Sean Birkel, a research assistant professor at the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, was quoted in the Portland Press Herald article, “Ocean scientists report ‘unprecedented’ spike in sea level off Portland several years ago.” Scientists at the University of Arizona, with help from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found sea levels off Portland rose by 5 inches during 2009 and 2010 as a result of changes in ocean circulation that are tied to rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, according to the article. Birkel said he wasn’t surprised by the rise, but it’s not as alarming as it seems. “It’s definitely a significant rise during a short interval, but our research has shown a lot of variability, or ups and downs, and that 2009–10 is likely a peak,” he said. “But the overall trend is certainly that seas are rising. No one disputes that.”
The Bangor Daily News reported University of Maine undergraduate students and Robert Glover, an assistant professor of political science and Honors, are conducting research in collaboration with the city of Bangor and city councilors. They are studying what makes recent graduates from UMaine settle within the greater Bangor area, according to the article. “This information will help decision makers in Bangor craft strategies to grow our community and keep more talented young people in our local communities,” Glover wrote. UMaine alumni, or current students, who have settled in the Bangor area can complete a survey online.
The Free Press reported the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) will hold a “Farming in the Face of Climate Change” conference in Unity on March 7. Participants will hear about trends in Maine’s weather patterns and how on-farm nutrient cycling can help farms build resilience, according to the article. Glen Koehler, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension professional, is scheduled to present “Recent Observations and 30-Year Forecast for Climate Change in Maine.” Ivan Fernandez, a professor of soil science and forest resources at UMaine and a cooperating professor in the Climate Change Institute, will present “Maine’s Climate Future: 2015 Update.”
Former and current students of the University of Maine were mentioned in a Mainebiz article about Wiscasset-based company Peregrine Turbine Technologies LLC. The business has developed an energy-efficient turbine and is raising the necessary capital to move forward, according to the article. The company also aims to create jobs in Maine and keep technology in the state. It has hired two recent graduates and an intern from the University of Maine, the article states. “All of our investors are told up front about the state of Maine objectives,” said David Stapp, CEO and chief technology officer at Peregrine Turbine. “The technology stays here.”
Mary Ellen Camire, University of Maine professor of food science and human nutrition, was quoted in a Shape magazine article about the health benefits of resistant starch. The starch is a carbohydrate with health benefits such as regulating blood sugar and acting as a probiotic, according to the article. Camire said resistant starch is a carbohydrate your body can’t digest, and it behaves a lot like fiber, helping food move through your system. Resistant starch can be found in cooked and cooled rice, pasta and potatoes, as well as in beans, legumes and lentils, the article states.
Edith Patch, a major figure in entomology at the University of Maine from 1904–37, was featured in an Entomology Today article on famous female entomologists. Patch was the first female president of the Entomological Society of America, was the head of the Entomology Department at UMaine and published several works including “Food Plant Catalogue of the Aphids of the World,” according to the article. “After being employed for more than 30 interesting and pleasant years as a research entomologist, I shall never discourage any capable young woman — with a real desire for the work — from preparing for it,” Patch had said.
Anne Miller, a doctoral student at the University of Maine who has been an English teacher, library/media specialist and literacy specialist, was a recent guest on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio show. The show focused on Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” as part of the Maine Calling Book Club.
The University of Maine’s research and development spending for fiscal year 2013 was mentioned in the Mainebiz article, “As public funding for R&D slows, universities feel pinch.” University R&D spending increased by less than half a percent nationally in fiscal year 2013, according to National Science Foundation data. The University of Maine spent $77.58 million in FY2013, down from $92.14 million, and was ranked 161st nationally, according to the article. UMaine ranked 57th among all universities for money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture — at $4.66 million — that went to life sciences, engineering and environmental sciences. UMaine also was ranked 102nd in funding from the Department of Energy at $4.54 million, with funds going to engineering, life sciences and physical sciences. For involved personnel, UMaine had 1,782 people, with 347 of them being principal investigators, 25 post-doctoral students and the rest in the “others” category, the article states. The Portland Press Herald also ran the Mainebiz article.
Times Higher Education of London recently published the column, “The ABC of tolerance and the ‘alphabet community,’” by Deborah Rogers, an English professor at the University of Maine.
WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on events held in Orono and Augusta in celebration of the University of Maine’s 150th anniversary as the state’s land grant university. Faculty, students and representatives from businesses that partner with UMaine had displays in the Hall of Flags in the State House while a proclamation declaring Feb. 24 as University of Maine Day was read. On that day in 1865, the Maine legislature passed a bill to create the state’s land grant university. UMaine President Susan Hunter spoke to WVII in Augusta about the university’s history and future, as well as planned events to mark the anniversary throughout the year. In Orono, the UMaine community marked the day with a birthday cake and the dedication of the Spirit Room, an exhibition paying tribute to the university’s mascot, Bananas. “The University of Maine is a place for all people of the state of Maine, people nationally and across the world. This is a place where difference matters and we’re making a difference so we’re very excited about it,” Robert Dana, UMaine’s vice president for student life and dean of students, told WABI. The Augusta event also was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News political blog post.