The Bangor Daily News reported on the installation of the University of Maine’s 20th President Susan J. Hunter, where she was formally welcomed to her post during a ceremony in the Collins Center for the Arts. Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York System, gave the keynote address. During President Hunter’s speech, she said the state’s universities are essential to the state’s survival in the face of an aging population spread over a vast area and faltering traditional industries that will need to adapt to survive, according to the report. “UMaine stands ready to work with our sister campuses to meet Maine’s challenges,” she said. President Hunter is the first female president in UMaine’s 150-year history. The installation was part a series of public events during Women’s Leadership Week.
A University of Maine-led child food and fitness study was cited in a USDA news release announcing $9 million in grants that were awarded to develop childhood obesity intervention programs through colleges and universities in 12 states and Puerto Rico. “Successful projects funded in previous years include the University of Maine’s iCook project, which developed online tools to encourage families to cook, eat and exercise together while improving culinary skills and increasing physical activity,” the news release states. The project is a five-state, $2.5 million USDA study designed to prevent childhood obesity by improving culinary skills and promoting family meals.
The Bangor Daily News, Mainebiz and WABI (Channel 5) reported Robert Lilieholm, the E.L. Giddings professor of forest policy at the University of Maine, spoke at a press conference in favor of the Katahdin region’s proposed national park and recreation area. The conference was held to show More than 200 businesses from around the state endorsed the plan. Lilieholm said the national park could create 450 to 1,000 jobs, and that Bangor has made many investments through the years that have benefited northern Maine. “No single act will turn our region around overnight, but bit by bit and piece by piece, we can visualize and build a better future,” he said. The Sun Journal also published the BDN article.
George Markowsky, a computer science professor at the University of Maine, was interviewed for a Bangor Daily News article about the Maine Game Club, a group of 20 students from different area high schools who are interested in digital art and programming. The club aims to educate young programmers and inspire the next generation who could bring tech into the forefront of Maine’s culture and economy, according to the article. Markowsky said it’s important for young students to realize the culture of the tech industry is changing and while Maine may not be home to massive programming campuses “a significant number” of people who live in Maine telecommute. “It isn’t that tech doesn’t happen in Maine, it just hasn’t been realized,” he said. Markowsky also cited Maine’s laptop program as an example of the state helping students pursue computer science. “We need to think about things we can do to keep our young people involved in the cutting edge of technology,” he said. “The more we can do to prepare them for the future, the better.”
The National Science Foundation and Phys.org reported on new research related to the North Atlantic Bloom, when millions of phytoplankton use sunlight and carbon dioxide (CO2) to grow and reproduce at the ocean’s surface. When phytoplankton die, the carbon dioxide in their cells sinks. “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,” said scientist Melissa Omand of the University of Rhode Island, co-author of a paper about the North Atlantic Bloom published in the journal Science. 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. “I feel that this project is a wonderful example of the chance discovery of an important process in the ocean carbon cycle,” Perry said.
Tom Mikotowicz, a theatre professor at the University of Maine, and John Mahon, the John M. Murphy Chair of International Business Policy and Strategy and professor of management at UMaine, were recent guests on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio program. The show focused on Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” as part of the Maine Calling Book Club. Mikotowicz and Mahon discussed the classic work of American literature.
A University of Maine study was mentioned in a ClimateProgress article about March Sadness — the organization’s educational bracket tournament of animals affected by climate change and other environmental threats. ClimateProgress will pursue a feature article exploring the story behind whichever animal wins, the website states. The UMaine study was cited in the battle between the lobster and red knot, a migratory bird. The UMaine survey of 11 Gulf of Maine locations found warming in the Gulf may increase the prevalence of lobster shell disease, an unsightly sickness which stresses the lobster and often leads to death, according to the article.
The Ellsworth American reported University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and professor Marjorie Peronto and her husband Reeser Manley, who teaches for the UMaine Extension Master Gardener Program, will give a public talk in Ellsworth about how to grow organic fruit crops. The gardening experts and co-authors of “The New England Gardener’s Year,” will share their knowledge about organically growing strawberries, raspberries and high-bush blueberries March 31 at Ellsworth City Hall Auditorium, according to the article. The free public event is hosted by the Ellsworth Garden Club. Peronto and Manley will cover organic gardening techniques for each of the small fruit crops and will answer questions after the presentation, the article states.
Mainebiz reported Top Gun entrepreneurs from 35 companies plan to meet with potential funders from across the state in a “speed dating” format at the new TechPlace startup incubator at Brunswick Landing. The event is organized by the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, along with the Target Technology Incubator in Orono and the University of Maine Foster Center for Student Innovation, according to the report. The group plans to bring in companies from Top Gun classes in Portland, Rockland and Orono. The Top Gun program is offered by MCED and UMaine’s Target Technology Incubator as part of the Blackstone Accelerates Growth initiative. It began in 2009 to initiative growth among entrepreneurs in the state.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release about English professor Jennifer Moxley receiving the Poetry Society of America’s 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.