The University of Maine was named one of the 2014 Top Campuses Worth Traveling For by FlipKey.com, the vacation rental company of travel site TripAdvisor.
The company used industry research and traveler feedback to compile the list of the country’s 50 must-see colleges and universities known for attractions, architecture, history and beautiful campuses.
UMaine was included on the list, specifically for the campus plan that was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed the grounds of New York City’s Central Park and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Other universities that made the list include Notre Dame, John Hopkins University, MIT, Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Duke University and Cornell University.
The University of Maine is one of the 379 higher education institutions nationwide — and the only public university in Maine — to be profiled in the 2015 Princeton Review guide to best colleges. The top ranking follows UMaine’s inclusion earlier this year in the “Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015″ and Princeton Review’s “Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition.”
UMaine’s appearance in “The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition” marks the ninth consecutive year of recognition by Princeton Review, as well as Fiske. This is the fifth consecutive year that UMaine has been named a green college by Princeton Review for exemplary commitment to sustainability in academics, campus infrastructure and programming, with a score of 98 out of 100.
“To be the only public university in Maine to appear in the national best colleges list is a credit to the exceptional efforts of the UMaine community,” says University of Maine President Susan Hunter. “The consecutive national citations are testament to the student experience UMaine provides in its role as the state’s flagship university. The University of Maine is an outstanding choice for students seeking to pursue their academic and personal goals at a comprehensive higher education institution with a focus on undergraduate research and community engagement.”
Only about 15 percent of the 2,500 four-year colleges in the United States are profiled in the latest edition, according to Princeton Review, a test preparation and college admission services company. The profiles include ratings based on institutional data in eight categories, such as quality of campus life, academics, financial aid, admissions selectivity, and green sustainability.
UMaine students surveyed for the Princeton Review rankings reflected on academics and campus life. “The overall consensus is that ‘UMaine has challenging courses that push students to reach their potential,’” according to profile. “Many students say they chose UMaine for its balance of ‘the friendly, small feeling while still at a state university,’ and Maine residents cite the ‘financially feasible’ in-state tuition, combined with the fact that ‘it’s close to home but far enough away and large enough to feel different and exciting.’”
Students also told Princeton Review that “the faculty and administrators take an active interest in the students” and “education is top priority.”
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
A $20 million National Science Foundation EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) grant will establish a Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network (SEANET) program in Maine.
Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine will use the grant to mobilize the collective capacity of Maine’s coastal science resources to establish SEANET, a research network focused on sustainable ecological aquaculture. SEANET will take a multi-institutional, transdisciplinary research approach to gain a comprehensive understanding of how sustainable ecological aquaculture can interact with coastal communities and ecosystems.
This multi-institutional, public-private partnership led by UMaine, in collaboration with the University of New England and other institutions in Maine, will use the state’s 3,500-mile coastline as a living laboratory to study physical oceanography, biophysical, biogeochemical, socioeconomic and policy interactions that have local, bioregional, national and global implications.
Maine has multiple institutions with world-class expertise in marine sciences, engineering, climate change and social sciences. The SEANET research partners will initially include UMaine, UNE, University of Southern Maine, University of Maine at Machias, Bowdoin College, Maine Maritime Academy, St. Joseph’s College, Southern Maine Community College, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and the Cobscook Community Learning Center. In addition, dozens of other partners and stakeholder groups will collaborate on the project’s research, education, workforce development and economic development activities.
The SEANET research program will utilize the field of sustainability science to understand the social and environmental connections, and feedback loops among sustainable ecological aquaculture and coastal communities and coastal ecosystems.
“This research project will use various types of science to understand how aquaculture fits in our multi-use working waterfront, while building partnerships and training students, so that we can use similar approaches to other coastal resource management issues in the future.” said Paul Anderson, director of SEANET at the University of Maine.
“I am delighted that the National Science Foundation selected Maine EPSCoR for this Research Infrastructure Improvement grant,” said Sen. Susan Collins. “Through tourism, commercial fishing, and sea farming, 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 and its partners at other research and education institutions in the state as they seek to find new ways to support the cultural and economic traditions of Maine’s working waterfronts and assist local governments in making informed decisions regarding coastal usage.”
“This award is great news for the university, its partners, and indeed, the entire state of Maine,” said Sen. Angus King. “This important funding will help establish a new and innovative network of experts who will work together to advance our understanding of Maine’s working waterfronts, which are a vital part of our state’s economy. It will also benefit countless students who will gain valuable research and field experience, making this a win for everyone involved. I look forward to seeing the good work it will support.”
Rep. Mike Michaud said: “This significant investment is wonderful news for the University of Maine, all of those involved with EPSCoR, and the entire state. Maine has established itself as a leader in innovation when it comes to better understanding how we can both support our valuable ecosystems and ensure they are strong drivers of our economy, and I’m excited that this grant will further that work. I know this grant will allow that innovation to continue, and I look forward to following the project.”
“The coast of Maine is not only a big part of our economy but it’s an important part of what makes our state unique,” said Rep. Chellie Pingree. “Our history and our future are wrapped up in our coastline, and this grant is going to help us better understand the risks and opportunities for our coastal economy. It’s a big investment in the university and coastal communities that will pay big dividends in the future.”
University of Maine President Susan Hunter affirmed the project’s importance, saying, “This NSF grant recognizes the leadership and contribution of University of Maine scholars and students who aim to support coastal ecosystems, economies, and communities by promoting sustainable policies and practices in Maine.”
University of New England President Danielle Ripich said, “UNE is committed to building research and programs to support the marine economy of Maine. This public-private partnership brings two great institutions together to improve our coastal enterprises. Together with all the partners, we can do good things for Maine.”
EPSCoR is a federal program directed at states that have historically received less federal research and development funding. The program provides states with financial support to develop partnerships between their higher education institutions, industry, government, and others in order to effect lasting improvements in its research and development infrastructure, capacity, and national academic competitiveness. Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine is responsible for administering and implementing the NSF EPSCoR program for the state.
The National Science Foundation release is online.
More information about Maine EPSCoR is online.
Contact: Andrea Littlefield, 207.581.2289
The University of Maine recognized 2,130 students for achieving Dean’s List honors in the spring 2014 semester. Of the students who made the Deans List, 1,730 are from Maine, 338 are from 30 other states and 62 are from 24 countries other than the U.S.
Listed below are students who received Dean’s List honors for spring 2014, completing 12 or more credit hours in the semester and earning a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Also available is a breakdown of the Dean’s List by Maine counties.
Twenty-nine college students are participating in the 2014 Maine Government Summer Internship Program administered by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine.
The full-time, 12-week paid work experience program offers a unique opportunity for talented college students to work within Maine state government. The program provides valuable assistance to state agencies and affords students the chance to gain practical skills in their fields of study. This year, the program expanded to include internships in Maine municipal government.
In 1967, the 103rd Maine Legislature established the Maine Government Summer Internship Program to attract and select college students with ambition and talent for temporary internships within Maine state government. A total of 1,685 students have participated since its inception. This year, 107 students applied for 29 agency positions. Undergraduate and graduate students who reside in Maine or attend a Maine school are eligible.
The 2014 interns are:
Robert Figora of West Gardiner, Maine, a student at the University of Maine at Augusta, is assistant to city manager at the City Manager’s Office in Ellsworth;
Sean McCarthy of Winslow, Maine, a student at the University of Maine at Augusta, is an engineering plans archiving assistant with the Property Management Division of the Bureau of General Services at the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services;
Amanda Findlay of Manchester, Maine, a student at Colby College, is a juvenile justice advisory group assistant with the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group at the Maine Department of Corrections;
Casey Weed of Gorham, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is a public relations assistant with the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management, at the Maine Emergency Management Agency;
Tyler Oversmith of Hampden, Maine, a student at Maine Maritime Academy, is an energy and real property data management intern with the Military Bureau at the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management;
Chelsea Dean of Seabrook, New Hampshire, a student at the University of Maine, is a civil engineering intern with the Dam Safety Program in the Maine Emergency Management Agency Operations and Response Division at the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management;
Mary Taylor of Readfield, Maine, a student a Saint Michael’s College, is a digital learning content intern with Learning through Technology at the Maine Department of Education;
Chris Jones of Litchfield, Maine, a student at Wentworth Institute of Technology, is a digital learning content intern with Learning through Technology at the Maine Department of Education;
Grace Kiffney of Portland, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is a migrant education field and office assistant with the Migrant Education Office at the Maine Department of Education;
Courtney Burne of Topsham, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is a migrant education field and office assistant with the Migrant Education Office at the Maine Department of Education;
Hannah Caswell, of Manchester, Maine, a student at Villanova University, is a stream watershed assessment technician with the Land and Water Environmental Assessment/Watershed Management Unit at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection;
Benjamin McCall of Falmouth, Maine, a student at the University of Maine School of Law, is a legal intern with the Office of the Public Advocate at the Maine Executive Department;
Caroline Bowne of Falmouth, Maine, a student at Skidmore College, is a technical writer with the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, Division of Employer Services at the Maine Department of Labor;
Michael Bailey of Waterville, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is a labor historian with the Bureau of Labor Standards at the Maine Department of Labor;
Nancy Bergerson of Plymouth, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is an intern with the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services-Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Central Office at the Maine Department of Labor;
MacKenzie Riley of Waterville, Maine, a student at St. Thomas University, is a communication assistant with the Office of the Commissioner at the Maine Department of Labor;
Jonathan Whittemore of Limestone, Maine, a student at Husson University, is a technical field writer with the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, Division of Employer Services at the Maine Department of Labor;
Abigail Pratico of Falmouth, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is an assistant to the principal examiner with the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection at the Maine Department of Professional & Financial Regulation;
Christopher Goodwin of Farmington, Maine, a student at the University of Maine at Farmington, is an actuarial assistant with the Bureau of Insurance at the Maine Department of Professional & Financial Regulation;
Sara Poirier of Winslow, Maine, a student at St. Joseph’s College of Maine, is a special projects coordinator with the Board of Licensure in Medicine at the Maine Department of Professional & Financial Regulation;
Brady Frautten of Winthrop, Maine, a student at the University of Tampa, is a Maine Information and Analysis Center intern with the Maine State Police at the Maine Department of Public Safety;
John Horton of Falmouth, Maine, a student at Bowdoin College, is a Maine Information and Analysis Center intern with the Maine State Police at the Maine Department of Public Safety;
Andrea Cashon, of Milford, Maine, a student at Cornell University, is an environment-natural resource field and data assistant with the Environmental Office-Field Services at the Maine Department of Transportation;
Nicholas Abbott of Gardiner, Maine, a student at the University of Maine at Augusta, is a bridge assistant with the Bureau of Maintenance and Operations/Bridges and Structures at the Maine Department of Transportation;
Hannah Ober of Brunswick, Maine, a student at the University of Southern Maine, is a hydrology-water resources intern with the Environmental Office at the Maine Department of Transportation;
Adam Cotton of Biddeford, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is a field assistant with the Bureau of Maintenance and Operations at the Maine Department of Transportation;
Emily Maynard of Portland, Maine, a student at the University of Southern Maine, is a transportation planning intern with the Maine Department of Transportation;
Natalie Edmiston of Gray, Maine, a student at the University of Southern Maine, is an assistant with the Office of Employee Development at the Maine Department of Transportation; and
Cynthia Hunter of Portland, Maine, a student at the University of Maine School of Law, is a legal assistant with the Advocate Division of the Portland Regional Office of the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board.
The role of citizen science in sustainable river herring harvest is the focus of a more than $49,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The co-principal investigators are Theodore Willis and Karen Wilson at the University of Southern Maine, and Karen Hutchins Bieluch, Linda Silka and Laura Lindenfeld at the University of Maine.
Maine is one of only three states currently harvesting river herring. The researchers believe that collaborations between the state, harvesters and citizens who live in the towns where river herring runs occur can play a role in ensuring a sustainable river herring fishery. Additional data is needed to help inform decisions about fishery management and sustainability. One potential solution to collecting more data for future stock assessments is to expand the role of citizen scientists in gathering data on river herring. Citizen science involves members of the public in gathering and sometimes analyzing scientific data about a particular issue of interest. Citizen science not only generates important scientific data, but it also has been shown to be an important educational tool for learning about nature and about the production of science broadly. There are three primary goals of this project:
Xuan Chen, a farm credit assistant professor in the University of Maine’s School of Economics, received a $28,390 Maine Department of Agriculture grant for his proposal, “Determining the Current Cost of Producing Milk in Maine 2013.” The yearlong project aims to accurately determine the costs of producing milk in Maine based on four levels of production as defined by demographic data collected in a mail survey and by milk production records maintained by the Maine Department of Agriculture. About 40 farms will receive on-site visits to collect financial performance data for the year 2013. The information will be summarized and presented to the Maine Milk Commission in written and oral testimony, as well as during state legislative hearings.
Two University of Maine sophomores have been named winners of the George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship for the 2014–15 academic year and will study abroad in Ireland as part of the student exchange program.
George J. Mitchell Scholars Morgan Gustin and Hilary Warner-Evans will each spend a semester at the University College Cork in Ireland. The scholarship honors the 1998 Northern Ireland peace accord brokered by Sen. Mitchell between Ireland and the United Kingdom and is open to full-time undergraduate students in the University of Maine system.
The scholarship allows one student to study for a year in Ireland or two students to study for a semester each with all expenses paid, including airfare. This year — for the second time — both winners are from the Orono campus.
Gustin, an animal sciences major from Merrill, Maine, will study in Ireland during the fall 2014 semester. Warner-Evans, an anthropology major from West Bath, Maine, will make the trip in the spring of 2015. Both students are enrolled in the Honors College.
While in Ireland, Gustin plans to pursue animal science courses from a new perspective, specifically through integrating Ireland’s farming, livestock and agricultural techniques into her learning.
“Studying in Ireland will allow me to broaden my understanding of life in a different culture, expand my horizons within animal sciences, and gain experience that will help me decide whether my goal of living abroad long term is a desirable reality,” Gustin says, adding that she is looking forward to pushing herself out of her comfort zone personally and academically.
In the long term, Gustin aspires to explore a variety of areas within animal science, particularly field research on large animals and management practices within the context of a ranch.
She has worked as a student farm intern at the University of Maine Witter Farm Equine Cooperative and as a tour guide and carriage driver with Carriages of Acadia in Bar Harbor. At Carriages of Acadia she leads narrated historic tours of Acadia National Park and the carriage road system while driving and handling draft horse teams in a variety of situations.
Gustin also is a College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) Level 1 certified tutor for the UMaine Tutor Program and a member of the student leadership group for Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU). She has taken mission trips to Chile and Haiti as a member of CRU, volunteering her time to serve others and raise funds for the expeditions.
“I hope to return with an even deeper insight on how to step into the unknown and rise up to meet the challenges it presents,” Gustin says of her next adventure.
Warner-Evans, who is pursuing a degree in anthropology and aspires to become a folklorist, will study Irish folklore while abroad.
“Folklore is a discipline uniquely suited to celebrating both cultural variation and universality,” she says. “An understanding of it provides insight into both the specific identities of groups and the dynamics between them.”
Since 2012, Warner-Evans has volunteered at the Maine Folklife Center, where she has contributed to the center’s community outreach efforts by conducting research for its Maine Song and Story Sampler webpage. She also volunteers as a UMaine Conversation and Cultural Partner and is a member of Maine Peace Action Committee, the UMaine German Club and the Honors College Student Advisory Board.
“The Mitchell Scholarship will give me an unprecedented opportunity to broaden my understanding of the field of folklore, as it will expose me to a second interpretation of the discipline,” says Warner-Evans, who is currently working on a research project about reactions to the discovery of the North Pond Hermit and how those reactions relate to Maine identity.
Warner-Evans says she is driven by her dream of living in a world where tradition and tolerance are valued equally, and where groups with different views can take pride in their own identities while acknowledging that does not mean they are inherently superior to others.
“The ability to study folklore at University College Cork is an invaluable tool for me to further the implantation of my vision of a more tolerant and empathetic world,” she says.
More about the George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship is online.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
On May 8, the Maine Development Foundation and the University of Maine’s School of Economics released the third quarterly report analyzing critical economic indicators in Maine.
The latest report, “The Fiscal Return on Higher Education in Maine,” looks at the state benefits of greater educational attainment, such as increased tax revenue and reduced social costs. Philip Trostel, a UMaine professor of economics and public policy, wrote the report that determined each bachelor’s degree in Maine generates a benefit to Maine taxpayers of approximately $74,600 in present value over the course of a lifetime.
Mario Teisl, director of the UMaine School of Economics and professor of resource economics and policy, is overseeing the series of reports that further explore the economic indicators in “Measures of Growth in Focus,” an annual report issued by the Maine Economic Growth Council.
The Maine Development Foundation news release and the full report are online.
Sandra De Urioste-Stone, assistant professor of nature-based tourism, and John Daigle, associate professor of forest recreation management, have received a $34,499 grant from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry for the study: “How Well Are We Serving the Outdoor Recreation Public?” The purpose of this study is to investigate perspectives on outdoor recreation preferences and priorities, and perceptions on tourism development to help the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and other outdoor recreation managers to better understand current demand and improve decision-making. An online survey will be used to test conventional wisdom and open up new thinking regarding what the public wants and how they can best be served. In addition, study participants will be asked questions about their attitudes and beliefs about developing sustainable tourism in their communities. Data collected will be used to develop the 2015–20 Maine State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). The plan requires that an analysis of outdoor recreation demand, supply, trends, and ultimately priorities be documented.
The survey population for this study seeks to entice responses from both the general residents of Maine as well as nonresidents who have recreated in Maine and have paid some type of recreation fee for fishing, hunting, camping reservations, etc.
While the data collected on recreational preferences and behaviors will benefit the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, the questions related to sustainable tourism will have new scientific significance. Questions on sustainable tourism will utilize an attempt to revalidate the Sustainable Tourism Attitude Scale, a published psychometric instrument that has not yet been implemented on a statewide scale.