University of Maine News
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.
The University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation has been nominated for the Fusion Bangor Leadership and Vision Award. Jennifer Hooper, a UMaine graduate student and Foster Center tenant with her nonprofit Spark!, is also nominated for the award. The winner of the award will be announced at this year’s Fusion Bangor Extravaganza 7–10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Union Street Brick Church in Bangor. Ticket and event information are online. Fusion Bangor is the region’s networking group of young residents that works to connect the demographic to each other, engage with the community and transform the Bangor area into the preferred place to live, work and play in Maine.
The University of Maine Black Bear Mentors will host elementary- and middle-school students Wednesday Nov. 6 for the group’s annual scavenger hunt on the UMaine campus.
The program is offered through the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism and is run by an AmeriCorps VISTA. More than 80 UMaine students are currently participating, making the program’s 11th year the largest.
Students will arrive at UMaine by bus from their respective schools at 2:30 p.m. and meet their mentors at the Wells Conference Center where they will be given scavenger hunt questions. The students and mentors will travel to buildings on campus to answer the questions before returning to Wells for ice cream sundaes and prizes.
The Black Bear Mentors meet with third- to eighth-grade students once a week after school and work on activities such as sports, arts and crafts, homework, board games and community service projects.
A scavenger hunt also took place Monday, Nov. 4.
Wayne Maines, University of Maine’s director of safety and environmental management, spoke with WVII (Channel 7) about the emergency preparedness training exercise with the Maine National Guard that will be held on campus Nov. 5–6. Maines said the best part of the exercise will be the chance to review and improve procedures. The Bangor Daily News also carried a report about the Vigilant Guard exercises scheduled around the state, including the UMaine exercise.
Janet Fairman, an associate professor of education at the University of Maine, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report titled “School consolidation: 5 Maine communities to vote on leaving RSUs.” Fairman, who has researched the initial effects of consolidation on districts across the state, said most school districts in Maine did not want to be forced to consolidate. Changing from local control to a regional perspective on the welfare of students in other communities is a difficult shift, she says.
The Portland Press Herald interviewed James McConnon, an economics professor at the University of Maine, for an article about Maine’s economy showing strength. McConnon said there are signs of improvement, especially in automobiles and building supplies, which are important sectors for consumer and small-business spending. He also said September and October retail sales figures will be the crucial test of consumer confidence because they will indicate whether the partial government shutdown slowed spending.
WVII (Channel 7) reported on the 26th annual Culturefest held at the University of Maine. The UMaine Office of International Programs and International Students Association hosted the daylong celebration of cultures which featured exhibits, a food court, children’s activities, a style show and performances. International students said the best part of the event was watching others learn about their culture.
A University of Maine study on school district reorganization in Maine was cited in the Bangor Daily News article “Ellsworth, Hancock, Lamoine among communities to vote on withdrawal from regional school units.” The Maine Policy Review study by Janet Fairman and Christine Donis-Keller observed the consolidation process over the first two years in 15 regional school units across the state and found the overwhelming consensus was the forced approach for consolidation produced a negative reaction and led to efforts to repeal or revise the law. The article also quoted Gordon Donaldson, professor emeritus of education at UMaine, who said “the solution to poor achievement, particularly in poor neighborhoods, is to get parents involved” and that participation is taken away from neighborhoods when big districts are set up.
A study by University of Maine economics professor Philip Trostel was cited in the Bangor Daily News column “10 ideas to make Maine a better place to live, work.” Trostel’s study on the fiscal payoff of investing in early childhood development in Maine was cited under the listing “Invest in quality, early childhood education.” Trostel’s research found if the state invested an additional $26,200 per child over a five-year period, the cost would be fully recovered by the time those children turn 14.
An emergency preparedness training exercise with the Maine National Guard will be held on the University of Maine campus Nov. 5–6.
UMaine will provide a mock laboratory in Holmes Hall where emergency response teams will practice investigating and eliminating risks that might arise in real-life settings. Maine National Guard and local first-responder units, including the Orono Fire Department, will be on campus for the two-day event. UMaine’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) also will be activated.
The response team members will wear protective gear and use necessary equipment to follow protocols for the emergency simulation.
The National Guard Bureau and the United States Northern Command, along with civilian first responders and local governments throughout the country, conduct Vigilant Guard four times annually. This year, UMaine was asked to host the New England Vigilant Guard exercise, designed to simulate emergency scenarios and aimed at improving command, control, operational relationships and interagency coordination with local, state and regional civilian and military emergency response partners.
During the exercise, UMaine community members will be allowed to observe from outside the marked boundaries. The simulated emergency at Holmes Hall is expected to require rerouting of vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
For more information, contact Wayne Maines, UMaine’s director of safety and environmental management, at 207.581.4055.
A Maine Army National Guard news release describing the statewide exercise is available online.
The University of Maine departments of art, English and history, as well as the Honors College, are offering a daylong student trip to Portland, Maine on Saturday, Nov. 16.
Students will have the opportunity to explore the city on their own, as well as take part in several scheduled tours of the city’s cultural institutions.
Tours will be at the Portland Public Library, Maine Historical Society’s Longfellow House and the Portland Museum of Art, which is currently hosting its biennial of contemporary art and a show about “Winslow Homer’s Civil War.”
The bus is scheduled to leave from the Collins Center for the Arts parking lot at 8:30 a.m. with an approximate arrival in downtown Portland at 10:30 a.m. Participants will then have the opportunity to attend scheduled tours, explore the city on their own, and eat lunch and dinner before heading back to campus at 6:30 p.m. The bus is expected to be in Orono at 8:30 p.m.
To reserve a seat by Nov. 6, students can register with the faculty member in their department and pay a $5 registration fee. The faculty trip leaders are Michael Grillo in the Art Department, Richard Brucher in English, Sarah Harlan-Haughey in Honors and Liam Riordan in History.
Non-reserved seats will be available to any UMaine student and the general public on Nov. 11.
The UMaine Humanities Initiative provided partial funding for the trip.
The New England Wild Flower Society awarded Eric Doucette, a University of Maine environmental sciences doctoral student, with the 2013 Maine State Award.
The New England Wild Flower Society, originally the Society for the Protection of Native Plants, was founded in 1900 and is the nation’s oldest plant conservation organization. Each year, the society presents awards to organizations and individuals who have demonstrated vision and achievement in conserving native plants and their habitats.
Eleven individuals and organizations were recognized at the awards ceremony held Sunday, Oct. 27 in Framingham, Mass.
Doucette of Pittston, Maine, is a botanist, participant in the New England Plant Conservation Program and member of Maine’s Botanical Advisory Group. He is the president of the Josselyn Botanical Society and has assisted the Kennebec Land Trust with survey work, teaching and plant identification. In his botany career, he has discovered a population of large toothwort that is considered rare in Maine. His current studies at UMaine are focused on the systematics of shadbush.
For more information or to request a press release, contact Julia Homer at 508.877.7630, ext. 3503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Socolow, an associate professor in the Communication and Journalism Department at the University of Maine, was interviewed by National Geographic for the article “75 years since ‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast, hoaxes live on.” Socolow’s recent Slate article on the overblown reports of panic the 1938 radio program was also cited in the TIME article “The real legacy of Orson Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast.” Socolow’s research determined the reported mass hysteria after the broadcast was created by newspapers in an attempt to discredit radio and win over advertisers.
Larry Parent, assistant director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, is scheduled to speak at the Penobscot Marine Museum’s history conference Nov. 2 at the UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast, according to The Maine Edge. The “Fish, Wind and Tide: Maine’s Future Resources?” conference will bring together experts to discuss the past and future of resources in the state.
The Bangor Daily News published an opinion piece by Gordon Donaldson, professor emeritus of education at the University of Maine, titled “End the Ellsworth-area RSU experiment on Nov. 5.” Donaldson wrote residents in Ellsworth, Hancock and Lamoine want to withdraw from Regional School Unit 24, and a “yes” vote on the issue would allow the towns to determine their own school futures and budgets.
The Portland Daily Sun reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County will offer a Master Gardener Training Course beginning Jan. 31, 2014 in Falmouth. The training program will take place on 16 consecutive Friday afternoons and will focus on fruits and vegetables.