Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in reports by WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) and NECN on climate change affecting the region’s tick population. The Natural Resources Council of Maine presented a report by the National Wildlife Federation which states warmer winters “serve as a welcome mat for pests like ticks to expand their range,” according to NECN. Dill said climate change helps ticks thrive in Maine because warmer temperatures and heavier rains support tick populations in the summer, and insulating blankets of snow protect them in the winter. He said the concern about ticks is that last year the state had 1,400 cases of Lyme disease, as well as other co-infections and tick-borne pathogens. Dill also was quoted in the Portland Press Herald article “Lyme disease down so far, but ticks are gearing up for summer.” “Those ticks were quite fat and happy under the snow, but they were not going to start coming out until the snow was gone,” Dill said. “It’s going to pick up pretty quickly. The population looks pretty strong right now.”
Archive for the ‘UMaine in the News’ Category
A Portland Press Herald article on the closing of a substance abuse recovery center in Westbrook mentioned an analysis released by the Maine attorney general’s office and conducted by Marcella Sorg, a research professor of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine. Mercy Hospital plans to close the center in part because of low reimbursement rates for addiction services, according to the article. The analysis found Maine residents who died of drug overdoses in 2014 hit a record number of 208 — an increase of 18 percent over the previous year. The drugs involved ranged from cocaine to heroin and other opioids, and the number of heroin deaths jumped from 34 to 57 in 2014, the article states.
The Weekly reported that Andrew Moreira, a senior at Old Town High School, recently earned first place in the High School Poster Competition at the 2015 Maine Sustainability and Water Conference. Moreira’s poster, “Recovering Organic Acids from Water Through Extraction and Precipitation,” derives from the research he conducted through his Maine EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) internship with G. Peter van Walsum, a chemical engineering professor at the University of Maine. Maine EPSCoR at UMaine fosters research and development in STEM disciplines in underrepresented and underserved states, according to the article. It provides Maine high school students with paid, hands-on opportunities to participate in research with UMaine faculty, postdoctoral students and graduate students, the article states.
WABI (Channel 5) and The Weekly reported a Bangor senior center’s rooftop garden has been selected as one of several University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer projects this season. The Hammond Street Senior Center’s garden will receive support from the volunteers through assistance with garden planning, soil preparation, planting, establishment of space-saving structures, harvesting and public education, according to the reports.
The Weekly and The Maine Edge reported on scheduled public star shows in June at the University of Maine’s Emera Astronomy Center. The Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium shows are held 7 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Friday nights in June feature “Undiscovered Worlds” and Sunday afternoons feature “Little Star that Could,” for younger sky watchers. The third week in June will kick off the planetarium’s summer schedule with two additional public shows 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, according to the reports. Admission to all shows is $6, and seating is limited.
The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald and Maine Public Broadcasting Network reported University of Maine President Susan J. Hunter has agreed to extend her two-year post for an extra year. University of Maine System Chancellor James Page and the system board of trustees requested that she continue her work through June 30, 2017. “President Hunter and her leadership team are doing important work on and off campus,” Page said in a notice sent to the UMaine community. “Her experience and leadership are critical as we work through the significant system changes now underway, especially as these changes will require substantial integration with the flagship and across all campuses.” Hunter has been serving as president since July 2014 and was inaugurated in March. “I look forward to a third year of leading Maine’s flagship university, championing the mission of the state’s research university to constituents statewide and beyond,” Hunter said. Seattlepi and SFGate carried the AP report.
WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on the 2015 Top Gun Regional Pitch Competition and Product Showcase at the University of Maine Foster Center for Student Innovation. Two regional entrepreneurs — Matt James of CourseStorm and Chuck Donnelly of RockStep Solutions — were selected by a panel of judges to compete in the statewide Top Gun Showcase in June where they will pitch for a chance to win $10,000. The Top Gun entrepreneurship accelerator is a five-month program that engages entrepreneurs in growing their businesses. It combines education, mentoring, pitch-coaching and networking opportunities. “It is all about sort of fast-tracking their growth, and so this is kind of the culmination of all of those months,” said Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of the Foster Center. The program is a partnership of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Maine Technology Institute, Blackstone Accelerates Growth and UMaine.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension was mentioned in a Prevention magazine article on tick-borne illnesses and what can be done to avoid them. Dr. Daniel A. Kinderlehrer who practices in Boulder, Colorado, suggested using a natural, chemical-free insect repellent that’s derived from black pepper plants. According to UMaine Extension, the natural repellent helps keep ticks away for four to eight hours, the article states.
The Bangor Daily News reported students from the University of Maine’s School of Forest Resources have reported preliminary findings related to a study of suspected wetlands near Lincoln Regional Airport that threatens the town’s ability to develop an industrial zone outside of a local paper mill’s campus. The town is paying the students about $1,050 to determine the environmental significance of the vernal pools, according to the article. After reviewing the land in early May, the students reported that many of the areas that town officials feared might be wetlands requiring preservation are insignificant vernal pools, the article states. A final determination on how much of the industrial park is compromised is expected in July.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release announcing UMaine researchers are part of a collaborative international team studying plankton. During expeditions aboard the research vessel Tara, researchers collected 35,000 samples from the world’s oceans. Data generated from the samples are providing unprecedented resources — including a catalog of several million new genes — expected to transform how oceans are studied and establish a global-scale baseline to evaluate the impact of climate changes on oceanic ecosystems. In five articles in a special issue of Science, the team maps the biodiversity of a range of planktonic organisms, exploring their interactions and how they impact and are affected by their environment, primarily temperature. UMaine oceanographers Emmanuel Boss and Lee Karp-Boss are part of the science team and participated in six expedition legs. UMaine doctoral student Alison Chase; Ivona Cetinić, research associate at the Darling Marine Center; and Tom Leeuw, who earned a master’s degree in oceanography at UMaine in 2014, also contributed to the research.