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Clean Clams: Assessing Human Impacts and Protecting Public Health
Director, Bureau of Public Health, Maine Department of Marine Resources
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
1:30pm-2:30pm, 107 Norman Smith Hall
Kohl Kanwit received her Bachelors degree from McGill University and her MS from the University of Maine. She has worked with the Department of Marine Resources for 14 years, primarily on fisheries research and management. She was hired two years ago as the Director of the Bureau of Public Health and now oversees the Department’s shellfish sanitation and management programs.
Two Years in… or Even Cowgirls Get the Blues… or the Unhappy Tea Party… or a Glimpse at a Multidisciplinary, Multi-state Pollination Project
School of Biology & Ecology, University of Maine
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
1:30 – 2:30pm, 107 Norman Smith Hall
In this seminar, Drummond will discuss his work on a multi-disciplinary, five-year research project on the role of native pollinators in the wild blueberry agroecosystem. This project is part of a larger pollination project involving the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, University of Massachusetts, and the University of Tennessee. Pollination ecology, bee disease ecology, landscape ecology, botany, economics, anthropology, pesticide chemistry, and insect pest management are topics included in the research being conducted by the UMaine team. Pollination is the most important ecological process in production of fruits and nuts. The ecosystem service of crop pollination that the native bee community performs is a natural resource and one that some farmers protect and enhance through conservation practices. This seminar will discuss what cultural, sociological, economic, and ecological aspects of agroecosystems in Maine affect the perspectives of native bees and the actions growers may take.
Sponsored by the Senator George J. Mitchell Center, Sustainability Solutions Initiative
SSI Researcher Gayle Zydlewski Leads UMaine Team on U.S. Dept. of Energy Funded Project
The University of Maine is sharing in a $16 million dollar award from the U.S. Dept. of Energy which will be used to fund projects aimed at studying tidal energy potential. The $494,000 UMaine project, led by SSI researcher and associate professor of marine sciences Gayle Zydlewski, will use data from research initiated by SSI’s “Renewable Energy from the Tides” project, to predict the probability of fish interactions with energy devices such as Ocean Renewable Power Company’s TidGen Power System in Cobscook Bay. The project is expected to aid in the understanding of the effects of deployed marine energy devices on local fish populations.
Presque Isle Students Win Award for Poster Featuring SSI Grass Biomass Project
Three Presque Isle high school students, junior Angela Wang and sophomores Sedona Lucas and Zach Rice, have assisted with research on the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s SSI project “Assessing the Feasibility and Sustainability of Grass Biomass Production in Aroostook County.” The students became involved in the project as part of UMPI’s Central Aroostook Math and Science Partnership (CAMSP), learning GIS mapping, identifying grasslands, and conducting interviews in the community. Their poster featuring this work was awarded first place in the high school category at the 6th Annual GIS Educators in Maine & MEGUG (Maine GIS Users Group) 2013 Fall Conference. See more…
Sustainability Students Collaborate to Work on STARS Rating for UMaine
SSI researcher Tim Waring’s undergraduate Sustainable Development class is working with the UMaine Sustainability Coordinator to help assemble data needed to complete a submission to the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS), a project of the American Association of Sustainability in Higher Education. Many leading “green” campuses are already rated by STARS. This ongoing collaboration, supported by UMaine’s President Ferguson, has led to a process of steady improvements towards sustainability for the UMaine campus. Waring hopes the campus will be able to submit its first report this year as a result of these efforts.
Students from UNE Saco River Estuary Project Host Workshop
University of New England studentworking on SSI’s“Sustaining Quality of Place in the Saco River Estuary” project shared their research experiences in a Campus Compact Field Trip on October 25, 2013. The workshop featured students discussing their work on the Saco River, including such topics as stakeholder involvement, water quality, invasive species and fish sampling. The workshop was attended by people from Maine and New Hampshire universities, nonprofits and high schools. See more…
Barry Costa-Pierce to Talk on Ecological Aquaculture
View video of lecture
Barry Costa-Pierce, Director of the Marine Science Center at the University of New England will present a seminar titled "Ecological Aquaculture: The Evolution of the Blue Revolution" on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 1:30pm, 107 Norman Smith Hall, University of Maine.
Ecological aquaculture is an alternative model of aquaculture development that uses ecological principles as the paradigm for the development of aquaculture. Ecological aquaculture relies upon the fields of ecosystems design, systems ecology, ecological engineering, industrial ecology, agroecology, and social ecology. Ecological aquaculture farms are “aquaculture ecosystems” designed to deliver both economic and social profit. Ecological aquaculture incorporates at the outset - not as an afterthought - planning for not only the sustainable production of ocean foods, but also for innovation, community development, and the wider social, economic, and environmental contexts of aquaculture.
Marine Energy International Symposium a Success
A delegation of scholars from Japan, including President Sato of Hirosaki University, joined the SSI Tidal Energy Team for the 2nd Marine Energy International Symposium at UMaine on September 16-17, 2013. The symposium was designed as a collaborative exchange between researchers in the Maine Tidal Power Initiative (MTPI), and various Japanese institutions. With Japan hoping to have 30 percent of its power produced offshore by 2030, the delegation was interesting in learning from the work of SSI researchers Gayle Zydlewski and Teresa Johnson, in conjunction with MTPI, to help ensure that tidal power is developed in ways that promote economic development and protect marine ecosystems.
“Before President Sato left he told me that our interactions were more successful than he ever thought they would be,” said Zydlewski. “We are continuing dialogue and interactions. I believe we had a fruitful meeting.”
Researcher Gayle Zydlewski’s work on the tidal project was also featured in a recent issue of Forbes magazine. See article…
Poster Winners from 2013 Maine EPSCoR Conference
Maine EPSCoR has announced the poster winners from the 2013 Maine EPSCoR Conference that was held on September 30 at Wells Conference Center. The winning posters for the undergraduate and graduate student competitions are posted at the Mitchell Center for viewing.
The student winners are as follows:
High School Competition
Sedona Lucas, Zachary Rice, Sijia Angela Wang; Presque Isle High School
Emerging Amish Community in Central Aroostook County as a New Factor in Landscape/Land Use Change
Theo Koboski; University of Maine
The Maine Tidal Power Initiative: Lessons Learned through Collaborative Interdisciplinary Research
Luke Groff; University of Maine
Hibernation Ecology of Lithobates Sylvaticus in Maine’s Montane Landscape
Sustainable Maine’s Third Season Begins October 2
The third season of MPBN’s Sustainable Maine opened on October 2 with “Return of a River”. The first episode in this Emmy-nominated series features SSI researchers from the University of New England and the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve and focuses on the Saco River Estuary. The team is gathering extensive field data to develop a grading system to assess the health of the estuary using key indicators that matter to local stakeholders. The team hopes that through active discussion and problem solving the river will remain a vital resource for the community. “Return of a River” will be repeated at 10am on October 5 and at 1pm on October 6.
The second episode, “Culvert Operations” follows University of Maine and University of Maine Cooperative Extension researchers who are studying the effect of extreme weather events on the many culverts in Maine’s coastal regions. The SSI team is conducting detailed analyses of data on climate, weather, culvert sizes and locations, and decision-making processes to create tools that will help communities maintain and upgrade their culverts. “Culvert Operations” airs at 9pm on October 9 and will be repeated at 10am on October 12 and at 1pm on October 13.
The final episode, titled “Preserving Paradise”, features SSI researchers using new mapping tools and working with stakeholders to allow for “smarter” development across the state. The Alternative Futures Team, based at the University of Maine and University of Maine School of Law, uses focus groups and workshops to help planners and decision-makers figure out what effect the choices they make today may have on the economic, social and environmental future of their communities. “Preserving Paradise” airs at 9pm on October 16 and will be repeated at 10am on October 19 and at 1pm on October 20.
For more information or to view past seasons of Sustainable Maine, please visit our website.
New SSI Grant Announced as SSI Researchers Continue to Make a Difference
New England SusTainability Consortium (NEST)
A team of researchers led by the University of Maine (UMaine) and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) will conduct a three-year study of the many factors affecting the health of their shared coastal ecosystem. This collaboration, funded by a $6 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), aims to strengthen the scientific basis for decision-making related to the management of recreational beaches and shellfish harvesting. This research is a direct outgrowth of Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI), supported by the NSF EPSCoR program. David Hart, Laura Lindenfeld and Kathleen Bell are Co-PIs on the project. See full release…
MPBN's "Maine Things Considered" Features SSI Graduate Student
SSI Doctoral Student Kristine Hoffman was featured on MPBN’s “Maine Things Considered” radio show on August 5, discussing some of the unusual findings from her vernal pool research.
Kristine is a team member on the Protecting Natural Resources at the Community Scale project.
To read the full MPBN story or listen to a podcast of the show, visit the MPBN website.
SSI Researcher Interviewed for Kennebec Journal
SSI researcher Jessica Leahy was interviewed for an article in the Kennebec Journal that appeared July 13, 2013. Leahy, Associate Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources in the UMaine School of Forest Resources, discussed Maine’s Great Ponds Act which allows open access to undeveloped lands in Maine for hunting and fishing. Leahy said in the article that she would advise hunters to adhere to the wishes of land owners. “Hunting on private property is a privilege, not a right,” she commented. Leahy is also co-leader of SSI’s People, Landscape and Communities (PLACE) project. See full Kennebec Journal article online…
Vernal Pool Research Continues with New NSF Grant
Researchers from SSI’s Protecting Natural Resources at the Community Scale (Vernal Pool) team have been awarded a grant from the NSF Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) program for their project, “Of Pools and People: Small Natural Features with Large Ecosystem Functions in Urbanizing Landscapes. “ This 4-year project was funded for $1.49M and is scheduled to begin September 1, 2013. The project will explore the biophysical and socioeconomic components of vernal pool ecology and management. PI: Aram Calhoun; Co-PIs: Mac Hunter, Kathleen Bell, Cyndy Loftin, Krista Capps
See more about this project…
SSI Doctoral Student the Focus of News Story about Blue-Spotted Salamanders
SSI Doctoral Student Kristine Hoffman was featured recently in a news broadcast on Bangor TV stations Fox 22 and ABC 7. The story highlights Kristine’s research focusing on the conservation and habitat of the blue spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale). Kristine is looking at the breeding ecology, habitat selection and life histories of blue-spotted salamanders, including the distance they emigrate from vernal pools.
Kristine is a member on SSI’s Protecting Natural Resources at the Community Scale (Vernal Pools) project.
For more information see the news article on University of Maine website.
A video of the news story is available on Fox Bangor News website.
SSI Research on Culverts Featured on WERU's "Talk of the Towns"
SI researchers Shaleen Jain and Esperanza Stancioff joined City of Ellsworth planner Michelle Gagnon, and city manager Michelle Beal for a guest panel on WERU Community Radio’s “Talk of the Towns”. The topic of discussion for the show was the role of sustainability science in helping coastal regions increasingly intense and frequent storms. A podcast of the radio discussion is available at WERU’s website.
Jain and Esperanza are team members on the SSI project “Helping Communities Weather the Storms”.
You can listen to the radio broadcast by streaming and podcasting world wide at www.weru.org.
Floating Fruit in the Saco River Helps Track Invasive Weeds
University of New England graduate student Michelle Slater, an advisee of SSI researcher Pam Morgan, set oranges, lemons and summer squash adrift in the Saco River as part of a study on the movement of invasive plant species in the river.
Learn more about the SSI project “Sustaining Quality of Place in the Saco River Estuary through Community Based Ecosystem Management”
Homeowners along the Saco River have an opportunity to participate in the study by noting the location of the fruit as it drifts ashore and entering the codes found on the fruit on the study’s website. See full story on the University of New England website or view the WCSH Channel 6 video.
SSI Focus of July 5 Bangor Daily News Op-Ed
UMaine President Paul Ferguson and SSI Director David Hart contributed an op-ed that appeared in the July 5th edition of Bangor Daily News. The piece, titled “How UMaine is Driving Sustainability, Research”, discussed the role of initiatives like SSI in facilitating economic growth in the state and in preparing students to take leadership roles in Maine’s future. See full Bangor Daily News op-ed.
SSI Undergraduate Research Assistant Presents at National Conference
Michael Dandy, a junior in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UMaine and a 2012 CUGR Fellow, presented his research titled, Extreme rainfall in a changing climate: New analysis and estimation considerations for infrastructure design earlier this month at the 27th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) held at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Michael also presented his research at the UMaine Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) Showcase annual event held at UMaine each April. Michael is a member of the Coastal Adaptation team led by Shaleen Jain and Esperanza Stancioff.
Shaleen Jain Appointed Editor of International Water Journal
Shaleen Jain, SSI researcher, has been appointed as an Editor of the Journal of Water and Climate Change. The journal publishes refereed research and practitioner papers on all aspects of water science, technology, management and innovation in response to climate change, with emphasis on reduction of energy usage. The journal is a publication of the International Water Association and is available online.
MPBN series featuring SSI, "Sustainable Maine", nominated for Emmy
All three episodes in the second season of Sustainable Maine have been nominated for New England Emmy Awards. “Pools, Policies and People – Maine’s Vernal Pools” was nominated in the category of Outstanding Environmental Program, “Basket Trees” was nominated in the category of Historical/Cultural Program/Special, and “Saving Our Lakes” was nominated in the category of Societal Concerns. Winners will be announced on June 1.
MPBN plans to re-air the Emmy nominated episodes during the month of May.
Desperate Alewives – Thursday May 9, 2013 8:30PM
Saving Our Lakes – Thursday May 16, 2013 8:30PM
Basket Trees – Thursday May 23, 2013 8:30PM
Pools, Policy & People – Thursday May 30, 2013 8:30PM
See episode descriptions or view online
Maine Water Conference Plenary Video & Session Presentations Now Available
Due to a snow storm on the day of the Maine Water Conference, many people were unable to attend this annual event. The Mitchell Center has received permission from many of the concurrent session presenters to share their PowerPoint presentations with the community. Concurrent sessions materials are available on the 2013 Maine Water Conference page.
The video of the Plenary speeches by Craig Williamson from Miami University titled Managing Water Resources in a Changing Climate: Deciphering the Sentinel Responses of Lakes In a Warmer and Wetter World and Timothy Ford from University of New England titled Global Studies in Water and Health: Implications for Maine is now available to watch online
Student Scholarships Available for Maine Land Conservation Conference
Students from any Maine college or university are being offered free conference registration to the Maine Land Conservation Conference which will be held Saturday, April 27th in Topsham. This conference is attended by over 400 people interested in land conservation, and includes over 30 workshops and presentations. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Cheryl Charles, who is co-founder of the Children in Nature Network with Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods. Dr. Charles will speak about what conservation organizations can do to assist in reconnecting children with nature.
To register and receive the scholarship, contact Donna Bissett or call 729-7366. More information is available on the conference website.
SSI leads AAAS symposium in Boston
At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston on February 18th, the University of Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI) led a symposium focused on innovative university programs designed to address the challenges of sustainable development. The symposium included presentations by six academic leaders from across the U.S. who are immersed in, and learning from, novel institutional strategies for developing solutions to pressing societal problems at the intersection of economic, social, and environmental issues. Following the presentations, the speakers participated in a panel discussion highlighting the best practices that are emerging from these pioneering initiatives. See more...
New Report by SSI Team Finds Maine More Ethnically Diverse
Though Maine still has the oldest population in the nation, it is becoming more ethnically diverse. This is just one of the key findings from “Changing Maine: Maine’s Changing Population and Housing 1990-2010,” a new report by the SSI Sustainable Urban Regions Project (SURP) team. The report provides insights into Maine’s population growth, demographics, households, and housing over the past two decades. With funding from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the team analyzed data from the 2010 Census of Population and Housing and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey, as well as supplemental data from the Internal Revenue Service and New England Economic Partnership to demonstrate how Maine is changing as a state.
“The 2010 Census shows that many of the stories we have told about Maine’s population are no longer as clear as they once were,” said Charlie Colgan, who directed the project. “Inland and northern counties saw more population growth than in the 1990s, and coastal counties’ growth slowed, in some cases dramatically. Maine is becoming more ethnically diverse everywhere, and our aging population is driven as much by a lack of young people as an abundance of old people.”
The report is available online from the SURP webpage. For a hard copy of the report, please contact Ruth Hallsworth.
Abstracts Now Being Accepted for 2013 Maine Water Conference
Abstracts for both oral and poster presentations are now being accepted for the 2013 Maine Water Conference. The conference will take place on Tuesday, March 19 at the Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, Maine. Detailed guidelines are available on the Maine Water Conference website. Abstracts may be submitted online.
- Deadline for oral abstracts - Friday, December 21, 2012
- Deadline for poster abstracts - Friday, February 15, 2013
SSI Team Works to Balance Growth and Conservation
Like many towns in Maine, Topsham is contending with a common dilemma: how to grow in ways that don’t diminish the very things that people cherish about their community, like open space, wildlife and special landscapes.
“There is the constant tug between conservation and economic development,” says Rich Roedner, Topsham planning director. “How do you preserve or protect resources while still providing for local growth opportunities?”
That question is at the center of an SSI research project led by UMaine wetlands ecologist Aram Calhoun. Her team is using local vernal pool conservation as a model to examine how towns can plan future development in ways that benefit people and wildlife alike. (read more...)
Request for Proposals Issued for National Water Resources Grants Program
The Request for Proposals (RFP) for the FY2013 National Competitive Grants Program authorized by section 104G of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984 has been posted on niwr.net. Please note that new research priorities have been established for the FY2013 RFP. An appropriation has not yet been received for this program. Nevertheless, the proposal solicitation process will proceed in anticipation that the appropriation will be approved.
The closing date for proposals to be filed on niwr.net by principal investigators is 4:00 pm, Eastern Time, Thursday, February 21, 2013. Please contact John Peckenham with questions.
2013 Maine Water Conference Call for Abstracts
The Maine Water Conference was founded in 1994 as an annual forum for water resource professionals, researchers, consultants, citizens, students, regulators, and planners to exhange information and present new findings on water resource issues in Maine.
The Call for Abstracts for the conference is now open. Abstracts for oral presentations must fit within the guidelines of one of the session topics outlined on the conference website. The submission deadline for oral abstracts is Friday, December 21, 2012. Abstract guidelines are also available on the web.
Posters invited for display will address one or more aspects of water quality or quantity issues. The submission deadline for poster abstracts is Friday, February 15, 2013. Abstract guidelines are available on the web. The juried poster competition includes three judging categories: graduate, undergraduate and high-school. Non-student posters based on appropriate research findings are also accepted for display.
SSI Seminar with Tom Schueler on Tuesday, November 13
This seminar is sponsored by SSI. Support is provided by the National Science Foundation to Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine.
Tom Schueler, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Stormwater Network, is scheduled to give a talk titled, "Can Urban Watersheds Be Sustainable" on Tuesday, November 13 at 12pm in Room 107 Norman Smith Hall, UMaine. The seminar is free and open to the public.
This seminar will include a brief review of the science relating stream health to watershed impervious cover and the ongoing effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay. Topics will include how stormwater management has evolved in the Bay watershed toward a runoff reduction approach, how the Chesapeake Bay TMDL has prompted a new era of nutrient accounting, and what progress is being made by expert panels to define nutrient removal credits and qualifying conditions for a series of urban BMPs. Tom will also discuss how the panels have navigated a pathway between limited science, uncertain management and regulatory politics, what lessons have been learned that may be applicable to Maine, and what are the prospects for watershed sustainability in the future.
Tom Schueler has more than 30 years experience in practical aspects of urban stream research, stormwater design, stream restoration, retrofits, and comprehensive watershed planning.
Highlighting "Sustainable Maine" Teams & Research
The "Sustainable Maine" page on the SSI website is designed to help you link directly to the people, places and research highlighted in this season's MPBN documentaries. Here you'll find links to interviews with researchers and stakeholders, profiles where researchers talk about the sustainability problems they are working on and why they decided to join SSI, summaries of featured SSI research projects, and other related articles.
MPBN "Sustainable Maine" Documentaries Available on the Web
Episodes from both Season 1 and Season 2 of MPBN's Sustainable Maine are now available on MPBN's website. Season 2 featured research by the following SSI teams:
New York Team Assists with Dragonfly Research Project
The Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation (ALSC) recently completed collections of dragonfly larvae in acid rain sensitive Adirondack surface waters. ALSC staff assisted Mitchell Center assistant research professor Sarah Nelson, and collaborators at the SERC Institute, Maine Sea Grant, the USGS Mercury Research Lab, and Dartmouth College, who have been developing the concept of using dragonfly larvae as bio-sentinels for mercury concentrations in northeast lakes and streams. Mercury is a natural element but is found in elevated levels in Maine and many locations across the country due largely to fossil fuel emissions. Scientists are unable to predict which lakes or streams might have high or low mercury because it has a complex cycle both getting to waterbodies and once it’s in the water. “Our work has been using dragonfly larvae (immature dragonflies, which live in the water for the first year(s) of their lives) as bio-sentinels to help us understand which types of watersheds and waterbodies seem to have greater mercury” says Sarah. “The work will help us understand if we can model mercury sensitivity in lakes and their food webs, and if dragonfly larvae are good indicators of that sensitivity”.
Click here for more information on this project.
Call for Poster Abstracts for the 2013 DSRRN Science Meeting
The 2013 DSRRN Science Meeting, "Diadromous Species Restoration Science 2013: Migration, Habitat, Species Interactions, and Management" will take place on January 10-11 at the University of Maine. Poster abstracts for the conference are now being accepted. Deadline for receipt of abstracts is November 15, 2012. Please go to the DSRRN website for guidelines.
The meeting will be an opportunity for managers, biologists, ecologists, hydrogeologists, and conservation planners to share their approaches to a common goal and leave with newly forged collaborations and an informed view of the future of diadromous fish restoration science. Three scientific sessions on migration and movement, interspecific interactions, and habitat requirements will feature short synthesis talks and interactive discussions focused on linking research, management, and future research directions. Registration for the conference is scheduled to open in late October.
The conference is sponsored by the Diadromous Species Restoration Research Network, a National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network.
Pamela Matson Gives Keynote at 2012 Mitchell Lecture
The 2012 Mitchell Lecture on Sustainability took place on Tuesday, September 25 at 1pm at Hauck Auditorium, University of Maine, Orono, ME. Dr. Pamela Matson, Dean of Earth Sciences at Stanford University gave the keynote address, "A 'Call to Arms' for a Transition to Sustainability". Senator Mitchell will provide remarks. A reception will follow the lecture.
Dr. Matson's research addresses a range of environment and sustainability issues, including sustainability of agricultural systems; vulnerability of particular people and places to climate change; and the environmental consequences of global change in the nitrogen and carbon cycles. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has received a MacArthur Fellowship and directs the Leopold Leadership Program.
A video of this event will become available online shortly.
EPA Regional Administrator to Speak at EPSCoR State Conference
The theme of this year's Maine EPSCoR State Conference is "Building Partnerships for Sustainability Solutions". The highlight of the conference will be a keynote address by US Environmental Protection Agency Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding. This statewide gathering of faculty, researchers, students, educators, business and community partners, and non-profit and government leaders will take place on Monday, September 24 at Wells Conference Center, University of Maine, Orono, ME. Other talks and panel discussions will focus on how SSI teams are building partnerships and their successes and challenges.
Their is no charge to attend the conference. Please go to the ME EPSCoR Website to register.
Job Opening for Program Coordinator
The Sustainability Solutions Initiative and Mitchell Center seek a Program Coordinator to facilitate coordination, development and sustainability of Mitchell Center and SSI programs. Qualifications: Master’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience. Knowledge of issues pertaining to sustainability in ME. Experience working with diverse stakeholder groups. In-depth knowledge of grant/funding process. Excellent communication & computer skills. EO/AA employer. For full job announcement go to http://jobs.umaine.edu/.
Colby's SSI Team Featured on Maine Things Considered
SSI's Colby College research team was recently featured on MPBN's Maine Things Considered. Led by chemistry professor Whitney King, the Colby project is looking into ways to reverse the decline of Maine's Belgrade Lakes. The episode, which aired on August 23, is available on MPBN's Website. More information on the SSI Colby project is available on the SSI Website.
New Mitchell Center Website Launched
The Senator George J. Mitchell Center has launched its new website at http://www.umaine.edu/mitchellcenter/. The site features current research highlights, news updates, and an events listing along with information on all Mitchell Center programs.
Presenters Sought for Children's Water Festival
We are still seeking presenters and exhibitors for the Northern Maine Children's Water Festival that will take place on Tuesday, October 9 at the University of Maine. The event is attended by close to 700 fourth, fifth and sixth grade students from across Northern Maine. If you have an interactive activity that you would like to present please contact Denise Blanchette.
Elmina B. Sewall Foundation Awards Grant
The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation recently awarded a grant to Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI) for a project titled, "The Maine Futures Community Mapper: Fostering Economic Growth and Healthy Landscapes for Maine’s Communities". The project is an extension of an SSI project where researchers have worked for several years with Maine economic development, conservation, forestry, and agriculture leaders to identify strategic land use opportunities and potential conflicts. Using the Sewall funds, the team will use these results to begin development of a web-based planning tool for communities and land trusts to better balance conservation with economic development. Click here for more information on the "Mapping a Sustainable Future" project team.
WERU Features Tidal Energy Research
SSI researchers Teresa Johnson and Gayle Zydlewski were guests on a recent WERU "Talk of the Town" radio broadcast. The discussion, led by host Ron Beard, covered the community and ecological impacts of tidal energy development in Cobscook Bay. The show also featured David Hart, leader of SSI, John Ferland from Ocean Renewable Power Company, and Will Hopkins from the Cobscook Bay Resource Center.
A podcast of the broadcast can be found at the WERU web site.
Hart Gives Presentation at National Academies Symposium
SSI Leader David Hart was invited to give a presentation at The National Academies Symposium, “Science, Innovation, and Partnerships for Sustainability Solutions”. The Symposium took place on May 16-18, 2012 at the Pew DC Conference Center in Washington, DC. The symposium included presentations by some of the thought leaders in sustainability science along with keynote talks by John Holdren, Office of Science and Technology Policy and Subra Suresh, National Science Foundation. More information on the symposium along with webcasts of the presentations are available on The National Academies web site.
Special Issue of Maine Policy Review
The issue of the Maine Policy Review devoted to the Sustainability Solutions Initiative is now available on-line and in hard copy. Highlights of this issue include an essay on "Sustainability: The Challenges and the Promises" by Senator George J. Mitchell and an interview with Robert Kates, Pathfinder in Sustainability Science and Chair of SSI's Science Advisory Board.
Individual articles can be read and downloaded from the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center website. For hard copies of the MPR, please contact Carol Hamel at 207/581-3195 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children's Water Festival Seeks Sponsors
Fourth, fifth and sixth grade students from across northern Maine will have the opportunity to participate in a funfilled, educational day of water-related activities at the 2012 Northern Maine Children's Water Festival which will take place at the University of Maine on October 9, 2012. The festival is filled with hands-on classroom activities, an exhibit hall, entertainment, and water-focused investigations.
We rely on the generosity of our sponsors to keep festival attendance free so that all schools have the opportunity to participate. We also supply a small grant to assist in covering the cost of bus transportation. This is increasingly important with the continued school budget cuts, and for some schools, the festival may provide the only opportunity that students have to participate in this type of learning activity.
Please help sponsor this year's festival by contacting Ruth Hallsworth at 207/581-3196 or email@example.com.
Many Rivers One Estuary Symposium brings together stakeholders and researchers
On November 17, one hundred stakeholders, researchers and students gathered for a day long symposium “Many Rivers One Estuary – Translating Knowledge into Action”. The symposium was a component of the Sustainability Solutions’ Partners project “Ecological and economic recovery and sustainability of Maine rivers, estuaries and coastal fisheries.” This project which brings together researchers from Bates College, Bowdoin College, and the University of Southern Maine is investigating the status and potential for ecological recovery in the Kennebec and Androscoggin Rivers and their common estuary, the Kennnebec Estuary. The symposium was planned and held collaboratively with the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and supported by the Sustainability Solutions Initiative and the Merrymeeting Bay Trust...Read full article
SSI Graduate Student Awarded Fellowship to Study in Australia
SSI graduate student Stacia Dreyer was selected to receive a 2012 Endeavor Research Fellowship from the Government of Australia to study in Perth Australia. The Endeavour Award is an internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program providing opportunities for citizens of the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia.
As part of her research, Stacia and her advisors will develop a survey to investigate environmental decision making and support of sustainable technologies, conservation practices and policies.
Grad Student Recognized for Research on University-Community Partnerships
Karen Hutchins, an IPhD candidate in Communication and Journalism and a graduate research assistant for Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative, was recognized by the National Science Foundation for her research poster on partnerships between universities and municipalities at the NSF’s National EPSCoR Conference in October.
Hutchins won the Judges’ Pick Runner-Up Prize for her poster “Linking Knowledge with Action Through Municipality-University Partnerships: Predicting Interest in and Preference for Partnerships.” The poster presents preliminary results from Hutchins’ new statewide survey of 1,176 Maine municipal officials. More...
Watch for us September 27th on MPBN!
SSI is the subject of Sustainable Maine, a forthcoming documentary series on Maine Public Television. The first documentary, The Triple Bottom Line features SSI researchers Teresa Johnson and Gayle Zydlewski, who are collaborating on sustainable tidal power in Eastport, and Jessica Leahy, who is working with small family forest owners on sustainable woodlands. The second episode titled Desperate Alewives features a collaborative SSI research team from Bates and Bowdoin colleges and the University of Southern Maine led by John Lichter (Bowdoin). The team is focused on the ecological and economic recovery of the Androscoggin and Kennebec Rivers and the impact that alewife restoration may play in that recovery.
Several UMaine experts appear in the programs which detail "a new way of combining biophysical sciences with social science and economics to study Maine's changing landscape, and how to sustain it for future generations." See press release.
MPBN will air the first two episodes on September 27th at 8:00 and 8:30pm respectively.
Click here for more information on "Sustainable Maine".
7/23/2011 Bangor Daily News
celebrated at Micmac farmer's market
11/19/2010 Portsmouth Herald
Analysts say ignoring global warming will cost the nation
11/18/2010 Boston Globe
NH conference to focus on environmental policy
8/8/2010 Morning Sentinel (PDF)
Docks to Doorways: new project calls for public access, green space and a resource center
6/27/2010 Portland Press Herald
Neighbors most accountable for lake quality (PDF)
5/22/2010 Bangor Daily News
UMaine addresses enviromental communication (PDF)
5/5/2010 Bangor Daily News
UM students creat ad campaigns for businesses (PDF)
Engineering Professor Exploring Watershed Sustainability with Middle School Students
A University of Maine engineering professor is working on a research and education grant focused on watershed sustainability, a project which includes helping middle school-aged children understand the effects of climate change on watershed sustainability in their own municipalities.
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Tests of Downeast Tidal Power System a Success, Company says
A Maine-based energy company is calling the successful testing of a Downeast tidal power system a "huge milestone" for America's Ocean Energy industry. Ocean Renewable Power Company today announced that its $2 million underwater power system has successfully generated grid-compatible power from tidal currents in the waters off Eastport in Washington County.
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"Wildlands and Woodlands" Report released
After about 150 years of natural growth, forest land is declining across all six New England states. That's according to a report released today by the Harvard University Forest in Massachusetts, in conjunction with some University of Maine researchers. The report calls for conserving 70 percent of New England, or 30 million acres of forest land over the next 50 years.
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Click here to read the report
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Researchers Hope to Stop Threat Before it Reaches Maine
The emerald ash borer, which already has devastated ash tree populations in states like Michigan and Ohio, and is now found in New York and the province of Quebec, is threatening Maine’s ash and thousands of forest-related jobs, including Native American basketmaking. In an effort to research this potentially devastating new invasive species and minimize its impact, basketmakers, tribal members, state and federal agencies, and University of Maine researchers have joined forces.
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University of Maine researcher Darren Ranco joins forces with Maine tribal members and basketmakers to address new invasive species threat
Made from native brown ash trees, Maine Indian baskets are functional art forms that have been passed down through generations of the region’s tribal communities. But the future of the art is being threatened by an invasive beetle species — the emerald ash borer — that already has devastated the ash populations in states such as Michigan and Ohio, and is being found in trees in New York and the Canadian Province of Quebec.
For centuries, the Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes have had a deep cultural and spiritual connection to ash or wikepi, the basket trees, using them to weave intricate and functional baskets from patterns and stories passed down from their ancestors.
In an effort to research this potentially devastating new invasive species and minimize its impact, basket makers, tribal members, state and federal agencies, and University of Maine researchers have joined forces to develop research questions and potential solutions.
Click here for full article in UMaine Today
Owen discusses urban stream ecological degradation and the often ineffective laws used for remediation
Dave Owen, an associate professor at the University of Maine School of Law, spoke Monday October 19th in Nutting Hall at UMaine about urban stream ecological degradation and the often ineffective laws used for remediation. Laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act were not written to deal specifically with the multifaceted issues of urban streams, Owen explained. Previously an environmental consultant, Owen explained why urban streams become degraded. In urban areas the flow of water changes and habitat connectivity decreases, altering hydrology, water quality and biodiversity. Research suggests the percentage of impervious cover (i.e. paved roads, parking lots, buildings) significantly alters biotic integrity, and stream ecology declines even in watershed with low levels of impervious cover. Consequently, streams are degraded in the areas where almost everyone lives. To address the degradation, Owen highlighted several new regulatory approaches, including impervious cover total maximum daily loads, use of “residual designation authority,”and watershedscale permitting. According to Owen, these reforms could, “produce a better diagnosis of the issues, involve more people and provide more efficient solutions.” Questions remain, however, about the effectiveness of these approaches, both individually and in combination. Owen concluded by posing questions about the value of urban stream restoration. “Is the amount of effort that these projects require a sensible allocation of resources?” For Owen, there may be a need for prioritization of urban stream restoration efforts.
UMaine Announces $20M National Science Foundation Grant for Sustainability Initiative
Gov. John Baldacci and other state leaders joined University of Maine and University of Southern Maine officials on Wednesday morning to announce a $20 million National Science Foundation EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) grant for a wide-ranging new project called the Sustainability Solutions Initiative.
The research portion of this five-year initiative Maine EPSCoR initiative, led by UMaine's Senator George J. Mitchell Center, will bring together core research teams from UMaine and USM, as well as government and industry stakeholders, to improve the science and practice of sustainable development.
"The project recognizes that our state's identity is inseparable from its natural resources and our future economic prosperity depends on our ability to distinguish what makes Maine so special, To preserve and build on Maine's quality of place we must address issues such as sprawl, management of our forests and climate change. This project will provide us with expanded options in our pursuit of renewable energy, and management of our precious resources. It's important to our environment and our economic future," Baldacci said, speaking to a group of nearly 150 people who assembled at UMaine's Wells Conference Center for this morning's formal program announcement.
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Community Conservation Web Site Launched...
Aram Calhoun recently launched a new Web site - Community Based Conservation: Maine Vernal Pools as part of the Maine Vernal Pools Project. The site provides information for towns and local citizen on vernal pool resources including videos, publications, data forms, presentations and more.
Faculty participate in MobileMaineNews shows...
Kathleen Bell, Aram Calhoun and Rob Lilieholm were recently interviewed for the first of six shows that aired live on the UMaine cable network. Excepts from the shows are also featured on the MobileMaineNews website.
Also posted are several segments taken from an interview with Robert Kates when he visited campus in February 2009.
Mobile Maine News is a web-based community journalism initiative, seeking to strengthen ties between Maine residents and University of Maine students and faculty. Mobile Maine will link student journalists with community members to provide a unique type of news content where stories are told on a neighborhood level – not just about the community members, but by the community members. In this model of journalism, citizens are equals in the newsbuilding process. Mobile Maine will connect student journalists, citizens, community leaders, public officials and University of Maine faculty experts to produce interactive news content based on the concept of participatory journalism.