The Weekly published the article “UMaine community garden grows sustainability,” about the community garden at the University of Maine’s Terrell House Permaculture Living and Learning Center. The project began as a small garden shared by the Terrell House and its neighbors. Starting this year, house residents have initiated the first phase of a larger community garden with plots available for individuals and groups interested in practicing sustainable agriculture, the article states. “We want the garden to become a hub for sustainability on campus,” said Dee Clark, Terrell House resident and finance and records coordinator. The article cited the garden as one part of a growing sustainability movement on campus. UMaine Greens, a student-run greenhouse project, and the Black Bear Food Guild, a student-run community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, also were mentioned.
A monthlong technology camp offered in July at the the University of Maine’s Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center by the new business High Touch Courses was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article. The curriculum over four weeks of courses uses video game development as a way to attract young people to subjects in Web design and development, 3-D art and graphic design, game development and hardware architecture, according to the article. “It’s about getting them interested in programming at a younger age,” said entrepreneur Elizabeth Chabe, who last fall founded High Touch Group and its sister company, High Touch Courses. The Weekly also carried a story on the camp.
The Associated Press, The Grower, Phys.org, WVII (Channel 7) and Penobscot Bay Pilot reported on a new pepper variety developed by researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Maine. The researchers — Robert Jarret from the USDA/Agricultural Research Service in Griffin, Georgia, and Jason Bolton and L. Brian Perkins from the University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture — developed the new small-fruited Capsicum annuum L. pepper to have a high capsinoid content to make it less pungent while maintaining all the natural health benefits of the fruit. Maine Public Broadcasting Network, WABI (Channel 5), Portland Press Herald and seattlepi carried the AP report.
David Handley, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist of vegetables and small fruits at UMaine’s Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, and Renae Moran, a tree fruit specialist with UMaine Extension, were interviewed for a Maine Public Broadcasting Network report titled “Climate change presents Maine farmers with new challenges.” Handley spoke about testing new crops for the region, such as grapes, as the climate changes. Moran, who is currently testing several varieties of peaches, plums and cherries, warns climate change is unpredictable and more research is needed before any farmer is recommended to make a big investment in traditionally warmer weather fruits.
Linda Silka, director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for Part 1 of its “Innovation in the Maine Economy” series. Silka spoke about the importance of innovation for the state’s future and the latest Maine Policy Review, which focuses on innovation in Maine’s economy.
The Portland Press Herald reported the number of out-of-state students enrolling at University of Maine System schools is on the rise. The University of Maine is one of four of the system campuses that is seeing an increase in the number of out-of-state students, who pay almost three times more in tuition than in-staters. So far this year, the flagship Orono campus has seen a 13.5 percent increase in out-of-state enrollments for this fall when compared to last fall. Jimmy Jung, vice president for enrollment management at UMaine, said out-of-state recruiting efforts by officials are “paying off quite well.” The Associated Press published a report citing the Press Herald article, which was carried by The Washington Times, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, WABI (Channel 5), SFGate and The Republic.
The Bangor Daily News reported Karen Cole, the current executive vice president of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce, will take over as the associate director of the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine. “She brings a lot of experience in marketing and in the arts, and she is deeply connected to the Bangor area and the university,” said Danny Williams, executive director of the CCA. “She’s familiar with the landscape and the Bangor scene, and I think she will help the Collins Center position itself appropriately in the new and ever-shifting landscape.”
University of Maine researchers Mick Peterson and Christie Mahaffey are featured in an article in Forbes about horse racetrack safety. Peterson, executive director of the nonprofit Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory and Libra Foundation Professor at the College of Engineering at the University of Maine, is slated to make a presentation at The Jockey Club’s fifth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit held July 8-9 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Peterson and Mahaffey, an affiliated researcher with the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory and a doctoral candidate in interdisciplinary engineering at UMaine, analyze racetrack samples and maintenance data from around the United States and make models of how horses’ hooves interact with various surfaces.
They started working with Aqueduct Racetrack in New York after 31 horses died on its surface in 2012 (three per 1,000 starts). In 2013, 21 horses died (1.77 per 1,000 starts). Thus far in 2014, Forbes reports that nine have died. “The lives of horses and riders are on the line here. We have to keep working on it,” Peterson says in the article.
The Morning Sentinel noted that Sara Poirier of Winslow, a political science major at Saint Joseph’s College, attended Maine New Leadership, a free, nonpartisan public leadership education program for college women at the University of Maine. The annual program, sponsored by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at UMaine, teaches participants skills and provides networks to empower them to become civic and public leaders.
The Portland Press Herald reported the University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved adding a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Maine in Human Dimensions of Climate Change. The Department of Anthropology will begin offering the degree in the fall 2014 semester.