University of Maine News
Lenard Kaye, director of the University of Maine Center on Aging and professor in the UMaine School of Social Work, was quoted in an Associated Press article about former President George H.W. Bush celebrating his 90th birthday by making a tandem parachute jump near his home in Kennebunkport. Kaye said more and more seniors are participating in extreme physical activities and Bush’s jump is indicative of the trend. Kaye predicts the trend will increase as more baby boomers retire, but warns seniors who partake in “extreme acts of adventure” should keep in mind their bones are more fragile than when they were younger. ABC News, The Washington Post and Seattlepi.com were among news organizations that carried the AP report.
The Bangor Daily News published a slide show and article about a Bangor Christian School field trip to the restored one-room schoolhouse at the Page Farm & Home Museum on the University of Maine campus. Patricia Henner, director of the museum, portrayed a 19th century teacher during the trip. “It’s fun to take the kids back in time and see what school was like in 1867,” Henner said.
Rick Wahle, a University of Maine research professor at the Darling Marine Center, was interviewed for the AccuWeather.com article, “Drastic New England lobster decline may be linked to warmer waters.” Wahle, founder of the American Lobster Settlement Index, has been tracking lobster populations since 1989. Recently, he and his crew of divers have been counting the larval populations of lobster in water off the coast of New England and Atlantic Canada. “In 2013 we saw one of the most widespread downturns in the history of [this study] for sure,” Wahle told AccuWeather.com. He said the population of young lobsters is nearly 50 percent of what it was in 2007, and he believes oceanographic changes are responsible for the decline. Business Insider also carried the report.
Laura Lindenfeld, an associate professor of communication and policy at the University of Maine, was interviewed for a ClimateWire article about the rise in fiction films that use climate change to help drive the plot line. Lindenfeld and postdoctoral researcher Bridie McGreavy recently published an article in the International Journal of Sustainable Development about their research on race and gender stereotypes in movies that focus on climate change. Lindenfeld said seeing climate change in popular media is encouraging because it shows society is talking more about the issue. “People consume entertainment media for fun, not to change their way of thinking. But for better or for worse, it is indeed changing the way you experience the world,” she said.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Mick Devin, a Democratic state representative for District 51 and researcher and shellfish hatchery manager at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center. As a result of legislation introduced by Devin and passed in April, a commission will soon convene to study ocean acidification and look for ways to mitigate it. The legislation makes Maine the first state on the East Coast to enact a law specifically to study the threat posed by the ocean’s changing chemistry. Devin says ocean acidification is a problem he witnesses daily, and Maine is the East Coast state most affected by ocean acidification. He said more carbon dioxide is entering the ocean and creating carbonic acid, which impacts marine life such as oysters and clams by causing their shells to dissolve. “Getting the bill into law was the easy part,” Devin said, adding the real work starts with the commission and their recommendations.
John Jemison, a soil and water quality specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was featured in the latest installment of the “Backyard Gardener” series on WVII (Channel 7). Jemison spoke about the importance of crop rotation and demonstrated the best way to plant carrots and onions.
Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Kennebec Journal about the race between Democrat Emily Cain and Republican Bruce Poliquin for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District seat. Brewer said Cain is the favorite at the start of the campaign, and Poliquin may have trouble winning because he is more conservative than the moderates who have held the seat most recently. He said Poliquin has, “a very specialized, foundational group of supporters and it’s hard to see how much bigger he can make that.”
The Maine Edge reported on High Touch Courses’ UMaine-affiliated Summer Technology Camp to be held in Orono. The camp is an intensive, project-based overnight and day camp for middle and high school students who want to change the world with technology. Four weeklong courses on different themes will be offered from July 7 through Aug. 1. Students can attend every week or take individual courses. Course topics are Web design, 3-D art and graphic design, game development, and hardware architecture.
Patty Counihan, director of the Career Center at the University of Maine, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for the article, “Finding a job isn’t getting any easier for Maine teens.” Counihan said hiring plunged five or six years ago, but “it seems like it is coming back slowly but surely.” In 2009, she told the Press Herald, about 60 companies signed up to recruit workers on campus, and this year it was back up to the normal level of around 100. She said the university doesn’t compile overall job placement figures until about six months after a class graduates, but knows IBM hired a handful of UMaine graduates this year, while Enterprise Rent-A-Car hired nine. She said a substantial number of other graduates had offers or interest from potential employers, as well.
Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about the results of the Democratic and Republican primaries for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. Emily Cain won the nomination as the Democratic candidate, and Bruce Poliquin won over Kevin Raye in the district’s Republican primary. Voter turnout was predictably low across the district, according to the article. Brewer said final turnout numbers would be a key factor in the Republican race, saying before the results were in that a heavy turnout would benefit Raye and a low turnout would help Poliquin.
David Handley, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist of vegetables and small fruits at UMaine’s Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, was interviewed for a Portland Press Herald article about the best methods for growing native berries. Handley shared tips for successfully growing strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries at home.
The Bangor Daily News published the opinion piece “Women’s ‘confidence problem’? It’s so much more” by Amy Blackstone, an associate professor and chairwoman of the University of Maine’s Sociology Department. Blackstone also is a member of the Maine Regional Network, part of the Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together scholars across the country to address public challenges and their policy implications. Members’ columns appear in the BDN every other week.
The Maine Edge published an advance on the “Albers & Heirs” exhibit presented by the University of Maine Department of Art. The exhibit will showcase the work of artist, educator and color theorist Josef Albers and two of his students, globally recognized artists Neil Welliver and Jane Davis Doggett. The show will run June 16 to July 18 in the Lord Hall Gallery on campus. An opening reception and gallery tour will be held 5–7 p.m. Monday, June 16. During the event, exhibit curator Osvaldo Monzon will give a gallery talk, titled “To Make Eyes Open,” and Doggett will speak about her time at Yale where she worked with and was influenced by art faculty members Albers and Welliver.
The University of Maine’s DeepCwind Consortium was featured in an IEEE Spectrum article about developments in prototype testing of offshore wind turbines. UMaine’s prototype offshore turbine, currently floating in Penobscot Bay, is one of only five in operation around the world and the only one in the U.S. Habib Dagher, director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center and leader of the consortium, was interviewed for the article and discussed the powerful capabilities of the turbine, which is in hopes to cut the cost of offshore wind power by more than half by the mid-2020s.
The Maine Edge carried a report stating the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Piscataquis County will give away 300 cherry tomato plants as part of the One Tomato Project to increase the number of people growing food. Extension personnel will distribute tomato plants to county food cupboards June 13 and 20, and plants will be given away the week of June 23, at the Dover-Foxcroft Cooperative Extension office.
Jason Bolton, a statewide food safety specialist and assistant professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was interviewed for a Bangor Daily News article about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finding federal seafood safety violations at Linda Bean’s lobster processing plant in Rockland. The plant’s manager told the BDN the company contacted UMaine to have a food safety expert visit the plant and evaluate practices. Bolton said he is scheduled to visit the plant soon and plans to educate and help the company. Bolton said he and another food specialist with UMaine Extension assist 400 to 500 companies a year, ranging from seafood processors to slaughterhouses and jam producers.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension was mentioned in a Sun Journal article about a town meeting in Peru. At the meeting, Brenda Swan, director of the Peru Food Bank, was granted permission from selectmen to use land near the Town Office for a community garden. Swan said she is looking to form a steering committee for the project and UMaine Extension will provide guidance.
A University of Maine mechanical engineering capstone project was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article about the new executive director of the Maine Forest and Logging Museum in Bradley. The museum recently completed a new machinery hall, which will house a machine shop and two Lombard steam log haulers, according to the article. One of the log haulers was the subject of a UMaine capstone project in which students restored the machine to working condition. The log hauler was invented and built in Waterville between 1910 and 1917, and was the first successful tracked vehicle.
The Bangor Daily News ran a feature story about the positive contributions of various friends groups that support University of Maine athletic teams. Friends groups currently back Black Bear baseball, football, men’s ice hockey, softball and women’s basketball teams, according to the article. Maria Baeza, who was president of the Friends of Maine Women’s Basketball for 15 years, said the group fundraises and strives to “create a culture of support for the student-athletes and for the program in general.”
WFSB 3 Connecticut cited statistics from the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine for an article about a yellow lobster that was caught off the coast of Black Point in Niantic, Connecticut. According to the Lobster Institute, the odds of finding a yellow, or calico, lobster is one in 30 million.