Archive for the ‘News Releases’ Category

Forestry Researchers Surveying Residents Along Penobscot River for Economic Development Study

Monday, March 30th, 2015

University of Maine professors and Center for Research on Sustainable Forests leaders Sandra De Urioste-Stone and Robert Lilieholm are conducting a survey under the Bay-to-Baxter initiative. The study seeks to identify sustainable economic development pathways for the Penobscot River corridor that protect and leverage the region’s natural resources and quality of place.

De Urioste-Stone, leader of the CRSF Nature-Based Tourism Program, and Lilieholm, Conservation Lands lead for CRSF, are mailing 3,000 surveys to residents along the Penobscot River to learn their views on recreational use of the river, as well as their thoughts on the community and its ability to adapt to changing social, economic and environmental conditions.

“It is extremely important to understand and incorporate residents’ views and feedback for effective land and sustainable development planning to occur,” De Urioste-Stone says.

The survey is part of the larger project, “Promoting Sustainable Economic Development and Quality-of-Place in Maine: The Penobscot River ‘Bay-to-Baxter Corridor’ Initiative,” which is led by De Urioste-Stone with team members Lilieholm; Claire Sullivan, associate dean for community engagement; Linda Silka, of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center; and John Daigle, associate professor in the School of Forest Resources.

The researchers hope the survey will inform ongoing and future sustainable economic development and environmental efforts in the region that stretches from Penobscot Bay to Baxter State Park.

The area faces sustainability threats, as well as opportunities, and the team will use community feedback to support improved land use and economic development decisions across the region.

Research objectives include determining:

  • Characteristics of residents’ use of the Penobscot River, including activities, predicting future recreation use and perceptions of environmental conditions of the river;
  • Characteristics of residents, including attachment to the Penobscot River, status of employment, education and other socio-demographic descriptions; and
  • Beliefs associated with community resilience to environmental and economic development changes.

The Lower Penobscot River Watershed offers an ideal setting for studying and integrating stakeholder participatory scenario modeling, community resilience and sustainable economic development, De Urioste-Stone says.

The region faces multiple sustainability challenges, including an aging population, poverty, energy and food insecurities, high dependence on resource extraction, heavy reliance on social assistance programs, strong urban-rural gradients, active species and watershed restoration efforts, and public health challenges.

The difficulties, which aren’t unique to Maine, pose risks to social, political and economic systems around the world, according to the researchers. They hope what they learn in Maine will have widespread applicability.

Even with its set of growing challenges, the watershed has several assets that can develop and leverage community health and economic growth. These assets include UMaine, the Greater Bangor area, the I-95 corridor, Bangor International Airport, an international border, an abundant coastline and natural and cultural amenities that attract tourists. Recent development proposals have sought to build upon and leverage those resources, the researchers say.

The project will integrate information generated through the resident and user survey for an alternative futures modeling study led by Harvard Forest and funded by the National Science Foundation that aims to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of decision making.

The study includes service-learning opportunities for several undergraduate and graduate students and is funded by UMaine’s Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the UMaine Rising Tide/NSF ADVANCE Award.

The Conservation Lands and Nature-Based Tourism programs at CRSF conduct applied and collaborative research to better understand, monitor and anticipate important issues regarding Maine’s conservation lands, and to understand the economic impacts of tourism.

Lobster Livelihood

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Developing a noninvasive procedure to determine the viability of lobsters for shipping was the goal of a recent cross-discipline research project led by a University of Maine undergraduate student.

Matthew Hodgkin, a fourth-year animal and veterinary sciences major from Colebrook, Connecticut, developed a method to evaluate lobster livelihood based on claw strength while working with Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute at UMaine; Michael “Mick” Peterson, a mechanical engineering professor, and Thomas McKay, a fourth-year mechanical engineering technology student.

The inspiration for Hodgkin’s research came from his adviser Bayer who had approached Peterson two years ago as a result of a press inquiry about the strength of lobster claws. Peterson and McKay then built a device to measure the closing strength of a lobster’s crusher claw, Hodgkin says.

Hodgkin has since worked with Bayer to determine if the device could be used to predict the viability of lobsters for shipping. Knowing a lobster’s viability is relevant to Maine’s primary seafood industry because it can determine if the crustacean is most suitable for shipping live or going straight to a processing plant, according to Hodgkin.

“This research would save the distributors money from losses incurred during shipment. If the most healthy and viable lobsters were picked to ship there would be less casualties due to weakness,” he says.

The device is an alternative to the commonly used invasive procedure that calls for measuring serum protein content in lobster blood. Shipping facilities use handheld refractometers to measure the protein once lobster blood is extracted by a syringe, according to Hodgkin.

The serum protein measurement reflects the amount of muscle mass a lobster has. Lobsters with less muscle mass would not be able to handle the stress of shipping, Hodgkin says.

The technique was developed in the 1980s by Bayer and graduate student Dale Leavitt.

The new device allows for muscle mass measurements to be determined by claw strength as opposed to using a blood sample. The prototype contains an aluminum load cell located at the point where the most pressure is exerted by the lobster when it closes its claw.

“In our first trial the gripper was made from plastic, and that did not last long with the lobsters,” Hodgkin says.

Once the rectangular gripper is placed in the lobster’s grasp, the load cell measures the pressure in pounds per square inch. The measurements then appear on an attached electronic reader that looks similar to a digital alarm clock.

Hodgkin examined various lobsters of the same size from different stages of the molt cycle. He tested the lobsters for crusher claw strength using the load cell meter and used a refractometer to evaluate serum protein in the blood. When comparing the methods, he found the closing strength of a crusher claw correlates with serum protein.

The prototype has been field tested at local lobster dealers and seems to work well, Hodgkin says. He adds more testing is needed to study the effects of water temperature on the ability of the lobster to show interest and on its strength.

Funding for the project came from the Center for Undergraduate Research and the Lobster Institute.

Hodgkin also co-owns a lobster-related business with Bayer; Lobster Institute Associate Director Cathy Billings; and Stewart Hardison, a business partner from outside the UMaine community. Lobster Unlimited LLC, formerly LobsteRx, aims to develop products from lobster-processing industry waste, such as shells. The company’s goal is to get more money to lobstermen and improve Maine’s economy.

After graduating in May 2015, Hodgkin plans to stay in the Orono area to continue work at Lobster Unlimited and eventually pursue a graduate degree in food science and human nutrition at UMaine.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

Backpack Exhibit to Raise Awareness of Suicide Among College Students

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

More than 1,000 backpacks on a college green can get students talking.

That’s part of what they’re intended to do.

Send Silence Packing is a national traveling public education exhibit of 1,100 backpacks that represent the 1,100 college students who annually die by suicide. It’s a program of Active Minds Inc., a national nonprofit with a mission to engage students in discussions about mental health.

Family and friends of the deceased college students donated the 1,100 backpacks, as well as stories and photos, of their loved ones.

Sharing the students’ stories across the country helps to humanize the sobering statistics, including that suicide is the second-leading cause of death of college students and that while 44 percent of college students report being so depressed in the past year that it was difficult to function, two-thirds of those who need help do not get it.

The exhibit thus seeks to increase awareness of mental health and the scope of suicide, eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness so that students do not suffer in silence, and to provide information and resources for students in need of assistance.

The University of Maine and local community are invited to experience Send Silence Packing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 2.

Dr. Kelly Shaw, UMaine outreach coordinator and psychologist at the Counseling Center, advises the university’s Active Minds chapter, which is one of more than 400 nationwide. She says the plan is to place the backpacks on the campus Mall, but if it’s snow-covered, the exhibit will be featured in the Memorial Union Atrium, near the campus bookstore.

At Send Silence Packing, members of Active Minds will have handouts about mental health, suicide prevention and where people can seek help. UMaine Counseling Center staff also will be on site.

“Events like these are very important for us as a campus to come together and acknowledge that people are struggling and they often struggle silently,”says Dr. Robert Dana, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.

“We strive to be a kind, caring, compassionate community and raising awareness and letting people know that we are a safe place to talk about these serious topics is one way that we can communicate that. We want people to know they are valued and belong here. This is their community and we are here for them.”

UMaine was selected as one of 12 Northeast campuses to be a part of the Send Silence Packing spring 2015 tour. Shaw says she’s grateful for the financial support of the Resident Hall Association and Student Government to bring the exhibit to UMaine.

Alison Malmon started Active Minds in 2003 after her brother Brian died by suicide when he was a senior in college. More than 300,000 people in 75 communities throughout the United States have experienced Send Silence Packing since it was unveiled in 2008 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Anyone in the UMaine community wishing to talk is encouraged to contact the Counseling Center at 207.581.1392 or stop by 5721 Cutler Health Center, Room 125 (facing Gannett Hall) Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional resources may be found on the Counseling Center website.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

Bloom Plankton Hitches Rides on Eddies

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Just as crocus and daffodil blossoms signal the start of a warmer season on land, a similar “greening” event — a massive bloom of microscopic plants, or phytoplankton — unfolds each spring in the North Atlantic Ocean from Bermuda to the Arctic.

Fertilized by nutrients that have built up during the winter, the cool waters of the North Atlantic come alive during the spring and summer with a vivid display of color that stretches across hundreds and hundreds of miles.

North Atlantic Bloom turns ocean into sea of plankton

In what’s known as the North Atlantic Bloom, millions of phytoplankton use sunlight and carbon dioxide (CO2) to grow and reproduce at the ocean’s surface.

During photosynthesis, phytoplankton remove carbon dioxide from seawater and release oxygen as a by-product. That allows the oceans to absorb additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If there were fewer phytoplankton, atmospheric carbon dioxide would increase.

Flowers ultimately wither and fade, but what eventually happens to these tiny plants produced in the sea? When phytoplankton die, the carbon dioxide in their cells sinks to the deep ocean.

Plankton integral part of oceanic “biological pump”

This so-called biological pump makes the North Atlantic Ocean efficient at soaking up CO2  from the air.

“Much of this ‘particulate organic carbon,’ especially the larger, heavier particles, sinks,” says scientist Melissa Omand of the University of Rhode Island, co-author of a paper about the North Atlantic Bloom published March 26 in the journal Science.

“But we wanted to find out what’’s happening to the smaller, nonsinking phytoplankton cells from the bloom. Understanding the dynamics of the bloom and what happens to the carbon produced by it is important, especially for being able to predict how the oceans will affect atmospheric CO2 and ultimately climate.”

University of Maine Darling Marine Center researchers Mary Jane Perry, Ivona Cetinić and Nathan Briggs were part of the team with Omand, Amala Mahadevan of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Eric D’Asaro and Craig Lee of the University of Washington that did just that.

They discovered the significant role that swirling currents, or eddies, play in pushing nonsinking carbon to ocean depths.

“It’s been a challenge to estimate carbon export from the ocean’s surface waters to its depths based on measurements of properties such as phytoplankton carbon. This paper describes a mechanism for doing that,” says David Garrison, program director in NSF’s Division of Ocean Sciences. The NSF funded the research.

Tracking a bloom: Floats, gliders and other instruments

During fieldwork from the research vessels Bjarni Saemundsson and Knorr, the scientists used a float to follow a patch of seawater off Iceland. They observed the progression of the bloom by making measurements from multiple platforms.

Autonomous gliders outfitted with sensors gathered data including temperature, salinity, as well as information about the chemistry and biology of the bloom — oxygen, nitrate, chlorophyll and the optical signatures of the particulate matter.

At the onset of the bloom and for the next month, four teardrop-shaped seagliders gathered 774 profiles to depths of up to 1,000 meters (3,281 feet).

Analysis of the profiles showed that about 10 percent had unusually high concentrations of phytoplankton bloom properties, even in deep water, as well as high oxygen concentrations usually found at the surface.

“These profiles were showing what we initially described as ‘bumps’ at depths much deeper than phytoplankton can grow,” says Omand.

Staircases to the deep: ocean eddies

Using information collected at sea by Perry, D’Asaro and Lee, Mahadevan modeled ocean currents and eddies (whirlpools within currents), and their effects on the spring bloom.

“What we were seeing was surface water, rich with phytoplankton carbon, being transported downward by currents on the edges of eddies. Eddies hadn’t been thought of as a major way organic matter is moved into the deeper ocean. But this type of eddy-driven ‘subduction’ could account for a significant downward movement of phytoplankton from the bloom,” says Mahadevan.

Perry, interim director of the DMC, says the discovery reminds her of a favorite quote from French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur: “Where observation is concerned, chance favors only the prepared mind.”

“I feel that this project is a wonderful example of the chance discovery of an important process in the ocean carbon cycle,” she says. “It all started when I was chief scientist on the R/V Knorr during the North Atlantic bloom expedition, spending hours and hours staring at profiles of temperature and phytoplankton.

“Initially it was very puzzling — how could high surface concentrations of phytoplankton and oxygen make it down intact to 300 and 400 meters? But the combination of many measurements from autonomous gliders and simulations from models lead to the unexpected finding that ocean eddies or whirlpools are important forces in transporting phytoplankton and their associated carbon to great depths.”

In related work published in 2012 in Science, the researchers found that eddies act as early triggers of the North Atlantic Bloom by keeping phytoplankton in shallower water where they can be exposed to sunlight to fuel photosynthesis and growth.

Next, the scientists will seek to quantify the transport of organic matter from the ocean’s surface to its depths in regions beyond the North Atlantic and at other times of year, and relate that to phytoplankton productivity.

Learning more about eddies and their link with plankton blooms will allow for more accurate global models of the ocean’s carbon cycle, the researchers say, and improve the models’ predictive capabilities.

“The processes described in this paper are demonstrating, once again, how important the ocean is for removal of atmospheric carbon and controlling Earth’s climate,” says Cetinić.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

More than 120 Graduate Students to Display Projects at Annual Expo

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

University of Maine graduate students will showcase their research and artistic works during the Graduate Student Government’s 2015 Graduate Academic Exposition April 2–3.

Work will be presented, judged and on display from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday in the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center on campus.

The event will feature four areas of competition — posters, oral presentations, intermedia and fine arts exhibits, and a PechaKucha, or rapid-fire slide show event. Students from a variety of disciplines are expected to present 129 submissions at this year’s event. Seventy percent of the students will take part in the expo for the first time, while 30 percent are returning presenters.

The poster and oral presentations will highlight the physical sciences and technology; natural sciences; humanities; and social sciences. The intermedia and fine arts exhibits will include art works, projects and performances.

The PechaKucha competition, open to students in all academic disciplines, invites participants to share their work in a slide show lasting under seven minutes. Unlike the other presentations, the PechaKucha talks will be judged by the audience rather than faculty reviewers. Presentations will take place 1–2:30 p.m. Friday, April 3 in the IMRC Center’s Black Box space.

More than $12,000 in prizes will be awarded to participants of the Grad Expo. Three new awards — the GSBSE Award in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, Climate Change Innovation Award and Student Life Award — have been added this year, and will be presented during the awards gala, slated for 6 p.m. Friday, April 3 at the IMRC Center. The gala is open to the public.

The Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering awards will be given to graduate students whose research projects are related to molecular and cellular biology; bioinformatics; computational biology and genomics; toxicology; neuroscience; or biomedical engineering. The GSBSE will designate judges to select the winners. The awards will be $200 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place.

The $250 Climate Change Innovation Award will be awarded to a graduate student whose research focuses on climate change causes, effects and choices. Judges will be designated by the Climate Change Institute.

The UMaine Division of Student Life will present a $200 award to a graduate student whose research contributes to improving the lives of students at UMaine or in higher education.

Other awards include:

  • The President’s Research Impact Award, a $2,000 award given to the graduate student and their adviser who best exemplify the UMaine mission of teaching, research and outreach;
  • The Provost’s Innovative/Creative Teaching Award, given to graduate students who are lead instructors of a UMaine course and use innovative and creative teaching methods;
  • Graduate Student Government Awards, presented to three students in each of the four presentation divisions;
  • The Graduate Dean’s Undergraduate Mentoring Award, presented for effective undergraduate mentoring in research; and
  • The UMaine Alumni Association Alum Award, given to a graduate student who earned their undergraduate degree at UMaine.

Details of the expo are online. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Elisa Sance, Graduate Student Government vice president, at elisa.sance@maine.edu or umainegsggradexpo@gmail.com.

UMaine Study: Residents Support Investing in Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Fifty-two percent of surveyed Maine adults supported increasing all Mainers’ monthly electricity bills to invest in renewable energy options and/or energy efficiency programs to reduce carbon emissions.

That’s according to a University of Maine study that also found 37 percent of the nearly 400 respondents viewed energy efficiency and renewable energy investments as complementary. They divided the money evenly — giving half to renewable energy investment and half to energy efficiency programs.

UMaine economist Caroline Noblet and colleagues conducted the study in 2013, the same year fossil fuels (81 percent) and nuclear energy accounted for more than 90 percent of energy use in the United States.

“Energy choice studies generally only gauge support (or not) for a policy, rarely do they take the next step — as we have done here — to look at how people would allocate these investment dollars,” Noblet says.

“Understanding how Maine people evaluate, and make tradeoffs between, energy policy options is important when we consider investments in our energy portfolio.”

The survey included four renewable energy options — hydroelectric energy, land-based wind, deepwater offshore wind and tidal energy; each survey participant evaluated one of these choices against energy efficiency.

The average dollar amount households were willing to pay for these programs was $6.76 a month, or more than $80 per year, per Maine household. When respondents had to choose how much funding to give to each option — renewable energy investments or to an energy efficiency program — participants allocated 56 percent of funds to energy efficiency and 44 percent of funds to renewable energy, on average.

In addition, 76 percent of respondents indicated they would distribute 50 percent or more of funds monthly to energy efficiency; 13 percent said they would allot all of the money to energy efficiency.

The authors said it is important for energy portfolios to include options attractive to multiple audiences.

Noblet conducted the study with Mark Anderson, senior instructor in resource economics and policy and Fellow in the George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions; Mario Teisl, director of the School of Economics; Shannon McCoy, UMaine psychologist; and Ed Cervone, executive director at Educate Maine.

A total of 397 randomly selected Mainers 18 years old and older took part in the survey — 63 percent were male, 57 was the mean age, $71,153 was the median annual household income and $100 was the average monthly electric bill.

The researchers noted the surveyed sample was older, had a higher percentage of males and a higher income than Maine’s 2012 census percentages.

The study was conducted as part of Maine Sustainability Solutions Initiative, a program of the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation to Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

Wood Bank Guide

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

With the snow beginning to melt, firewood may be the last thing Maine residents want to think about, but according to University of Maine professor Jessica Leahy, spring and summer are the best times to start a wood bank, and her new guide shows communities how.

Leahy, an associate professor of human dimensions of natural resources at the University of Maine School of Forest Resources, wrote the guide with Sabrina Vivian, a senior in the Ecology and Environmental Sciences Program.

Wood banks are similar to food pantries, but instead of providing food for those in need, they provide firewood at little to no cost for those who rely on wood to heat their homes.

A Community Guide to Starting & Running a Wood Bank” provides guidance for establishing a wood bank, as well as topics to be considered, including types of wood banks, location, legalities, security, eligibility, firewood sources, volunteers, processing, distribution and equipment.

“It walks everyone through the critical aspects of what makes a wood bank, a wood bank,” Leahy says.

The guide also includes profiles and contact information of New England wood banks, as well as a checklist designed for community members to use when holding an initial wood bank planning meeting.

In 2013, when Leahy and Vivian began researching wood banks in New England, they found 12 wood banks throughout the region, with only one in Maine — the Cumberland Wood Bank. All the wood banks started as grassroots organizations without knowing about each other and having to navigate on their own, Leahy says.

In November 2014, Leahy and Vivian wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled, “How wood banks could help Mainers avoid an eat-or-heat dilemma.” The op-ed generated a lot of interest, and many phone calls to Leahy asking how to get started and how to donate wood.

After the op-ed was published, Leahy also heard from two other existing wood banks in Maine — Vets Helping Vets in Camden and Boothbay Woodchucks in Boothbay. Residents in Waldo County and Bucksport were inspired by the piece and started their own wood banks. Blue Hill also is in the process of creating an organization, Leahy says.

Leahy and Vivian decided an online community guide would be helpful for those getting started, and Vivian spearheaded the project as part of her senior capstone.

The researchers say there is a demand for wood banks in the state. They use census data to determine communities that have a high percentage of families that heat with wood and experience economic distress, which would benefit from a wood bank. Since starting this winter, the Waldo County Wood Bank has supported 40 families, Leahy says.

Wood banks not only help those in need, but they also bring people together and provide an opportunity for neighbors to help neighbors, she adds.

Leahy, who focuses on forest resources, said she got involved with wood banks because she wanted to do something related to the woods that was responsive to the needs of state’s residents. Heating in winter is an economic stressor for many families in Maine, and Leahy says a potential solution lies in a renewable Maine resource.

“New England has a culture of heating with firewood,” Leahy says. “I can’t say how much I love that local, renewable resource and doing it the New England way with firewood as opposed to oil.”

Vivian grew up in Surry and Blue Hill in homes that were heated with wood. With renewable energy career interests and a dedication to her home state, she knew wood banks could positively affect many Maine communities.

“The wood bank concept is all about helping your neighbors while also contributing to a more local and sustainable lifestyle,”  Vivian says. “You can’t beat the establishment of programs that bring communities together to support people — emotionally and physically — and do so in an environmentally conscious way.”

Vivian and Leahy plan to post on the School of Forest Resources website potential demand analysis maps for each of Maine’s counties to help communities determine if a wood bank would be beneficial in their respective areas. So far, most of their research has focused on demand. As more wood banks start up in Maine, the team plans to focus on supply and potential firewood sources.

For those thinking about starting a wood bank, Leahy says a key component is having someone in charge who is passionate about the cause and helping others. She also advises having a flexible organization structure and adapting through trial and error.

Leahy says spring and summer are ideal seasons to start wood banks because there is more time to build a supply, as well as process and dry wood.

The guide is available online. For more information on wood banks, contact Leahy at 581.2834, jessica.leahy@maine.edu.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

Sen. Susan Collins to give Margaret Chase Smith Public Affairs Lecture at UMaine March 31

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Political gridlock in Washington, D.C., will be the focus of an address by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins when she gives the Margaret Chase Smith Public Affairs Lecture at the University of Maine on March 31, 2015.

Collins’ address, “Incivility and Hyperpartisanship: Is Washington a Symptom or the Cause?” begins at 3:30 p.m., in the Collins Center for the Arts. RSVP is required for the free public event by calling 581.1648 or writing MCSPC@maine.edu.

Collins is currently serving her fourth term in the United States Senate. Whether it’s in her role as chair of the Senate Aging Committee, or chair of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, or in her role on the Senate Intelligence Committee, she is constantly working to make both Maine and our nation a better place.

UMaine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center brings to campus a person of national status to deliver a lecture in the field of civic and public life. The Margaret Chase Smith Public Affairs Lecture Series was endowed in 1989 by the Margaret Chase Smith Foundation in honor of Sen. Smith’s contributions to Maine and to the nation.

Moxley Wins National Award for Poetry Book

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

The Poetry Society of America has named Jennifer Moxley, an English professor at the University of Maine, the recipient of the 2015 William Carlos Williams Award for her book, “The Open Secret.”

The award, named after American poet William Carlos Williams, is presented annually by the PSA for a book of poetry written by an author who is a permanent resident of the United States. The book must be published by a small, nonprofit or university press.

Moxley’s book was published in October 2014 by Flood Editions, an independent publishing house for poetry and short fiction based in Chicago.

“I’m thrilled to be given an award that is named for a poet who has been a central figure both to me and to the University of Maine’s National Poetry Foundation,” Moxley says.

A Los Angeles Times review of “The Open Secret” stated “Moxley’s earnest and introspective new poems feel almost like personal essays: They take up questions that vex her in daily life, then try to explain why they won’t go away.”

The award, which includes a purchase prize between $500 and $1,000, is endowed by the family and friends of Geraldine Clinton Little, a poet and author of short stories and former vice president of the PSA. Moxley’s book will be distributed to PSA members.

“By addressing us, her readers, as intimates, and by showing us her human face — its anxious or querulous aspects as well as its calm and self-determined ones — she enlarges the possibilities of friendship and camaraderie through poetry. She enlarges, that is, faith, in poetry, for all of us,” wrote poet Ange Mlinko of Moxley’s poetry.

Moxley is the author of six books of poetry, as well as a book of essays and a memoir. She also has translated three books from French. In 2005, she received the Lynda Hull Poetry Award from Denver Quarterly. The award is given for the best poem, or poems, published in a volume year.

The Poetry Society of America was founded in 1910 and is the nation’s oldest poetry organization. It aims to build a larger, more diverse and appreciative audience for poetry while supporting poets through programs and awards.

More about PSA and the award is online. More information about Moxley and her poetry is on her website.

Nineteen UMaine Faculty Members Receive Tenure and/or Promotion

Monday, March 16th, 2015

The University of Maine System Board of Trustees has approved promotion and/or tenure for 19 University of Maine faculty members. The faculty were nominated by UMaine President Susan J. Hunter based on a peer and administrative review of their successful work in teaching, research and public service.

“The annual tenure and promotion process is truly a celebration of the excellence of our faculty,” says UMaine President Susan J. Hunter. “They are key to helping UMaine fulfill its statewide mission of teaching, research, scholarship, economic development and outreach. And they are essential to the UMaine distinction — from the student experience and community engagement to the national- and international-caliber research.”

University of Maine Faculty Promoted and/or Tenured, 2014-15

Promoted to professor

College of Education and Human Development

  • Susan K. Gardner, Higher Education

College of Engineering

  • Ali Abedi, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Philip A. Dunn, Jr., Construction Management Technology
  • Michael D. Mason, Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Judith R. Pearse, Electrical Engineering Technology
  • Yifeng Zhu, Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • Amy M. Blackstone, Sociology
  • Laura A. Lindenfeld, Mass Communication/Media Studies and Public Policy
  • Nathan E. Stormer, Communication and Journalism

College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture

  • Kathleen P. Bell, Resource Economics and Policy
  • John J. Daigle, Forest Recreation Management
  • Eric R. Gallandt, Weed Ecology and Management
  • Brian J. McGill, Ecological Modeling

Promoted to professor with tenure

College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture

  • Gordon S. Hamilton, Earth Sciences and Climate Change Institute

Promoted to associate professor with tenure

College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture

  • Brian J. Olsen, Biology and Ecology

Granted tenure at current rank of associate professor

Honors College

  • Mark E. Haggerty, Rezendes Preceptor of Civil Engagement

Promoted to Extension professor

  • Jennifer F. Lobley, Cooperative Extension

Promoted to associate Extension professor with continuing contract

  • Mitchell D. Mason, Cooperative Extension
  • Kathryn G. Yerxa, Cooperative Extension

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745