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Portable Device Detects Disease-causing Pathogens in Real-time

University of Maine researchers have designed a handheld device that can quickly detect disease-causing and toxin-producing pathogens, including algal species that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning.

The device — a colorimeter — could be instrumental in monitoring coastal water in real-time, thereby preventing human deaths and beach closures, says lead researcher Janice Duy, a recent graduate of UMaine’s Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering. Duy is now conducting postdoctoral research at Fort Detrick in Maryland.

The research team, which includes UMaine professors Rosemary Smith, Scott Collins and Laurie Connell, built a prototype two-wavelength colorimeter using primarily off-the-shelf commercial parts. The water-resistant apparatus produces results comparable to those obtained with an expensive bench-top spectrophotometer that requires technical expertise to operate, says the research team.

The instrument’s ease of use, low cost and portability are significant, say the researchers. The prototype cost researchers about $200 to build; a top-shelf spectrophotometer can cost about $10,000.

A touch screen prompts users at each step of the protocol. Researchers say an Android app is being developed to enable future smartphone integration of the measurement system.

Duy says the device almost instantaneously identifies pathogenic organisms by capturing target RNA with synthetic probe molecules called peptide nucleic acids (PNAs). A cyanine dye is added to visualize the presence of probe-target complexes, which show up as a purple solution; solutions without the target RNA are blue.

The versatile instrument can also be adapted to detect other organisms. The researchers say, in theory, any organism that contains nucleic acids could be detected with the simple colorimetric test. They have verified the system works with RNA from a soil-borne fungus that infects potatoes.

The research team’s teaching and expertise spans several UMaine schools and departments, including Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology, the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, the Department of Chemistry, the School of Marine Sciences and the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences. The Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provided funding for the project.

The instrument is being incorporated into fresh and marine water testing in the Republic of Korea and the researchers say they’ll give several devices to state officials to test and use in the field in Maine.

The researchers published their findings in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

University of Maine Announces Fall 2013 Dean’s List

The University of Maine recognized 2,002 students for achieving Dean’s List honors in the fall 2013 semester. Of the students who made the Deans List, 1,610 are from Maine, 312 are from 27 other states and 80 are from 28 countries other than the U.S.

Listed below are students who received Dean’s List honors for fall 2013. Also available is a breakdown of the Dean’s List by Maine counties.

Please note that some students have requested that their information not be released; therefore, their names are not included.

Last First Name City State Country
Abbott Randy Greenbush ME  
Abrams Molly Cutler ME  
Achey Arron Newmanstown PA  
Achille Charlene Longueuil QC Canada
Acord Noell Richmond ME  
Adams Heather Winterport ME  
Adams Jefferson Hampden ME  
Adams Tanner Lewiston ME  
Adams Wilson Barrington RI  
Aguilar Elizabeth Lewiston ME  
Aguilar Timothy Bethel ME  
Ahern Joseph Bangor ME  
Albert Melissa Madawaska ME  
Albert Sarah Frenchville ME  
Albert Seth Old Orchard Beach ME  
Albert Timothy Veazie ME  
Alberts Kristen South China ME  
Alexander Scott Brunswick ME  
Alexandrou Yvette Alna ME  
Algeo Benjamin Raymond ME  
Alghamdi Adel Ras Tanura   Saudi Arabia
Allen Lindsey Hermon ME  
Alley Kimberly Bucksport ME  
Almaghasilah Ahmed Qatif   Saudi Arabia
Alruheem Abdullah Dammam   Saudi Arabia
Alshaeban Saeed Ras Tanura   Saudi Arabia
Alsuruj Ayman orono ME  
Altvater Natalie Perry ME  
Ames Brittany Cumberland Center ME  
Anastasoff Ashley Scarborough ME  
Andersen Shayne Holden ME  
Anderson Ashley Manchester ME  
Anderson Cameron Caribou ME  
Anderson Colleen Topsham ME  
Anderson Courtney Greene ME  
Anderson Eleni Portland ME  
Anderson Emily Weybridge VT  
Andle Joshua Bangor ME  
Anthoine Mark Lewiston ME  
Antle James Orono ME  
Areno Meagan Old Town ME  
Arritt Scott Bangor ME  
Asalone Kathryn Hampden ME  
Assoumou Kevin Kumasi   Ghana
Audet Scott Old Town ME  
Audibert Joshua Bangor ME  
Austin David Fairfield ME  
Ayes Armando Tegucigalpa   Honduras
Babineau Ariana Easton ME  
Bacon Quinn Dover NH  
Bailey Michael Orono ME  
Bailey Michael Waterville ME  
Baillargeon Lucas Old Town ME  
Baker Emily Bangor ME  
Baker Robert Bangor ME  
Baldwin Tionna Glenburn ME  
Ballanger Ashley Bancroft ME  
Ballard Matthew Newburgh ME  
Ballou Molly Skowhegan ME  
Bambrick Hannah Bangor ME  
Bann William Brunswick ME  
Bannister Hayley Concord NH  
Barberi Olivia Winterport ME  
Barclay Robert Essex Junction VT  
Barnard Linnea Auburn ME  
Barnes Johanna Bangor ME  
Barra Dominic Wells ME  
Barra Veronika Wells ME  
Barry Jean Bangor ME  
Bartlett Emily Hampden ME  
Bartlett Lucas Oakland ME  
Bassis Michelle Plainville MA  
Bate Elissa Holden ME  
Bates Trevor Westbrook ME  
Bauer Holly Portland ME  
Bayer Tayler Portage IN  
Beacham Gwendolyn Farmington ME  
Beal Caleb Machiasport ME  
Bean Justin Turner ME  
Bean Philip Sidney ME  
Bearce Clarence Milford ME  
Beaton Cordell Houlton ME  
Beauchemin Michelle Saco ME  
Beauchesne Julie Camden ME  
Beaudry Bethany Windsor ME  
Beaudry Zachary Searsport ME  
Beaulier Abbigale Berwick ME  
Beaupain Andrew Bangor ME  
Beauregard Christian Stratton ME  
Becker Christiana Old Town ME  
Beeckel John Augusta ME  
Beeskau Stephanie Kittery ME  
Begin Daniel Epping NH  
Begin Robert Saco ME  
Begley Nicole Windham ME  
Belanger Joseph Glenburn ME  
Belisle Haley Campbell Yarmouth ME  
Bell-Colfer Kyle Farmingdale ME  
Bellefleur Abby Auburn ME  
Bellinger Joshua Bethel ME  
Bemis Barbara Westfield MA  
Bender Shannon Cumberland RI  
Benedix Derek Mexico ME  
Bennett Alan Gray ME  
Bennett Jonathan Barrington RI  
Bennett Lauren Auburn ME  
Benoit Mitchell Cape Neddick ME  
Berenyi Kali Searsport ME  
Berg Alison Corinna ME  
Berger Brian Eddington ME  
Berger Olivia Bethel CT  
Berger Sophie Waldoboro ME  
Bergeron Audrey Orono ME  
Bergeron Brett Newmarket NH  
Berglund Kelly Hermon ME  
Beric Aleksandra Belgrade   Republic of Serbia
Beringer Emily Orono ME  
Berkey Zoe Duncan BC Canada
Bernard Kelsey Plymouth MA  
Bernard Whitney West Enfield ME  
Bernhardt Celina Bangor ME  
Berry Shawn Turner ME  
Berta Hannah Rockport ME  
Berube Macey Turner ME  
Berube Matthew Auburn ME  
Berube Maxwell South Portland ME  
Bhatta Abhinav Orono ME  
Bibb Tiana Jericho VT  
Bickford Katherine Cutler Bay FL  
Bickford Robert Milford ME  
Bijman Lisa BRANTFORD ON Canada
Billings Ryan West Paris ME  
Bilodeau John Harpswell ME  
Binette Felicia Auburn ME  
Bird Norah Orono ME  
Bisher Erika Hampden ME  
Bishop Katherine Frankfort ME  
Bishop Sarah Orono ME  
Bishop Tiffany Milo ME  
Bissell Anthony Brewer ME  
Bistri Donald Tirana   Albania
Biswas Sonia Brewer ME  
Bizier Thomas Livermore ME  
Blackburn Cody Cherryfield ME  
Blais Benjamin New Gloucester ME  
Blais Kayla New Gloucester ME  
Blakeman Hannah North Sutton NH  
Blanchard Brian Thorndike ME  
Blanchard Jessica Mt Kisco NY  
Blenk Kathryn Freeport ME  
Blood Emily Searsmont ME  
Bloss Amanda Litchfield ME  
Boardman Emily Wakefield RI  
Boardway Garrett Clifton ME  
Bobbe Victoria Bryant Pond ME  
Bodine Lauren Louisville KY  
Bodwell Jeffrey Brunswick ME  
Bohrer Isabel Bar Harbor ME  
Bois Kevin Westbrook ME  
Bolduc Eric Dixfield ME  
Bolduc Natalie Dixfield ME  
Bolster Katherine Walpole ME  
Bolte Ty Des Moines IA  
Bondeson Finn Woodland ME  
Bonin Jesse Boothbay ME  
Bonnanzio Anne Milford CT  
Bonnett Rebecca Bath ME  
Bonney Alicia Westbrook ME  
Bonney Megan Bethel ME  
Borer Mary Mariaville ME  
Boros Ottilia Old Town ME  
Bothen Ariel Mount Desert ME  
Bouchard Bryan Corinth ME  
Bouchard Haley Chapman ME  
Boucher Kimberly Madawaska ME  
Boulette Ariel Sabattus ME  
Bourgeois-Capozzi Daniel Bangor ME  
Bourget Lucas Auburn ME  
Bourgoin Natasha Van Buren ME  
Bourgoin Ryan Limington ME  
Bourque Blake Belgrade ME  
Boutin Monique York ME  
Bovie Marissa Vassalboro ME  
Bowden Abigail Sedgwick ME  
Bowen Nicole Fairfield ME  
Bowen Zachary Plaistow NH  
Bowman Alexis Waterville ME  
Bowser Torey Austinburg OH  
Boyman James Augusta ME  
Boynton Connor Orono ME  
Brackett Ashley Auburn ME  
Brackett Taylor Auburn ME  
Bradford Abigail Westport Island ME  
Bradica Meaghan STONEY CREEK ON Canada
Bradley Eben Scarborough ME  
Bragdon Austin Madawaska ME  
Bragdon Morgan Brewer ME  
Brakey Allison Bangor ME  
Brannigan Jack Chelsea ME  
Brasslett Jordan Hudson ME  
Breau Katherine Freeport ME  
Breed Kathryn Durham ME  
Brenner Shannon Casco ME  
Breton Gretel Greenville ME  
Brewster Megan East Waterboro ME  
Brigham Emilie Andover MN  
Briglio Justin Saulte Ste Marie ON Canada
Bristol Genevieve Etna NH  
Britton Eric Falmouth ME  
Broderick Sarah Ennis   Ireland
Brooks Emma Standish ME  
Brooks Erika Cushing ME  
Brown Abegayle Gorham ME  
Brown Austin Easton PA  
Brown Cameron Natick MA  
Brown Chelsea Bangor ME  
Brown Darren Westbrook ME  
Brown Erika Belfast ME  
Brown Joshua Orono ME  
Brown Kaylon Freeport ME  
Brown Nicole Lebanon ME  
Brown Robert Mount Vernon ME  
Brown Sage Winterport ME  
Brown Samantha Old Town ME  
Brown Timothy Topsham ME  
Brunton Mark Old Town ME  
Buck Daniel Bangor ME  
Buck Kelsey Chapman ME  
Buck Regan Sanford ME  
Bundy Mariah Bryant Pond ME  
Burbank Eric Boxford MA  
Bureau Destiny Glenburn ME  
Burgess Devin Waterville ME  
Burgess Mitchell Standish ME  
Burgos Aimee Bowdoin ME  
Burkhart Ryley Skowhegan ME  
Burne Courtney Topsham ME  
Burnett Hannah Ellsworth ME  
Burns Crystal Bangor ME  
Burns Danielle Whitefield ME  
Burns Nathan Whitefield ME  
Burns Rachele Gorham ME  
Burrows Daniel Haverhill MA  
Burton Lindsey North Yarmouth ME  
Buscemi Daniel Old Town ME  
Bussell Kelly Parkman ME  
Bussell Lucas Parkman ME  
Bussiere Joseph Lewiston ME  
Butler John Newport ME  
Butler Michael Lincolnville ME  
Butler Renee Hampden ME  
Buttarazzi Colin Arundel ME  
Buzzell Melissa Waterville ME  
Cain Devin Scarborough ME  
Calder Brittney Portland ME  
Campbell Brady Blenheim ON Canada
Campbell John Cape Elizabeth ME  
Campbell Jordan Holden ME  
Capella Craig Smithville NJ  
Caputo Nina Canaan NH  
Carfagno Henry Sangerville ME  
Carlson Benjamin Gorham NH  
Carlson Emily Dedham ME  
Caron Christina Dayton ME  
Caron Molly Holden ME  
Carpentier Bradford Windham ME  
Carr Jordan Veazie ME  
Carr Nicole Milford ME  
Carrier Melissa Steep Falls ME  
Carrier Tyler Barre VT  
Carson Casey Presque Isle ME  
Carter Hillary Gardiner ME  
Carter Jason Dedham ME  
Carter Nicklaus Franklin ME  
Casey Jillian Burlington MA  
Casey Shawn Veazie ME  
Casoli Jonna Waterboro ME  
Castagnetto Kyle Winslow ME  
Castiglia Rachel Eddington ME  
Castonguay Arianna Augusta ME  
Cavanaugh Meaghan Calais ME  
Cerretani Andrew Pelham NH  
Chalmers Jennifer Foxboro MA  
Champagne Rebecca West Gardiner ME  
Chandler Keith Hancock ME  
Chaney Rachel Portland ME  
Chang Lydia Petaling Jaya SL Malaysia
Chapman Molly Brewer ME  
Chartier Justin Dixfield ME  
Chase Brittney Glenburn ME  
Chase Caron Canaan ME  
Chase John Lee ME  
Chase Rachel Warren ME  
Chasse Alex Fort Kent ME  
Chavis Hannah Fairfield ME  
Cheetham Ashley Lisbon Falls ME  
Cheff Joseph Glenburn ME  
Chen FuFei Owls Head ME  
Chesley Benjamin Pittston ME  
Cheviot Marcella Washburn ME  
Chlosta Grace Kennebunk ME  
Choi Myungji Orono ME  
Choiniere Michael Brunswick ME  
Christian Emma Wakefield RI  
Chu Connor Winthrop ME  
Churchill Julie Fayette ME  
Cicero Joseph Douglas MA  
Claar Joseph Orono ME  
Clark Adam Bangor ME  
Clark Dallas Augusta ME  
Clark Hilary Poland ME  
Clark Jesse Calais ME  
Clark Kaitlin Standish ME  
Clark Sarah North Uxbridge MA  
Clark Shannon Westbrook ME  
Clark William Minot ME  
Clarke Kenneth Litchfield ME  
Clarke Mamie Sebec ME  
Claussen Rachel North Granby CT  
Clemens Bradley Bar Harbor ME  
Cliff Audrey Hermon ME  
Clifford Tiffany Clinton ME  
Cline Tyler Brewer ME  
Closson Andrew Hampden ME  
Cloutier Catharine Liberty ME  
Cloutier Emberly Niskayuna NY  
Cloutier Meagan Calais ME  
Cloutier Nathen Bowdoin ME  
Cloutier Shane Durham ME  
Cloutier Taylor Greene ME  
Co Aimee Orono ME  
Coan Jason Pittston ME  
Coer Brian Madison CT  
Coffey Emma Bangor ME  
Colburn Shelby Eddington ME  
Cole Avery Orono ME  
Cole Dylan Orono ME  
Cole Eric Sidney ME  
Cole Nikki Sidney ME  
Coleman Chaya Orono ME  
Coleman Ryan Orono ME  
Coleman Tyler Rockport ME  
Colfer Emily Manchester ME  
Collins Annie Caribou ME  
Collins Jacob Rockland ME  
Collins Karissa Carver MA  
Collins Kayla Caribou ME  
Colson Sierra Mount Desert ME  
Comaskey Lucy Brunswick ME  
Commeau Benjamin Corinth ME  
Comtois Emily Castine ME  
Conant Ryan Winthrop ME  
Conley Jared Old Town ME  
Conlin Sarah Bangor ME  
Connelly Meghan Wells ME  
Conner Aimee Bangor ME  
Conner Benjamin Steep Falls ME  
Connerty-Marin Zachary Falmouth ME  
Connolly Elizabeth Phippsburg ME  
Cook Abigail Fairport NY  
Cooledge Danielle Scarborough ME  
Cooper Nicholas Winthrop ME  
Copp Jason Madison ME  
Corbett Shane Buxton ME  
Cormier Jacqueline Sullivan ME  
Cormier Kayla Caribou ME  
Cosgrove Carly Bangor ME  
Cosgrove Jeri Bangor ME  
Costello Catherine Lexington MA  
Coston Katrina Bangor ME  
Cote Elizabeth Augusta ME  
Cote Kaitlyn Rumford ME  
Cote Robert Biddeford ME  
Courtney Alexandra Saco ME  
Courtney Amelia Saco ME  
Cousins Adam Sedgwick ME  
Cowan Kara Orrington ME  
Cowger Felicia Weston ME  
Cowperthwaite Robert Bangor ME  
Cowperthwaite Wesley Windham ME  
Cox Sean Bar Harbor ME  
Coyle Ciaran Lebanon NH  
Coyle Donncha Lebanon NH  
Coyne Alyssa Auburn ME  
Coyne Katherine Barrington RI  
Cramer Camille Milo ME  
Crandall Rebecca Houlton ME  
Crane Ashley Gorham ME  
Craven Sarah Winchester MA  
Crisafi Sara Somers CT  
Cromwell Jackson Westport Island ME  
Cronin Colby Sanford ME  
Cross Heather Barton VT  
Cross Jenna Bangor ME  
Croteau Kendall Hampton NH  
Crouse Heidi Milford ME  
Cullenberg E Kelton Chesterville ME  
Cumming James Manchester ME  
Cummings Kerry Westport Island ME  
Cunningham Luke Veazie ME  
Cunningham Taylor Beverly MA  
Curit Rachel Otisfield ME  
Curtis Amanda Freeport ME  
Curtis Caroline Virginia Beach VA  
Curtis Kimberly Winslow ME  
Curtis-Bray Nicole Waldoboro ME  
Cutting Kathryn Sebago ME  
Cyr Jordanne Bangor ME  
Cyr Nathalie Madawaska ME  
Czora Thelian Contoocook NH  
D’Amico James Brewer ME  
D’Antilio Kestrel Hartland ME  
Dagher Christiana Veazie ME  
Daigle Katrina Glenburn ME  
Damboise Shaunna Kents Hill ME  
Dana Cassandra Indian Twp ME  
Dana Ralph Perry ME  
Dandy Michael Orono ME  
Danforth Ashley Hampden ME  
Danforth Katherine Hampden ME  
Dang Khai Stillwater ME  
Dao Kent Biddeford ME  
Dao Kimberly Biddeford ME  
Dapice Coralie Brewer ME  
Darling Douglas Wells ME  
Davidson Emily Bangor ME  
Davis Brady Freeport ME  
Davis Elijah Palmyra ME  
Davis Jonathan Bangor ME  
Davis Joseph Dedham ME  
Davis Kelsey Deer Isle ME  
Davis Samuel Cape Elizabeth ME  
Day George Rumford ME  
Day Walker Lovell ME  
DeBlois Nicklaus Sidney ME  
DeForest Sally Brunswick ME  
DeLisle Allison Rome ME  
DeLong Katelyn Bangor ME  
DeRoche Katie Sanford ME  
DeRoy Joseph Gorham ME  
DeTellis Jeremie Rumford ME  
DeVoe Savannah Naples ME  
Deakin Joshua Medway ME  
Dean Audrey Lincoln ME  
Dean Chelsea Seabrook NH  
Deane Zachary Orono ME  
Decker Daniel Dover Foxcroft ME  
Dee Nathan Bangor ME  
Dehetre April Sanford ME  
Delcourt Katie Biddeford ME  
Demerchant Craig Kenduskeag ME  
Denbow Chad Lubec ME  
Dendinger Reuben New Orleans LA  
Deschaine Jonathan Dedham ME  
Deshon Jacquelyn Dover NH  
Desrochers Spencer Biddeford ME  
Devers Connor North Attleboro MA  
Devine Kristina Orland ME  
Devoe Nathaniel Fort Fairfield ME  
Devou Jessica Levant ME  
Dewey Hannah Southwest Harbor ME  
Dewey Marley Falmouth ME  
Dexter Melissa Old Town ME  
Dezso Lisa Old Town ME  
Dhuy Allison East Millinocket ME  
DiBello Kristen Lewiston ME  
DiBenedetti Amanda Washington ME  
DiGiovanni Vincent Belmont MA  
DiLorenzo Britnee Hollis ME  
DiPhilippo Isabella Scarborough ME  
DiPompo Brittany Jay ME  
DiPrisco Chad Springvale ME  
Dickey Amanda Norridgewock ME  
Dickey Grant Olney MD  
Dickinson Jaden Skowhegan ME  
Diehl Abigail Gray ME  
Diemer Trevor Freedom ME  
Dimick Taylor Portland ME  
Dionne Margaret Glenburn ME  
Dixey Sabrina York ME  
Dixit Dilasha Old Town ME  
Do Anh Hanoi   Vietnamnam
Doman Steven Portland ME  
Dong Hong Yi Paco   Philippines
Donovan Laura Veazie ME  
Dood Megan Readfield ME  
Dooling Kelly South Portland ME  
Doty James Ellsworth ME  
Douglass Kristen Orono ME  
Dow Lillian Millinocket ME  
Dow Rachel Mapleton ME  
Downer Tori Cape Elizabeth ME  
Doyer Olivia Mechanic Falls ME  
Doyle Frances Stockton Springs ME  
Doyle Julia Reading MA  
Doyon Emily Biddeford ME  
Dragon Benjamin Orrington ME  
Drazhi Albano Tirane   Albania
Drouin Derek Turner ME  
Drown Jordan South Portland ME  
Drysdale Melissa Eliot ME  
Dubay Simone Dover NH  
Dube Cecilia Winterport ME  
Dubois Jeffrey Norway ME  
Dubois Shannon Bangor ME  
Dubuc Nate Windham ME  
Duddy Samuel Cape Elizabeth ME  
Dufresne-Dixon Marie Auburn ME  
Dugal Renee Augusta ME  
Duggan Michael Acton MA  
Duguay Sage Waterville ME  
Dumas James Lewiston ME  
Dumas Kevin Old Town ME  
Dumas Patrick Gray ME  
Dunbar Elizabeth Southwest Harbor ME  
Duncan Christian Corinth ME  
Dunn Avery Dayton ME  
Dunn Caroline Auburn ME  
Dunn Nathan Berwick ME  
Dunning Matthew Orrington ME  
Dunphy Megan Pittsfield ME  
Dunton Samantha Winterport ME  
Dupuis Lynsie Rumford ME  
Durant Jason Brownville ME  
Dutil Ryan Winslow ME  
Duym Olivia Trenton ME  
Dwyer Mark Bangor ME  
Dyer Emily Bristol RI  
Dyer Guthrie Portland ME  
Dziegiel Brandie Southwest Harbor ME  
Eaton Layla Sunset ME  
Edgerton Rashon Brunswick ME  
Edwards Ashley West Suffield CT  
Edwards Christie Scarborough ME  
Edwards Kelly Pownal ME  
Elder Hannah Edgecomb ME  
Eldridge Erin Brunswick ME  
Eldridge William Gorham ME  
Elie Thomas Lewiston ME  
Elliott Megan Brunswick ME  
Ellsworth Naomi Greenwood ME  
Elmer Casey Northfield VT  
Elwell Abigail Hartland ME  
Elwell Amber Spruce Head ME  
Elwell Caleb Hartland ME  
Emajoe Liis Tallinn   Estonia
Emery Rachel Milo ME  
Engroff Aaron Orrington ME  
Ennamorati Julianna Waldoboro ME  
Enriquez Garcia Ildara Vigo 36 Spain
Errico Lauren Kennebunk ME  
Erwin Rosaleen Brunswick ME  
Eslin Allyson Bangor ME  
Espling Kristen New Sweden ME  
Estrup Andrew Kennebunk ME  
Eugley Sarah Lewiston ME  
Evans Alessandra Milford ME  
Evans Andrea Milford ME  
Fahey Ryan Braintree MA  
Fairfield Benjamin Westport Island ME  
Fallon Lauren Milton MA  
Farley Ryan Freeport ME  
Farnsworth Theodore Cape Elizabeth ME  
Farr Allison Cumberland Center ME  
Farrell Bridget Orono ME  
Farrell Elizabeth Old Town ME  
Fasano Robert Jefferson ME  
Faucette Jill Saco ME  
Federico Jennifer Glenburn ME  
Feldmus Chelsey West Enfield ME  
Fellows Ryan Readfield ME  
Femia Kristi South Salem NY  
Ferry Shauna Bowdoinham ME  
Ferszt Jerry Caribou ME  
Feuka Abigail Perry MI  
Field Magalloway Stratton ME  
Fields Lindsey Winterport ME  
Filipov Petar Cape Elizabeth ME  
Findlen Paige Freeport ME  
Finn Cullen Kennebunk ME  
Fish Amy Mountville PA  
Fiske Peter Norwood MA  
Fitzgerald Ashley Franklin MA  
Fitzpatrick John Brunswick ME  
Fitzpatrick Kelsey Houlton ME  
Fitzpatrick Shannon North Yarmouth ME  
Flanagan Ryan Farmington ME  
Flanders Jessyca Brewer ME  
Flanders Rebekah Dover Foxcroft ME  
Fleming Kara Bangor ME  
Fletcher Jennifer South Portland ME  
Flora Matthew Presque Isle ME  
Flynn Allison Kittery Point ME  
Flynn Brian Rocky Hill CT  
Foehrenbach Frances Orono ME  
Fogarty Brittany Houlton ME  
Fogg Kailey Old Orchard Beach ME  
Folan Molly Gorham ME  
Folger Chelsea South Berwick ME  
Folsom Alison Saco ME  
Foote Sean Stony Brook NY  
Forbes Calvin Augusta ME  
Ford Natasha Vancouver BC Canada
Ford Sarah Londonderry NH  
Forman-Stiles Amelia Franklin ME  
Forsythe Kyle Harrison ME  
Fortier Megan Windham ME  
Fortier-Brown Colby Randolph ME  
Fortin Christina Hampden ME  
Fortin Michaela Jefferson ME  
Foster Andrew Jefferson ME  
Foster Ethan Jefferson ME  
Foster Jacob Athol MA  
Fouchereaux Claire Yarmouth ME  
Fournier Andrew Bangor ME  
Fowlie Kyle Rockland ME  
Fox Kendra Fryeburg ME  
Frame Taylor Belgrade Lakes ME  
Freeman Jessica Bangor ME  
Freeman Lauren Holden ME  
Freeman Maxfield Portland ME  
Freeman Melissa Winslow ME  
Frey Derek kenduskaeg ME  
Frey Heather Prospect ME  
Fricks Joseph Orono ME  
Fried Nicholas Millerstown PA  
Frisk Thomas Bangor ME  
Frizzell Cormick Colebrook NH  
Frost Sarah Franklin ME  
Fuhrer Joshua Veazie ME  
Fulford Jonathan Kennebunk ME  
Fullmer Logan Lebanon PA  
Gagne Eliot Westbrook ME  
Gagne Jordan Manchester NH  
Gagne Kelly Springvale ME  
Gagnon Kristen Haverhill MA  
Gagnon Victoria Madawaska ME  
Galante Daniel York ME  
Galgano Elise Cape Elizabeth ME  
Gallagher Paige BEDFORD NS Canada
Galle Nathan Kittery ME  
Garrity Carolyn Trumbauersville PA  
Gass Katelyn East Waterboro ME  
Gatchell Amber Franklin MA  
Gatti Jonathan Portland ME  
Gaudet Allison Bangor ME  
Gay Colin Kansas City KS  
Gaylord Charlotte Auburn ME  
Geldermann Hallie Bristol NH  
Gendreau Deejay Madawaska ME  
Georges Marie-Laurence Port-au-Prince   Haiti
Gerchman Logan Denmark ME  
Germanakos Adrienne Lynbrook NY  
Gerow Gabriel Glenburn ME  
Ghergia Daniel Holden ME  
Gibbons Amanda Saco ME  
Gibbs Wendy Brooks ME  
Gilbert Christine Furlong PA  
Gilbert Christopher Falmouth ME  
Giles Lindsey Bangor ME  
Gillette Catherine Brownfield ME  
Gillies Chelsea Brewer ME  
Girard Michele North Yarmouth ME  
Giroux Brendon Richmond VT  
Giroux Kira Orrington ME  
Glaser Harrison Oak Brook IL  
Glazier Jonathan Bangor ME  
Glidden Brooke Palermo ME  
Goding Natalie Livermore Falls ME  
Goggin Jason South China ME  
Gold Zachary Bass Harbor ME  
Goldshein Laura Orono ME  
Gonnella Edward Old Town ME  
Gonyar Ryan Bangor ME  
Good Brittany Presque Isle ME  
Good Kaitlin Houlton ME  
Good Logan Presque Isle ME  
Goode Andrew Boothbay ME  
Goodin Joseph Orono ME  
Goodine Lauren Woodville ME  
Goodney Christopher Henderson NV  
Goodridge Allison Bowdoin ME  
Goplerud Elise Lexington MA  
Goranson Hillary Cumberland ME  
Gordon Taylor Lincoln ME  
Gordon-Magro Ciara Bangor ME  
Gorham Tanika Lewiston ME  
Gori Lindsey South Berwick ME  
Goss Michael Mechanic Falls ME  
Gosselin Tayelor Greene ME  
Gottlieb Benjamin Boothbay ME  
Gottlieb Kathryn Boothbay ME  
Gould Joseph Whitefield ME  
Goupille Kyle Presque Isle ME  
Gowen Hannah Westbrook ME  
Gower Abigail Whitefield ME  
Graham Kelly Merrimack NH  
Gramse Stephanie Falmouth ME  
Granger Aeleah Gray ME  
Grant Elizabeth South Portland ME  
Grant Justin Lisbon Falls ME  
Grant Rebecca Parkman ME  
Graves Shannon Hermon ME  
Gray Adam Northeast Harbor ME  
Gray Angela Orono ME  
Gray Corey Orono ME  
Greeley Sean Bowdoinham ME  
Greenberg-McDonald Emma Bangor ME  
Greene Nicole Winslow ME  
Greenwood Courtney Falmouth ME  
Gregory Steven Millinocket ME  
Griffeth Chelsea Caribou ME  
Grillo John Kennebunk ME  
Grindle Abby Old Town ME  
Grissinger Alexa Elkins Park PA  
Gross Evelyn Windham ME  
Gross Taylor Exeter ME  
Grover Melinda Newburgh ME  
Guild Cameron Manchester ME  
Guillow Emily Hampden ME  
Guilmette Katelyn Coventry RI  
Guo Mengting Orono ME  
Guptill Jennifer Vinalhaven ME  
Guralnick Jacob Ann Arbor MI  
Gurney Mercedes Rumford ME  
Gusmini Shannon Natick MA  
Gustafsson Mikaela Sodertalje   Sweden
Gustin Morgan Merrill ME  
Gustin Vance Merrill ME  
Gutow Thomas Castine ME  
Guzzi Dante Boothbay ME  
Ha Ji-hye Old Town ME  
Hackett Ashten Auburn ME  
Hadyniak Kyle Freedom ME  
Hale Ellin Phippsburg ME  
Halfman Maggie Fond Du Lac WI  
Hall Catherine Bangor ME  
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UMaine’s CCAR Assists in Development of Recirculating Aquaculture Technology

Chefs often go to the docks to select fresh catch to prepare their evening seafood dinners.

In the near future, area chefs and the public may routinely be getting fresh, sustainable fish from a Maine-based indoor fish farm.

A number of locals are working toward that future, including middle-school students, educators, marine scientists, businesspeople, funders, and a fisherman who helps run a cooperative. Participants involved in this cutting-edge indoor fish farming technology project will gather at Herring Gut Learning Center in Port Clyde on Thursday, Feb. 6.

Following are snapshots of the participating organizations:

School of Roots at the Herring Gut Learning Center, Port Clyde, Maine

The School of Roots, a student-run aquaponics business established in 2010, is managed by middle-school youth in RSU 13’s Alternative Education Program at the Herring Gut Learning Center. The students learn academic concepts while developing, marketing and selling products to grocers, restaurants and community members. They previously test-marketed and sold black sea bass produced by Acadia Harvest and are now premarketing Acadia Harvest’s California yellowtail. Feb. 6, the students will help harvest the fish; they plan to have them all sold within 48 hours of harvest.

For more information on the School of Roots, visit herringgut.org/schoolofroots.html?id=1.

For more information on Herring Gut Learning Center, visit herringgut.org.

Acadia Harvest Inc., Brunswick, Maine

Acadia Harvest was formed in early 2011 as RAS Corporation. Acadia Harvest (AHI) is working at the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin, Maine, to develop new technologies in land-based, indoor sustainable fish farming, known as recirculating aquaculture systems. Principals Chris Heinig (CEO), Tap Pryor (chief scientist) and Ed Robinson (chairman) have been growing and test marketing high-quality, nutritious, affordable fish, both California yellowtail and black sea bass. By 2016, they anticipate having their first commercial-scale production facility in Maine to initially produce 250 to 450 metric tons of fish annually. With a SBIR Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation, the company has experimented with marine worms and various forms of algae in the recirculating aquaculture system to achieve an environmentally friendly “zero-waste” facility. AHI has a purchase option on a parcel of land in Gouldsboro, on the site of a former naval facility at Corea. The construction of a first-phase production facility would involve a multi-million dollar investment and the creation of 10–15 new jobs for the area.

University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, Franklin, Maine

UMaine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, directed by Nick Brown, is a business incubation facility and a center for applied aquaculture research, development and demonstration. CCAR is assisting Acadia Harvest in its development of recirculating aquaculture technology by providing sophisticated aquaculture business incubation facilities, recirculation technology and marine research expertise. CCAR also will provide juvenile fish from its state-of-the-art hatchery for Acadia Harvest.

For more information about UMaine’s CCAR, visit www.ccar.um.maine.edu/index.html.

Port Clyde Fresh Catch: A Maine Fishermen’s Cooperative, Port Clyde, Maine

Port Clyde Fresh Catch is the country’s first community-supported fishery. It’s part of a movement seeking to do for small-scale local fishermen what community-supported agriculture does for farmers. On Feb. 6, Glen Libby and the Port Clyde team will process the California yellowtail grown by Acadia Harvest.

For more information about Port Clyde Fresh Catch, visit portclydefreshcatch.com.

Both Maine Technology Institute and Coastal Enterprises, Inc. have provided funding that has been instrumental in Acadia Harvest’s development of indoor fish farming technology.

Maine Technology Institute (MTI), Brunswick, Maine

The Maine Technology Institute is a private nonprofit organization chartered by the state to “invest in innovation” in seven key sectors. MTI funds entrepreneurs, growing businesses and research institutions engaged in research and development of innovative technologies in Aquaculture & Marine, Agriculture & Forestry, Biotechnology, Precision Manufacturing, Advanced Composites, Information Technology and Environmental Technology. In addition to a competitive grant and loan program, MTI also makes equity investments in promising technologies. Since its founding in 1999, MTI has invested more than $178 million in the Maine economy, bringing in more than $250 million of additional investment to Maine, and creating high-quality jobs and long-term value for the state.

For more information about MTI, visit mainetechnology.org.

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), Wiscasset, Maine

CEI, a 501(c)(3) private, nonprofit Community Development Corporation (CDC) and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), is among the leading rural finance entities in the Northeast. Founded in 1977, and headquartered in Maine, CEI has provided $1.05 billion in loans and investments, and business and housing counseling services to more than 43,082 people, helping to create economically and environmentally healthy communities in New England, upstate New York, and throughout rural America.

For more information about CEI, visit ceimaine.org.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

Innovate for Maine Internship Program Accepting Applications

The University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation is seeking motivated, innovative Maine college students and Maine companies that want to make a difference for the state through the Blackstone Accelerates Growth (BxG) Innovate for Maine Fellows program, supported by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.

The BxG Innovate for Maine Fellows program connects the best and brightest Maine college students with the state’s most exciting, growing companies as a way to grow and create jobs in Maine through innovation and entrepreneurship. The program, which is now accepting applications, offers paid internships that place students with companies to receive training in innovation and entrepreneurship, and real-world job experience. Other benefits include potential academic credit and networking opportunities with Maine businesses and other students.

Applications are also available for Maine companies looking for summer interns. Trained innovation experts guide and mentor both the student and the company for the duration of the project.

The application deadline for both fellows and companies is March 1, 2014. More information and applications for the Innovate for Maine program are online.

Steneck: Understanding Species Interactions Key to Fisheries Management

University of Maine marine scientist Bob Steneck participated in a Florida State University-led study that recommends a paradigm shift for fisheries science and management.

The study spearheaded by FSU biology professor Joe Travis advocates that fisheries experts and managers consider how overfishing and environmental changes disrupt species interactions and alter ecosystems, including pushing some ecosystems past their tipping points.

“In order to succeed, fisheries management must focus on species interactions,” says Steneck, a professor based at UMaine’s Darling Marine Center in Walpole.

Historically, Steneck says, fisheries science has focused on population dynamics, sustainable yields and influences of biological and oceanographic processes on fisheries.

“By incorporating a more ecological approach, we argue that managers can better understand the dynamics of a fishery, and which species interactions, if affected, can push the ecosystems that house a fishery past its tipping point,” he says.

The loss of one major species from an ecosystem can have severe and unintended consequences because of the connections between that species and others in the system. These changes often occur rapidly and unexpectedly and are difficult to reverse, say the researchers.

“You don’t realize how interdependent species are until it all unravels,” says study co-author Felicia Coleman, director of Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory.

One case study looks at the collapse of sardine and anchovy stocks — partially as a result of overfishing — in the 1970s in the Northern Benguela ecosystem off Namibia. Subsequently, the far less calorie-rich bearded goby and jellyfish flourished. African penguins and gannets that had preyed on energy-rich sardines and anchovies, have suffered, say the researchers. African penguins and gannets have declined by 77 percent and 94 percent, respectively.

In addition, Cape hake and deep-water hake production plummeted from 725,000 metric tons in 1972 to 110,000 metric tons in 1990, say the researchers, and the population of Cape fur seals has dramatically fluctuated.

In Europe, Steneck points to the Atlantic cod stock’s seeming inability to rebound from overfishing. Currently, the cod’s former prey, a small fish called sprat, has become hyperabundant to the point that it preys on larval cod.

Closer to home, the decimation of cod and other large predatory species also resulted in a proliferation of sea urchins. In the late 1980s, a sea urchin fishery subsequently developed and boomed, but by the mid- to late-1990s, overfishing had decimated that industry.

With sea urchin stocks depleted, the macroalgae eaten by sea urchins increased substantially. This, in turn, created an ideal habitat for crabs, which are major predators of sea urchins.

In the same ecosystem, Steneck says declines in soft-shell clams are due to an explosion of non-native green crabs. “All of these examples result from strong ecological interactions that are not captured in most fisheries management models,” he says.

While it’s easy to write off one such case study, Travis says taken all together, the paper is a compelling case that “tipping points are real, we’ve crossed them in many ecosystems, and we’ll cross more of them unless we can get this problem under control.”

Steneck agrees. “Our paper provides case studies from all over the world illustrating how a chain of events taken with an appreciation for species interactions can contribute to complex problems in fisheries management,” he says.

The study, titled “Integrating the invisible fabric of nature into fisheries management,” was published in the Dec. 23, 2013 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Travis and Coleman say they hope the research accelerates changes in how fisheries scientists approach ecosystem problems and how fisheries managers integrate system issues into their efforts.

The researchers recommend that more effort be devoted to understanding links between species that set up tipping points in ecosystems and they advised managers be cognizant of data that indicates when a system could be approaching its tipping point.

“It’s a lot easier to back up to avoid a tipping point before you get to it than it is to find a way to return once you’ve crossed it,” Travis says.

Fishing experts generally understand how overfishing affects other species and the ecosystem as a whole but it “needs to be a bigger part of the conversation and turned into action,” Coleman says.

Seven other scientists from the University of Connecticut, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Santa Cruz, University of Chicago, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Centre de Recherche Halieutique Méditerranéenne et Tropicale in France participated in the study.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

2014 Camden Conference, UMaine Course to Focus on Global Politics of Food, Water

“The Global Politics of Food and Water” will be the theme of the 2014 Camden Conference and accompanying course offered by the University of Maine’s Division of Lifelong Learning.

The 27th annual Camden Conference will take place Feb. 21–23 in Camden and will also be part of a three-credit UMaine course with classes on Saturday, Jan. 25, March 22 and April 12.

The conference and course will explore water and food security topics from many perspectives around the world as they relate to human life, global climate change and relationships between countries.

The course will be taught by UMaine faculty G. Paul Holman, Libra Professor of International Affairs; Timothy Cole, an associate professor of political science and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Capt. James Settele, director of the School of Policy and International Affairs. Guest lecturers will also be featured.

To receive credit, students in the course must attend all three sessions and the three-day conference in Camden or at satellite broadcast venues at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast or the Strand Theatre in Rockland.

Frederick Kirschenmann, a distinguished fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and president of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., will be the conference’s keynote speaker. Andreas Merkl, president and CEO of Ocean Conservancy, will be the featured speaker.

The Camden Conference was founded in 1987 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization that aims to foster education and discussion on world issues.

More information about the 2014 Camden Conference is available online. More information about the accompanying UMaine course is available by calling Marlene Charron at 207.581.4095 or visiting the Division of Lifelong Learning’s website.

UMaine, Department of Education Launch Autism Resource, Research Institute

The University of Maine’s College of Education and Human Development has partnered with the Maine Department of Education to create a statewide system of supports for Mainers who serve children with autism and their families. The Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) will open Jan. 1, 2014 on the UMaine campus. Deborah Rooks-Ellis, an assistant professor of special education at UMaine, will be the institute’s full-time director. She will oversee the institute’s efforts to increase statewide capacity to improve outcomes for children with autism. The full DOE news release on the collaboration is available online.

Researching undergrads

Six students from the University of Maine’s College of Engineering have been awarded Center for Undergraduate Research Fellowships for 2012-13.

The fellowships were developed to enhance and increase undergraduate student involvement in faculty-supervised research, and are supported through a PRE-VUE grant awarded by the University of Maine’s President’s Office. Each fellowship provides a $1,000 award for the student, and up to $1,000 in more funding, if needed, to cover costs associated with the project.

The students’ research areas involve a variety of engineering topics — from studying extreme rainfall and climate change to optimizing power conversion for wave energy converter systems.

Michelle Beauchemin
Graphene potential: A sophomore in engineering physics with a concentration in electrical and computer engineering, Beauchemin is researching a graphene-based electrochemical sensor. Her research focuses on graphene’s electrical characterization and its potential for use in single-molecule sensors. Graphene is a single-layer graphite — a hexagonal lattice of carbon atoms — and has properties of high conductivity and strength that give it potential in the area of electronics. Beauchemin has produced graphene, and hopes to identify it optically and electrically. She plans to test its possibility as a sensor for nanopore DNA encoding research by her adviser, electrical and computer engineering professor Rosemary Smith.

Building skills: Beauchemin says the fellowship has given her the opportunity to work in a lab with faculty she admires, and has helped strengthen her research and laboratory skills. “I work in the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology (LASST) in Barrows, and there is a lot of intimidating equipment there, but Dr. Smith has been there to answer all my questions and assist me when needed,” Beauchemin says. “There are times at which I feel less experienced than the graduate students I work with, but I feel lucky to begin building my skills as an undergrad, so when I go to grad school, I will be well-prepared for research.”

Engineering Expo: Beauchemin, from Saco, Maine, cites UMaine’s annual Engineering Expo in Gorham and Orono as the springboards for deciding to study engineering at UMaine. “It is a great display of the diversity of programs at the school and is a great way to get children interested in science and engineering,” she says. “I have always loved math and science, and engineering is a great way to apply my interests.”

Future plans: Graduate school for electrical engineering is in sight for Beauchemin, who is interested in solid state physics and semiconductors. She hopes to work in the field of semiconductors.

Michael Dandy
Extreme rainfall: A sophomore in civil and environmental engineering, Dandy is working on climate change adaptation for his research project, “Extreme Rainfall in a Changing Climate: Developing New Methodologies to Inform Infrastructure Design.” He is analyzing past extreme precipitation and hurricane data for the East Coast, and is writing computer programs to help predict future extreme flood events to inform better infrastructure design. ~

Challenging himself: The Los Angeles, Calif., native chose engineering because he has always excelled at math and likes a challenge. “I enjoy challenging myself with course material that interests me,” says Dandy, noting that he chose UMaine for its reputation as an engineering school.

Pursuing research: Dandy says the fellowship gives him the opportunity to pursue research in the field that he finds most interesting. “It is very interesting to observe the entire process involved, and see everyone’s input toward a project,” says Dandy, who works with civil and environmental engineering professor Shaleen Jain. Dandy has presented his research at the National Council for Undergraduate Research Conference in LaCrosse, Wis., and published a research article.

Graduate school: Dandy plans to study water resource engineering or hydrology in graduate school.

Kyle Nolan
Genetic sequencing: A sophomore in electrical and computer engineering and a student in the Honors College, Nolan has been working on a nanopore gene sequencing project in the Microinstruments and Systems Laboratory. “Our objective is to translocate single-stranded DNA through a nanopore and electrically identify individual nucleotides as they pass through,” Nolan says. “If we could fine-tune the process well enough, it has potential to replace traditional methods of genetic sequencing, as it is a faster and cheaper alternative to current commercial approaches.” Nolan says the bulk of his research has been in “optimizing the recipe we use to make the carbon nanoelectrodes for our electrical measurements.”

Invaluable asset: Nolan, from Camden, Maine, says he did not imagine that he would have this kind of opportunity to do research as an undergraduate. “I was excited to earn a lab position here at the university, pleased with the cutting-edge facilities and meaningful projects, and thrilled to subsequently receive a research fellowship,” he says. “It has been an invaluable asset to my research, and I greatly appreciate the opportunity.” He says research has been “an enjoyable, meaningful way to work during the summer and supplement coursework during the academic year.”

Combining strengths: When deciding where to attend college, Nolan knew he wanted a school with a solid curriculum and scholarship opportunities. “With UMaine’s renowned engineering program, merit scholarships and research positions, it offers a great balance between quality education, professional opportunity and affordability,” Nolan says. He views engineering as a chance to learn interesting, dynamic material while combining his strengths. “It is a discipline where I can combine my natural creativity with my knack for science and mathematics, and the way engineering continues to be shaped by — and to evolve with — the modern world, ensures that it stays relevant and integral to our society,” he says.

Role models: Nolan says his research would not have been possible without the guidance of Institute for Molecular Biophysics research engineer Justin Millis and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Rosemary Smith. “Justin has shown me the ropes in the clean room and consistently provided great project advice,” Nolan says. “Rosemary always manages to find the time and the patience, despite her busy schedule, to sit down with me and explain the answers to all of my questions.”

Continuing education: Nolan says he plans to attend graduate school after completing his undergraduate studies. “I strive to become the best engineer I can be, and after graduate school will probably look to move into industry,” he says. Nolan says he is interested by both the electrical and computer aspects of his major, but sees himself leaning toward computer engineering.

Anthony Nuzzo
Power conversion: A senior in electrical engineering, Nuzzo is working on optimizing power conversion for wave energy converter (WEC) systems. He has been designing printed circuit boards that will be used with a mechanical prototype WEC designed by the Mechanical Engineering Department. Nuzzo’s work, which involves converting DC power to AC power using an inverter he designed, will help convert power produced by WEC, as well as control it to optimize system performance. The research is an example of multiple departments at UMaine working together to find new methods for harnessing renewable energy resources, Nuzzo says.

Practical experience: The fellowship has helped Nuzzo gain practical experience in the power electronics field. The Litchfield, Maine, native says, through the fellowship, he has developed significant skills in printed circuit board design that are essential for his engineering work.

Early fascination: Nuzzo says he chose to study engineering because he has always been interested in building. “I’ve known since I was young that I wanted to study electrical engineering because it would allow me to understand how all my toys — that I took apart — worked,” Nuzzo says. He has since become interested in renewable energy and he sees electrical engineering as a key to innovation in that area. He chose to study at UMaine because of its “well-regarded engineering program and its financial benefits for Maine residents.”

Difficult but rewarding: Nuzzo, who has been working with electrical and computer engineering professor Nathan Weise, says research as an undergraduate is a fun, different type of work than what you do in the classroom. “Working on research between classes can be difficult but also rewarding,” Nuzzo says. “I enjoyed working closely with my professor and learning the tricks of the trade rather than working problems from a book.”

Working in the field: After graduation, Nuzzo says he will be working full time at Pika Energy, a start-up company in Gorham, Maine, where he interned last summer and learned about inverter design.

Bipush Osti
Improving usability: Osti, a junior in computer engineering from Kathmandu, Nepal, is researching alternative ways to interact with visualizations walls. Visualization walls are made up of many monitors that act as a single monitor and are usually used to display scientific data. Osti’s research mainly involves using Microsoft’s Kinect to find alternative input devices in place of a mouse or keyboard. “Since the total screen size of visualization walls is big, using a keyboard or mouse would mean that the user would have to stay close to the screen and would not be able to see much because of the size of the wall,” Osti says. “This creates a need for a different kind of input device that allows users to easily navigate the huge screen as would a mouse in a single-monitor screen.” Osti says the plan is to build a wireless device for users to navigate the walls.

Solving problems: Osti says he has long been interested in computer programming and creating things to solve problems. He transferred to UMaine from a Tennessee school during his first year because of the College of Engineering’s well-known academic programs. “I felt that I would get more opportunities and greater exposure here,” Osti says.

Valuable experience: Osti, who has been working with electrical and computer engineering professor Bruce Segee, says the fellowship has allowed him to learn a lot beyond the classroom through research as an undergraduate.

Implementing knowledge: Osti is undecided about his plans after graduation. “I would love to work on something interdisciplinary that requires implementing my knowledge of engineering in a different field like medicine or chemistry,” he says.

Carolyn Pugliano
Detecting explosives: A junior in electrical engineering from Nashua, N.H., Pugliano is researching the optimization of a lateral field excited (LFE) sensor that she hopes will be able to detect peroxide-based explosives. “An LFE sensor is basically a wafer of AT-cut quartz crystal with electrodes deposited on one side, leaving the other side of the crystal bare,” she says. “The electrodes excite the crystal’s transverse shear mode with an electric field. Using equipment like a network analyzer, the crystal’s response can be measured. The response can be affected by the environment, such as gases and liquids that come in contact with the bare surface. This indicates that the LFE device may be sensitive enough to detect the gases emitted by dangerous chemicals.” Pugliano also is working to find a new method for measuring the LFE device’s response.

Strength to persevere: “The fellowship means that other people believe in me and my research, which is encouraging,” she says. “While research can be exciting, it can also be frustrating. When I am frustrated, I remember that there are other people who have faith in me, and it gives me strength to persevere.”

No place like UMaine: The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is what drew Pugliano. “I visited several places and none of them really compared to UMaine,” she says. “UMaine has a lot of great opportunities, a beautiful campus and an impressive College of Engineering.”

Real-world applications: Pugliano chose engineering because it’s a challenging yet rewarding field that gives her the opportunity to solve real problems and improve the lives of others. “Also, I can’t say no to those big engineering paychecks,” she says, adding that undergraduate research “isn’t just about getting paid, it’s about applying knowledge from the classroom to real-world problems.”

Helping hand: Pugliano has been working closely with her adviser, electrical and computer engineering professor John Vetelino. “I started doing research for him in summer 2012 in the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) program,” she says. “Dr. Vetelino has been a wonderful adviser and has given me many opportunities.”

Teaching others: After graduation, Pugliano plans to gain experience by working with companies before returning to school to obtain her doctorate in electrical engineering. Her long-term goal is to become a professor.

UMaine Researcher Strives for Effective Innovative STEM Initiatives

A University of Maine researcher is participating in five projects aimed at improving nationwide science instruction and assessments.

Michelle Smith, assistant professor in UMaine’s School of Biology and Ecology, is the principal investigator on four projects and co-principal investigator on another granted $6.8 million in total funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF); UMaine’s portion is $1,012,269.

The projects, three of which are collaborative with other universities, involve UMaine administrators, faculty, postdoctoral and graduate students, undergraduates and area K-12 teachers. “All of these stakeholders … will contribute to national initiatives to improve science education,” says Smith, a member of the Maine Center for Research in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education (Maine RiSE Center).

In August, Smith was returning from a reunion with family members when she learned about the possible funding. “We stopped for lunch and I looked down at my phone and realized my inbox was full of messages from the NSF requesting that I provide them with more information on four different grants within 48 hours,” she says. “I told my family they had to eat ‘right now’ because we had to get home.”

Susan McKay, UMaine professor of physics and director of the Maine RiSE Center, as well as Smith and several other colleagues, will receive $299,998 to transform K-12 STEM education by restructuring teaching methods courses to align with national standards. They’ll also work to attract and retain STEM majors in college as educators and form partnerships with area school districts.

Researchers say the project could make a difference in Maine, where more than 50 percent of students in more than half the school districts are eligible for free or reduced lunch and the resource-based economy could benefit from more technology jobs.

Smith and colleagues MacKenzie Stetzer, Susan McKay and Jeff St. John will receive $249,851 to establish a UMaine program to broaden use of evidence-based teaching and learner-centered practices in STEM courses. UMaine faculty and area K-12 teachers will observe and document instruction in university STEM courses. Their data will be used to develop workshops targeting faculty members’ needs and implement innovative teaching practices.

Smith will receive $219,966 of a $528,459 collaborative project to develop assessments called Bio-MAPS (Biology-Measuring Achievement and Progression in Science) that gauge whether undergraduate college biology students understand core concepts. The University of Washington and University of Colorado-Boulder are partners in the endeavor “to articulate common learning goals and monitor longitudinal student learning in biology.”

The assessments will identify areas in biology in which students struggle. They’ll also help two-year community colleges evaluate how effectively they’re preparing students to transfer to four-year institutions. Assessment data will inform faculty about where changes need to be made in the biology curriculum.

Smith will also receive $187,968 to expand a national network for open-ended assessments called Automated Assessment of Constructed Response (AACR) in which computer software programs analyze answers of students in large-enrollment science courses. The assessments provide more insight into student thinking on common conceptual difficulties than multiple-choice questions.

Michigan State, the University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of Georgia, and Stony Brook University, are also participating in the $5 million project, in which researchers will create a community Web portal to improve alliances among STEM education researchers and promote nationwide implementation of innovative instruction materials.

Smith will receive $54,486 of a $718,000 collaborative award with four other universities to build a national network of Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) that provide professional development opportunities so more faculty can use constructed response assessments to reform teaching in biology. UMaine faculty members Seanna Annis, Farahad Dastoor and Brian Olsen will work with Smith to develop the UMaine FLC.

The project seeks to provide insight into factors that facilitate or hamper faculty using modified teaching materials and practices. It also lays the foundation for a national network of FLCs and subject-based virtual communities with access to real-time automated analysis of AACR assessment items, faculty-developed teaching resources and support.

Smith, who says she chose a faculty position at UMaine in order to work with fantastic researchers and supportive peers, appreciates that her colleagues helped her think about research questions and mentored her during the grant-writing process.

She’s also grateful for the contributions of K-12 teachers. “The pilot data the K-12 teachers collected about university-level STEM instruction was featured in the grant to broaden use of evidence-based teaching and learner-centered practices in STEM courses,” Smith says. “That grant earned the highest scores of any I submitted. My colleagues and I are incredibly lucky to work with such a talented group of teachers who are also excellent researchers.”

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

 

Maine Development Foundation, UMaine Issue Report on Personal Income in Maine

On Oct. 17, the Maine Development Foundation and the University of Maine’s School of Economics and Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center released the second quarterly report analyzing critical economic indicators in Maine. The latest report looks at Maine’s relatively low per capita personal income. The first report, released in August, addressed Maine’s comparatively low level of worker productivity. Ann Acheson, a research associate at the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, wrote the new report that analyzes the relative contribution of the three sources of personal income — earned income, investment income and transfer payment income — in Maine and in comparison to the national average. The Maine Development Foundation news release and the full report are online.

 


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