status and inflammation. The studies were conducted by Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, a clinical nutritionist and professor at UMaine, and were published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry and British Journal of Nutrition. Having metabolic syndrome increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to the article. “Metabolic syndrome is a growing health problem in the United States, impacting roughly one-third of our adult population,” Klimis-Zacas said. “We are pleased to report our research indicates that wild blueberry consumption can have significant and positive health impacts on several components of this serious health condition.”