Students in the Spotlight
Jenny Shrum, Ph.D student, Researches the Connections Between Climate Change and Maple Syrup Production
Posted February 24, 2014
Jenny Shrum, a Ph.D. candidate in the Ecology and Environmental Sciences program, seeks to understand what factors influence sap flow in maple trees, how climate change may influence the factors, and how Maine maple syrup producers will be affected. Shrum is interested both in the biophysical relationships as well as the human dimensions and implications of a changing maple syrup season. She will be using on-site weather station data and sap flow rates at three different Maine test sites to better understand the process of sap flow and how exactly freeze-thaw events stimulate that process. Recent data has suggested that the timing and sequence of these events has been shifting, potentially altering the sugaring season in Maine. Shrum also wants to understand how this, and other potential climate change impacts, will affect maple syrup producers and how. Larger operations, for which sap collection is their primary business, will likely be able to adjust to seasonal changes, but smaller producers may be adversely affected. “They might not be able to change their season,” she says. “A lot of the smaller operators have multiple jobs; they make money off maple syrup, but also in other fields such as woodcutting or construction. It just so happens maple syrup is a block of time when they’re not doing anything else, so it makes sense. But if that season changes, it might not fit into their schedule as well.” Despite this, Shrum feels confident that maple syrup production will remain a possibility in Maine. For further information, please go here.
Posted February 4, 2014
Master of Science in Chemistry student Ashley Hellenbrand presented her research at the 2013 International Conference on Wood Ashesives in Toronto, Canada, where she won third prize and $100 for her poster “Formaldehyde Emissions from ‘Native Wood’”. Hellenbrand is a member of the Wood-Based Composite Center at Virginia Tech, an organization that brings industry and universities together to work on projects collaboratively and to solve or understand major issues. Her research on formaldehyde emissions is “an important topic because the government has been setting levels of emissions so low that ‘native’ wood itself will surpass the emission levels. Major players in the industry would like to know now much “native" wood emits naturally, what the conditions are that produce the most emissions and what is the best mechanism to monitor emissions.”
Posted January 28, 2014
Rachael Joyce is a graduate civil engineering student who also co-manages and -owns Volition Ski Co. with her fiancé, Christopher Bagley. They hand-make skis out of environmentally friendly materials which are sold online, at Ski Rack Sports in Bangor, and Side Country Sports in Rockland. The company was born from Joyce and her fiancé’s hard work, creativity, and an investment from the Maine Technology Institute. Joyce also works full-time at the Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center on a team developing offshore wind technology, including the system currently being tested off the coast of Castine, ME. She said of her involvement in off-shore wind and the ski company, “My hope is that new industry flourishes as a result of the work being done at the Composites Center. On a smaller scale, I hope that maybe other entrepreneurs see what we are trying to do at Volition Ski Co. and be encouraged to pursue their own venture.”
The Bangor Daily News recently published a story on Joyce from the perspective of keeping young, innovative individuals living in Maine. To check out that story, please go here.
Posted December 9, 2013
The University of Maine was well represented by eight graduate students at the 2013 Association for Canadian Studies in the United States Biennial Conference in Tampa, Florida November 19th through the 23rd. UMaine grad students presented six papers while four other students served on a panel for a round table discussion with two UMaine faculty. See the list below for participant contributions.
Bad Men and Horrible Bosses: Masculinity and the Folksongs of Larry Gorman
Ian J. Jesse, Ph.D candidate, History Department
Freedom, Slavery, and the Evolving Understanding of Race British Abolition: A Nova
Scotian Narrative, 1825-1835
Gabriel Lévesque, Ph.D candidate, History Department
Two Brownstowns Two Nations: The “Faulty Memory” of a Few Small Skirmishes in North America
Joseph Miller, Ph.D candidate, History Department
The Rhetoric of Boundary Confrontation: Demagogues, Banditti, and the 'alarming state
of things' in New Brunswick, 1838-42.
Michael T. Perry, Ph.D candidate, History Department
The Evolution of Acadian Identity in Song
Elisa Sance, M.A. candidate, Department of Modern Languages and Classics
“You Are What You Eat”: Cookbooks and Women’s Identity, 1812-1860
Rachel A. Snell, Ph.D candidate, History Department
Round table panel:
"Canadian History at the University of Maine: New Thematic and Interdisciplinary
CHAIR/DISCUSSANT: Scott W. See, University of Maine
• Joseph Miller, Ph.D candidate, History Department
• Ann Morrisette, Ph.D candidate, History Department
• Michael Perry, Ph.D candidate, History Department
• Dr. Stefano Tijerina, History Department
• Rebecca White, PhD candidate, History Department