Archive for 2009

UMaine Athletic Director Blake James Signs Contract Extension

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571; Laura Reed at (207) 581-3646

ORONO — University of Maine athletic director Blake James has signed a two-year contract extension, which takes effect when his current contract ends on June 30 of next year.

James was named UMaine’s AD in May 2006, following a national search. He has been at UMaine since 2003, serving first as senior associate athletic director and then as interim athletic director for ten months beginning in July 2005.  He has previous athletic administrative experience at the University of Miami, the University of Nebraska and Providence College.

“During his time at UMaine, Blake has demonstrated outstanding leadership, notable integrity and a true appreciation for the proper role of an athletic department in an academic institution,” says UMaine President Robert Kenneds. “Blake has done a commendable job under difficult budget circumstances and I appreciate his commitment to UMaine, our athletic department and particularly our student-athletes.”

Kennedy noted improved academic performance by student-athletes under James’ leadership.  Black Bear student-athletes now have an overall grade point average above 3.0 and UMaine won the 2007 America East Academic Cup Award, given annually to the institution with the highest overall grade point average among students participating in conference sports. In addition, UMaine student-athletes have earned conference student-athlete of the year honors six times during his tenure.

The athletic department has experienced significant growth during James’ tenure including the development of a statewide television and radio network, a department-wide equipment deal with Adidas and numerous facility enhancements including the Mahaney Dome, the addition of an Alfond Arena video scoreboard, a new field hockey complex and new surfaces on Morse Field and Mahaney Diamond.

The department has also expanded community outreach programming, including activities that bring student-athletes into local schools and foster volunteerism that benefits community service agencies.

“I appreciate President Kennedy’s support and look forward to continuing to work with our coaches, staff and student-athletes to achieve success athletically, academically and in the community,” James says. “This extension is a reflection of all the outstanding people that work within our department and university.  I am honored to be able to continue to serve our great university and look forward to confronting the challenges ahead.”

Organic Lawn Care Advocate to Present Documentary

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

ORONO — Paul Tukey, a 1984 journalism graduate of UMaine, creator of the magazine “People, Places and Plants” and former Home and Garden TV host, will be back on campus Thursday, Nov. 12, to introduce his new documentary film “A Chemical Reaction” at 7 p.m. in 100 Donald P. Corbett Business Building.

The film recently debuted at the World Film Festival in Montreal to a sell-out crowd. A Maine resident and former Portland newspaper reporter, Tukey founded, an international coalition of for-profit and non-profit organizations promoting environmentally friendly lawn care and resource conservation. Tukey continues writing and speaking around the country about organic lawn care practices and products. The event is free, although donations collected at the door will benefit the UMaine student Horticultural Club and Horticultural Team.

Celebration of Darwin Continues with Film and Discussion Nov. 11

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

ORONO — David Lebrun’s 2004 animated documentary “Proteus” will provide the framework for a Wednesday Nov. 11 event that is part of the University of Maine’s semester-long Celebration of Darwin.

“Darwin After Dark: A Night of Film and Discussion” is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium, Barrows Hall.

The film documents the life and work of Ernst Haeckel, a 19th century biologist who merged his interests in science and art, in the context of philosophies he shared with Darwin and other contemporaries.

UMaine professors Gisela Hoecherl-Alden, Francois Amar and Michael Lang will lead a post-film discussion.

Extension Advice on Maine Food for November

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Contact: Kathy Savoie, (207) 780-4205

ORONO, Me. — With fall comes the arrival of local cranberries and many Mainers believe that no fall or winter holiday table would be complete without at least one cranberry item.

Cranberries can be added to countless dishes, from quick breads, yeast breads, salads, relishes, salsas and chutneys to soups, grain-based entrees and desserts.  As cranberries become available, it’s a good idea to buy extras and freeze them for use later on.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension publishes information to help consumers find, grow, use, preserve and store in-season fruits and vegetables in Maine.

Visit to order or download bulletins to fit the season, including November favorites such as Canning and Freezing Quick Guides, Let’s Preserve Apples, and Vegetables and Fruits for Health: Cranberries, Winter Squash and Pumpkins as well as Safe Home Cider Making.

Extension Educator Kathy Savoie from the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office cautions that consumers should get up-to-date information before canning food.  Over the years there have been changes in scientific expertise as well as canning equipment, so there is new information on the best methods, canners, jars, and seals to use to ensure a safe result. Updated recommendations are as close as one’s local UMaine Extension office: visit or call 800-287-0274 to find an local offices and food preservation workshops.

For more information specifically on cranberries visit here.

UMaine Extension programs are open and accessible to all in accordance with program goals.

New Resource for Information About Maine’s Climate

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Contact Catherine Schmitt (

ORONO – Recognizing the need for a centralized, neutral source of climate information specific to Maine, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant today announced the launch of Maine Climate News at Produced in partnership with Maine State Climatologist George Jacobson, the site is intended to be a portal to local climate change science and research at the University of Maine and beyond, as well as a resource for news and climate-related activities throughout the state.

“Climate change is a complex and dynamic issue, and it can be overwhelming. While much of our focus is onc oastal climate change impacts, the information on the new site is also intended to provide useful information from our state climatologist to a broad audience,” said project leader Esperanza Stancioff, a climate change educator with UMaine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant.

The site provides visitors with access to climate scientists, including Jacobson of UMaine’s Climate Change Institute, who is also the designated State Climatologist for Maine. State climatologists bring their scientific expertise and climate resources to serve the citizens of their states with specific and first-hand support. Jacobson’s role is to interpret and analyze data from NOAA and the Northeast Regional Climate Center. In addition, Shaleen Jain, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Maine, is providing scientific content and oversight to the news outlet.

The site will be updated quarterly with new features and articles.

“We hope that people who live, work, and vacation in Maine will use this resource and provide feedback and suggestionsfor stories they’d like us to publish,” said Stancioff.

Visit Maine Climate News at

Sandy Ives Memorial Service Saturday

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

ORONO — A memorial celebration in remembrance of Edward “Sandy” Ives, the longtime University of Maine professor who died in August at the age of 83, is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7.  It will begin at 2 p.m. at UMaine’s Wells Conference Center.

Ives, a UMaine faculty member for 44 years, founded UMaine’s Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History, now known as the Maine Folklife Center, in 1971.

Forest Future Described in New UMaine Report

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Contact: Bruce Wiersma, Center for Research on Sustainable Forests at (207) 581-3798

ORONO AND AUGUSTA– Maine people, New England’s governors, and officials in the Obama Administration have all expressed interest in landscape scale conservation, creating an unprecedented opportunity to conserve Maine forests and maintain the values they provide for Maine’s residents and visitors.

This is the central theme emerging from 18 month effort resulting in a report that will be presented to Gov. John Baldacci in the State House Cabinet Room Thursday Nov. 5 at 2:30 p.m.

A variety of key groups and individuals created the report by evaluating the economic and environmental condition of the famed North Woods as well as forests in the towns and cities of Maine, covering 17 million acres in all, or 90% of the state.  Former University of Maine College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture Dean Bruce Wiersma led the effort, aimed at developing recommendations for how to maintain the value of Maine’s forests into the future. The group recognized the importance of timber production, wildlife habitat, recreation ranging from snowmobiling to backcountry canoeing, and environmental values.

Participants included landowners and managers, representatives of forest products companies, sawmill operators and loggers, and several conservation groups, including the Natural Resource Council of Maine, the Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club. Also involved were state and federal officials from several forest agencies. The study was coordinated by the University of Maine’s Center for Research on Sustainable Forests, which Wiersma directs.

Panelists heard from numerous experts about conservation easements, climate science, forest economics, new fiber-based products, land use planning and Maine woods history.

Among the recommendations of the group is pursuit of a new, more robust public/private partnership to conserve large unfragmented and undeveloped tracts of forest land for a variety of uses, including timber production, recreation, wildlife habitat and resource protection.

Consultant Douglas Rooks wrote the report, which also outlines steps to maintain the sustainably managed forest, enhance recent conservation efforts, and promote a broad variety of economic and recreational uses.

Gov. Baldacci will share his thoughts on the project and the topic addressed by the group that created the report.

“Maine’s forests are one of natural features that define Maine, are essential to the quality of life for Maine’s citizens,” Wiersma says.  “This report identifies exciting opportunities that can help shape Maine’s future, and we look forward to sharing the details with the governor and others with interest in Maine’s forests and related policy issues.”

Darwin Lecture Series to Feature Kim, Rosenwasser

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

ORONO — The University of Maine’s Celebration of Darwin class and lecture series continues on Monday Nov. 2 and Wednesday Nov. 4.

Prof. Marie Hayes will give a Monday talk, “Struggle for Existence, Brain Stem Scturcture, Human/Fetal Interaction” and Prof. Alan Rosenwasser will speak on Wednesday about “The Evolution of Nervous Systems.”

Each class meeting in the semester-long series is also open to members of the UMaine community and the public.  Fourteen UMaine professors will lead course lectures, all of which are scheduled from 8:35-9:50 a.m. in 130 Little Hall.

A full schedule is online here.

Those who are interested can also join the UMaine Darwin Program fan page on Facebook.

UMaine Standardbred Drill Team to Host Fundraising Trail Ride

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Contact Rebecca Powers ( or 522-0677)

ORONO — On Sunday, Nov. 8, the members of the University of Maine Standardbred Drill Team will host a 5.5-mile Trail Ride at UMaine’s J. F. Witter Research and Teaching Farm on College Avenue in Old Town.  The team will use the proceeds to help the Spirit of Hope Horse Refuge in Winterport with their winter needs of hay and grain for the horses they have taken in rescue.

Registration for the event begins at 10:30 a.m., with the riding groups going on the trails at 11:00.  The cost is $20 per rider and riders are encouraged to get pledges or donations from family and friends to help with the fundraising.

All riders must bring proof that their horses are up-to-date on shots and Coggins test with all shots, especially EEE, Rhino-flu and Rabies being given between April 1 and Oct. 20 of this year.  Coggins tests must be good within three years, unless the horse has been shipped out of state and back, when the test must be within one year.  No horse without adequate records will be allowed on this beautiful UMaine Forest wooded trail.

For more information, contact Rebecca Powers, the Drill Team President at 522-0677 or

American Marketing Association Annual Collegiate Business Conference at UMaine Saturday

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Contact: George Manlove at (207) 581-3756
Omar Khan at (207) 581-1949

ORONO — The University of Maine will host the  fourth annual  Inter-Collegiate Business Conference on Saturday, Nov. 7 at Donald P. Corbett Business Building.  The conference will bring together business leaders, government officials and business students to interact and gain deeper insights into current business environments.  The conference is primarily intended to benefit college business students from across Maine.

The conference will run from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

“Our goal is to excite and motivate students to continue their education in business by promoting the numerous opportunities available for graduates,” says Prof. Omar Khan from the Maine Business School at UMaine.

This year’s theme is “Business Outside the Box: Strategic Planning for a Recessionary Environment.” The program will address the major issues related to surviving in this economy, a constant worry for college students who are juggling the cost of school with the stress of finding a job upon graduation.

Speakers will address subjects including: What changes our society needs to take in order to restore the economy; motivating students to step up and take initiative; encouraging students to explore business opportunities outside traditional professions and corporate tracks; and corporate strategies and tactics businesses have adopted in order to adjust to this economy.

This annual event has attracted leading business leaders and government officials. This year’s list of speakers includes John Richardson (Maine State Commissioner for Economic Development), Bill Michauds (Head of Global Sales for Segami Corporation), Zeynep Turk (Maine International Trade Center), Julie Salvato (Liberty Mutual) and Bangor Daily News staff members. The conference will cover a range of topics related to advancing one’s career and business during an economic recession. Cost for students is $10; $20 for the general public.