University of Maine News
WABI (Channel 5) reported the University of Maine Museum of Art has begun a new 17-year lease with Eastern Maine Development Corporation, maintaining the downtown Bangor location it has occupied in Norumbega Hall for more than a decade. The lease was approved by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees in May, and the Bangor City Council penned a letter of support for the deal. “Our role is to expose the community to new art forms that they may not typically be able to see here in Maine and bring those significant artists in. That’s really an important role of the university and the university land grant mission of service and community engagement, so the downtown location certainly extends the university’s reach,” said George Kinghorn, executive director and curator of the UMaine Museum of Art. WVII (Channel 7) also reported on the museum.
University of Maine student Ray Peck spoke with Bill Green for a segment on WLBZ (Channel 2) about Maine’s declining heron population. This summer, Peck is assisting biologist Danielle D’Auria of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. To study the birds, Peck and D’Auria are visiting dozens of heron colonies and monitoring bird behavior and reproductive rates. “There’s an aura to them — the way they act, the way they look,” Peck said. “They don’t look like they should be able to fly but they do. They’re really beautiful creatures; really amazing.”
The Maine Edge published an article about University of Maine researchers receiving funds to design and test a wireless leak detection system for the International Space Station (ISS). The project was one of five in the nation to receive funding from NASA’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) for research and technology development onboard ISS. Ali Abedi, a UMaine associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, was awarded a three-year, $100,000 NASA grant through the Maine Space Grant Consortium in Augusta for the project. “This will be a great training experience for our students to learn how to take a prototype out of the lab, and not only to the field but also to space,” Abedi said.
John Dorrer, a consultant with Georgetown University’s Center on Education in the Workplace, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report based on his Maine Policy Review article, “Do we have the workforce skills for Maine’s innovation economy?”
The University of Maine will screen the movie “Frozen” on the Harold Alfond Stadium’s new high-definition scoreboard at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 23.
The event is free and open to the public.
The 30-by-20-foot video board is located in the end zone next to the field house parking lot facing Morse Field at Alfond Stadium.
The new scoreboard includes features such as HD video display and instant replay. It also will provide the opportunity for enhanced fan interaction, including live remote fan shots, video engagement, and posted tweets and texts.
The scoreboard was funded by an $800,000 gift from UMaine benefactors Phillip and Susan Morse.
The Associated Press reported Andre Khalil, an associate professor of mathematics at the University of Maine, and Michael Mason, an associate professor of chemical and biological engineering at UMaine, were among seven researchers to receive funds from the Maine Cancer Foundation to study the origins and potential cures for cancer. The foundation awarded a total of $839,000. Khalil received nearly $180,000 to study breast cancer, and Mason was awarded nearly $220,000 to research leukemia. WABI (Channel 5), WLBZ (Channel 2) and The Republic carried the AP report. The Maine Cancer Foundation also published research profiles on Mason and Khalil.
The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald, WABI (Channel 5), WLBZ (Channel 2), Examiner.com, Maine Public Broadcasting Network and Sun Journal reported longtime University of Maine baseball coach John Winkin passed away July 19. He was 94. Winkin spent 22 seasons leading the Black Bears, compiled a 642–430–3 record with the team, and helped the school reach the College World Series six times, the AP reported. Winkin started his career at Colby College and after retiring from the University of Maine coached at Husson College. Winkin won 1,043 games during his time at Colby College, UMaine and Husson University, and was inducted into 11 halls of fame, including the College Baseball Hall of Fame last year, according to the BDN. Miami Herald and SeacoastOnline carried the AP report.
The Portland Press Herald spoke with Extension educator Donna Coffin about the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Piscataquis County handing out free tomato plants. In June, staff members and volunteers handed out 220 cherry tomato plants and donated 50 to prisoners at the Charleston Correctional Facility, hoping to inspire new vegetable gardeners, the article states. “The idea is if they start with one tomato, it is not as intimidating,” Coffin said.
The Associated Press reported the University of Maine will screen the movie “Frozen” on the Harold Alfond Stadium’s new high-definition scoreboard at 8 p.m. July 23. The free event will be the first at the football stadium since the addition of the 30-by-20-foot video board. The Portland Press Herald, The Republic, WLBZ (Channel 2) and The Washington Times carried the AP report.
Richard Brzozowski, a small ruminant and poultry specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was interviewed about large garden pests for the latest column in the Portland Press Herald’s Maine Gardener series. Brzozowski said once gardeners notice damage, the first step is figuring out who is responsible. If tracks aren’t visible, he suggests spreading flour on the ground to identify the animal. He adds the two best solutions, no matter what kind of animal is causing damage, are getting a dog that can roam the grounds or putting up a fence.
The Bangor Daily News published an article on the Bridge Year Program, an educational collaborative involving the University of Maine that aims to increase the number of Maine students who earn a college degree by giving them access to college classes during their junior and senior years in high school. The program began in 2012 and was piloted at Hermon High School. Bangor High School was added to the program last year and six more schools will be added next year.
Christopher Burns, a University of Maine student studying English, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News, titled “Older adults have addictions, too. Is Maine ready to address the problem?” Lenard Kaye, director of the University of Maine Center on Aging and professor in the UMaine School of Social Work, was quoted in the op-ed. Burns is an intern at the BDN.
The University of Maine Museum of Art has begun a new 17-year lease with Eastern Maine Development Corporation, maintaining the downtown Bangor location it has occupied in historic Norumbega Hall for more than a decade.
“On behalf of the people of Bangor, I just want to say how excited we are to have the University of Maine Art Museum right in the heart of Bangor for another 17 years,” says Bangor City Council Chairman Ben Sprague, who also is a member of the Museum of Art Advisory Council. ”The museum has been a cornerstone of the revitalization of downtown Bangor, and has brought the arts into the heart of our community for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy.”
In May, the University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved the new long-term lease, July 1, 2014–June 30, 2031, and expansion of museum space on the third floor of the building for much-needed fine art storage.
In a letter of support, the Bangor City Council expressed its interest in having the museum remain in downtown Bangor “as a cornerstone of the arts for years to come.”
“The museum is now one of our primary cultural assets and an important aspect of the quality of life for Bangor citizens and those of the surrounding communities,” the council said. “Perhaps most importantly, locating the museum in downtown Bangor has served to strengthen the bonds between the university community and the city of Bangor.”
The museum relocated in December 2002 to take on a new role as a regional fine arts center. The city of Bangor invested $400,000 toward the $955,000 renovation of the first-floor museum space in Norumbega Hall, built in the early 1900s. The additional 1,955 square feet of storage space that will soon be renovated on the third floor of the building will be used for the museum’s growing collection.
The University of Maine Museum of Art collection includes more than 3,600 original works created since 1900, with an emphasis on contemporary art on paper (1945–present). Since 2008, more than 280 works have been added to the permanent collection, most through donation to the museum.
“Over the years, the Museum of Art has contributed to the cultural life of Bangor and to the region,” says George Kinghorn, executive director and curator of the UMaine Museum of Art. “UMMA’s downtown location continues to advance the university’s land-grant mission of outreach and service to Maine citizens by providing quality visual art experiences. It has been most rewarding to play a key role in the revitalization and recent growth of downtown Bangor.”
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The Free Press reported spots are still available for Dive In, a two-day summer immersion program offered to college-bound high school students who are interested in marine sciences. The program, which will be held Aug. 4–5, will offer hands-on, field-oriented activities at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center in Walpole and the UMaine campus in Orono. It will showcase the university’s marine science faculty and facilities and the academic and research opportunities available to students.
Phys.org published a University of Maine report about UMaine oceanographer Ivona Cetinic participating in a NASA project that brings together marine and atmospheric scientists to tackle optical issues associated with satellite observations of phytoplankton. The goal is to better understand marine ecology and phytoplankton’s major role in the global cycling of atmospheric carbon between the ocean and the atmosphere. “Teams involved in this project are working together to develop next-generation tools that will change forever how we study oceans,” says Cetinic, a research associate at UMaine’s Darling Marine Center.
WLBZ (Channel 2) and WABI (Channel 5) reported on the third annual Bears ’n’ Claws lobster bake held at the home of Richard Barron, head coach of the University of Maine women’s basketball team. The event benefited the Friends of Maine Basketball and offered a chance for athletes and coaches to interact with the community. “It’s fun for them,” Barron said of the first-year student-athletes. “It’s a chance to talk about Maine, why they came and re-energize our fan base. It’s also a chance to acknowledge friends who have been there and supported us,” Barron said of the event.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension will host author Marisa McClellan 7–9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, at the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth.
McClellan, author of “Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces,” will demonstrate urban canning and preserving techniques. “Teaching city dwellers and home cooks how to extend the life of their farmers market purchases throughout the year is my passion,” says McClellan, who learned to can local blueberries, blackberries and apples from her mother.
In addition to canning basics, the book includes recipes divided by season. Spring includes Whole Strawberries in Vanilla Syrup and summer showcases Honey-Sweetened Apricot-Lavender Butter. Fall has Chunky Pear Preserves with Sage and winter wraps up with Quince Slices in Chai Tea Syrup.
Cost is $15 per person. Registration is online. To request disability accommodations, call 207.781.6099 or 800.287.1471 (in Maine).
Erik Blomberg, an assistant professor of wildlife ecology in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology at the University of Maine, received a $181,518 grant from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for his proposal, “Understanding population dynamics of ruffed grouse.”
The three-year project aims to better understand how forest management practices and sport hunting influence Maine’s ruffed grouse populations. According to the proposal, the native bird benefits from many forms of forest harvest and is widely used as a game species by Maine residents and visitors.
Blomberg and his team will implement a large-scale field study to evaluate how components of ruffed grouse biology, such as seasonal and annual survival and nest success, respond to different types of forest composition and management. Researchers also will estimate harvest rates throughout the annual hunting season from October to December.
Collected information will close a large gap in the current understanding of ruffed grouse ecology in the region and will contribute to future management of Maine’s popular game bird, as well as contribute to the general understanding of wildlife ecology in forest ecosystems, according to the researchers.
The researchers say they will work closely with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to ensure results provide the greatest benefit to Maine wildlife management.
University of Maine oceanographer Ivona Cetinic is participating in a NASA project to advance space-based capabilities for monitoring microscopic plants that form the base of the marine food chain.
Phytoplankton — tiny ocean plants that absorb carbon dioxide and deliver oxygen to Earth’s atmosphere — are key to the planet’s health. And NASA wants a clear, global view of them.
NASA’s Ship-Aircraft Bio-Optical Research (SABOR) mission will bring together marine and atmospheric scientists to tackle optical issues associated with satellite observations of phytoplankton.
The goal is to better understand marine ecology and phytoplankton’s major role in the global cycling of atmospheric carbon between the ocean and the atmosphere.
“Teams involved in this project are working together to develop next-generation tools that will change forever how we study oceans,” says Cetinic, a research associate at UMaine’s Darling Marine Center (DMC) in Walpole, Maine.
“Methods that will be developed during this experiment are something like 3-D glasses. They will allow us to see more details on the surface of the ocean and to see deeper into the ocean, helping us learn more about carbon in the ocean — carbon that is fueling oceanic ecosystems, as well as the fisheries and aquaculture.”
Cetinic will be a chief scientist aboard RV Endeavor that departs July 18 from Narragansett, Rhode Island. She received $1,043,662 from NASA’s Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry program for her part in the three-year project.
Cetinic’s crew, which includes Wayne Slade of Sequoia Scientific, Inc., Nicole Poulton of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and UMaine Ph.D. student Alison Chase, will analyze water samples for carbon, as well as pump seawater continuously through on-board instruments to measure how ocean particles, including phytoplankton, interact with light.
Chase, who recently earned her master’s in oceanography at UMaine, will blog about the experience at earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/fromthefield.
Interim DMC director Mary Jane Perry, who is participating in another research cruise this summer (umaine.edu/news/blog/2014/07/08/under-the-ice), will be involved in future data analysis.
Mike Behrenfeld of Oregon State University also will be aboard Endeavor and he and his team will use a new technique to directly measure phytoplankton biomass and photosynthesis.
“The goal is to develop mathematical relationships that allow scientists to calculate the biomass of the phytoplankton from optical signals measured from space, and thus to be able to monitor how ocean phytoplankton change from year to year and figure out what causes these changes,” he says.
Another research team also will be aboard Endeavor, which for three weeks will cruise through a range of ecosystems between the East Coast and Bahamas.
Alex Gilerson of City College of New York will lead a crew that will operate an array of instruments, including an underwater video camera equipped with polarization vision. It will continuously measure key characteristics of the sky and the water.
The measurements taken from aboard the ship will provide an up-close perspective and validate measurements taken simultaneously by scientists in aircraft.
NASA’s UC-12 airborne laboratory, based at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, will make coordinated science flights beginning July 20.
One obstacle in observing marine ecosystems from space is that atmospheric particles interfere with measurements. Brian Cairns of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York will lead an aircraft team with a polarimeter instrument to address the issue.
From an altitude of about 30,000 feet, the instrument will measure properties of reflected light, including brightness and magnitude of polarization. These measurements will define the concentration, size, shape and composition of particles in the atmosphere.
Polarimeter measurements of reflected light should provide valuable context for data from another instrument on the UC-12 designed to reveal how plankton and optical properties vary with water depth.
Chris Hostetler of Langley is leading that group. He and others will test a prototype lidar (light detection and ranging) system — the High Spectral Resolution Lidar-1 (HSRL-1). A laser that will probe the ocean to a depth of about 160 feet should reveal how phytoplankton concentrations change with depth, along with the amount of light available for photosynthesis.
Phytoplankton largely drive the functioning of ocean ecosystems and knowledge of their vertical distribution is needed to understand their productivity. This knowledge will allow NASA scientists to improve satellite-based estimates of how much atmospheric carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean.
NASA satellites contributing to SABOR are the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO), which view clouds and tiny particles in Earth’s atmosphere, as well as the Terra and Aqua satellites, which measure atmospheric, land and marine processes.
Analysis of data collected from the ship, aircraft and satellites is expected to guide preparation for a new, advanced ocean satellite mission — Pre-Aerosol, Clouds, and ocean Ecosystem (PACE), according to NASA.
PACE will extend observations of ocean ecology, biogeochemical cycling and ocean productivity begun by NASA in the late 1970s with the Coastal Zone Color Scanner and continued with the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view-Sensor (SeaWiFS) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on Terra and Aqua.
SABOR is funded by the Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
The Bangor Daily News reported on a meeting at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Blueberry Hill Farm in Jonesboro. About 150 growers, processors, vendors and suppliers gathered at the wild blueberry research facility to listen to David Yarborough, a blueberry specialist for UMaine Extension, discuss this year’s crop and the latest research projects. “Although we had a late start to the season, we’ve had plenty of rainfall — ample rainfall, really — and wild blueberries like cool and wet conditions,” Yarborough said. “So growing conditions have been fairly optimal.” Yarborough said Maine’s crop usually averages about 90 million pounds, and this season he expects the yield to be in the range of 90–95 million pounds.