The University Volunteer Ambulance Corps (UVAC) at the University of Maine was named the 2013 Region 4 EMS Service of the Year by the Atlantic Partners EMS.
The announcement was made earlier this month during the 33rd annual seminar of Atlantic Partners EMS, an organization that consists of providers in three of the state’s six EMS regions.
The seminar honors members of the emergency medical services community in Region 3, Kennebec Valley EMS; Region 4, Northeastern Maine EMS; and Region 6, Mid-Coast Maine EMS. This year, the organization focused its awards on EMS agencies that have a strong commitment to community and improving the statewide EMS system.
UVAC is one of 79 state-licensed EMS providers in Region 4, which includes emergency service providers in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Washington counties. This is the first time the UMaine group has won this award.
The group was recognized for its members’ dedication to serve others, the more than 30,000 volunteer hours it provides annually, and for establishing a comprehensive CPR program on campus, which included the placement of more than 20 automated external defibrillators (AED) and relevant training for staff and students.
”This is a wonderful award to receive,” says Joseph Kellner, UVAC chief of service. “It showcases the dedication and drive the large group of student-volunteers have for selfless service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It shows that despite the relatively new exposure to the field of EMS, our student-volunteers show professionalism, compassion and skill that is on par with our long-term professional colleagues. I am very proud to be a part of this organization.”
UVAC is a volunteer-based service that operates as part of UMaine’s Auxiliary Services and delivers emergency medical services on campus and to surrounding communities. The group is composed of 62 UMaine students, in addition to a dozen staff and neighboring EMS providers. More than 60 percent of the members are EMTs, while others serve as drivers and assistants.
The students in UVAC come from a variety of majors from all of UMaine’s academic colleges. Previous medical training is not required to join the organization and online applications are accepted anytime.
The six regional EMS offices are independent, not-for-profit corporations that operate under a contract for services with the Board of EMS. The Board of EMS is part of the Maine EMS system which is a bureau within the Department of Public Safety, according to the state of Maine’s government website.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
WLBZ (Channel 2) and Bangor Daily News reported on the first of three public meetings being held by University of Maine representatives to share updates on the planned 12-megawatt offshore wind demonstration project by Maine Aqua Ventus GP LLC. During the first meeting in Friendship, university officials including Jake Ward, UMaine’s vice president for innovation and economic development, showed residents the research they are currently doing. Some residents, including State Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, I-Friendship, were concerned over the effects the project could have on fishing in the area. Ward said they are studying the effects the turbines will have on fishermen, boats and wildlife. WLBZ also carried a report about Volturnus 1:8 — the UMaine-led DeepCwind Consortium’s test turbine off Castine — withstanding a storm earlier in November.
The Bangor Daily News published an opinion piece by Gordon Donaldson, professor emeritus of education at the University of Maine, titled “End the Ellsworth-area RSU experiment on Nov. 5.” Donaldson wrote residents in Ellsworth, Hancock and Lamoine want to withdraw from Regional School Unit 24, and a “yes” vote on the issue would allow the towns to determine their own school futures and budgets.
Ongoing research at the University of Maine and Maine Maritime Academy on developing new fuels and fuel blends with biofuels for existing ships was cited in a Bangor Daily News article. Sea Change Group LLC, Global Marine Solutions and Thermoelectric Power Systems LLC are also conducting research.
The effects of poverty and how educators at all levels can make a difference will be the theme of a program offered by the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development on Friday, Oct. 18.
Dr. Donna Beegle, an author and public speaker who uses her personal story and research to teach others how to make a difference for children living in poverty, will deliver the keynote.
The free public program takes place from 8 a.m. to noon Friday, Oct. 18 in Minsky Recital Hall, Class of 1944 Hall on the UMaine campus.
Beegle is scheduled to give her talk, “The Impact of Poverty on Education: Recommendations for Educators,” from 8:45-10 a.m.; a panel of Maine experts will then respond to her remarks during a discussion.
Panelists will include Julia Sleeper, executive director and co-founder of Tree Street Youth in Lewiston; Alan Parks, UMaine College Success Programs director; Chris Betts, assistant teaching principal of the Carleton Project Alternative Education programs at Shaw House in Bangor; Marjorie Withers, director of Community Caring Collaborative in Machias and member of Transforming Rural Experience in Education (TREE) at the Cobscook Community Learning Center; Suzen Polk-Hoffses, a kindergarten teacher at Milbridge Elementary School and a Maine Teacher of the Year 2014 finalist; and Sherri Mitchell, an attorney with the Native American Unit of Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc., and executive director of the Land Peace Foundation.
Linda Silka, director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and economics professor at UMaine, will moderate the discussion and following question-and-answer session with Beegle and the panel.
Beegle will meet over lunch with UMaine students who have lived in poverty.
The author of “See Poverty… Be the Difference!” and “An Action Approach to Educating Students Who Live in the Crisis of Poverty,” writes and speaks across the country about poverty and education. For 23 years, she has worked with educators, justice professionals, health care providers, social service agencies and other organizations who want to make a difference for those living in poverty.
Her talk at the university is one in a series of three workshops scheduled in eastern Maine by UMaine, Maine Highlands Poverty Workshop and Healthy Peninsula to raise the visibility of the problem of poverty for Maine children and families.
Beegle is scheduled to appear at the Center Theatre in Dover-Foxcroft from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 for the Maine Highlands Poverty Workshop (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2013PovertySeminar), “The Language of Poverty,” and at the Blue Hill Consolidated School in Blue Hill from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 for the 2013 Healthy Peninsula Early Childhood Conference (http://healthypeninsula.org/), “The Poverty Hurdle: In Pursuit of Goals and Dreams for Every Family, Every Child.”
She grew up in poverty and was the only member of her family to not be incarcerated. Beegle left school and married at age 15. At age 25, after continuing to live in poverty while raising two children, Beegle had no husband or job skills and little education. She went on to earn her GED, an associate degree in journalism, a bachelor’s degree with honors in communications, a master’s degree in communication with a minor (with honors) in gender studies, and a doctorate degree in educational leadership, according to her official biography.
In 1989, Beegle co-founded Communication Across Barriers with her mentor Bob Fulford and currently serves as the organization’s president. She was selected 2008 National Speaker of the Year by the New Mexico State Bar Foundation. In 2010, Portland State University’s School of Social Work dedicated the Donna M. Beegle Community Classrooms in her honor, and in 2011, she won the Oregon Ethics in Business Award.
For more information, to request a disability accommodation, or to register, contact Phyllis Thibodeau at 207.581.2433 or email@example.com; RSVP by Oct. 11; seating is limited.
Brian Naylor, a Washington Desk correspondent for National Public Radio and University of Maine alumnus, will visit UMaine and join two local veteran journalists for a public panel discussion on Friday, Oct. 18.
The panel will discuss issues facing American journalism from 1–2 p.m. in Room 3 of the Wells Conference Center on campus. Michael Socolow, an associate professor in the UMaine Communication and Journalism Department, will moderate the program.
Panelists will include Jim Morris, news director of WABI-TV (Channel 5) in Bangor and UMaine alumnus, and Stephen Fay, managing editor of The Ellsworth American.
Naylor will be the 2013 Alan Miller Fund visiting journalist, as part of the Alan Miller Fund for Excellence in Communication and Journalism program.
The program is designed to bring experienced journalists to campus to interact with UMaine students, faculty and officials. Past Alan Miller Fund visiting journalists included Abby Goodnough of the New York Times in 2009, Mark Feeney of the Boston Globe and Bettina Boxall of Los Angeles Times in 2010, and Abigail Goldman of Los Angeles Times in 2012.
The Alan Miller Fund has also supported the UMaine visits of journalists Bob Woodward in 2007 and Doris Kearns Goodwin in 2012.
Naylor, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1978 and an honorary degree in 2004 from UMaine, covers politics and federal agencies such as transportation and homeland security for NPR, and has more than 30 years of experience at the news organization. While covering the U.S. Congress in the mid-1990s, Naylor’s reporting contributed to NPR’s 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism award for political reporting, according to his NPR biography.
For more information, to RSVP (by Oct. 11) or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.581.1159 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on a Hancock County gleaning initiative — the act of harvesting extra crops and sharing with those in need — put on by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Healthy Acadia. Food collected at farms throughout the county are collected by volunteers and redistributed to food pantries throughout Hancock County.
Staff from the University of Maine Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory will participate in the fifth annual Acadia Night Sky Festival from 8–10 p.m. Sept. 28 on the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.
Planetarium staff will point out constellations and other night sky features visible with the naked eye, binoculars and telescopes. Shuttle buses will transport visitors from Hulls Cove Visitor Center to the 1,530-foot-high summit free of charge for the event, which is weather-dependent. Call 207.200.1536 for updates.
The Acadia Night Sky Festival in Bar Harbor runs Sept. 26–30. For more information, visit acadianightskyfestival.com.
The University of Maine, Maine Maritime Academy, Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) were awarded a $983,997 energy grant from the National Science Foundation for the creation of a new wind and wave generating system.
W² will be a unique, multidirectional system that will consist of a rotating open-jet wind tunnel positioned over a deep-wave basin that will be designed to work together. Using a programmable directional wave maker, wave and wind conditions similar to those in the Gulf of Maine and beyond will be simulated.
This type of system is not available anywhere else in the country.
Data collected from the project can be used to develop test standards for floating structures, particularly those requiring wind and wave interaction, such as offshore floating wind turbines.
The system also has the potential to create better understanding of wave and wind effects in the ocean that can help researchers develop new methods of capturing renewable energy, optimize the performance of existing renewable energy devices and construct future offshore infrastructures, according to a press release issued Wednesday by U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King.
“Researchers at the University of Maine and their world-class partners have demonstrated ingenuity in seeking new ways to capture Maine’s abundant supply of offshore deepwater wind energy through the launch of the nation’s first grid-connected offshore floating wind turbine prototype in May,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “The construction of the Wind-Wave generating system will provide students and scientists with invaluable information regarding the ocean’s interaction with offshore infrastructure as they seek to build on their already considerable achievements.”
Other uses of the equipment include testing by ocean energy developers and those in the offshore oil and gas industry; studying of wave interaction with beaches and structures by coastal engineers; and examination of the wind dispersal of marine pollutants by oil spill management companies. The facility will also be available to undergraduate and graduate students for research and will benefit K–12 students during STEM educational activities.
Krish Thiagarajan, the University of Maine’s Alston D. and Ada Lee Correll Presidential Chair in Energy and mechanical engineering professor, is the principal investigator of the project. Co-principal investigators include UMaine engineering professors Habib Dagher, Andrew Goupee and Qingping Zou, as well as Maine Maritime Academy professor Richard Kimball.
The system will be located in the Wave Wind Laboratory, a new addition to the Advanced Structures and Composites Center on the UMaine campus.
Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
Maine and New Hampshire’s coastal tourism and shellfish industries contribute millions of dollars annually to the regional economy. In Maine in 2010, coastal tourism and recreation added $1.1 billion to Maine’s gross domestic product, while shellfish landings in that same year generated revenues of $347 million. But these industries and the coastal environment they depend on are vulnerable to a variety of factors, including pollution, climate change and invasive species.
A team of researchers led by the University of Maine and the University of New Hampshire will conduct a three-year study of the many factors affecting the health of their shared coastal ecosystem. This collaboration, funded by a $6 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), aims to strengthen the scientific basis for decision making related to the management of recreational beaches and shellfish harvesting. This research is a direct outgrowth of Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative, supported by the NSF EPSCoR program.
The project, titled the New England SusTainability Consortium (NEST), is managed by the EPSCoR programs at UMaine and UNH in partnership with College of the Atlantic, University of New England, University of Southern Maine, Great Bay Community College, Plymouth State University and Keene State College. In Maine, researchers will also collaborate with several state agencies and other stakeholders, including the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine Department of Marine Resources, Maine State Department of Education and Maine Healthy Beaches.
“I am delighted that the National Science Foundation selected the New England SusTainability Consortium, for this Research Infrastructure Improvement grant,” said Sen. Susan Collins. “Through both tourism as well as commercial fishing, our state’s economy is highly dependent on the ecological well-being of the Gulf of Maine. This grant will help fund the vital research performed by faculty and students at the University of Maine as they seek to find ways to reduce pollution caused by coastal runoff and assist local governments in making informed decisions regarding the closure of beaches and shellfish beds.”
“This is good news for Maine, and indeed for all coastal areas,” said Sen. Angus King. “Our shellfish industry is facing many threats an climate change, warming oceans, acidifying waters, and an increase in green crabs, which are decimating clam flats. Our state simply can’t lose another fishery. I look forward to seeing the results of the good work that this grant will enable, like hopefully more targeted closures of flats. Our changing environment is a big problem, and while we work out broad solutions, we must also focus on mitigating the direct impacts on people and ecosystems.”
UMaine President Paul W. Ferguson affirmed the project’s importance, stating, “This NSF grant recognizes the leadership and contribution of University of Maine scholars who aim to support coastal ecosystems, economies, and communities by promoting sustainable policies and practices in Maine.”
The project combines scientific knowledge and local expertise to improve resource management decisions. There is widespread agreement among resource managers and scientists in both states that current beach and shellfish management decisions are challenging and can be improved by strengthening partnerships among scientists, managers and communities.
NEST uses a collaborative process where resource managers and other stakeholders participate in defining problems, identifying research needs, interpreting results and designing solutions. The team will select a number of study sites in each state to investigate how natural processes like water flow in rivers, and human activities like land development, in coastal watersheds influence bacterial dynamics. Project research will advance understanding of how environmental and climatic conditions affect the dynamics of bacterial pathogens. The project studies how human activities contribute to and are affected by these bacterial dynamics and related public resource management decisions. Coupling these distinct strands of research offers a more comprehensive view of beach and shellfish management. This innovative approach seeks to generate cost-effective strategies for reducing bacterial pollution. By identifying solutions that strategically avert risks to humans, while supporting economic development and ecosystem health, NEST will develop regional capacity between Maine and New Hampshire to advance sustainability solutions through science.
Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI) is supported in large part by a $20 million, five-year investment through the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR Program). SSI enhances Maine’s research capacity and promotes innovation and societal benefit through the field of sustainability science. This innovative initiative represents an extensive network of over 350 researchers and students and more than 200 community-based stakeholders working together to advance solutions across Maine.
Contact: Andrea Littlefield, 207.581.2289