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Welcome to Maine Studies

Maine Studies student Genevieve Kurilec McDonald has been a commercial "fisherman" (her term) for 9 years, fishing for lobsters and dragging for urchins and sea cucumbers. She owns her own boat, F/V Hello Darlin', which operates out of Stonington. During her years in the industry, she has observed an increase in the number of women fishing. Noting that the available foul weather fishing gear is designed for men rather than women, she says, "It's not safe to have gear that can snag or catch while you're working or doesn't keep you warm and dry, especially in the winter. The only foul weather gear currently available specifically for women is lighter weight yachting apparel and that doesn't do the job on a commercial fishing boat. It's about function, not fashion." So Genevieve wants to create a line of fishing gear designed specifically for women. As part of this project to design better fitting fishing gear, she is collecting photos of commercial women fishermen at work in Maine, Canada, Alaska and beyond. She calls the project "Chix Who Fish." She hopes to bring these fascinating ideas together within a Maine Studies minor.  

Maine Studies student Genevieve Kurilec McDonald has been a commercial “fisherman” (her term) for 9 years, fishing for lobsters and dragging for urchins and sea cucumbers. She owns her own boat, F/V Hello Darlin’, which operates out of Stonington. During her years in the industry, she has observed an increase in the number of women fishing. Noting that the available foul weather fishing gear is designed for men rather than women, she says, “It’s not safe to have gear that can snag or catch while you’re working or doesn’t keep you warm and dry, especially in the winter. The only foul weather gear currently available specifically for women is lighter weight yachting apparel and that doesn’t do the job on a commercial fishing boat. It’s about function, not fashion.” So Genevieve wants to create a line of fishing gear designed specifically for women. As part of this project to design better fitting fishing gear, she is collecting photos of commercial women fishermen at work in Maine, Canada, Alaska and beyond. She calls the project “Chix Who Fish.” She hopes to bring these fascinating ideas together within a Maine Studies minor.

The Maine Studies program at University of Maine (UMaine) offers students the opportunity to pursue the study of Maine through courses in history, literature, women’s studies, art, political science, geology, geography, Franco-American studies, and Native-American studies. The program recognizes the value of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to understanding historical and contemporary issues such as developing Maine’s economy, protecting its environment, and appreciating the cultures of the state’s diverse population.

The Maine Studies program offers students three academic tracks: the 18 credit hour Minor in Maine Studies, the 18 credit hour Certificate in Maine Studies, and the 30 credit hours Maine Studies concentration in the MA in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Who should apply for the Maine Studies programs?

Students who plan to find a job in Maine in such fields as business, government, or social services will benefit from a multidisciplinary understanding of Maine. Education majors who expect to teach in Maine’s public schools will find the Maine Studies programs useful in preparing them to teach Maine Studies, a course mandated by the State of Maine through LD291. Students interested in Maine generally will enjoy a greater appreciation for the state’s cultural and physical landscapes.

All Maine Studies programs may be completed through distance technologies. Students in mid-coast Maine may also take Maine Studies courses at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast. Courses there are offered in a class room setting, online, or via video conferencing. The University of Maine System Centers also offer selected Maine Studies graduate seminars. Please contact the Maine Studies office for more information.

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