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News from the University of Maine
Updated: 7 hours 19 min ago
Kenneth Palmer, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about the current combative tone in Maine politics. “Maine is generally less combative and nasty in its discourse,” Palmer said. “But we’re getting some of it. It’s part of a national trend. It’s there and developed in the last decade or so.” Palmer also said the state’s tradition for individualized politics has often trumped ideology and is one of the reasons Maine has elected two independent governors.
Maxwell McCormack, a research professor emeritus of forest resources at the University of Maine, wrote “Here are the tools I use to maintain my woodlot,” for the new Homestead section of the Bangor Daily News. McCormack has been a forester for more than 60 years.
The Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Counties Extension Association (ASCEA) will hold a plant sale 3–6 p.m. Friday, May 15 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office, 24 Main St., Lisbon Falls.
Perennial flowers and plants, vegetable and herb seedlings, annual and perennial flower seedlings and seed packets, raised bed frames, birdhouses and other garden-related craft items will be for sale. Children 10 years and younger will receive a free gift. Proceeds will benefit UMaine Extension outreach programs in the two counties that are supported by ASCEA.
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The School of Food and Agriculture’s Animal and Veterinary Sciences Program traditionally has a high acceptance rate of student applicants for veterinary schools. This year, that acceptance rate is nearly 90 percent, with seven students graduating and heading to veterinary schools nationwide, and in Scotland and Canada:
- Brian Blanchard, Thorndike, Maine, Atlantic Veterinary College, Prince Edward Island, Canada
- Rachel Chase, Warren, Maine, Ohio State University
- Elena Doucette, Cumberland, Maine, University of Glasgow, Scotland
- Amy Fish, Mountville, Pennsylvania, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
- Taryn Haller, Mystic, Connecticut, University of California, Davis
- Jeffery Vigue Jr., Whitefield, Maine, Virginia-Maryland Regional Veterinary College
- Ariana Wadsworth, Thomaston, Maine, Oregon State University
Two other Animal and Veterinary Sciences Program students from the Class of 2014 applied this year for veterinary school and were accepted. Kristyn Souliere of Saco, Maine, is headed to Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Bethany van Gorder of West Tremont, Maine, is going to the University of Glasgow.
Brian Blanchard grew up on a small dairy farm in Thorndike, Maine that converted to standardbred racehorses in 2001. He currently drives and trains horses competitively in Maine, and will continue that work in Prince Edward Island while earning his veterinary degree.
Elena Doucette, who grew up in Cumberland, Maine, embarked on a four-month mission trip with Heifer International after high school, gaining experience with livestock husbandry that inspired her to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
Rachel Chase is an honors student from Warren, Maine. Her family raised dairy goats, and broilers and laying hens, and she owns a horse.
Amy Fish, Taryn Haller and Ariana Wadsworth also are honors students. Honors student Jeff Vigue grew up on a beef farm in Whitefield, Maine, and worked at several local dairies.
MPBN highlighted a device built by University of Maine new media students that senses when a person has fallen and uses mobile networks to send assistance. The device, which was tested on volunteer ice skaters, has a gyroscope that detects movement, a cell module and a microcontroller that interprets data. It can be worn on a lanyard around the neck, according to the report.
WABI (channel 5) covered the University of Maine’s seventh annual Wind Blade Challenge, at which 40-plus teams designed a set of wind blades from three blocks of foam and a sheet of fiberglass. The goal was to generate the most energy in three minutes or less. Team members also prepared a presentation about their respective designs and engineering process. WABI reported that Baxter Academy won the challenge.
WCSH6 highlighted The Museum of What’s Left, a final class project created by University of Maine intermediate art students. Students’ sentimental objects, including love letters, records, necklaces and a stuffed animal, were objects inside the repurposed 1985 Burro camper. Students were invited to take another person’s donated piece as a way of continuing the story.
The Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News were among the media organizations that covered former University of Maine men’s ice hockey player Eric Weinrich’s induction into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. Weinrich played 17 years in the NHL, where he made three all-star appearances and was named to the 1991 All-Rookie Team. He also represented the United States in the World Cup, Olympics, Canada Cup and at nine World Championships. Weinrich, who skated at UMaine for coach Shawn Walsh, graduated in 1985 from North Yarmouth Academy. MPBN carried the Associated Press report.
The Portland Press Herald, WABI (channel 5) and Bangor Daily News reported University of Maine football player Damarr Aultman signed an undrafted free-agent contract with the Miami Dolphins. According to the BDN article, in 2014, the senior wide receiver and kick returner caught a team-best 48 passes for 498 yards and ran back 28 kicks for a single-season, record-tying 645 yards.
The Portland Press Herald reported that five former University of Maine baseball players — Bob Anthoine, Gerry Berthiaume, Rod Choroszy, John Dumont and Clarence Keegan (posthumous) — will be among the 11 inductees into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in June.
The Bangor Daily News reported on research conducted by three graduate social work students at the University of Maine. Last fall, Mikala Thompson, Alaina Crowley and Daniel Cohen began researching how many doctors in the state prescribed Suboxone, which is used to treat opioid addiction, according to the article. Three months after the students began planning their project, Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to eliminate state funding for methadone treatment in favor of Suboxone made headlines, the article states. By contacting the 100-plus doctors on a government list, the students found less than half prescribed Suboxone, according to Thompson, the project’s lead researcher. Forty-three confirmed they’re prescribing the medication, 42 confirmed they weren’t and 27 failed to respond, she said. “Maine is proposing policy decisions based on inaccurate data,” Thompson said. The article was a related story to the report, “‘A system that doesn’t exist:’ Without methadone, patients rely on addiction treatment few Maine doctors prescribe,” which also cited the study.
The Bangor Daily News profiled business major Ethan Hawes and his two-year journey to manage multiple myeloma, which included chemotherapy and stem cell transplant to treat the cancer. The 23-year-old will be among the 1,687 undergraduates and graduate students expected to participate in the 213th Commencement on May 9. “Maybe it won’t hit me, maybe it will,” Hawes said, “but I know that once I hold that diploma, it will be one of the most significant moments of my life so far, because of what it symbolizes and what it means.”
Simon Godwin’s reinvention of Bernard Shaw’s witty 1903 classic “Man and Superman” will be broadcast live on the big screen at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 14, at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine.
Academy Award-nominee Ralph Fiennes plays Jack Tanner in the sold-out stage production at the Lyttelton Theatre in London. “Man and Superman” is billed as a romantic comedy, an epic fairy tale and a fiery philosophical debate that asks fundamental questions about how we live.
Tanner, a celebrated radical thinker and rich bachelor descendant of Don Juan, seems an unlikely choice as guardian to Ann (Indira Varma), an alluring heiress. Despite the love of a poet, Ann decides she will marry and tame Tanner. When Tanner’s chauffeur tips him off to Ann’s plan, Tanner flees to Spain, where he’s captured by bandits and meets The Devil (Tim McMullan). A dream debate of heaven versus hell ensues. When Tanner awakens, Ann is there, as fierce in her certainty as he is in his.
Since 2009, NT Live has transmitted the best of British theatre live from London to cinemas and venues around the world. The broadcasts are filmed in front of a live audience, with cameras carefully positioned throughout the theatre to ensure cinema audiences get the best-seat-in-the-house view. Productions are transmitted via satellite to the CCA, then projected onto a 40-foot high-definition screen — one of the largest in the state.
Tickets, which are $18 for adults and $8 for students, are available online or by calling 207.581.1755, 1.800.622.TIXX.
The Mechanical Engineering Design Open House on May 5 will feature an address by Professor Emeritus Richard Hill, “Fossil Fuels and Alternatives,” beginning at noon in Hill Auditorium, followed by an exhibition of capstone projects from 1:10–5:30 p.m., first floor of Crosby Laboratory. For more information, call 207.409.6872.
A research team that includes University of Maine scientists announced a 60,000-year-old ice core from West Antarctica reveals that ocean currents redistributed past abrupt temperature changes in the Arctic to the Antarctic, a distance of about 11,000 miles.
In addition to demonstrating a consistent link between previous sudden, rapid temperature changes in the Arctic and Antarctic, the research explains interactions of climate changes in the northern and southern hemispheres.
UMaine climate scientist Karl Kreutz took part in the project, as did then-doctoral students Bess Koffman and Dan Breton, then-master’s student Dominic Winski and undergraduate Honors student Eliza Kane. Christo Buizert from Oregon State University is the lead author of the research paper published in Nature.
The National Science Foundation-funded study shows over the course of about 200 years, ocean currents spread heat from rapid climate changes during the last ice age in the North Atlantic around Greenland to Antarctica.
The climate in Greenland was unstable during the last ice age (approximately 110,000 to 12,000 years ago) with abrupt 40- to 50-degree F temperature changes that lasted from one to five decades each. Temperature changes in Antarctica followed an opposite pattern, with Antarctica cooling when Greenland was warm, and vice versa.
Project participants say understanding how and why climate changed in the past helps scientists predict how Earth’s climate will respond to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases.
The sudden climate changes during the most recent ice age were regional and caused by large-scale changes in ocean circulation triggered by the collapse of ice sheets. Current changes in temperature and precipitation are global and primarily are caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, say researchers.
“These new results from the WAIS (West Antarctic Ice Sheet) Divide ice core are really exciting, and represent the culmination of years of work by the U.S. ice core community,” says Kreutz, a paleoclimatologist (studies the Earth’s climate history).
“The WAIS Divide ice core contains a climate record from Antarctica that has a time resolution comparable to Greenland ice cores, allowing direct comparison of abrupt temperature changes in both hemispheres during the last ice age. The finding that these abrupt climate changes started in the North Atlantic near Greenland, and took about 200 years to move to Antarctica, provides a new context for our understanding of the climate system.”
The goal of the research was to determine the relative timing of temperature changes in the Arctic and Antarctic, with a precision of several decades. To achieve this, researchers needed a climate record from the Southern Hemisphere that extended at least 60,000 years into the past and could resolve fast changes in climate.
The research team consists of 28 science and engineering groups from around the United States, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Desert Research Institute, University of New Hampshire, the U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory and University of Washington.
The team considered sites all over Antarctica before selecting the one with the best combination of thick ice (11,200 feet), simple ice flow and the right amount of annual snowfall (1.5 feet). Previously drilled ice core records from Greenland provided the detailed history of Arctic temperature change and the new ice core provides the Antarctic record necessary to make a detailed comparison.
The 4.8-inch diameter cylinders of ice that make up the 11,200-foot-long ice core were recovered at a field camp in the center of West Antarctica, 650 miles from the geographic South Pole, called WAIS Divide.
When snow falls at WAIS Divide it rarely melts. Instead, it builds up in thick annual layers, which are compressed into ice by subsequent snowfall. The compacted snow contains dust, chemicals and atmospheric gases, which are trapped in the ice. The dust and other chemicals in the ice are indicators of past climate, and the gas contained in air bubbles is a sample of the ancient atmosphere. The deeper the ice, the older it is, and the farther back in time measurements can be made.
To read the paper, visit, nature.com/nature/journal/v520/n7549/full/nature14401.html.
Photo courtesy of Heidi Roop (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
The Bangor Daily News reported members of the University of Maine Nepalese community are working to generate awareness and raise money to help victims of the recent earthquake. Riju Shrestha, a senior biochemistry major from Kathmandu, said the group is raising money to send to Grande International Hospital, which is currently providing free medical service to earthquake victims. UMaine student Sujita Pandey’s father works at that hospital so the students have a reliable contact, according to the article. “The [Nepalese] government is trying, but because the destruction is so huge, it’s difficult to reach people,” Shrestha said. “There’s millions out there without food, water. The numbers of people injured goes up daily. We need short-term and long-term help.” A candlelight vigil was held April 30 on the steps of Fogler Library. On Friday, May 1, the group will be accepting donations from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. in the Memorial Union, and again during a coffee hour organized by the International Student Association at 4 p.m. in the Union. From 10 p.m.–1 a.m. Saturday, May 2, there will be a fundraiser at the Bear Brew in Orono.
University of Maine 2015 Commencement is May 9, with ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at Harold Alfond Sports Arena.
Motorists in the Orono area will encounter heavier traffic than usual throughout much of the day. Anyone attending Commencement should plan to arrive early.
Doors open at 8 for the morning session; at 1 for the afternoon. Both ceremonies are ticketed events.
People attending Commencement are urged to park in the Collins Center Parking Lot on campus, where three shuttle buses will transport them to the arena. The best access to the Collins Center Lot is via Rangeley Road.
Shuttle buses also will provide transportation to Alfond Arena from the following parking lots: the Steam Plant Lot on College Avenue, Belgrade Lot on Belgrade Road, Hilltop Lot on Rangeley Road, and Buchanan Alumni House at College Avenue and Munson Road.
Captioned, live video streaming will be available for both ceremonies (umaine.edu/commencement/live-feed).
The morning ceremony is for the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Division of Lifelong Learning, and the Maine Business School. The afternoon ceremony is for the College of Engineering, and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.
Backpacks, strollers and large bags of any type cannot be brought to Alfond Arena during Commencement. People are strongly encouraged to leave large bags and any unnecessary items in their vehicles. All items are subject to search.
Spectators are not allowed on the Commencement floor for any purpose, including photos. Only professional photographers hired by the university with proper credentials are permitted to photograph the ceremony from the floor.
Vehicles with handicapped plates or placards can be parked in the Satellite Lot behind Alfond Stadium. There will be a designated handicapped drop-off area on the side of the Alfond Arena, where University Volunteer Ambulance Corps personnel will be available to assist attendees. Entrance to the drop-off area will be the same as the Reserved SkyBox Parking Area. The entry point will be marked from College Ave at Tunk Road, behind Alfond Stadium.
Visitors are reminded that the University of Maine is a tobacco-free campus.
Nine University of Maine students participated in the 14th annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) held in Liverpool, New York in April.
In total, 274 students from 38 colleges across the U.S. and Canada who are training for careers in the dairy industry attended the event.
The Dairy Challenge is a two-day competition for students representing animal and dairy science programs at North American universities. It enables students to apply theory and learning to a real-world dairy farm, while working as part of a team.
Victoria Bobbe, Caitlin Morgan, Sierra Perry and Jeff Vigue, students in the UMaine School of Food and Agriculture, were coached by animal and veterinary science professor David Marcinkowski in the competition.
Challenge participants visited six dairy farms in New York to help farmers evaluate and adapt management to optimize success and animal care. Students also learned about cutting-edge research, new programs and career opportunities from industry professionals.
Teams developed a farm analysis and recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management for an area dairy farm. The teams presented their recommendations to dairy producers and industry experts.
In its 14-year history, NAIDC has trained more than 4,700 students through the national contest, Dairy Challenge Academy and four regional contests conducted annually.
UMaine students Gianna Dettorre, Patricia Donovan, Emily Fortin, Clinton Peebles and Heather Theriault participated in the Dairy Challenge Academy, which was developed in 2013 to expand the educational and networking event to more college students.
Academy participants also analyzed and developed recommendations for operating dairy farms; however, the academy consisted of mixed-university teams with two advisers.
The NAIDC was established as a management contest to incorporate all phases of a specific dairy business. Its mission is to develop tomorrow’s dairy leaders and enhance progress of the dairy industry by providing education, communication and networking among students, producers and agribusiness and university personnel.
University of Maine seniors in the New Media Department are developing a fall detection device for older adults to use outside their homes.
Benjamin Herold-Porter of Biddeford, Maine, and Heather Anderson of Jonesboro, Maine, have created a prototype that can detect when the person wearing the device has fallen and automatically text a programmed cell phone number without requiring user action.
The students, who were enrolled in a new media wearable device class before starting their capstone, were inspired to create a device that would be of use and benefit to their relatives.
Both Herold-Porter and Anderson have fairly active grandmothers in their 80s who have fallen while alone outside their homes. With current devices, Herold-Porter worries his grandmother would forget to press a button when she falls. Anderson says her grandmother, who lives in a big house and carries her own firewood, would need a device that allows mobility and provides extra peace of mind.
Current fall detection devices on the market require the user to initiative service by pressing a button or calling, the students say. In addition, the most popular models consist of a central hub that is placed in the home and limits the device to a 150-foot radius. The students’ prototype relies on mobile networks and can be used anywhere.
The device consists of three major parts: an accelerometer or gyroscope that detects movement; a mini cellphone module that provides access to mobile networks; and a microcontroller or minicomputer that interprets the data from the sensor and tells the cellphone to send a text message. The pieces are wired together and stored in a plastic case made by a UMaine mechanical engineering student that can be worn on a lanyard around the neck.
One out of three adults aged 65 or older falls each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. At 80 years, over half of seniors fall annually and 45 percent of falls by older adults occur outside the home, the students say, citing statistics from the online fall prevention course Learn Not to Fall.
To test their project, the students asked anonymous users at the Alfond Arena’s public free skate to wear the device while ice skating. The device detected all falls, but also some false positives based on movements such as spins, which the students have since worked to improve.
The students, who worked under the supervision of new media professor Mike Scott, received an initial grant to cover the cost of the prototype and are applying for a grant through the Maine Technology Institute to make improvements.
The students say future possibilities for the device include using smaller parts, adding GPS and more functions such as a walk counter, vitals detector or the ability to make phone calls.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the presentation of seven teams of University of Maine Mechanical Engineering Technology students who unveiled devices they designed to allow an 8-year-old girl with one hand to play the recorder. The students presented their senior capstone projects to several judges, as well as Nia, the local girl who was born without a left hand. Nia tested the devices and selected her favorite to take home. “I wanted it [the project] to have some real world application where it would help someone, and you know Nia’s the perfect example,” said engineering student Mackenzie Sutter.