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University of Maine News
News from the University of Maine
Updated: 2 hours 30 min ago
University of Maine women’s basketball student-athlete Liz Wood of Catlett, Virginia, has been named the America East’s 2014–15 Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Wood, the first Black Bear to receive the honor, was selected from a group of eight student-athletes in female sports. Each year following the fall, winter and spring seasons, a committee of athletic administrators and NCAA faculty athletics representatives elects a male and female scholar-athlete in each of the league’s 18 championship sports.
On the court, Wood earned America East Co-Defensive Player of the Year and America East first team accolades. Wood led the Black Bears to an America East regular season championship and a berth in the WNIT after starting all 32 games and averaging 13.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.7 steals. Wood, a member of the league’s All-Defensive Team, also recorded eight double-doubles and Maine’s first-ever triple-double.
In the classroom, Wood is a biology major with a pre-med concentration. She was an America East All-Academic choice and has been a Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient. Wood, Maine’s SAAC co-president and the America East’s National SAAC representative, was named UMaine’s 2015 “M” Club Dean Smith Award winner. The award is presented annually to the top male and female student-athlete with outstanding academic and athletic achievement along with citizenship and community service.
An America East Release is online.
David Yarborough, a blueberry specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Bangor Daily News about the anticipated success of this years growing season.
Yarborough organized and moderated the annual meeting of blueberry growers from around the state — held at Blueberry Hill Farm in Jonesboro — this past Wednesday.
Last year’s harvest of 104.4 million pounds of wild blueberries was reported to be one of the largest ever. A typical blueberry season contributes about $90 million to the Maine’s economy each year, according to Yarborough.
Robert Steneck, professor of marine science at the University of Maine, was quoted in an article that appeared in boston.com about a ‘huge lobster’ caught in the Gulf of Maine.
The University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor was mentioned in The Wall Street Journal about the Maine Art Museum Trail titled, “Hunting Beauty on Maine’s Art Museum Trail.”
“…I moved on to the University of Maine museum, which concentrates on contemporary art. There, I found four exhibitions squeezed into a small space. One gallery contained selections from the permanent collection by Estes, Wyeth, Abbott, Katz and Marin. None stood out, so I entered “Blind Spot,” a show of work by Anna Hepler, said to be one of Maine’s best-known living artists. Ms. Hepler makes soft sculptures and large, patterned woodcuts. They relate to nature, but as with much contemporary art, they are also about process and materials. For example, she uses plastic bags to make crocheted pieces.”
Mark Brewer, political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in an MPBN article titled, “Potential 2nd District Rematch on Track to Shatter State Fundraising Records.”
Brewer believes that spending reports are still a good measure of progress for a candidate’s success. “These numbers still tell us, in many ways, what they told us in a pre-Citizens United world.”
Early and robust fundraising sends a strong signal to supporters about the candidate’s viability and could also discourage potential primary challengers from making bids, according to Brewer.
“Being able to raise money early and at a healthy clip does kind of demonstrate viability and the strength of a candidate,” Brewer says. “It’s a signal for people with deep pockets to say, ‘Well OK, they’re viable, so I’m not going to be throwing my money away if I step in here and do that.’”
William “Bill” Lucy ’71, former associate dean of student activities and organizations at the University of Maine, passed away July 12, 2015. Lucy earned his education doctorate from UMaine in 1971. For 25 years until his retirement in 1996, Lucy was known to generations of University of Maine students as “Dean Lucy.” As associate dean of student activities and organizations, he worked closely with fraternities, sororities and other student organizations, and encouraged and supported student volunteerism and community service. Lucy participated on countless committees, and developed and taught courses in scuba diving and outdoor education and recreation. His obituary is in the Bangor Daily News.
The program Harvest for Hunger — which connects gardeners with food-insecure neighbors who can benefit from donated fresh produce—was featured in a fosters.com news article about their unique program run by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
According to UMaine Extension educator Frank Wertheim, last year York County commercial and residential growers donated 50,000 pounds of fresh produce to local food pantries through the program. This was the highest amount donated in all of Maine, and 26,000 pounds of that produce came from one source — Spiller Farm in Wells.
Scott Darling, former University of Maine goalie, was featured in a Bangor Daily News article highlighting his success as a professional hockey player for the Chicago Blackhawks, who won this year’s championship game.
The article talks about the turning points in Darling’s life; how he earned a spot on the NHL roster and how he overcame his struggles with anxiety disorder and alcohol abuse.
Darling spent the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons at UMaine, but was suspended three times for violating team rules and was eventually dismissed from the team.
Last summer, Darling talked with UMaine freshman student-athletes about hard work and doing the right things to achieve success.
“I shared my story with them. I made them aware what can happen if you don’t do the right things. It was nice to talk to them and try to rebuild the bridge I burned there,” said Darling. “It was cool.”
“I’m proud to be affiliated with the school (UMaine). I met a lot of great people there,” he said.
Stella Doyon, a master food preserver with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, has a relish recipe in a book highlighted in the Knox News Sentinel. Linda Amendt, multi-time winner of culinary competitions at fairs, authored “Blue Ribbon Canning,” (Taunton Press, $21.95).
Metro, a daily newspaper in Canada, carried an Associated Press story about sake joining the ranks of artisan brewing. Dan Ford’s Maine-made sake is hitting what he thinks is an untapped market. Ford, who launched Blue Current Brewery, received assistance from the University of Maine and used a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for his rice to be shipped from Minnesota. A distributor will sell the sake for $25 for 750-millilitre bottles and $15 for 350-millilitre bottles.
The Bangor Daily News announced the University of Maine women’s basketball team ranked No. 24 in the 2014–15 Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 Honor Roll presented by AT&T. The Black Bears, the lone America East program in the top 25, earned a 3.399 team GPA. University of Missouri-Kansas City was No. 1 with a 3.726 GPA.
The Bangor Daily News reported that University of Maine football player Trevor Bates of Westbrook is a nominee for the 2015 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team. The award honors football players who help others and positively affect their communities.
James McConnon, a professor of economics at the University of Maine, was interviewed in a Mainebiz article about Stonewall Kitchen, an iconic Maine brand.
McConnon says as Stonewall Kitchen has grown, it has inspired a generation of artisanal food makers in Maine. The number of food and beverage companies in Maine grew 19 percent between 2010 and 2013. The bulk of that growth has come from people who, like Stonewall’s founders, make products, sell at farmers’ markets and work to earn more wholesale customers, McConnon says.
“What Tom’s of Maine did for the health care products industry, I think Stonewall has done for the gourmet specialty food industry here in Maine,” said McConnon.
ABC/Fox/Channel 7 featured middle school students participating in the Maine Summer Transportation Institute program at the University of Maine. The two-week camp seeks to expose students to careers in engineering, specifically transportation-related fields. Participants designed games using cars, elevators, taxi cabs and more to learn about real-world applications of problem solving, communication and team building.
A 2011 University of Maine report was cited in a Bangor Daily News editorial about ways to boost recycling in the state, keeping in mind the process is market-driven. The report found nearly 22 percent of the material in Maine’s solid waste could be recycled and 38 percent could be composted.
In an article in the Portland Press Herald, University of Maine professor of marine science Robert Steneck was interviewed about the age of a 3-foot-long, 20-pound lobster caught in the Gulf of Maine.
“I would question it being 75 years old,” said Steneck. “It’s probably more in the range of 25 to 50 years.”
Steneck is based at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, Maine. His research looks at the structure and function of coastal marine ecosystems; studying kelp, lobsters, sea urchins and fish stocks in Maine and around the world.
Todd Gabe, an economics professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Bangor Daily News article about a proposal to increase the local minimum wage. If approved, the local minimum wage would increase from $7.50 to $8.25 per hour in 2016, to $9 per hour in 2017 and to $9.75 in 2018.
According to Gabe, a minimum wage increase to $8.25 per hour would affect 7 percent of the 67,720 workers in the Bangor metropolitan statistical area, which includes surrounding towns and cities, including Brewer, Hampden, Orono, Old Town and Winterport.
The matter will be discussed in a public hearing before the full council at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Bangor City Hall.
Camp merges environmental science, traditional Native culture
Weaving baskets while learning about brown ash identification and habitat is one of the hands-on projects at the Wabanaki Youth Science Program (WaYS) wskitkamikww, or Earth, summer camp June 22-26, at Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott.
At the third annual WaYS summer camp, Native American youth in grades 9-12 also will use compasses and forest tools, learn about medicinal and edible saltwater plants, tidal ecology and climate change issues as they relate to fish.
WaYS, a long-term, multi-pronged program coordinated by the Wabanaki Center at the University of Maine, integrates environmental science and traditional Native culture.
“It’s great fun. It’s intense,” says Wabanaki Center program manager tish carr, who earned a Master of Forestry degree at UMaine.
WaYs, says carr, seeks to connect the next generation of Native youth with their cultural heritage and legacy of environmental management and stewardship.
In addition to summer camps, seasonal mini-camps are open to junior and senior high school-age students. Each mini-camp focuses on one activity; topics have included shelter building, maple tree tapping, snowshoeing and fishing.
Internships also are available for Native high school-age boys and girls to work with area natural resource experts, including those from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as cultural resource professionals.
And, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) programs are offered to Native students year-round to continue the long-term connection.
The various approaches and offerings are intended to develop a model education program that promotes Native American persistence and participation in sciences from junior high through college and when choosing a career.
When Natalie Michelle was an EPSCoR graduate student in 2012, she had the concept for an Native American Earth Camp in Maine that combined complementary aspects of science and TEK, as a regional follow-up to the successful Native American Earth Camp coordinated by Professor Robin Kimmerer at State University of New York College of Environmental Science.
Michelle now is a New England Sustainability Consortium-Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative (NEST-SSI) research assistant with the I.Ph.D. Program in Ethnobotany and Adaptive Practices in Climate Change.
The WaYS program also benefited from the input of John Banks, director of the Department of Natural Resources for Penobscot Nation; Darren Ranco, UMaine associate professor of anthropology and chair of Native American Programs; and members from each of Maine’s Wabanaki Tribal Nations.
For three days at summer camp, water will be the broad topic for activities for the 25 participants. One day will be devoted to wildlife topics and another day will be dedicated to forestry. Forestry activities, says carr, will utilize compasses and GPS units and include data collection, tree identification and possibly “forest forensics.”
Food at camp will be Native-based. “We’ll concentrate on a healthy lifestyle and talk about where food comes from,” says carr, adding that as many as four interns will assist educators during the week.
Barry Dana, WaYs cultural knowledge keeper, a Penobscot community elder and former tribal chief, teams with carr, a liaison with other natural resource professionals, to make the program a success.
The camp and WaYs are supported by National Science Foundation awards to Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine.
In related news, the Penobscot Nation, with support from the Wabanaki Center and the USFS, recently received a grant totaling nearly $46,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for a Native habitat restoration project in Penobscot Experimental Forest in Bradley, Maine.
For 18 months, Wabanaki students will work hand-in-hand with members of the U.S. Forest Service, other scientists and cultural knowledge keepers collecting and analyzing data on invasives, including Asiatic bittersweet and Norway maples.
The 3,900-acre forest is a site for U.S. Forest Service research; it’s one of 80 experimental forests in the U.S. and the only one in the transitional zone between the Eastern Broadleaf and boreal forests.
The grant, says carr, will help develop future Native environmental leaders by providing participants with the ability to participate in cutting-edge research and learn from various professional and cultural mentors.
This story has been edited to reflect Natalie Michelle’s contributions to the Wabanaki Youth Science Program (WaYS) Earth Camp.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
In an article in The Weekly, Maggie Halfman—fourth-year marine science student at the University of Maine—was profiled for her upcoming trip to Antarctica. Halfman will be traveling to a research station in October, and will conduct an independent project there for two months. Halfman is conducting research at the Darling Marine Center this summer in preparation for her trip.
The trip is led by UMaine Professor Rhian Waller, who specializes in the reproduction and development of cold-water and deep-sea invertebrates around the globe. Her research explores how these animals are affected by both natural and anthropogenic environmental change.
The Maine section of the American Society of Civil Engineers raised $4,700 at its annual golf tournament for scholarships for University of Maine students, according to an article in the Bangor Daily News. UMaine students interested in applying for the scholarships may contact the Department of Civil Engineering at UMaine through its website.