The Wiscasset Newspaper reported a University of Maine freshman from Dresden helped a co-worker Monday when he started choking. Helen Call reportedly performed the Heimlich maneuver on the man in a dining hall on campus.
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Curtis Jewett, a Facilities Management employee since 1997, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Hermon on April 24. He was 56. Jewett joined the UMaine community as a member of the custodial staff, then became a truck driver for the Resource Recovery Shop in Facilities Management in 2004. According to his obituary, Jewett is survived by his wife and four children, as well as sisters, brothers and other extended family members. Friends may call 11 a.m.–noon April 29, at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St., Bangor. A funeral service will be held 12:30 p.m. Monday, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 225 French St., Bangor.
The University of Maine is in a “smart-growth period” with reduced campuswide energy use and greenhouse gas emissions over a seven-year period, and green initiatives that have earned it national recognition.
Even with essential new construction and necessary upgrades to older buildings, campus energy use since 2006 has decreased 5 percent and greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 20 percent as a result of energy efficiency improvements and fuel-switching, says Misa Saros, energy and conservation specialist and sustainability coordinator for the University of Maine.
Continued sustainability at UMaine is important because it can produce reductions in operating costs that save money for the university, community and students; promote institutional leadership by setting models for other buildings in the state and country; and create community engagement through the use of local building or energy companies and student involvement in the process, Saros says.
The university has come a long way since 2005, when total campus energy use and greenhouse gas emissions peaked, according to Saros. The university is now home to five LEED-certified buildings — three silver and one gold. It has a comprehensive campus recycling program, which includes a new, advanced composting facility, and is a participant in STARS — the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System.
Among UMaine’s recent honors and distinctions recognizing its national leadership as a green campus:
- Listed in Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges from 2010–2013 and named to Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll, a list of 16–20 U.S. colleges and universities, in 2011 and 2012.
- Recipient of the 2011 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award recognizing outstanding climate leadership. UMaine received the award representing doctoral institutions.
- Charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007 and has been a member in good standing for six years.
In a 2011 presentation to a regional symposium of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), University of Maine President Paul Ferguson spoke of the importance of energy efficiency at UMaine.
“In the 21st century, we see ourselves as part of an emerging community of institutions within Maine and throughout New England who are strongly committed to working together to address challenges related to consumption of energy and materials on our respective campuses, procurement of renewable energy and development of academic and research programs that will provide society at large with the tools necessary to prosper in the coming era of climate instability and insecurity,” said Ferguson, who was elected to serve on the inaugural eight-member Executive Committee of ACUPCC, representing approximately 600 institutions.
“The challenges ahead should not be underestimated, but we look forward to a future where our core institutional values of sustainability, renewability and innovation are all brought to bear in helping catalyze the kind of societal transformation that is almost certainly necessary,” Ferguson said.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
Scientists Discover Eddies Trigger Phytoplankton Blooms in the North Atlantic
The spring phytoplankton bloom in the subpolar North Atlantic can begin up to 30 days earlier than previously thought as the result of eddies stratifying the near-surface waters, according to the results of a study reported today in the journal Science and announced by the National Science Foundation.
The discovery has implications for the Gulf of Maine, which is fed by the waters of the North Atlantic and supports similar species.
The study, part of the autonomous North Atlantic Bloom Experiment conducted in 2008, was led by Amala Mahadevan of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Eric D’Asaro and Craig Lee of the University of Washington, and Mary Jane Perry of the University of Maine.
Until this latest research, scientists using climate models understood that springtime warming of the ocean surface triggered the near-surface vertical density gradation, known as stratification. That stratification, which prevents vertical mixing of the phytoplankton, and the increased seasonal light exposure that occurs every spring were thought to be the primary prompts of the bloom.
However, the research revealed that a different mechanism — eddies or small whirlpools of swirling seawater — also has the capacity to switch on the bloom and to allow the bloom to develop far earlier than the natural confluence of seasonal heat and light.
The NSF-funded study, which involved continuous observations by robots and four research cruises of up to 21 days in the waters south of Iceland, was the first to put marine scientists in the North Atlantic to actually observe the entire progression of the spring bloom over a three-month period. Their observations, which included data collected by optical, chemical and physical sensors on four autonomous underwater Seagliders, a mixed-layer water-following float and the ship, when coupled with a three-dimensional biophysical model, resulted in their discovery of a previously unknown phenomenon — eddy-driven stratification that resulted in a patchy bloom beginning 20 to 30 days earlier than it would occur through seasonal warming.
This new understanding of an underlying physical mechanism of the spring bloom will inform modeling by marine and climate scientists.
The spring phytoplankton bloom in the North Atlantic is one of the major life-sustaining events on the planet. Phytoplankton are microscopic plants at the base of the marine food web that fuel the ecosystem. These photosynthetic organisms also help maintain the health of the atmosphere by absorbing and sequestering carbon dioxide. The North Atlantic is especially important because it is responsible for more than 20 percent of the entire ocean’s uptake of carbon dioxide.
“We now know that events, such as the spring bloom, make the difference in terms of what will happen in carbon flux,” Perry says. “And because there is connectivity between the North Atlantic and the Gulf of Maine, with some of the northern water traveling to Maine, the North Atlantic is a harbinger of what may happen here.”
A team of 26 researchers from five countries was involved in the major North Atlantic research cruise in 2008. The researchers included physical and biological oceanographers with expertise in biology, chemistry and physics.
Undergraduate and graduate students were onboard, including six from UMaine.
“This experiment was an outstanding example of collaboration,” says Perry, a biological oceanographer based at UMaine’s Darling Marine Center. “One person would not have the expertise to do all of this. Together, we were able to pull this project off and come up with this new insight, and many others.”
To further collaboration efforts beyond the team, “big data” from the North Atlantic Bloom Experiment is now online and fully available in the Biological Chemical Oceanographic Data Management Office.
Last summer, the research of the scientists involved in the North Atlantic Bloom Experiment was the focus of a webinar series offered by the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence – Ocean Systems (COSEE-OS) — one of 12 such centers funded by the National Science Foundation. COSEE-OS, directed by Annette deCharon at UMaine’s Darling Marine Center, focuses on improving science literacy in the context of the ocean.
The five weekly North Atlantic Bloom webinars, featuring Perry and six other scientists involved in the research, attracted 68 participants from 21 states, as well as from Canada, Iceland and Germany. More than half of the participants were educators.
The archived materials from the webinars — transcribed webinar video, data sets, and interactive concept maps with images, animations and teaching resources on the spring phytoplankton bloom and its role in the ocean ecosystem — has become the second most visited section of the COSEE-OS website.
NSF’s news release about the discovery is online.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, (207) 581-3745
The University of Maine’s 210th Commencement will be Saturday, May 5. Also beginning that day are the America East Outdoor Track and Field Championships. (more…)
The University of Maine’s 210th Commencement will be held in two ceremonies in Harold Alfond Sports Arena on Saturday, May 5. (more…)
The University of Maine Patrons of the Arts board members have selected Michael Lewis, an artist and longtime member of UMaine’s art faculty, as the 2012 Vincent A. Hartgen Award recipient. (more…)
The 10th annual opening of the Orono Bog Boardwalk will take place at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1, with a special ceremony to mark the anniversary of one of the region’s most popular natural areas. Located in the Rolland F. Perry (Bangor) City Forest, the boardwalk wends its way through forested wetland and out onto a broad, open peat bog. The wheelchair-accessible boardwalk is free to visit and open from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. seven days a week during spring and summer. Managed jointly by the Orono Land Trust, the city of Bangor and the University of Maine, boardwalk operation and maintenance are funded entirely through donations and sales of merchandise. Information about the boardwalk and its nature programs is available on the website www.oronobogwalk.org, or by emailing email@example.com or calling 581-1697.
Contact: Jim Bird, (207) 581-1697 or 866-2578
UMaine Invites Students to Compete Friday for $20,000 Engineering Internships at Windstorm, Wind Blade ChallengesThursday, April 26th, 2012
What do you get when you combine wind, water, loads of fun, and more than 425 middle and high school students and teachers from more than 40 schools in Maine? You get the Windstorm and Maine Wind Blade Challenges on Friday, April 27, at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation and Fitness Center. (more…)