WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) advanced the annual Clean Sweep Sale that takes place 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday, May 22 and 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, May 23 in York Commons. Furniture, rugs, electronics, appliances, housewares, books, bedding, shoes and clothing will be among the items for sale. Items were donated by the university or students who moved out of the dorms at the end of the semester. “We set up drop locations at each of the residence halls on campus so that they can just leave things right there without having to carry them somewhere and we explain what we’re doing with it,” Lisa Morin, coordinat\or of UMaine’s Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism, told WABI. “All the money that’s raised through this sale is used to buy food that goes into our own campus food pantry or to buy supplies for the service projects our students are going to be completing for our welcome weekend when they come back in August.”
Fosters.com reported University of Maine historian Richard Judd will speak as part of a series in Alfred sponsored by The Friends of Alfred Shaker Museum and the Sanford-Springvale Historical Society. The Sid Emery Memorial Forum series will take place on four Sunday afternoons during the tourist season. On Oct. 4, Judd will discuss the newly published “Historical Atlas of Maine.” The atlas is a geographical and historical interpretation of the state, from the end of the last ice age to 2000. It culminates a 15-year scholarly project led by UMaine researchers. Judd and UMaine geographer Stephen Hornsby edited the book that contains cartography by Michael Hermann. Judd specializes in environmental history and edits the Maine Historical Society’s quarterly journal, according to the article.
WLBZ (Channel 2) spoke with Eric Venturini, a graduate student at the University of Maine who works for Johnny’s Selected Seeds, for the report “Easy ways to boost bee populations.” “They need food the entire season. And what you want to do as a grower is make sure you are providing that if you’re trying to manage and maintain a healthy population of wild pollinators,” Venturini said. The report also cited advice from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension that states you should plant colorful flowers to attract bees, avoid using chemicals in the garden or field, build nesting houses, let dandelions grow in the spring, and mow at night when bees are less active.
The University of Maine was mentioned in the Smithsonian Science News article “New study may help free whales from fishing rope entanglement.” The report cited a study published in the journal Marine Mammal Science that could help save many whales. Using vertebrae and muscle measurements from whale skeletons in museums and research facilities, a team of marine biologists created a chart estimating the maximum pulling force that different whale species can create with their tail flukes, according to the article. Knowing the values could aid in designing fishing rope that whales can break or nets with built-in weak links that come apart when a whale becomes entangled, the article states. William McLellan, a marine mammal expert at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, conducted the work with other researchers from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, as well as from UMaine, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and New River Kinematics. Becky Woodward, a research assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UMaine, is a co-author of the study.
The University of Maine Museum of Art was mentioned in the Boston Globe’s arts preview, “Critics’ picks for the summer.” The article cited a Portland Museum of Art exhibition that runs from May 21 to September 20. “Directors’ Cut: Selections from the Maine Art Museum Trail,” will present highlights of Maine’s art history from the state’s most-renowned museums, including UMMA, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Monhegan Museum of Art and History, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art and the Portland Museum of Art.
Mary Ellen Camire, University of Maine professor of food science and human nutrition and president of the Institute of Food Technologists, was a featured guest in the HuffPost Live video “What’s behind the government’s ban on trans fats?” A coming court ruling could mean the end of most trans fats, according to the video, but some members of the food industry warn of potential consequences. “The functionality is probably the biggest point. It’s more about the texture you get and not so much about the flavor,” Camire said of the benefits of using trans fats. She said the alternative would be going back to using foods such as lard. “We really don’t have a lot of options. It’s either go to more saturated fats or work with fats that are more likely to get rancid,” she said.
Mike Bilodeau, director of the University of Maine’s Process Development Center, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about an event hosted by E2Tech, an organization that supports Maine’s environmental, energy and clean technology sectors. The event also served as an introduction to Biobased Maine, a reimagined organization supporting efforts to encourage research and development in new technologies that enable manufacturers to turn trees into biobased fuels, chemicals and advanced materials, according to the article. Bilodeau said three factors are driving renewed interest in biobased materials: new technologies that have lowered the cost of the manufacturing processes; novel applications for the materials; and shifting national priorities that have made available more federal funding, the article states. He said the research and development at the center will help paper mills diversify and find new products to help them remain relevant.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Tick ID Lab was mentioned in the Bangor Daily News article, “How many Maine ticks carry Powassan? We’re one step closer to finding out.” The article focused on a Maine Medical Center Research Institute study that will conduct a statewide survey for Powassan virus, which is transmitted by ticks. More state labs are working to test for the virus, according to the article. UMaine Extension’s Tick ID Lab will soon be equipped, after being awarded funding through a referendum last fall, the article states.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release announcing organizers of UMaine’s inaugural Black Bear Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K are seeking volunteers to assist on race day and at packet pickup, as well as host cheer stations along the route. The races begin at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, June 21 and will start and finish on the UMaine track located at the Harold Alfond Stadium. A race expo and packet pickup will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 20 at the New Balance Field House. Those interested in volunteering for the race at packet pickup or on the course can register online. Race organizers also are recruiting cheer squads for the course and will supply noisemakers and poster board for any group interested in encouraging the runners. To be listed as an official race cheer station, contact race director Lauri Sidelko at email@example.com or 581.1423.
The Portland Press Herald reported on University of Maine vernal pool research being conducted by several doctoral candidates and led by Aram Calhoun, a professor of wetland ecology. UMaine researchers are pursuing several vernal-pool studies through a $1.48 million grant from the National Science Foundation, according to the article. “Amphibians breed in the pool but live in the forest,” Calhoun said. “Many other states don’t even have a law [to protect vernal pools]. We’re lucky to be on the map. But it’s only a starting point. We’re doing this fleet of research to get a better understanding of land practices.” Calhoun hopes the research leads to an enhancement of the 250-foot buffer zone around vernal pools that are identified by biologists as important, the article states.