University of Maine News
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is the new home of the state’s tick identification program. Portland’s Maine Medical Center, which handled the program for 25 years, eliminated the service last December due to funding deficits.
UMaine Extension’s Insect and Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, which identifies 3,000 plant, pest and insect species each year, will expand its services to compensate for Maine Medical Center’s cut by creating the Tick ID Lab. The lab is expected to receive up to 1,300 additional tick specimens this year.
“It’s going to give the people a much better awareness of ticks and how to avoid ticks in the first place. That’s the big thing this portion of our lab will do,” says Jim Dill, pest management specialist at Cooperative Extension.
Last year, Maine had 1,349 confirmed cases of Lyme disease — a statistic that Dill says is increasing every year. By opening the Tick ID Lab to citizens as well as the usual doctors and veterinarians, Dill believes the lab can help provide peace of mind to Maine citizens.
The Tick ID Lab can help clients determine if they need to seek help from doctors. There are 14 tick species in Maine, not all of which carry disease. Dill adds the Tick ID Lab can help determine if the submitted tick is one of the disease-free species helping “ease your mind or the mind of your doctor.”
Tick identifications cost $10 — to cover supply costs — and can be submitted in person, by mail or through photos on the lab’s new website. The site also provides information on preventative protection from ticks, tick biology, tick removal and more.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
The University of Maine was mentioned in an Area Development Online article about RollEase, Inc. opening a new product innovation center at Brunswick Landing in Brunswick. Greg Farr, senior vice president of the company that creates custom window treatments, said the Brunswick facility is “an exciting opportunity to expand our design and development of new products and to be around like-minded businesses at Brunswick Landing, as well as partner with other Maine businesses and the University of Maine.”
Leslie Forstadt, a child and family development specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke to the Portland Press Herald for an article about Melissa Smith, the new CEO and president of South Portland-based WEX Inc., announcing her pregnancy to the company’s board of directors and executive leadership team, as well as through a memo to 1,400 employees. Forstadt said men tend not to disclose they are starting families and that as a female CEO, Smith “realized she was bucking the norm.” She added, “It would be great if it wasn’t news that people in positions of power are trying to balance work and family issues, but work and family integration is an ongoing discussion.”
Mitch Mason, the 4-H youth development educator for the University of Maine’s Cumberland County Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about Gorham resident David Smith, a well-known member of the area’s farming community whose cabinet shop was heavily damaged in a fire. Mason said Smith is very active in the 4-H program. He teaches children how to take care of their animals, hauls animals to fairs and clinics, makes house calls if children have questions, and teaches a woodworking class at an annual 4-H forum. “David’s one of those folks who’s always around, willing to volunteer,” Mason said.
The Bangor Daily News mentioned the University of Maine’s upcoming FY 2015 community budget presentation in the article “USM students call for Legislature to enact one-year moratorium on budget cuts.” UMaine’s Vice President for Administration and Finance Janet Waldron will present budget information to the campus community during two forums at 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at Wells Conference Center on Friday, March 28.
The Morning Sentinel reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Franklin County will hold a workshop on hayfield and pasture management April 3 in Farmington. Richard Kersbergen, Extension educator from Waldo County, will lead the class for farmers and others who want to make their lands more productive and profitable.
Men’s Health magazine has named the University of Maine New Balance Student Recreation Center one of “The Coolest College Recreation Centers in America.”
The feature touts that the facility, open since August 2007, offers ski and snowshoe rentals for the surrounding 20 kilometers of groomed trails in the DeMeritt Forest, as well as a 20-person hot tub, a large pool leisure area with hot-water-jet bench seating, co-ed sauna, more than 100 cardio and weight machines and a view of “the rustic Maine countryside.” The $25 million facility is the second of 12 entries in this ranking.
“The distinction of making the Men’s Health list affirms the standing of UMaine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center as one of the best in the country. This distinguished list of university recreation centers represents the best of the best,” says Jeff Hunt, UMaine’s director of campus recreation. “We here at UMaine are proud to add this distinction to honors our facility has received beginning in 2007.”
In April 2013, Best College Reviews named the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center as No. 7 on its list of the “25 Most Amazing Campus Student Recreation Centers.”
The New Balance Student Recreation Center also received the 2009 Special Mention for Excellence in Architecture by the American Institute of Architects: New England and was included in the 2008 Athletic Business Architectural Showcase.
Additionally, the facility has been awarded Silver Certification under the U.S. Green Buildings Council’s Green Building Rating System, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
New Balance Student Recreation Center memberships are available to UMaine students, community members and the general public.
University of Maine associate professor of music Karel A. Lidral will tape a performance with The Lidral Duo on “The Nite Show with Dan Cashman” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, at the Next Generation Theatre, 39 Center St., Brewer.
The jazz duo includes Karel Lidral on soprano saxophone and Terry Lidral on piano. Tickets for the taping of the show are free and required; they can be obtained at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The show will air Saturday, April 12 at 10 p.m. on WPXT-TV (CW) in Portland; 11:30 p.m. on WABI-TV 5 in Bangor; and midnight on WAGM-TV in Presque Isle.
University of Maine undergraduate research will be highlighted during the 5th annual Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday, April 1 at Wells Conference Center.
The event is sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research and is open to any undergraduate at the university. Presentations from 149 students in the form of 77 posters, 21 oral presentations or performances, and nine exhibits will be featured. Several presentations include multiple students.
Students presenting projects that receive the highest scores from judges in each format will receive awards ranging from $100 to $200 in various categories, according to Ali Abedi, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR).
Vice President for Research Carol Kim will deliver opening remarks at 8:30 a.m. Students are encouraged to pose questions for Kim via Twitter using #CUGR2014.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson is expected to give closing remarks during the awards presentation starting at 4:30 p.m., followed by the announcement of the Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowship winners by Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jeff Hecker. Ten students will each be awarded a $3,000 fellowship for their research.
The UMaine community and general public are welcome to attend the free event. For more information or to request disability accommodations, call CUGR, 207.581.3583. More information on the showcase is available online.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
University of Maine graduate students will showcase their research and artistic works during the Graduate Student Government’s 2014 Graduate Academic Exposition.
More than $8,000 in prizes will be awarded to participants of the GradExpo. The event will be held 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 3–4 in the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center on campus.
The GradExpo will feature four areas of competition — posters, oral presentations, intermedia and fine arts exhibits, and a PechaKucha, or rapid-fire slide show event. About 106 submissions are expected at this year’s event.
The poster and oral presentations will highlight the physical sciences and technology, natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. The intermedia and fine arts exhibits will include art works, projects and performances. The PechaKucha competition, open to students in all academic disciplines, invites participants to share their work in a slide show lasting under seven minutes. Unlike the other presentations, the PechaKucha talks will be judged by the audience rather than faculty reviewers.
Two new awards have been added this year, and will be presented during the awards gala, slated for 6 p.m. Friday, April 4 at the IMRC Center.
The Provost’s Innovative/Creative Teaching Award worth $500, $300 and $150 will be given to graduate students who are lead instructors of a UMaine course and use innovative and creative teaching methods. Eligible candidates will present at the expo. Jeffrey Hecker, UMaine’s executive vice president of academic affairs and provost, will designate judges to select the winners.
The UMaine Alumni Association Alum Award worth $250 will be given to a graduate student who earned their undergraduate degree at the University of Maine. Selected candidates will present their research to Alumni Association staff members who will select the winner.
Other awards will include:
Graduate Student Government Awards — Presented to three students in each of the four presentation divisions. Faculty judges choose winners based on academic worthiness, excellence of presentation and skill in making the work understandable to a wide audience. Prizes are worth $600, $300 and $150.
Graduate Student Photo Contest Awards — Presented to graduate students who submitted photos in the categories of graduate student life, graduate student research, and graduate student teaching. The awards are worth $100, $50 and $25.
The Graduate Dean’s Undergraduate Mentoring Award — Presented for effective undergraduate mentoring in research, with awards worth $500, $250 and $100.
The President’s Research Impact Award — A $2,000 award given to the graduate student and their adviser who best exemplify the UMaine mission of teaching, research and outreach.
Innovation Award — $100.
Details of the expo are online. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Robin Arnold, Graduate Student Government vice president, at email@example.com or 207.581.2398.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
Members of the University of Maine campus community are welcome to attend one of two identical public forums that will provide preliminary information about UMaine’s FY 2015 budget.
The presentation will be held at Wells Conference Center on Friday, March 28 with one session scheduled to run from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and the second from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jeffrey Hecker, and Assistant Vice President of Financial and Budget Services Claire Strickland will join Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Janet Waldron as she presents the budget information to the campus community.
The Kennebec Journal reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Poultry Growers Association will offer a daylong school for poultry producers Saturday, April 5, at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. The school is designed for farmers with a poultry enterprise and is appropriate for backyard keepers, bird fanciers and 4-H teenagers. Topics will include best management practices, bird health and disease prevention for egg layers and meat birds, poultry nutrition, poultry product quality and organic practices.
University of Maine students will be able to sample cuisine from Germany, Greece and the South Pacific region at three resident dining locations during UMaine Dining’s Taste of the World event on Thursday, March 27.
During the annual event, menus and decor in each of the dining facilities are transformed, often in consultation with students or other resident experts from the university’s international community.
This year, Greece will be featured at York and the South Pacific will be the theme at Hilltop. A taste of Germany at Wells Central will be showcased as UMaine’s entry in the special event category of the National Association of College & University Food Services dining awards.
A few examples of the authentic German cuisine menu are speckknoedel (bacon dumplings), kirschsuppe (sour cherry soup), sauerbraten (pot roast), wiener schnitzel, knockwurst, bratwurst and vegetarian brats. Classic German desserts will also be available such as schwarzwalder kirschtorte (black forest cake), bienenstich kuchen (custard-filled bee sting cake) and apfelstrudel (apple strudel).
UMaine Dining uses local foods and produce. Part of of UMaine Dining’s mission is to raise awareness of the value and sustainability of supporting locally sourced produce and products.
Although aimed primarily at resident students, anyone in the UMaine community can enjoy any of these all-you-care-to-eat menus for a small entrance fee of $11.00 per adult and $5.50 per child 12 or under. The international fare will be served during dinner starting at 4:30 p.m.
In May, the Maine Public Broadcasting Network will rebroadcast episodes from the three seasons of the “Sustainable Maine” series. The show highlights the research of Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI), based at UMaine’s Senator George J. Mitchell Center. SSI is helping communities solve interconnected economic problems while advancing sustainability science. SSI and Maine EPSCoR collaborated with MPBN to create the Emmy-nominated series. More information about “Sustainable Maine” is online.
The rebroadcast schedule is:
“Return of a River,” 1 p.m. Sunday, May 4
“Culvert Operations,” 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 4
“Preserving Paradise,” 1 p.m. Sunday, May 11
“Saving our Lakes,” 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 11
“Basket Trees — Saving a Tradition,” 1 p.m. Sunday, May 18
“Pools, Policy and People — Maine’s Vernal Pools,” 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 18
“Desperate Alewives,” 1 p.m. Sunday, May 25
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is taking orders for highbush blueberry plants, asparagus crowns and strawberry plants.
A set of three blueberry plants costs $39.95; varieties are appropriate for Maine’s climate. A set of 25 strawberry plants costs $15 and a set of 10 asparagus crowns totals $15. A packet with links to online videos comes with each order and provides information about site selection, planting and care of the specific plants.
Proceeds from this “Grow it Right!” sale go toward scholarships for UMaine Extension’s statewide Master Gardener Volunteer Program and fund statewide community-based horticulture projects. UMaine Extension educators and industry experts annually provide research-based horticulture training to more than 250 Master Gardener Volunteers, who then share what they’ve learned with community neighbors.
Orders can be placed online until May 1. Plants will be available for pickup May 17 at various locations throughout the state.
For more information, contact Richard Brzozowski at 207.781.6099, 800.287.1471 (toll-free in Maine) or firstname.lastname@example.org; or contact Marjorie Peronto at 207.667.8212, 800.287.1479 (toll-free in Maine) or email@example.com.
WABI (Channel 5) spoke with Kathryn Hopkins, a maple syrup expert and University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and professor, about the current state of Maine’s maple syrup season. Hopkins said while some people may be concerned about the slow start to this year’s season, it’s actually back to the traditional time frame for maple syrup production following a couple of earlier seasons. She said the maple syrup season in Maine can range from the end of January until the middle of April and predicts there will be plenty of syrup available in April.
The Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5), WVII (Channel 7) and the Portland Press Herald were among several news organizations to cover the University of Maine’s football Pro Day. Fourteen members of the Black Bear football team’s senior class got the chance to perform tests and drills for nine scouts in hopes of getting noticed by an NFL team. Among the hopefuls was standout cornerback Kendall James, who was the focus of an SB Nation article titled “Steelers scouts at University of Maine Pro Day, CB Kendall James one to watch.”
Len Kaye, director of the University of Maine Center on Aging and professor in the UMaine School of Social Work, co-wrote a column with Cliff Singer, chief of Geriatric Mental Health and Neuropsychiatry at Acadia Hospital and Eastern Maine Medical Center. “Should I retire? Four rules of thumb for maximizing your golden years” was published by the Bangor Daily News as an “Age Smart” column.
The Morning Sentinel reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and RSU 19 Adult Education are sponsoring a workshop on how to grow hops in home gardens. The workshop will be held Tuesday, April 1 at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport. Participants will learn the history of hops production in New England, what is needed for hops to thrive in Penobscot County, basics of planting and care, pests that can affect hops, and harvesting.
The Sun Journal reported the Mahoosuc Land Trust will host a third presentation in its Changing Nature series Wednesday, March 26, at the University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center in Bryant Pond. Ryder Scott, the camp’s program director, will present “Changing Nature of Education for a Sustainable World.” Scott said the “world is changing more rapidly and dramatically than ever before” and people must lay the groundwork for a sustainable society by informing the next generation.