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Updated: 8 hours 48 min ago

Duplissie Named 2015 Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 14:58

Kevin Duplissie, director and head teacher of the Child Study Center at the University of Maine, has been named the 2015 Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) Teacher of the Year.

Duplissie, who also teaches psychology courses in cognitive and social development in children at UMaine, has been working at the university for 27 years and teaching at the Child Study Center for 12 years.

The preschool education center offers a developmentally based curriculum focused on agriculture, art, language and self-help. The center also serves as a lab for the UMaine Psychology Department and other academic programs.

Duplissie, who has been using Ag in the Classroom’s food, land and people curriculum since 2008, integrates agriculture into every subject and conducts several agriculture-related activities with the college students and preschool children each week.

“I’m from northern Maine,” Duplissie says. “I grew up surrounded by agriculture so it’s second nature to me. A lot of preschool and college students don’t understand the importance of agriculture in our lives.”

Teaching children about agriculture while they’re young is important, Duplissie says, because at the preschool age, they’re learning and retaining information quickly.

“If they can learn about agriculture now, they can build upon it later,” he says. “If you explain and demonstrate agriculture to children, they’re able to grasp it, understand it and work with it.”

Each year, MAITC recognizes an outstanding elementary or secondary school teacher who uses agricultural education materials and/or activities in the classroom.

With Duplissie’s guidance, preschool children build greenhouses, plant gardens, visit farms and hatch chicks every year at the center. Teaching children where their food comes from is an important focus of the curriculum.

“We make snacks with the children, and they know where it comes from,” he says, adding the students grew pumpkins and made cookies and muffins with them during the fall. “We relate it all back to agriculture and the farms that grow their food. Good nutrition is easy to relate back to agriculture. Everything we eat comes from farms.”

At the center, Duplissie works with college students from several majors, including marine science, early development and nursing. He says he enjoys watching the students learn while they teach others.

“I get the chance to work with students who see and use education firsthand,” he says. “The more experience and the more you do things, the more it sticks with you. We want them to see and follow children’s development, and help enhance it.”

MAITC is a grassroots program coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture and housed at the Maine Department of Agriculture. The primary funding source in Maine is the agriculture specialty license plate. Programs are designed to help preschool through 12th grade students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in their daily lives so they will become citizens who support wise agricultural policies and local agriculture endeavors.

Duplissie and his program have received several MAITC grants to fund the agriculture curriculum at the Child Study Center. The program uses lesson plans available through MAITC and provides annual field trips to local farms and orchards.

“This recognition shows that our little program is doing some pretty neat things; even a small program like this can be reaching out. Our projects are being replicated by other teachers in other parts of the state and they are expanding something we have created,” he says.

Duplissie says even though he’s honored to be the 2015 MAITC Teacher of the Year, he doesn’t teach for recognition.

“I like what I’m doing,” he says. “I do it because I enjoy seeing the kids learn and grow. Those are the things that fuel me to continue on.”

As the 2015 MAITC Teacher of the Year, Duplissie will attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom conference in June 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky, where he will meet other teachers from around the country and abroad who are using agriculture to teach their students.

More about MAITC and the award are online.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

Categories: Combined News, News

Preserving Biodiversity

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 14:51

Learning more about the biodiversity of the Falkland Islands and what can be done to preserve it is the focus of a planned trip for three University of Maine researchers.

Jacquelyn Gill, an assistant professor of paleoecology and plant ecology in the University of Maine’s School of Biology and Ecology and Climate Change Institute (CCI), is leading the fieldwork that will be completed from Dec. 4–22 on the small, remote group of islands about 300 miles east of South America.

Gill will travel with two graduate students — Kit Hamley, who is pursuing a master’s degree in quaternary studies at CCI, and Dulcinea Groff, a doctoral student of ecology and environmental science in the School of Biology and Ecology and CCI, who also is part of a two-year fellowship called Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Research Traineeship (IGERT) in Adaptation to Abrupt Climate Change (A2C2).

The researchers will study the islands’ environmental history throughout the last 20,000 years to establish a baseline for conservation efforts, and to understand the effects climate change and human land use have on the area’s biodiversity, according to Gill.

“The Falklands are home to some of the most important penguin rookeries in the world, and a number of species not found anywhere else,” Gill says. “Sadly, this biodiversity is at risk due to a number of threats. Climate change and sea level rise threaten critical habitat already degraded by sheep grazing, and offshore oil drilling is scheduled to begin in the next couple of years.”

The researchers hope to learn more about when humans arrived on the islands and what the ecosystem was like before their arrival. They want to research the threats facing the Falklands’ wildlife — climate change, sea level rise, overgrazing, tourism and offshore drilling — and help residents develop sustainable practices in sheep grazing, eco-tourism and fishing that would benefit the economy in addition to wildlife, she says.

The researchers will collect data from locals, as well as materials, including cores from peat bogs, ponds and lagoons, that we will be shipped to the U.S. and analyzed in UMaine labs. The cores contain records of past climate change, fire history and species composition, Hamley says.

The team plans to travel around the islands, visiting penguin rookeries, including the world’s largest rockhopper penguin colony, according to Gill.

Groff’s Ph.D. research will focus on the sensitivity of the penguin-tussac grass relationship to abrupt climate change since the end of the last ice age.

The native grass provides habitat for penguins and other seabirds and marine mammals and relies on nutrients provided from the animals’ waste. The relationship may be threatened by climate change’s effect on the ocean food web, which would affect the nutrients the animals bring to land. Sheep grazing has also reduced the plant’s presence, according to Gill.

While in the Falklands, Groff will collect sediment cores from several locations. She will study pollen and seabird guano, or waste, within the cores.

“By looking at the records in these cores I will be able to reconstruct how penguin and tussac grass populations have fluctuated through time, under different climatic conditions, especially during times when it is known that climate changed within a short time span,” Groff says.

She also will collect environmental samples including plants and soil to learn more about how tussac grass uses nutrients from penguin guano.

“The overall theme of my project is what I call a marine-terrestrial linkage,” Groff says. “The marine-terrestrial linkage is the connection of nutrients originating in the marine ecosystem that are transferred to the terrestrial ecosystem. The soil in the region is very nutrient poor, which makes nutrients coming from the marine ecosystem very important.”

Groff hopes her research will be used to help predict what will happen to the island’s wildlife and vegetation in the event of a future abrupt climate change scenario.

Hamley’s research will focus on the Falkland Islands wolf, or warrah, a fox-sized carnivore that was the first canid to go extinct in the historic record and was found only on the archipelago, according to Gill.

Hamley will look into whether indigenous people brought the warrah to the Falklands before Europeans arrived.

“Before the warrah was hunted to extinction in the 1870s, the islands were home to no other terrestrial mammals, and had no human inhabitants, raising the question of how and when the wolves first got to the islands, which are separated from mainland Patagonia by 600 km [about 373 miles] of ocean,” Hamley says. “They would have either had to swim, cross a theoretical land or ice bridge — which to date has not been shown to have been present — during periods of lower sea level, drift across on an ice chuck or log, or perhaps be transported via canoe by early humans.”

At this point, no archaeological record has been discovered in the Falkland Islands to definitively indicate that humans were there before European arrival, according to Hamley. She will use the same core samples as Groff to look at charcoal within them to determine if there was a human presence in the Falkland Islands before Europeans arrived.

Hamley will visit sites where warrah bones have been found to look for human artifacts. She will also visit a local museum to take samples of warrah bones for carbon dating.

The islands are home to less than 3,000 residents, according to Gill, and the main economies are fishing, sheep and wool, and tourism, with offshore oil drilling expected in the next couple of years. The climate is windy, cool and damp year-round.

“The Falklands are a fascinating place — home to biodiversity found nowhere else on the planet, and yet they’ve had a long history of human impacts,” Gill says, citing as examples the arrival of the warrah as a native predator, early whaling years, sheep ranching and the Falklands War that left large areas roped off with land mines.

“The past has thrown a lot at the wildlife of the Falklands,” she says. “The future has even more in store, and it’s critical that we get a baseline sense of the biodiversity and how sensitive it is to global change.”

Gill says the islands have a lot in common with the Gulf of Maine, including potential threats to seabirds due to climate change and land use. She says researchers can benefit from studying both areas.

To help fund the $20,000 trip, Hamley and Groff have created and launched a crowdfunding campaign through Experiment.com. The students hope to raise $10,000 in 35 days.

“We started this initiative because we feel this project has the potential to be successful in the crowdfunding realm as it deals with a lot of issues that people care deeply about; climate change, loss of unique biodiversity, conservation and human history,” Hamley says.

Gill says while she is applying for traditional funding sources, there are a lot of alternative methods such as crowdfunding to kick start new projects.

“Crowdfunding also provides the public with a direct connection to science so they can feel like they’re closely connected to the research,” she says. “You’re not just funding my students’ exciting research, you’re also investing in them as future scientists and conservation leaders, who are trained right here at the University of Maine.”

Groff says those who contribute to the campaign will be able to follow the team’s updates during fieldwork and in the lab when they process the cores.

The Falkland Islands research is part of a new partnership between the CCI and the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI), a U.K. organization in the Falklands.

“SAERI approached the Climate Change Institute to develop a partnership, as they are keenly interested in developing research in climate change in particular,” Gill says. “We’re a world leader in climate change research, so there was a natural connection there. Most of SAERI’s expertise is in marine sciences, so they’re excited to have folks working on land.”

Donations to the crowdfunding campaign can be made online.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

 

Categories: Combined News, News

Media Report Voters Approve Question 2, Funds for Biosecure Lab

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 10:18

The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, Inside Higher Ed, Science, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Portland Press Herald, Mainebiz and WLBZ (Channel 2) reported voters approved Question 2 on the Maine ballot. The bond will give $8 million to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. The lab will be biosecure. Sun Journal, WGME (Channel 13 in Portland) and SFGate carried the AP report.

Categories: Combined News, News

MPBN Interviews Brewer About Chellie Pingree’s Win

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 10:17

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, for a report about Democrat Chellie Pingree winning her fourth term representing Maine’s 1st District. Brewer said Pingree could potentially end up in a leadership role in Congress. “What’s really stood out to me the most about Pingree and her time there is that she has made herself really a centrally important member to her party’s operations in the House,” Brewer said. “She is someone who other members of the party turn to for assistance, whether it’s assistance in terms of policy or in terms of re-elections.” Brewer also was quoted in a U.S. News & World Report published earlier on Election Day titled “The status quo election: Even if the GOP wins the Senate, gridlock likely will continue.” Brewer said he would be “stunned if we get anything that can even remotely be considered a clear message” from the American electorate, according to the article. “It’s not a wave [election], and the only reason the Republicans are going to control, or come close to controlling the Senate, is that the cycle worked out for them,” he added.

Categories: Combined News, News

Student-Owned Coffee Shop Opens on UMaine Campus, BDN Reports

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 10:16

The Bangor Daily News published an article about Hide and Seek, a new student-owned coffee bar that is housed in the IMRC center on the University of Maine campus. The shop is run by UMaine graduate students Rachel Nelson, Sarah Hollows and Kris Mason, who credit Dan Sturrup, executive director of UMaine Auxiliary Services, with helping to get the business started, according to the report. “The response so far has been incredible,” Nelson told the BDN. “There’s definitely a market for craft coffee around here.”

Categories: Combined News, News

Director of Group Seeking to End Hunger to Speak at Extension Meeting

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 10:15

Kristine Jenkins, coordinating director of Partners for a Hunger-Free York County, will deliver the keynote address at the York County University of Maine Cooperative Extension Association annual meeting 6:30–8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19 at Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen St., Springvale.

Jenkins will talk about the needs of locals who are food insecure, as well as responses from organizations, including church food pantries, soup kitchens and Cooperative Extension’s Maine Harvest for Hunger. The free, public program is titled “Planting Seeds and Laying Down Roots: Partners for a Hunger-Free York County Team Up with UMaine Extension Master Gardeners.”

A dessert social will begin at 6:30 p.m.; the annual meeting will follow. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 324.2814 or 800.287.1535 (in Maine) or email rebecca.gowdy@maine.edu.

Categories: Combined News, News

Fried to Participate in BDN Election Day Social Media Coverage

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 14:44

Amy Fried, a political science professor at the University of Maine, will take part in a Google Hangout video chat hosted by the Bangor Daily News on Election Day. Fried and UMaine alumnus Matt Gagnon will speak about the Maine governor’s race and will answer viewers’ questions in real time from 6:15–6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4. The video will be streamed live on the BDN homepage.

Categories: Combined News, News

BDN Reports on Increased Enrollment at UMaine

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 10:41

The Bangor Daily News published an article on the University of Maine System’s recently released enrollment report. Despite system enrollment being down, the University of Maine and the University of Maine at Fort Kent have seen slight increases in enrollment, the article states. UMaine’s enrollment is now 11,286, up 0.3 percent from this time last year, according to the article.

Categories: Combined News, News

Brewer Shares Gubernatorial Race Predictions with Press Herald

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 10:40

Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Portland Press Herald about the Maine gubernatorial race between Republican Gov. Paul LePage, Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler. Brewer said he expects to see a close race between LePage and Michaud. “Right now, I would guess Michaud has an edge, but I wouldn’t be stunned if I woke up Wednesday to see LePage elected to a second term,” he said. Brewer also was quoted in a Kennebec Journal article about Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race between Republican Bruce Poliquin, Democrat Emily Cain and conservative independent Blaine Richardson. Brewer said Richardson, who is polling around 10 percent, could play a role in a close election. “If Blaine Richardson gets 5 percent or more [of the undecided voters], Bruce Poliquin can’t win,” he said.

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Beer Economic Impact Study Cited in Mainebiz Article

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 10:39

An economic impact study on Maine’s craft beer industry that was commissioned by the Maine Brewers’ Guild and conducted by two University of Maine economics professors was referenced in the Mainebiz article, “Business is brewing: Craft beer’s national growth is reflected in Maine.” Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild, said the study could be used to lobby for industry-friendly policies at the state level. According to the article, the study found the state’s 35 breweries are poised for major growth in the next few years; Maine breweries sold $92.6 million in beer in 2013 while employing 1,500 workers; and the Maine craft beer industry has an estimated $189 million in annual statewide economic impact.

Categories: Combined News, News

2015 Top Gun Showcase Winner to Receive $10,000, Foster’s Daily Democrat Reports

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 10:35

The Foster’s Daily Democrat reported the University of Maine’s Target Technology Center and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (MCED) have announced the 2015 Top Gun Showcase Pitch Event winner will be awarded $10,000. In addition to the cash prize, Great Works Internet (GWI) will also contribute a one-year business services package, according to the article. The Top Gun entrepreneurship acceleration program is part of the Blackstone Accelerates Growth initiative.

Categories: Combined News, News

Ghost Brothers About to Thrill Maine Audiences

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 10:34

A Southern supernatural musical written by Maine’s king of horror will begin its 2014 fall tour at the University of Maine.

Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a haunting, gothic musical set in Mississippi and penned by best-selling author and UMaine alumnus Stephen King, will be presented Nov. 8 and Sunday, Nov. 9, at the Collins Center for the Arts.

King, who has won hundreds of writing awards, including an O. Henry Award and the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, co-conspired with two other legends — Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Mellencamp and Grammy Award-winning T Bone Burnett — to create the tale of fraternal love, lust, jealousy and revenge.

Mellencamp created the music and lyrics and Burnett provided musical direction for Ghost Brothers, which has an ensemble cast of 15 actors and a four-piece live band. Billy Burke (“Twilight Saga,” “Ladder 49,” “Along Came a Spider,” “24,” “Monk,” “The Closer” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) and Gina Gershon (“Pretty in Pink,” “Cocktail,” “Showgirls,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Ugly Betty”) play the lead roles of Joe McCandless and Monique McCandless, respectively.

In the musical, Joe McCandless reflects on a 1967 tragedy in which his two brothers fought over a girl, which resulted in the deaths of all three. In 2007, McCandless witnesses a familiar scenario playing out between his two sons so they travel to the family cabin in Darkland County, Mississippi, where he shares with his boys the story about his brothers.

Prior to the Saturday night performance, Fogler Library will be the site of a sold-out gala reception at 5 p.m. and a Southern-inspired dinner at 6 p.m. King is expected to deliver remarks at the gala. Fogler Library is where King met Tabitha Spruce when they were students at the university; they married in 1971.

The curtain rises on Ghost Brothers at 8 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. For tickets, visit the CCA website or call 207.581.1755.

Categories: Combined News, News

Media Report on Question 2, Proposed Pest Lab

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 14:37

Question 2 on the Maine ballot was mentioned in reports by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network and Portland Press Herald. The bond would give $8 million to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. John Rebar, executive director of UMaine Extension, and Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with UMaine Extension, spoke with MPBN about the importance of building a biosecure lab. Dill also spoke about bed bugs for the Press Herald article. Question 2 also was included in an Associated Press article about all six bond proposals Maine voters will be faced with. The Kansas City Star, Seacoast Online and Charlotte Observer carried the AP report.

Categories: Combined News, News

MPBN, Press Herald Speak with Brewer Days Before Election

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 14:36

Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in reports by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network and Portland Press Herald days before Election Day. MPBN interviewed Brewer for the report, “Ebola: An October surprise in the Maine governor’s race?” Brewer said the way Gov. Paul LePage handled the Kaci Hickox case could have an effect on the race. “Gov. LePage going out front, seeking a court order, saying we want this quarantine where I am looking out for the health of Mainers and nurse Hickox is potentially — I don’t want to call it a game changer — but do I think it is going to have an impact in these last few days of the race? I think, absolutely, it will,” Brewer said. The Press Herald spoke with Brewer about the 2nd District race between Democrat Emily Cain and Republican Bruce Poliquin. Brewer said Poliquin’s ads and debate strategy have been “bumping up against the line” of being too negative, according to the article. “Even with the way that the president’s viewed, I think that voters in the 2nd District are going to go for Cain,” he said.

Categories: Combined News, News

Write Tech, Write Now! Conference Nov. 7

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 14:34

The Maine Writing Project, along with the Southern Maine Writing Project, is sponsoring the National Writing Projects of Maine’s 2014 fall conference, “Write Tech, Write Now!” on Friday, Nov. 7.

The conference will be held 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. in the Richard Randall Student Center at the University of Maine in Augusta.

Participants will explore digital writing choices for the 21st century with more than 18 workshops. Troy Hicks, an associate professor of English at Central Michigan University and a nationally respected authority on digital writing and technology integration, will deliver the keynote, “Mixing Sources, Amplifying Voices: Crafting Writing in an Information Age.”

The Maine Writing Project is a site of theNational Writing Project and issupported by the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development. The group works to enhance the learning and writing of Maine students and teachers.

More information about the conference, including registration is online.

Categories: Combined News, News

International Exhibition at IMRC Through Nov. 15

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 12:42

De.fragmentation, an exhibition featuring the works of 26 individual artists and groups from Europe, Asia and the United States/Maine, is open through Nov. 15 at IMRC, Stewart Commons. Sponsored in part by the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia, the exhibition was organized by IMRC’s recent Researchers in Residence — the group BridA — Tom Kersevan, Sendi Mango and Jurij Pavlica.

Other participating artists: Sheridan Kelley Adams; Pamela Barberi; Primoz Bizjak; Mark Durkan and Eilis McDonald; Florian Grond; Joakim Hansson; Reese Inman; Kensuke Koike; Marotta&Russo; Anja Medved; Irena Pivka, Brane Zorman/radioCona; Arjan Pregl; Project59 (Irina Danilova, Hiram Levy, Dan Tulovsky); Marcin Ramocki; Martin Romeo; Christian Rupp; Lena Lieselotte Schuster; Saso Sedlaček; Owen Smith; Maja Smrekar; Bogdan Soban; Abby Stiers, Alexander Gross, Isabelle Pelissier; Igor Stromajer; and Miha Tursič, Spela Petrič and Maja Murnik.

BridA/Tom Kersevan, Sendi Mango, Jurij Pavlica formed as a group in 1996 during studies at Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. With its heterogeneous artistic activity within the broad field of contemporary and traditional artistic practices, it represents itself at important exhibitions, intermedia festivals, symposia and conferences at home as well as on the international scene. BridA’s production is based on painting, graphic arts, video, photography and multimedia installations. Their projects are marked by a constant artistic procedure from the two-dimensional surface in to three-dimensional space, in its work it more exposes the creative process than the final art product and it is occupied with content which refers to the problems of authorship and autonomy of an artwork, or of an artist’s role within contemporary society. Within this, it can link with ease artistic thought with science and the technological achievements. Their opus presents recognized strategies, characteristic of a generation influenced by the fine art paradigms of the new media from the 1990s. BridA works in Sempas. More information about the group is online.

In their curatorial statement, BridA noted: “De.fragmentation is a term which comes from technology. More specifically, it is related to the computer data storage system and concerns the process of rearranging data in order to speed up data retrieval. Upon reflection, this type of optimization simply means a more efficient use of the potential of such a device. Potential is not just something that is planned as part of the product design, it has a maximum, finite value. It is based on specific parameters, and determined only by existing needs and inventiveness/creativity. By rearranging data on the computer disk, thereby taking into consideration the device’s environment and record history, we create new electrical states, which mean a better device and progress in relation to the previous state … . The time and space which contemporary art occupies and in which it manifests itself also has potential of its own. The artist applies his or her creativity to rearrange it into different abstract and material structures. It draws upon a limited space and time for the sole reason of causing change in a given and opportune moment. This change is not irrelevant because it signifies progress. In the context of the showcased artworks and artists, defragmentation is therefore a word which highlights the process as something which necessarily improves on the previous state, an invention, art.”

The IMRC Researcher in Residence Program is made possible by support from the IntermediaMFA Program, the Department of New Media, The University of Maine Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series, and the Alston D. and Ada Lee Correll New Media Fund.

De.fragmentation was made possible by support from Kulturni dom Nova Gorica, Pixxelpoint festival, the City Council of Nova Gorica, the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia, University of Maine Intermedia Program and the Correll New Media Professorship. More information about the exhibition is online.

The Masters of Fine Arts in Intermedia at the University of Maine provides substantial advanced study for individuals interested in interdisciplinary study in the arts. The program emphasizes intensive development of students’ creative and innovative abilities through a diverse engagement with multiple research processes, critical thinking skills and creative production tools and technologies. The visiting artist series supports and reflects the wide variety of disciplines represented by the program, including, but not limited to, art, new media, theater, dance, philosophy, art history, engineering, communications, media studies, music, psychology and natural sciences.

Categories: Combined News, News

New Directors Named in LASST, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 10:27

New directors have been named to two University of Maine research centers, according to Carol Kim, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School.

Professor of Chemistry Carl Tripp has been appointed director of the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology (LASST). Associate Professor of Mass Communication Laura Lindenfeld has been named director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center (MCSPC).

LASST plays a major role in educating and training the next generation of scientists and engineers while carrying out interdisciplinary research projects and technology transfer activities in the areas of surfaces and interfaces, materials, thin films, microelectronic devices, sensor technology and nanotechnology.

The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center is a nonpartisan, independent, research and public service unit of the University of Maine. The center is dedicated to improving and promoting the quality of public dialogue about state, regional and national policy issues through applied policy research and community engagement.

Tripp obtained his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1988 from the University of Ottawa. From 1986–88, he was applications manager at Bomem Inc., a world leader in the design and manufacturing of Fourier transform spectrometers. In 1988, Tripp joined the Exploratory Surface Chemistry group at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada and was promoted to manager of the materials characterization area in 1994. He joined the UMaine faculty in 1998.

Tripp is president and cofounder of Orono Spectral Solutions Inc. The company was founded in 2004 and spun out of research conducted at LASST. His research interests include material development through surface modification. His research in chemical/biosensors, surfactant/polymer interactions on surfaces, sol-gel synthesis and paper coatings has led to more than 128 publications and 17 U.S. patents.

Since 2006, Lindenfeld has held a joint appointment in the Department of Communication and Journalism and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center. Her research investigates how researchers, communities and policymakers can work together more effectively to advance decision making and support innovation. Building on this research, she seeks to advance working collaborations with policymakers, stakeholders and communities to craft solutions to issues critical to Maine, New England and the nation.

Lindenfeld envisions the MCSPC as a keystone for brokering relationships among the faculty and constituencies through applied public policy research designed to create stronger linkages between the University of Maine and the state of Maine.

 

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Extreme Weather, Climate Change Research Featured on WMTW

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 09:07

WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) reported on University of Maine research to improve the prediction of extreme weather events. UMaine received $1.5 million of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s $5.5 million award to increase the precision of predictions of extreme weather events and coastal flooding in the northeastern United States. The UMaine faculty and researchers are among the 39 researchers engaged in the two-year study. The group will build, deploy, garner and analyze data from state-of the-art outfitted floats, gliders and moorings during two winter storms and two summer storms. Mary Jane Perry, professor of oceanography and interim director of the UMaine Darling Marine Center; and Huijie Xue, professor of oceanography, spoke about the project. “So rather than four days out saying the storm might be here, the goal is to be able to narrow that window and give better and better predictions,” Perry said. The report also featured the CLAS (Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability Conference) held at UMaine to help local community planners prepare for climate changes and introduce them to tools developed at UMaine’s Climate Change Institute (CCI) to assist in the planning process. Paul Mayewski, CCI director, spoke about weather in relation to climate change. “The climate becomes less stable the more often cold and warm air masses clash,” he said.

Categories: Combined News, News

Breaking the Bias Habit Workshop Nov. 20

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 09:06

The ADVANCE Rising Tide Center at the University of Maine will host two sessions of the workshop, “Breaking the Bias Habit: Retaining and Advancing Excellent Faculty Through Bias Literacy,” on Nov. 20.

Two sessions, 9–11:30 a.m. and 2–4:30 p.m., will be held at the Wells Conference Center.

The workshop will provide the vocabulary for talking about and recognizing implicit gender bias, and will present evidence-based strategies to reduce the effect of implicit biases.

The event will be facilitated by Molly Carnes, co-director of the Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Jennifer Sheridan, executive and research director at WISELI.

Registration is required by Nov. 18. To register, for more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact the ADVANCE Rising Tide Center at risingtide@maine.edu or 207.581.3439. More about the center is online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Oceanographer Tracks Gulf of Maine Changes From Orono Lab

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 07:45

Andrew Thomas has a bird’s-eye view of the Gulf of Maine from his lab in Aubert Hall at the University of Maine in Orono.

The oceanography professor directs the University of Maine Satellite Oceanography Data Lab, which receives daily real-time high-resolution data from NASA’s meteorological satellites.

In this Sept. 27, 2014 satellite image of the Gulf of Maine, Thomas observes several points of interest, most notably the contrasting green summer foliage near the coast and to the south and the developing fall foliage in northwest regions.

He also points to cumulus clouds (concentrated white dots), cirrus clouds (white wisps) and color patterns in the ocean. At the head of the Bay of Fundy, huge tides stir considerable suspended sediment and the water appears brown. Greener ocean waters are indicative of shallow banks and phytoplankton (microscopic plants). Clearest ocean waters are blue.

The images and the collected data, including sea surface temperature and ocean chlorophyll concentrations, allow Thomas to track developing and long-term changes in the ocean, including the impact of water temperature variability on the number and distribution of fish as well as summer algae blooms.

Thomas says tools can be developed for management in the face of those changes.

The lab is part of the University of Maine Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Applications — a cross-disciplinary initiative funded by UMaine and NASA’s Earth Sciences Division).

For more information and to view additional satellite images and data, visit seasurface.umaine.edu.

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