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University of Maine News
News from the University of Maine
Updated: 2 hours 48 min ago
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.
Dr. Harold Borns, University of Maine Professor Emeritus of Glacial and Quaternary Geology, was featured by Channel 7 for his Ice Age Trail map—which includes 46 destinations in Downeast, Maine that people can visit to learn about unique landscape formed by glaciers (http://www.foxbangor.com/news/local-news/10292-new-app-lets-people-relive-ice-age.html).
The map now is available in digital form as an iPad app called Maine Ice Age Trail Map and Guide: Down East. Josh Plourde, creator of the app and communications manager at the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, also was featured in the video.
The University of Maine 4-H Summer of Science Team was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article about a collaborative picnic in Portland to nourish youth and combat food insecurity (https://bangordailynews.com/2015/07/10/health/portland-picnic-aims-to-combat-food-insecurity/). At the picnic, about 275 meals of sandwiches, chips and watermelon were given to those attending younger than 18 years old, according to the article.
Paul Mayewski, director of the University of Maine Climate Change Institute, was included in WABI-TV5 coverage of the Maine Chapter of the Fulbright Association’s presentations on the Arctic and climate change in Castine (http://wabi.tv/2015/07/10/arctic-climate-change-impacting-maine/).
“We are already experiencing great change and that great change affects our health and our wealth,” said Mayewski. His talk was titled: “Is climate instability in our future? Or, is it already here? The Arctic and Its Impact.”
World News carried University of Maine media releases about UMaine Darling Marine Center scientists discovering ocean chloride buried in sediment (http://article.wn.com/view/2015/07/10/DMC_Scientists_Discover_Ocean_Chloride_Buried_in_Sediment_Un/) and the DMC Science on Tap seminar on Spying on Oceans with Satellites (http://article.wn.com/view/2015/07/10/Spying_on_Oceans_with_Satellites_Robots_Focus_of_DMC_Science/).
The University of Maine Aroostook Farm was in a Portland Press Herald article about Maine malt for local craft beer (http://www.pressherald.com/2015/07/12/maine-malt-for-local-craft-beer-has-arrived/).
Aroostook Farm in Presque Isle is participating in malt barley field trials. Joel Alex of Blue Ox Malthouse began making malt a couple of months ago using a system built for him at the university with a seed grant from the Maine Technology Institute. The tradition of malting barley is as old, according to the article, but it’s also an emerging industry with great market potential for entrepreneurs, farmers and craft breweries in Maine.
The University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor was mentioned in a Boston Globe piece about the Maine Art Museum Trail (https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/theater-art/2015/07/13/portland-museum-exhibition-offers-statewide-sampler/Xvjpi5dIyK8D7FwnPPhCWO/story.html).
“… that’s the joy of the Maine Art Museum Trail. The same artists keep cropping up in different places: There are Hartleys here, Homers there, Wyeths, Hoppers, Zorachs, and Katzs all scattered hither and thither. You may need to keep notes to keep it all straight in your head. But art-wise, you can’t really go wrong,” reads the piece.
The University of Maine Sea Grant Program was included in a Bangor Daily News article about the Eastport Area Chamber of Commerce regional visitor information center in the Eastport Port Authority building (https://bangordailynews.com/2015/07/12/news/down-east/eastport-boasts-new-regional-visitor-center/).
The port authority designed the building to meet community needs and to rent space to organizations, including Maine Sea Grant, according to the article.
Aquaculture Magazine published an article about Acadia Harvest, a commercial land-based, indoor fish farm (http://www.aquaculturemag.com/daily-news/2015/07/10/land-based-aquaculture-farm-helps-meet-local-seafood-demand-in-maine), that’s partnering with the University of Maine and its Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research on an $8 million project to raise black sea bass and California yellowtail.
“Ninety percent of our seafood today is imported. We’d like to change that. We can provide consumers with high-quality seafood that’s grown closer to home and grown to a standard of quality that they would find attractive to them,” said Acadia Harvest CEO Ed Robinson in the article.
The University of Maine Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden on Rangeley Road will be closed for maintenance Tuesday-Wednesday, July 14-15.
Bob Cobb, former dean of the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development and a founder of Maine’s Sports Done Right, and Parise Rossignol, UMaine women’s basketball player, will be guests on Downtown with Rich Kimball 4-6 p.m. Thursday, July 16. The topic will be youth sports; the show airs on WZON-AM620, WKIT-HD3, and WZONThePulse.com.