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Updated: 10 hours 43 min ago

Social Work Grad Student Writes Op-Ed for BDN

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 10:50

Roy Ulrickson III, a graduate student in his final year of the University of Maine’s Master of Social Work program, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “Infrastructure to education: Ingredients for rural Maine’s economic resurgence.” Ulrickson of Dexter is a former member of the Dexter Planning Board.

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Extension Offers Free Tick Identification Service

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 10:48

University of Maine Cooperative Extension offers a free tick identification service for Maine residents.

The announcement of the service is timely: May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and ticks are being reported statewide. In fact, the tick population in Maine has been steadily increasing since the late 1980s, along with the emergence of tick-borne diseases.

In addition to tick identification, UMaine Extension resources include information on the biology and management of 14 tick species in Maine, tick submission instructions, tick removal guidelines, a tick photo gallery, and links to information on tick-borne diseases transmitted in Maine.

More information, including how to submit a tick for identification, is available online or by calling UMaine Extension at 581.3880.

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine’s College of Education Ranked 73rd by U.S. News and World Report

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 08:04

The University of Maine’s College of Education and Human Development is ranked 73rd in the nation for all Education Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.

With more than 40 graduate degree programs and seven graduate certificate programs, the College of Education and Human Development offers professional development, and advanced education and training in a variety of modes. UMaine education graduate students choose from diverse course offerings and specializations in classes on campus and online.

UMaine education graduate students also have the opportunity to not only acquire knowledge, but also create it. At the state’s research university, UMaine graduate students collaborate with world-renown experts on vital education issues such as autism, poverty, bullying, literacy, leadership, diversity and STEM education.

Categories: Combined News, News

Media Preview Clean Sweep Sale

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 09:56

WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) advanced the annual Clean Sweep Sale that takes place 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday, May 22 and 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, May 23 in York Commons. Furniture, rugs, electronics, appliances, housewares, books, bedding, shoes and clothing will be among the items for sale. Items were donated by the university or students who moved out of the dorms at the end of the semester. “We set up drop locations at each of the residence halls on campus so that they can just leave things right there without having to carry them somewhere and we explain what we’re doing with it,” Lisa Morin, coordinat\or of UMaine’s Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism, told WABI. “All the money that’s raised through this sale is used to buy food that goes into our own campus food pantry or to buy supplies for the service projects our students are going to be completing for our welcome weekend when they come back in August.”

Categories: Combined News, News

Judd to Speak in Alfred as Part of Series, Reports

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 09:54 reported University of Maine historian Richard Judd will speak as part of a series in Alfred sponsored by The Friends of Alfred Shaker Museum and the Sanford-Springvale Historical Society. The Sid Emery Memorial Forum series will take place on four Sunday afternoons during the tourist season. On Oct. 4, Judd will discuss the newly published “Historical Atlas of Maine.” The atlas is a geographical and historical interpretation of the state, from the end of the last ice age to 2000. It culminates a 15-year scholarly project led by UMaine researchers. Judd and UMaine geographer Stephen Hornsby edited the book that contains cartography by Michael Hermann. Judd specializes in environmental history and edits the Maine Historical Society’s quarterly journal, according to the article.

Categories: Combined News, News

WLBZ Cites Bee Population Tips from UMaine Extension, Grad Student

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 09:53

WLBZ (Channel 2) spoke with Eric Venturini, a graduate student at the University of Maine who works for Johnny’s Selected Seeds, for the report “Easy ways to boost bee populations.” “They need food the entire season. And what you want to do as a grower is make sure you are providing that if you’re trying to manage and maintain a healthy population of wild pollinators,” Venturini said. The report also cited advice from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension that states you should plant colorful flowers to attract bees, avoid using chemicals in the garden or field, build nesting houses, let dandelions grow in the spring, and mow at night when bees are less active.

Categories: Combined News, News

Celebrate the Sea at Roosevelt Campobello International Park

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 09:52

Roosevelt Campobello International Park and the Downeast Fisheries Trail invite the public to “Celebrate the Sea” at a June 1 dedication of eight new interpretive panels installed at Roosevelt Campobello International Park.

The displays describe life and the sea that surround Campobello Island and the lives of the people who have lived, worked and played on Passamaquoddy Bay. An interpretive deck with seven panels erected at Friar’s Bay Beach illustrates the ecology of Passamaquoddy Bay, the Roosevelt family’s love of the sea, regional tribal heritage, the fisheries and aquaculture way of life, the Downeast Fisheries Trail and opportunities for research and education around the Bay. At Mulholland Light, another panel celebrates the life and service of Angus Newman, the light’s last keeper.

The event is free and open to the public. The program begins at 1 p.m. (2 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time) and includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony, traditional music of Maine and New Brunswick by From Away Downeast, readings by Maine poets and lighthouse stories.

Roosevelt Campobello International Park is on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada, just across the international border from Lubec at the easternmost tip of Maine. The park’s focal points are the Franklin D. Roosevelt summer cottage and the surrounding 2,800-acre natural area.

The Downeast Fisheries Trail celebrates the fisheries heritage, past and present, of eastern Maine. It is coordinated by the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine. More information on the Downeast Fisheries Trail is online. For directions to Campobello, visit the park’s website. Passports are required to cross the international border.

Categories: Combined News, News

Visiting Professor to Explore Passive House Research at UMaine Composites Center

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 09:51

Juana Domenech Subiran from La Rioja, Spain has joined the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center for summer 2015.

Subiran holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Universidad del Pais Vasco (University of the Basque Country). Her current research interest is centered around passive houses. The passive house building standards aim to reduce energy consumption by 60–80 percent through improved materials and modified construction methods, according to the U.S. Passive House Institute.

Subiran will work with UMaine’s Roberto Lopez-Anido, a professor of civil engineering. The UMaine Composites Center is supporting Subiran’s research with aspects aligned with the center’s core expertise including the use of engineered wood products, thermoplastic composites, fiber reinforcement, hybrid materials, material durability, joining methods and test methods.

The research aims to increase building construction efficiency and reduce overall energy costs for homeowners.

More information about passive house practices is on the U.S. Passive House Institute’s website.

Categories: Combined News, News

With Ties to Maine

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 15:09

The University of Maine Museum of Art will celebrate the university’s 150th anniversary with an exhibit that features work by internationally recognized artists with strong connections to Maine who have contributed to the state’s artistic history.

“With Ties to Maine” will run from June 19 to September 19 and will showcase more than 20 pieces from the museum’s permanent collection in a wide range of media in primarily 2-D forms such as paintings and photos. A few of the works have belonged to the university since 1948, two years after the collection was founded.

The exhibition will display pieces created by artists including John Marin, Andrew Wyeth, Alex Katz, Berenice Abbott and Neil Welliver who spent significant time in Maine and were inspired by its natural beauty and unique sense of place.

“With Ties to Maine” reflects UMaine’s long history of collecting while sharing the university’s cultural resources with Maine residents and visitors, says George Kinghorn, the museum’s director and curator.

“Maine has such a rich, artistic history,” Kinghorn says. “The museum is delighted to share works by artists who have put Maine on the map internationally.”

Throughout history, Maine has been a destination of creativity for artists who seek refuge in the state for its distinct landscape and lack of outside distractions that allow for contemplative reflection, Kinghorn says, citing Marin and Abbott who set up studios in Maine.

The exhibition also recognizes the support of museum donors throughout the years, such as philanthropists and Bangor residents Adeline and Caroline Wing. The sisters provided some of the museum’s earliest gifts, including “On Bar Island,” a 1946 watercolor by Wyeth gifted to the museum in 1948, which will be included in the show.

Marin’s “A Bit of Cape Split, Maine,” a 1940 watercolor on paper donated by Norma and John C. Marin Jr. in 1957, also will be displayed. Cape Split is located along Maine’s coast in Washington County where Marin had a studio with ocean views, according to Kinghorn.

For photography, works by Abbott, who Kinghorn calls one of the most important photographers of the 20th century, will be on display. Abbott’s photographs documented the rapidly changing architecture of New York City in the 1930s. When Abbott moved to the rural Blanchard, Maine in the 1960s, she began taking photos of Maine’s people, sights and industries Kinghorn says.

Art by contemporary artists, such as Katz and Welliver, who have considered Maine home either full or part time will be included.

UMaine’s growing permanent collection contains more than 3,800 pieces that include realism, pop art, abstract expressionism and cubism, with a concentration in original prints and photography. The collection features artwork created since 1900 with an emphasis on contemporary art (1945–present).

The university’s art collection was established in 1946 by founding museum director and UMaine art professor Vincent Hartgen. The collection became a museum in the 1980s and has been located in downtown Bangor for more than a decade, extending UMaine’s reach and service to the community in keeping with the land grant mission of the university, Kinghorn says, adding the collection belongs to Maine residents.

Art from the museum’s permanent collection — Abbott’s New York City and Maine photos — will be included in a Portland Museum of Art exhibition that runs from May 21 to September 20.

“Directors’ Cut: Selections from the Maine Art Museum Trail,” will present highlights of Maine’s art history from the state’s most-renowned museums. More about Directors’ Cut is on the PMA website.

The University of Maine Museum of Art is open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Free admission to the museum throughout 2015 is made possible by Penobscot Financial Advisors. More information about the museum is online.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Researchers Help Forge Planktonic Frontier

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 13:49

University of Maine oceanographers are part of a collaborative international team studying the microscopic world of plankton. During expeditions from 2009 to 2013 aboard Tara, researchers collected 35,000 samples from the world’s oceans.

Data generated from the samples are providing unprecedented resources — including a catalog of several million new genes — expected to transform how oceans are studied and establish a global-scale baseline to evaluate the impact of climate changes on oceanic ecosystems.

In five articles in a special issue of Science to be published May 22, the interdisciplinary team maps the biodiversity of a range of planktonic organisms, exploring their interactions and how they impact and are affected by their environment, primarily temperature.

“The resources we’ve generated will allow us and others to delve even deeper, and finally begin to really understand the workings of this invisible world,” says Chris Bowler from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).

“The finding that temperature shapes which species are present, for instance, is especially relevant in the context of climate change, but to some extent this is just the beginning,” says Bowler.

Tara is a 118-foot-long, 33-foot-wide, 120-ton research vessel operated by Tara Expeditions Foundation. Scientists from around the world collect samples from the Earth’s oceans to understand climate change and to explain it simply.

“To act in ecology we shall have to relinquish our individualist world. It is the key. This is what we attempted and accomplished on Tara. A team’s work at the service of the planet,” says Tara Foundation President Etienne Bourgois on the website.

UMaine oceanographers Emmanuel Boss and Lee Karp-Boss are part of the science team and participated in six expedition legs. UMaine doctoral student Alison Chase took part in a four-week research venture from France to Norway during the summer 2013 Tara Oceans Polar Circle expedition.

Also, Ivona Cetinić, research associate at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center, participated in the Tara Oceans Polar Circle expedition. And Tom Leeuw, who earned a master’s degree in oceanography at UMaine in 2014, took part in month-long projects aboard Tara in both the Polar Circle and Mediterranean.

Collaboration, say Boss, Karp-Boss and Chase, is one of several reasons why they relish taking part in the research aboard Tara and contributing to science.

Boss was chief scientist during two legs aboard Tara — in December 2011–January 2012 from Panama City, Florida to Savannah, Georgia and in 2013 in the Western Arctic. In 2014, he conducted research in the Mediterranean Sea during a voyage from Cyprus to Malta. His lab installed a system aboard Tara that collected optical data about ocean particles from 2009 to 2013.

Karp-Boss served as chief scientist on voyages from Chile to Easter Island in 2011, from New York to Bermuda in 2012 (she spoke with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon prior to the trip), and in the Siberian Arctic in 2013.

Boss and Karp-Boss brought NASA to the project, earning a grant to collect biogeochemical information. They examined ocean color, composition and pigments of surface particles, including plankton, in relation to optical properties — light absorption, attenuation, fluorescence and backscattering.

NASA uses the information to develop algorithms for, and verify data from, satellites that observe the same water.

Karp-Boss says she values meeting and working with international colleagues who have expertise in other disciplines. The articles published May 22 are the result of the hard work of different teams and just scratch the surface of the rich data set, she says.

Boss says he appreciates Tara’s emphasis on raising awareness about environmental issues and the opportunity he and other scientists have to interact with schoolchildren who board the vessel at each port.

Aboard Tara, an ecosystems biology approach is used. Researchers systematically sample the world’s oceans across all domains of life, from viruses to animals, and collect a rich variety of environmental information.

Ocean plankton — microscopic beings that drift on the upper layer of the oceans — are as crucial to life on Earth as the rainforest ecosystem, say researchers. Ocean plankton produce half of the planet’s oxygen, absorb and store carbon, influence the weather and are the base of the ocean food web that sustains the larger fish and marine mammals.

“Beyond the cutting-edge science that was developed thanks to our collaborative work with the Tara Expeditions Foundation, this adventure is also about showing people all over the world how important the ocean is for our own well-being,” says Eric Karsenti, director of Tara Oceans, from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and CNRS.

What’s in the plankton?

Scientists captured viruses, microbes and microscopic eukaryotes — organisms with complex cells, from single-cell algae to fish larvae — from major oceanic regions and compiled the genetic material into comprehensive resources now available to the scientific community for additional study.

“This is the largest DNA sequencing effort ever done for ocean science: analyses revealed around 40 million genes, the vast majority of which are new to science, thus hinting towards a much broader biodiversity of plankton than previously known,“ says Patrick Wincker from Genoscope, CEA.

EMBL’s high-performance computing was essential in compiling the comprehensive catalog, estimated to be derived from more than 35,000 different species whose genomic content had previously been mostly unknown to scientists.

“In terms of eukaryotes, we sequenced nearly a billion genetic barcodes and found that there is a greater variety of single-cell eukaryotes in plankton than was thought,” says Colomban de Vargas from CNRS. “They appear to be much more diverse than bacteria or animals, and most belong to little-known groups.”

How do planktonic organisms interact?

Researchers used novel computer models to predict how diverse planktonic organisms interact. Predictions were confirmed via selective microscopy observations.

“When we mapped how planktonic organisms — from viruses to small animal larvae — interact with each other, we discovered that most of those interactions are parasitic, recycling nutrients back down the food chain,” says Jeroen Raes from VIB, KU Leuven and Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

This map is a first step toward a better understanding of the dynamics and structure of the global marine ecosystem.

Are planktonic organisms distributed evenly in the oceans?

In addition, scientists studied how environmental factors — including temperature, pH, and nutrients — influence microscopic organisms floating in the ocean.

“We found that, at depths still reached by sunlight, temperature was the main factor that influences the composition of prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) communities,” says Peer Bork from EMBL. “Different sets of organisms come together depending on the water temperature.”

Chase conducted data analyses that supported scientists who showed the Agulhas “rings” — a natural barrier that draws the line between the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic — separate plankton communities.

“It’s like plankton goes through a cold wash cycle at the tip of South Africa,” says Daniele Iudicone from Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn. “The current forms huge swirls that drastically mix and cool the plankton riding it, thus limiting the number of species that manage to cross.”

Chase, from Canterbury, New Hampshire, was a UMaine graduate student during the 2013 Tara Oceans Polar Circle expedition. She says operating instruments below deck in the dry lab helped build her confidence as a researcher in the field.

“I like the international collaborative component,” says Chase, who expects to earn her Ph.D. in oceanography in 2017. “We’re all a part of something bigger and contributing to a broader understanding of the planet we live on and to the momentum and effort of sustaining our life here.”

Matthew Sullivan from the University of Arizona says, “In addition, we now also have a global picture of marine virus communities, which allows us to confirm an idea that had been proposed a decade ago, but never proven. Viruses are produced in local ‘seed banks’ and then ride the ocean currents, so you end up with different cocktails of viruses in different places, even though the overall diversity of viruses in the oceans appears quite limited.”

Understanding the distribution and interactions of the plankton across the oceans will be useful for predictive models necessary to study climate change, the scientists say.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Mentioned in Smithsonian Science News Report on Whale Study

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 09:50

The University of Maine was mentioned in the Smithsonian Science News article “New study may help free whales from fishing rope entanglement.” The report cited a study published in the journal Marine Mammal Science that could help save many whales. Using vertebrae and muscle measurements from whale skeletons in museums and research facilities, a team of marine biologists created a chart estimating the maximum pulling force that different whale species can create with their tail flukes, according to the article. Knowing the values could aid in designing fishing rope that whales can break or nets with built-in weak links that come apart when a whale becomes entangled, the article states. William McLellan, a marine mammal expert at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, conducted the work with other researchers from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, as well as from UMaine, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and New River Kinematics. Becky Woodward, a research assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UMaine, is a co-author of the study.

Categories: Combined News, News

UMMA Cited in Boston Globe Summer Arts Preview

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 09:49

The University of Maine Museum of Art was mentioned in the Boston Globe’s arts preview, “Critics’ picks for the summer.” The article cited a Portland Museum of Art exhibition that runs from May 21 to September 20. “Directors’ Cut: Selections from the Maine Art Museum Trail,” will present highlights of Maine’s art history from the state’s most-renowned museums, including UMMA, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Monhegan Museum of Art and History, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art and the Portland Museum of Art.

Categories: Combined News, News

Regional Top Gun Pitch Competition May 26

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 09:48

The 2015 Top Gun Regional Pitch Competition and Product Showcase will take place 5:30 p.m. May 26 at the University of Maine Foster Center for Student Innovation.

At least two regional entrepreneurs will be selected by a panel of judges to compete in the statewide Top Gun Showcase in June where they will pitch for a chance to win $10,000.

Participants include Ass Over Teakettle of Skowhegan, Tip Whip of Orono, RockStep Solutions of Bar Harbor, Coursestorm of Orono, L&K Manufacturing of Orono, Zeomatrix of Orono and Whoopie Pie Cafe of Bangor.

The Top Gun entrepreneurship accelerator is a five-month program that engages entrepreneurs in growing their businesses. Top Gun combines education, mentoring, pitch-coaching and networking opportunities. The program is a partnership of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Maine Technology Institute, Blackstone Accelerates Growth and the University of Maine. UMaine organizes and hosts a Bangor region class and has also developed curriculum to support the statewide program.

Registration for the regional competition is online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Camire Featured in HuffPost Live Video on Trans Fats

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 15:54

Mary Ellen Camire, University of Maine professor of food science and human nutrition and president of the Institute of Food Technologists, was a featured guest in the HuffPost Live video “What’s behind the government’s ban on trans fats?” A coming court ruling could mean the end of most trans fats, according to the video, but some members of the food industry warn of potential consequences. “The functionality is probably the biggest point. It’s more about the texture you get and not so much about the flavor,” Camire said of the benefits of using trans fats. She said the alternative would be going back to using foods such as lard. “We really don’t have a lot of options. It’s either go to more saturated fats or work with fats that are more likely to get rancid,” she said.

Categories: Combined News, News

Bilodeau Quoted in Press Herald Article on Biobased Materials from Trees

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 15:54

Mike Bilodeau, director of the University of Maine’s Process Development Center, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about an event hosted by E2Tech, an organization that supports Maine’s environmental, energy and clean technology sectors. The event also served as an introduction to Biobased Maine, a reimagined organization supporting efforts to encourage research and development in new technologies that enable manufacturers to turn trees into biobased fuels, chemicals and advanced materials, according to the article. Bilodeau said three factors are driving renewed interest in biobased materials: new technologies that have lowered the cost of the manufacturing processes; novel applications for the materials; and shifting national priorities that have made available more federal funding, the article states. He said the research and development at the center will help paper mills diversify and find new products to help them remain relevant.

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Cooperative Extension Tick ID Lab Cited in BDN Article on Powassan Virus

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 15:53

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Tick ID Lab was mentioned in the Bangor Daily News article, “How many Maine ticks carry Powassan? We’re one step closer to finding out.” The article focused on a Maine Medical Center Research Institute study that will conduct a statewide survey for Powassan virus, which is transmitted by ticks. More state labs are working to test for the virus, according to the article. UMaine Extension’s Tick ID Lab will soon be equipped, after being awarded funding through a referendum last fall, the article states.

Categories: Combined News, News

Volunteers Sought for Black Bear Marathon, Maine Edge Reports

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 15:52

The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release announcing organizers of UMaine’s inaugural Black Bear Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K are seeking volunteers to assist on race day and at packet pickup, as well as host cheer stations along the route. The races begin at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, June 21 and will start and finish on the UMaine track located at the Harold Alfond Stadium. A race expo and packet pickup will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 20 at the New Balance Field House. Those interested in volunteering for the race at packet pickup or on the course can register online. Race organizers also are recruiting cheer squads for the course and will supply noisemakers and poster board for any group interested in encouraging the runners. To be listed as an official race cheer station, contact race director Lauri Sidelko at or 581.1423.

Categories: Combined News, News

Spencer Wood: Entrepreneurial Athlete

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 15:00

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Spencer Wood of Salisbury, New Hampshire graduated in May with a master’s degree in human development. He also earned his undergraduate degrees in communications and human development with a minor in peace and reconciliation studies from the University of Maine.

Throughout his UMaine career, the student-athlete has been involved in several academic, entrepreneurial and social initiatives including the UMaine student organization Male Athletes Against Violence. As an undergraduate, he played on the UMaine football team while pursuing a double major and minor.

Wood has worked closely with the staff at UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation who helped him enter and succeed in two local business competitions — the UMaine Business Challenge and the Big Gig.

In April, Wood won the latest Big Gig pitch-off finale where finalists from three Big Gig pitch-off events competed for a $1,500 grand prize. Wood presented the app Tip Whip, which would allow college students to find a ride within a 3-mile radius of their location in order to avoid drunk driving.

The Big Gig is a series of business pitch events for entrepreneurs in Greater Bangor designed to bring together area innovators and entrepreneurs and offer networking opportunities. It was started by a partnership between UMaine, Old Town, Orono and Husson University and was supported by Blackstone Accelerates Growth.

In 2013, Wood placed second in the UMaine Business Challenge, the state’s largest student entrepreneurship competition. He was awarded $1,000, as well as patent and law consulting for his business, BodyGuard Fitness that offers a comprehensive and demanding full-body workout.

“I needed something to keep my body in peak physical condition that I could take on the road and use in the residence halls when I was living on campus,” Wood says.

Wood was the outreach and professional development officer for the Graduate Student Government this year; a Black Bear Mentor for a local at-risk youth the past four years; the graduate assistant for family relationship professors Sandy Caron and Gary Schilmoeller; and a tenant of the Foster Center for Student Innovation for the past five years.

Wood also is a graduate of Foundations, a one-year program that provides students who do not meet the admissions standards for their chosen major an opportunity to adjust to college on an academic contract with a restricted class schedule. He credits the program with allowing him to pursue two majors and a minor while playing a college sport.

Congratulations on winning the Big Gig. Why did you participate?
At this stage in my [app] startup, every dollar and connection counts. I wanted to challenge myself to create a winning pitch and meet others in my shoes.

Can you describe your ride-sharing app?
Tip Whip is a free ride-sharing service for college students. We do not put a price tag on a student’s decision to stay safe. The app connects our students, community and school with each other so we can help one another stay safe. Tip Whip is unique because we don’t charge. Our sole mission is to reduce the consequences of college drinking while improving the student experience. I formally established Tip Whip LLC in December 2014. Since then we have safely transported over 6,000 UMaine students.

Why did you join Male Athletes Against Violence and how have you been involved with the group?
I have been involved with MAAV for four years. I coordinated and taught the course for three of those years. I got involved for personal reasons. My sister’s college roommate was dating a football player that I naturally looked up to as an aspiring college athlete myself. He assaulted her and threatened my sister’s life. I wanted to be a positive role model for our youth and community. People need to know there are male athletes who are working everyday to create a stronger community.

What was Foundations like and how did it help you academically?
Foundations was the first time someone told me it was OK to not have a focus. They allowed me to dabble in a lot of different classes. By the end of my freshman year, I had already compiled enough classes to have minors in communication and human development. I never looked back. I received bachelor degrees in both and compiled a minor in peace and reconciliation studies because I wasn’t locked into something specific. Not many people can say they double majored/minor while playing a college sport; I credit that to the Foundations program.

Any updates on the BodyGuard fitness system since placing in the UMaine Business Challenge?
The BodyGuard is nearly complete and ready for the open market. After five different prototypes, a million meetings, and some prize money later, the BodyGuard is set to be completed by May 14. The final product is better than I expected, does more than I expected, and looks awesome; I can’t wait to start using it. I plan on being the Jared of Subway for the BodyGuard. I want create a college-priced diet plan so a majority of people can afford it. I also will create the workout routine and possibly a reality show type feel as I document my progression over the course of a month.

How has the Foster Center helped you throughout your time at UMaine?
The Foster Center is a hidden gem on this campus. Without the Foster Center, none of this would have ever happened. Both businesses would have remained cool ideas, and that is as far as they would have went. I have a deep love and respect for that facility and the faculty that run it. I could write a book about the connections, guidance, support and opportunities they have given me; you will just have to take my word for it. The Foster Center for Student Innovation is my favorite place on campus.

Have you worked closely with a professor or mentor who made your UMaine experience better?
I have many. Sandy Caron has been my adviser since sophomore year and my UMaine mother. Without her, I would have procrastinated my time away. She taught me a lot about my work ethic and drive to get things done. Robert Milardo, “Bob” said I didn’t belong in graduate school during my first year there. Needless to say, he was responsible for lighting a fire underneath me to do better. I email, talk and visit with Bob weekly. He is responsible for my determination to produce top-quality work. Jesse Moriarity at the Foster Center is the most connected person I know — period, end of story. She scheduled meetings with people I should have never had access to, persuaded me to get an office at the Innovation Center, compete in the Big Gig, and made me realize I could run my own business. Jesse is responsible for my confidence in the business world.

What difference has UMaine made in your life and in helping you reach your goals?
UMaine allowed me to turn my goals into a reality. We may not have a city full of bars and nightlife opportunities up here in Orono, but we have a community of people that will give you the shirt off their backs. This school made me focus on myself rather than where I was going out Thursday night. The people and community here taught me a lot.

What are your plans for after graduation?
Closing a Tip Whip technology license deal with UMaine for next fall. I will also be traveling around New England compiling other schools, as well. There is no reason why the Tip Whip shouldn’t be at a majority of New England colleges and universities. I will also be working on selling the rights to the BodyGuard to a [fitness] company.

Any final thoughts?
Treat people the way you want to be treated … or better. I also live by a couple quotes: “Keep it simple” — my family’s motto; “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” — Einstein; and “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take” — Wayne Gretzky.

Categories: Combined News, News

Vernal Pool Research Featured in Press Herald Report

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 15:23

The Portland Press Herald reported on University of Maine vernal pool research being conducted by several doctoral candidates and led by Aram Calhoun, a professor of wetland ecology. UMaine researchers are pursuing several vernal-pool studies through a $1.48 million grant from the National Science Foundation, according to the article. “Amphibians breed in the pool but live in the forest,” Calhoun said. “Many other states don’t even have a law [to protect vernal pools]. We’re lucky to be on the map. But it’s only a starting point. We’re doing this fleet of research to get a better understanding of land practices.” Calhoun hopes the research leads to an enhancement of the 250-foot buffer zone around vernal pools that are identified by biologists as important, the article states.

Categories: Combined News, News

Fuller Quoted in BDN Article About Fiddleheads Recipe Book

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 15:22

David Fuller, an agricultural and non-timber forest products professional with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a Bangor Daily News article about “Fiddlemainia: Maine’s Organic Edible Fern,” a recently published book by Monty Barrett and Lin Diket that includes 125 recipes using fiddleheads. Fuller said fiddleheads have been a part of Maine cuisine for as long as people have lived here. “Fiddleheads herald spring. This is the earliest green, and it’s a big part of our culture,” he said. The article also included tips by Fuller on how to pick and safely prepare the plant to avoid food-borne illnesses. “You have to remember that this is a wild food, but that’s also what is so cool about it,” he said.

Categories: Combined News, News