The Associated Press reported the Maine Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to vote Tuesday, Jan. 14 on whether to grant initial approval for a state contract to Maine Aqua Ventus, which includes the University of Maine and partner companies. Maine Aqua Ventus is seeking to build two turbines off the coast of Monhegan Island for its pilot offshore wind project. The Portland Press Herald, Boston.com, Seymour Tribune, WLBZ (Channel 2) and The Republic were among news organizations to carry the AP report.
Archive for the ‘Cumberland County’ Category
The Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald reported seventh-grader Oliver Wahlstrom of Yarmouth, Maine, has committed to play hockey at the University of Maine, making him the youngest player to commit to an NCAA college hockey program. When Wahlstrom was nine years old, he became an Internet sensation for making a shootout goal during a skills competition hosted by the Boston Bruins. Wahlstrom said he chose UMaine because he likes the campus, training facilities and coaches, as well as the outdoors. Wahlstrom’s father, Joakim Wahlstrom, is a former Black Bear forward.
SB Nation College Hockey, CBS Sports, NESN, Diehard Sport and Examiner.com reported seventh-grader Oliver Wahlstrom of Yarmouth, Maine has committed to play college hockey at the University of Maine. Wahlstrom is the youngest player to commit to an NCAA college hockey program and won’t be able to attend the university until the fall of 2019, according to the reports. At nine years old, Wahlstrom became an Internet sensation when he made a shootout goal in a skills competition hosted by the Boston Bruins.
Research from the Maine Folklife Center at the University of Maine was cited in the latest entry of the Portland Press Herald blog, “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources.” The post, titled “The Beans of Maine,” stated according to the Maine Folklife Center’s foodways research, Maine’s Saturday bean suppers originated from the pilgrims, who would cook enough so they would not have to cook on the Sabbath. The beans cooked all day Saturday, and were eaten for dinner that night and the next morning.
The University of Maine School of Performing Arts’ presentation of “Ein deutsches Requiem” by Johannes Brahms has been rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20 in the 900-seat Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center in Hampden.
Retiring Professor Ludlow Hallman will conduct the Oratorio Society Concert, which is dedicated to the memory of those killed during the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Jan. 20 was chosen as the new concert date in tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Kelly Scheetz, soprano; and Justin Zang, baritone, will be soloists.
Brahms’ Opus 45 is a prayer for the souls of the departed. “Brahms’ text addresses those who are left behind, with words of comfort and consolation,” Hallman says. “It is a very personal and heartfelt master work. He envisioned it as a work for all of humanity, transcending specific religious belief or nationality.”
Hallman has conducted the University Orchestra, an auditioned group of 45 musicians, and the Oratorio Society, a mixed choral ensemble of community members and university students. He has also directed the Opera Workshop, chaired UMaine’s Music Department and served as resident director of the New England Universities in Salzburg program — which was the immersion training for students of German. In addition, he has conducted and directed music for multiple operas and musical comedies and served as assistant conductor of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.
Admission is $10, free with a student MaineCard. For tickets or disability accommodations, call 207.581.1755. Tickets will also be available at the door prior to the performance.
Phys.org reported on research on the sexual selection of birds conducted by Brian Olsen, assistant professor in the University of Maine’s School of Biology and Ecology and Climate Change Institute. Olsen found when looking for a mate, female coastal plain swamp sparrows choose males with large bills. He also found small-billed males are more at risk of being cheated on by their mates.
Renewable Energy News reported the Maine Public Utilities Commission will consider a long-term energy contract for a proposed offshore wind project by Maine Aqua Ventus, which includes the University of Maine and partner companies. Regulators will deliberate the project’s proposed term sheet Jan. 14.
To female coastal plain swamp sparrows, male bill size matters.
When looking for a mate outside of their pair bond, female coastal plain swamp sparrows (Melospiza georgiana nigrescens) choose males with large bills, according to a University of Maine-led study conducted along Delaware Bay.
Small-billed males are more at risk of being cheated on by their mates. Males with larger bills than their avian neighbors, on the other hand, sire a greater percentage of young birds in their territory, says Brian Olsen, assistant professor in UMaine’s School of Biology and Ecology and Climate Change Institute.
Thus, Olsen says, sexual selection may explain why males have larger bills than females along the Delaware coast.
“Conventionally, bird bills have been considered one of the premier examples of how diet shapes morphology: the right tool for the right job,” he says.
For the past 40 years, researchers have explained differences between the shapes of male and female bills by differences in diet. But Olsen and his colleagues say their research suggests that female mating preferences alone could do it.
“It really makes me wonder how much of bill shape, or the shape of any other structure for that matter, is due to mating preferences instead of better survival,” Olsen says.
Olsen and his fellow researchers also found that bill size increases with age. So, by selecting males with larger bills, females are picking a mate that has the right stuff to survive and successfully defend a territory over multiple years.
“In other words,” says Olsen, “the genes of older males have been tested and proven worthy, and females who prefer to mate with the largest-billed males can then pass these good survivor genes on to their offspring.”
Since the difference in large and small bills is only a few millimeters, Olsen says he doesn’t know how female swamp sparrows make the distinction. He suspects song may play a role, since male bill shape can greatly influence singing.
Russell Greenberg of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoological Park; Jeffrey Walters of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biological Sciences; and Robert Fleischer of the Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics at the National Zoological Park also participated in the study.
The team’s research article, “Sexual dimorphism in a feeding apparatus is driven by mate choice and not niche partitioning,” was published in the November 2013 issue of Behavioral Ecology.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
James Breece, an economics professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for an article about the future of Maine’s economy. Breece said most economists would agree with the prediction of mild job growth for the next year made by Charles Colgan, a professor at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. Breece added that the continuing decline in manufacturing in the state is slowing the economy and there’s a disconnect in Maine between strong economic gains and high corporate profits and the slow return of jobs that were lost during the recession.
House Speaker Mark Eves is expected to speak about the University of Maine’s efforts to promote research on aging issues across various departments during the opening address of a daylong summit Jan. 17, according to the Portland Press Herald. More than 300 people are expected to attend the Maine Summit on Aging to help develop an action plan to address the challenges Maine faces in relation to its aging population. Eves and the Maine Council on Aging will host the event at the Augusta Civic Center.