University of Maine News
The University of Maine will hold three public meetings in Friendship, Bristol and Port Clyde to share updates on the planned 12-megawatt offshore wind demonstration project by Maine Aqua Ventus GP LLC.
The meetings, from 6–8 p.m., will be held: Nov. 12, Friendship Town Office; Nov. 14, Bristol Consolidated School; and Nov. 25, Herring Gut Learning Center, Port Clyde. Moderating the meetings will be Maine Sea Grant Director Paul Anderson.
Community members interested in learning more about the offshore wind demonstration project are urged to attend.
Registration is underway for the 2013 Maine Food Summit, a daylong conference Friday, Dec. 6 at the University of Maine. The event, sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Wells Conference Center on the Orono campus.
The summit is an opportunity for food producers, business owners and anyone involved with and interested in Maine’s dynamic food system to share ideas about growing Maine’s agriculture and fishery, supporting the state’s economy and improving food security.
Tim Griffin, associate professor and director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University, and Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, are keynote presenters. In addition, there will be panel discussions, workshops and opportunities to meet others interested in food systems.
Cost is $30 ($20 students) for those who register by Nov. 22 and $40 ($30 students) for those who register from Nov. 23 until the Nov. 27 deadline. Lunch is included. To register, or to request a disability accommodation, call Meghan Dill at 207.581.3878. For more information, contact John Jemison at 207.581.3241 or visit umaine.edu/agriculture/maine-food-summit.
Contact: Meghan Dill, 207.581.3878
The Associated Press, Renewable Energy News, Bangor Daily News and Mainebiz reported the University of Maine and its partner companies have released additional details about their offshore wind project proposal. Maine Aqua Ventus released information about plans to supply power directly to Monhegan Island. Jeffrey Thaler, assistant university counsel and a visiting professor of energy policy, law and ethics at UMaine, told the AP the project aims to provide power to the island where residents currently have high energy costs due to their reliance on generators. Jake Ward, UMaine’s vice president for innovation and economic development, said the proposal highlights the university and its partner companies’ strong approach that they believe gives them a good shot at winning a $46 million federal energy grant. The Boston Herald, Sun Journal, WLBZ (Channel 2), Tri-City Herald, Miami Herald, Recharge News, Portland Press Herald and Bloomberg Businessweek were among organizations to carry the AP report. The BDN also published an editorial on the project and Before it’s News mentioned the project in the article “Offshore wind experiences its best growth in 2013.”
Research by Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, a clinical nutritionist and professor at the University of Maine, was recently published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. Klimis-Zacas’ found eating 2 cups of wild blueberries a day for two months can improve metabolism of fat, reduce chronic inflammation and lower LDL cholesterol. She also found a diet enriched with the fruit can normalize gene expression of inflammatory markers and those related to lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. NRC Research Press, Allvoices.com, Examiner.com, News Medical and Science Codex reported on the journal article and research findings.
The Bangor Daily News published a feature article on Regina Marquis, course scheduling and data support coordinator in Continuing and Distance Education at the University of Maine, who ran the New York City Marathon this past weekend. It was a triumph in her long career of running and in light of her recent health challenges.
Mark Brewer, an associate professor of political science at the University of Maine, was interviewed for a Portland Press Herald article about Gov. Paul LePage officially launching his re-election campaign. Brewer said LePage faces obstacles in his run but has “a decent chance” at a second term because in a race against Cutler and Michaud, vote-splitting could lead LePage to a narrow victory.
WABI (Channel 5) reported the University of Maine ROTC will host about 80 collegiate ROTC cadets from the area for this year’s Veterans Day 5K. The race is a way for ROTC members to honor veterans. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and the 20th Maine Honor Society.
The University of Maine University Singers will perform during two concerts, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10 in Minsky Recital Hall on campus.
Under the direction of Dennis Cox, the group will sing pieces by a variety of composers, including Leonard Bernstein and Beth Wiemann, UMaine music division chair and professor of composition and clarinet. The program will also feature several student musicians, accompanists and conductors.
Members of this select choir come from a variety of academic disciplines; nearly half concentrate in subject areas outside of music. The singers annually perform at multiple concerts on campus, tour New England for a week each spring and perform abroad every four years. Auditions, open to all students, are at the start of each fall semester.
Admission to each performance is $9, or free with a valid student MaineCard. For tickets or disability accommodations, call 207.581.1755. Tickets may also be purchased at the door one hour before the show.
The University Singers will join other UMaine choral groups in the annual Yuletide concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 in the Collins Center for the Arts.
The Orono Comprehensive Plan Committee encourages members of the UMaine community to participate in a public workshop on the town’s comprehensive plan. The forum, 6–9 p.m., Nov. 12, Orono Municipal Building, will focus on policies and actions for housing, the economy and in-town land use. The committee seeks public input on such issues as zoning for more in-town housing for families; the need to preserve single-family neighborhoods; ways to encourage startups, food-related businesses, R&D and light manufacturing; and downtown improvements. Draft proposed policies are online.
WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on a Maine National Guard emergency preparedness exercise held at the University of Maine. The event was one of several emergency scenarios occurring consecutively at venues around the state. Wayne Maines, director of safety and environmental management at the University of Maine, spoke about the mock laboratory in Holmes Hall where emergency response teams practiced investigating and eliminating risks that might arise in real-life settings. He said it’s important to build relationships and improve communication with emergency responders. The Bangor Daily News and WLBZ (Channel 2) also reported on the drills around the state.
The Bangor Daily News reported officials connected to the University of Maine’s offshore floating wind turbine will meet with residents of three coastal towns — Friendship, Bristol and Port Clyde — to outline early plans for a power transmission line that might pass through one of their communities in the future. Jake Ward, UMaine’s vice president for innovation and economic development, said UMaine representatives will present possible locations of where the line could come ashore and that research is continuing to determine a location. He added the line is a “fairly small transmission line, not too different from what you’d see on a utility pole.”
The Bangor Daily News editorial, “Maine has lots of businesses, and we can get them to grow,” stated research conducted at the University of Maine to help startups is one of the state’s most valuable resources related to economic growth.
The Kennebec Journal reported on Maine National Guard emergency preparedness exercises planned around the state. Maine National Guard soldiers, as well as local, state, federal and international agencies, will respond to several emergency scenarios occurring consecutively at venues around the state. The University of Maine is hosting an exercise Nov. 5–6 and is providing a mock laboratory in Holmes Hall where emergency response teams will practice investigating and eliminating risks that might arise in real-life settings.
Habib Dagher, director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center and leader of the DeepCwind Consortium, was featured in an episode of 207 on WLBZ (Channel 2). Dagher spoke about the consortium’s mission to establish Maine as a national leader in deepwater offshore wind technology. In May, the Advanced Structures and Composites Center launched VolturnUS 1:8, the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine to be deployed off the coast of North America.
The Portland Daily Sun reported on a study by Richard Powell, an associate professor of political science at the University of Maine, that found opposition to same-sex marriage is greater on Election Day than indicated in pre-election polls. Powell’s study states the reason for the discrepancy is that people being surveyed tend to say they’ll vote the way they think is socially desirable, regardless of their real position on the issue.
Paul Mayewski, a professor and director of the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, and George Jacobson, state climatologist and professor emeritus of biology, ecology and climate change at UMaine, were quoted in a Morning Sentinel article about a climate change forum held at Kennebec Valley Community College. The pair spoke about the importance of climate change and the technical aspects of how climates have evolved in various parts of the world. The symposium was organized by the Mid-Maine Climate Adaptation Working Group and focused on the effects of climate disruption on our health, the economy, extreme weather events, the sea level and our water supply.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Mark Brewer, an associate professor of political science at the University of Maine, about the political effects of gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud announcing he is gay. Brewer said what remains to be seen is whether special interest groups opposed to gay rights might try to capitalize on Michaud’s sexual orientation by making independent expenditures to benefit one of his opponents. Brewer said any candidate would have to publicly condemn those attacks, but what they do behind the scenes would remain unseen.
The research of Daria Bednarczyk, a Connecticut native and University of Maine senior studying marine science, was featured in a New Britain Herald article. Last year, Bednarczyk and another student spent three months on the island of South Caicos interviewing almost 50 fishermen, marine officers, business owners and residents about their fishing practices. In two weeks, the pair was able to put a total economic value on the fishing industry. Bednarczyk’s work abroad was also featured at the 26th annual International Congress for Conservation Biology this past July.
The Bangor Daily News spoke with Jeffrey Thaler, assistant university counsel and a visiting professor of energy policy, law and ethics at the University of Maine, for the article titled “Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners to acquire 9 Maine dams.” Thaler said this will be the first time in a long time that one company has owned as much of the hydropower in Maine as Brookfield will and it shows the company’s commitment.
The Portland Press Herald published a feature article on University of Maine graduate student Kyle Ravana, Maine’s newest deer biologist. Ravana is currently finishing a master’s degree in wildlife science at UMaine, where he also earned his undergraduate degree. He was hired by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife as head deer biologist seven months ago and is working to win over the trust of Maine’s hunters.