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UMaine’s Ice Age Trail Map Wins National Award

Contact: Michael Hermann, 581-4228; George Manlove, 581-3756

ORONO — UMaine Canadian-American Center cartographers have won a top award in the nation’s premier map design competition for their recently published Ice Age trail map of Maine’s Downeast area.

The American Congress on Surveying & Mapping (ACSM) gave its Best of Category award in the contest’s Recreational/Travel Map Professional Division to the “Maine’s Ice Age Trail Down East Map and Guide.” ACSM is a Gaithersburg, Md.-based non-profit educational organization created in 1941 to advance surveying, mapping and related fields.

More than 5,000 surveyors, cartographers, geodesist and other spatial data information-related professionals from private industry, government and academia throughout the world are affiliated with the ACSM. More than 2,000 individuals are expected to attend this year’s annual awards ceremony in March in St. Louis, Mo.

The Ice Age trail map is an assemblage of geological information from the Ice Age as it affected the Maine coastal region, from the Bangor area to Lubec, 12,000-16,000 years ago. The full-color, glossy map outlines significant geological regions and highway vantage points, and explains the origins of hundreds of glacial moraines, deltas and eskers left behind as the last great North American continental glacier, the Laurentide Ice Sheet, receded southeast across Maine. The glacier covered the state with a sliding ice sheet 1.5 miles deep, gouging mountains and valleys, and depositing regions of sand, gravel, clay and bedrock.

The map, which is being promoted on the sides of thousands of U-Haul vans and trucks nationwide and in Canada, is an educational aide for tourists, school groups and in-state travelers, providing a scenic route that explains the evolution of the geology that influenced subsequent plant and human habitation — and the significant physical characteristics of Maine as we know it today. It includes 46 historic or scenic stops illustrating geological features created by the glacier.

The map resulted from collaboration over a six-year development period by members of an advisory team representing scientific concerns, regional tourism interests and climate change issues. Collaborators included the UMaine Climate Change Institute and the Canadian-American Center, in addition to the Maine Geological Survey within the Maine Department of Conservation, Maine Global Climate Change, LLC, Down East Resource Conservation and Development Council and the National Science Foundation.

Harold Borns, professor emeritus of glacial and quaternary geology, was the project manager and Michael Hermann, senior cartographer at the Canadian-American Center, was the lead designer for the map and trail guide. Woodrow Thompson of the Maine Geological Survey assisted with the project.

Further information about the map can be found on a dedicated website ( Ice Age Trail Maps can be obtained through the publisher, the University of Maine Press in Orono, by calling 866-0573. A second-edition printing of the maps is planned for this spring and the map and guides will be available for retail sale.

The ACSM competition presented seven awards, for Best of Show and Best of Category with specific recognitions for best reference, thematic, book/atlas, recreational/travel, interactive digital and an “other” category for entries fitting outside the main five map types.

Hermann has submitted map work to the ACSM on several previous occasions and has won Honorable Mention 1997 and 2004.

“It is personally satisfying to claim top honors with this one,” Hermann says. “It also is a solid endorsement on a national scale of the quality of the maps produced at the Canadian-American Center and the University of Maine.”

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