The Maine Edge previewed the 14th annual Maine FIRST Lego League Championship hosted by Maine Robotics and Time Warner Cable Dec. 14 in Augusta. The University of Maine College of Engineering and Cooperative Extension 4-H program are also supporting the event as part of Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds initiative to address the nation’s declining proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math.
The Tamara Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry recently published an article co-authored by several University of Maine faculty members who were part of a Community Engaged Research Teaching and Service (CERTS) learning circle. In “Moving Beyond the Single Discipline: Building a Scholarship of Engagement that Permeates Higher Education,” the co-authors, led by Linda Silka, director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and a professor in the School of Economics, and Robert Glover, an Honors preceptor of political science, use the example of the Sustainability Solutions Initiative to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with engaged scholarship that is designed to address community problems, according to co-author Amy Blackstone, an associate professor of sociology. Other co-authors include Laura Lindenfeld and Claire Sullivan, associate professors in the Department of Communication and Journalism; Karen Hutchins, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism; Catherine Elliott, an associate extension professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension; and Melissa Ladenheim, an adjunct assistant professor in Honors.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the 2013 Maine Food Summit, a daylong conference sponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and held on the Orono campus. The summit provided an opportunity for food producers, business owners and anyone involved with and interested in Maine’s food system to share ideas about growing the state’s agriculture and fishery, supporting the economy and improving food security. Attendees also participated in a question-and-answer session with Maine Food Strategy directors.
Foster’s Daily Democrat reported applications are available for the 2014 Master Gardener volunteer training with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in York County. From January to June, participants will receive more than 66 hours of in-depth horticultural training. The winter program’s focus will be on growing fruits and vegetables.
The Maine Edge previewed the Maine Beef Producers Association’s (MBPA) 24th annual Beef Conference on Dec. 7 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and Hilton Garden Inn are sponsoring the event. This year’s theme is “Keeping Your Herd Healthy.”
James McConnon, an economics professor at the University of Maine and a University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist, was interviewed by the Sun Journal for an article titled “Shopping forecasts call for increase in holiday spending.” McConnon said holiday shoppers are predicted to spend between 2.4 and 3.9 percent more this year, even though consumer confidence is still cautious. He said with the shorter shopping season, retailers are going to provide good deals and consumers will be looking for them.
Ways in which commercial fishermen, aquaculturists and those in the tourism industry can work together to create greater economic success will be the focus of three workshops offered by Maine Sea Grant and University of Maine Cooperative Extension in partnership with the Lobster Institute, Island Institute and Maine Aquaculture Association.
The Fisheries, Aquaculture and Tourism workshops will take place 5–8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at the UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast; 5–8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12 at Machias Savings Bank Community Room in Machias; and 1–4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 at University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Building in Portland.
Anyone involved in the fisheries, aquaculture or tourism industry or related support organizations is invited to attend any of the free workshops. Sessions will include information from guest speakers on topics such as the legal issues pertaining to offering boat or farm tours and ways seafood producers can enhance their businesses by building relationships with tour operators, restaurant owners and innkeepers.
“The workshops are intended to respond to the need for information expressed by fishermen and aquaculture farmers who seek to diversify their earnings by tapping into the tourism market by offering activities such as lobster boat tours or fish farm tours,” says Natalie Springuel, a marine extension associate with Maine Sea Grant. “Likewise, these workshops respond to the growing interest in the tourism industry to provide customers with fisheries and fish-farming-related experiences.”
Scott Gunst, an attorney with the admiralty and maritime law practice Reeves McEwing LLP in Philadelphia, Pa., will present at each session. Other guest speakers will vary depending on location. They will include fishermen and/or aquaculture farmers who will talk about their businesses, as well as members of the tourism industry who will share opportunities for marketing and partnerships.
The workshops will include an information session about the legal framework of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism, followed by interactive conversations with those who work in the field and a question-and-answer period with representatives of related resources, including the United States Coast Guard, insurance companies and the host organizations.
Pizza will be offered at the Belfast and Machias sessions and snacks will be provided at the Portland workshop.
This is the second time this workshop series has been offered. The first was offered at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum in Rockland in February 2013.
A registration form and more information, such as fact sheets and legal research produced for the series, are available on the Maine Sea Grant’s website. Registration is required.
The Maine Sea Grant college program at UMaine is one of 33 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programs throughout the coastal and Great Lakes states and is focused on improving Maine’s coastal communities. The University of Maine Marine Extension Team (MET), is a collaboration of Maine Sea Grant and UMaine Extension, that provides educational and applied research programs in coastal community development, ecosystem health, fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.
James McConnon, an economics professor at the University of Maine and a University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist, was interviewed by the Bangor Daily News for an article on Small Business Saturday shopping in Maine. McConnon said he isn’t sure how much of an effect the day has on the state because it would depend on “how much was spent that day at local stores versus what’s spent outside the community or at chains that export some of the money outside the area.” But anecdotal evidence and national studies suggest there is a positive effect.
James McConnon, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist and UMaine professor of economics, spoke with the Sun Journal about the local food trend for an article about buying local for Thanksgiving. McConnon said interest in local foods is high for three reasons: nutrition, food safety and support of local business.
Charlie Armstrong, a cranberry professional with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald about the state’s cranberry crop for the article “Maine cranberry growers say it’s hard to stay out of the red.” Armstrong said in terms of health and abundance, the state’s crop is in great shape, but a recent national glut has caused cranberry prices to fall. He recommends Maine farmers who traditionally do wet harvesting for the juice industry move into dry harvesting for the fresh market because that’s where he thinks the demand is.