Anne Lichtenwalner, a University of Maine professor, veterinarian and director of UMaine’s Animal Health Laboratory, was interviewed by the Bangor Daily News for the article, “Once shunned, eggs again deemed healthy convenience food.” “I’m a big supporter of eggs as an important part of good nutrition,” Lichtenwalner said. “Eggs are a quality food, [and] they have a lot of potential for enriching family life with kids learning a lot about nature being around the birds.” Lichtenwalner also spoke about how people can supply the protein-rich eggs for themselves and teach children about sustainability and where their food comes from.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release announcing the Maine Business School’s International Trade Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28 at the D.P. Corbett Business Building on campus. Fourteen teams, each with 10 students, will showcase their respective international trade exhibitions that promote doing business in Brazil, China, Japan, Argentina, Sweden, Ireland, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, France, Singapore and Austria. Area professionals will judge the exhibitions on content as well as overall appearance, creativity and appearance of effort.
Mainebiz reported funds for Blackstone Accelerates Growth, a $3 million initiative launched in 2011 by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, will run out this fall and won’t be renewed in the program’s current form. Blackstone Accelerates Growth is a partnership among the Maine Technology Institute, the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and the Foster Center for Student Innovation at the University of Maine. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is reengineering its giving, so the Maine partners will focus on other ways to get money, including from the foundation, according to the report. Blackstone Accelerates Growth has helped expand the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development’s Top Gun program, create the Accelerated Ventures program, the Foster Center’s Innovate for Maine Fellows program and Maine Startup and Create Week, which debuted last year, the article states. The effort also set up innovation hubs in Portland and Bangor.
Engadget published the article, “UMaine’s clean snowmobile runs on (a lot of) natural gas,” about a machine customized by University of Maine mechanical engineering students. The students say the snowmobile is the only natural gas-powered snowmobile in the U.S., according to the article. The Arctic Cat XF1100 was customized by the students to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge, which was founded to create machines capable of running in Yellowstone National Park where rules about noise and emissions keep gas snowmobiles out, the article states.
Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, spoke with WLBZ (Channel 2) for a report about how the colder-than-average winter is playing a role in higher lobster prices. The current wholesale market price of lobster is up to an average of $9 a pound, according to the report. While the past winter did not decrease lobster populations, it chilled the water long enough to keep the crustaceans in one place, the report states. According to UMaine biologists, when the water is below 40 degrees, the lobsters don’t move around as much and are less interested in finding food, including the bait inside lobster traps. “Prices are higher because there aren’t as many lobsters available and demand is strong,” Bayer said, adding the cold water may help decrease the invasive green crab population. Bayer also spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report about the high lobster prices.
Students and faculty from the University of Maine College of Engineering will take part in The Challenger Learning Center of Maine’s “Space Day” celebration during its sixth annual open house on April 29 in Bangor. Researchers from UMaine’s Wireless Sensing Laboratory (WiSe-Net Lab), directed by electrical and computer engineering professor Ali Abedi, will provide demonstrations throughout the free, public event, according to the article.
WVII (Channel 7) reported the University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond will host Camp North Woods, an opportunity created by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The camp, which was established to build upon the popularity of the Animal Planet show “North Woods Law,” aims to provide opportunities for youth and their families to learn outdoor skills and the importance of sustaining Maine’s natural resources, the report states.
Jeffrey Hecker, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Maine, wrote an opinion piece for the Portland Press Herald titled “Timely graduation could help cut UMaine student debt.” Hecker cited recent findings that show the amount of debt students accumulate while earning a bachelor’s degree depends on how long they are in school. The average student debt for Maine residents who complete their UMaine degree in four years is $22,101. The debt rises to $33,482 for those who take six years to graduate, according to Hecker. “The implications of these findings are obvious: If we can help students complete their degrees in a timely fashion, we can cut costs significantly,” Hecker writes, citing the Provost’s Action Plan for Retention and Graduation, which includes steps UMaine is taking to improve student retention and graduation.
Paul Mayewski, director of the Climate Change Institute (CCI) at the University of Maine, gave the keynote address at the seventh annual Maine Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference in Augusta, according to media reports. The two-day event focuses on climate change implications for the state. The Kennebec Journal covered Mayewski’s talk that focused on the need for local communities to be better prepared for different types of emergencies as expected increases in temperature, sea level and rainfall continue. Mayewski said the CCI is developing a framework to help communities, the state and others plan for the effects of climate change, the KJ reported. The Portland Press Herald also published the KJ article. The Associated Press previewed the conference and Mayewski’s talk. Sun Journal, SFGate and WLBZ (Channel 2) carried the AP report.
Vivian Wu, a professor of microbiology and food safety in the School of Food and Agriculture, spoke with Food Safety News about her latest research. Wu recently received a $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to improve processing technologies to enhance the safety and quality of fresh produce and low-moisture foods, such as raw grains, spices, seeds and nuts, without using heat. “Heat is a very effective way to control microbial contamination, but there are food products that heat just doesn’t work that well,” Wu said, mentioning foods such as produce and grains. “We want to develop nonthermal processing techniques to maintain the safety of produce and low-moisture food.” This year, Wu will receive $900,000 of the $4.9 million for the first year of the five-year interdisciplinary project, which will be a joint research collaboration between UMaine and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Eastern Regional Research Center, Virginia Tech, University of Delaware and Ohio State University, the article states.