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Bangor Metro Reports on Potato Varieties Developed by UMaine, Maine Potato Board

Bangor Metro reported two new potato varieties — the Easton and the Sebec — that were developed by the University of Maine and the Maine Potato Board over the past several growing seasons will make their debut this year. The varieties are targeted at the french fry and potato chip industries. Kris Burton, director of technology commercialization in the UMaine Department of Industrial Cooperation, said several other varieties are currently being evaluated for release over the next few years through the university’s partnership with the Maine Potato Board. “Working closely with the board allows us to commercialize the best varieties to support the Maine potato industry and further research in the field,” Burton said.

UMaine Cooperative Extension Cited in Press Herald Report on Bond Endorsement

The Portland Press Herald reported Maine lawmakers are taking up a proposal for a $73 million bond package that would target investment in the state’s biotechnology and marine sectors and help the growth of small businesses. The package, called the “small business and innovations jobs bond,” includes a proposal of $8 million to renovate and improve a University of Maine Cooperative Extension lab that assists farmers and foresters and identifies pests, as well as plant and animal diseases.

Ward Quoted in Press Herald Article on End of Maine Patent Program

Jake Ward, the University of Maine’s vice president for innovation and economic development, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for a report about the University of Maine School of Law eliminating the Maine Patent Program, which provides free legal services to inventors and entrepreneurs. Ward was an advocate for the program’s creation 15 years ago, but told the Press Herald the University of Maine School of Law probably wasn’t the best organization to house the program, adding that in tough budget times, organizations must focus on their core constituency, which for the law school doesn’t include inventors and entrepreneurs. Ward said he’s not happy about the cut, but sees it as a potential opportunity for organizations such as the Maine Technology Institute and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development to pick up the program.

UMaine Mentioned in Area Development Online Story on RollEase Innovation Center

The University of Maine was mentioned in an Area Development Online article about RollEase, Inc. opening a new product innovation center at Brunswick Landing in Brunswick. Greg Farr, senior vice president of the company that creates custom window treatments, said the Brunswick facility is “an exciting opportunity to expand our design and development of new products and to be around like-minded businesses at Brunswick Landing, as well as partner with other Maine businesses and the University of Maine.”

Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase April 1

University of Maine undergraduate research will be highlighted during the 5th annual Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday, April 1 at Wells Conference Center.

The event is sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research and is open to any undergraduate at the university. Presentations from 149 students in the form of 77 posters, 21 oral presentations or performances, and nine exhibits will be featured. Several presentations include multiple students.

Students presenting projects that receive the highest scores from judges in each format will receive awards ranging from $100 to $200 in various categories, according to Ali Abedi, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR).

Vice President for Research Carol Kim will deliver opening remarks at 8:30 a.m. Students are encouraged to pose questions for Kim via Twitter using #CUGR2014.

UMaine President Paul Ferguson is expected to give closing remarks during the awards presentation starting at 4:30 p.m., followed by the announcement of the Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowship winners by Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jeff Hecker. Ten students will each be awarded a $3,000 fellowship for their research.

The UMaine community and general public are welcome to attend the free event. For more information or to request disability accommodations, call CUGR, 207.581.3583. More information on the showcase is available online.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

More Than 100 Students to Showcase Work During GradExpo

University of Maine graduate students will showcase their research and artistic works during the Graduate Student Government’s 2014 Graduate Academic Exposition.

More than $8,000 in prizes will be awarded to participants of the GradExpo. The event will be held 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 3–4 in the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center on campus.

The GradExpo will feature four areas of competition — posters, oral presentations, intermedia and fine arts exhibits, and a PechaKucha, or rapid-fire slide show event. About 106 submissions are expected at this year’s event.

The poster and oral presentations will highlight the physical sciences and technology, natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. The intermedia and fine arts exhibits will include art works, projects and performances. The PechaKucha competition, open to students in all academic disciplines, invites participants to share their work in a slide show lasting under seven minutes. Unlike the other presentations, the PechaKucha talks will be judged by the audience rather than faculty reviewers.

Two new awards have been added this year, and will be presented during the awards gala, slated for 6 p.m. Friday, April 4 at the IMRC Center.

The Provost’s Innovative/Creative Teaching Award worth $500, $300 and $150 will be given to graduate students who are lead instructors of a UMaine course and use innovative and creative teaching methods. Eligible candidates will present at the expo. Jeffrey Hecker, UMaine’s executive vice president of academic affairs and provost, will designate judges to select the winners.

The UMaine Alumni Association Alum Award worth $250 will be given to a graduate student who earned their undergraduate degree at the University of Maine. Selected candidates will present their research to Alumni Association staff members who will select the winner.

Other awards will include:

Details of the expo are online. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Robin Arnold, Graduate Student Government vice president, at robin.arnold@umit.maine.edu or 207.581.2398.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

Gabe’s Study Cited in Morning Sentinel Article on Maine Maple Sunday

University of Maine economist Todd Gabe’s study on the maple industry’s financial impact on the state was cited in a Morning Sentinel article about Maine Maple Sunday. According to Gabe’s study, Maine has the third-largest maple syrup industry in the country, and each year, the industry directly contributes about $27.7 million in revenue, 567 full- and part-time jobs and $17.3 million in wages to Maine’s economy.

Humphrey Quoted in BDN Special Section Article on Maine’s Economy, Engineers

University of Maine College of Engineering Dean Dana Humphrey was quoted in the BDN Maine Special Sections article “Home-grown engineers key to Maine’s economy” that appeared in the publication BDN Maine Outlook: Business & Economic Development. Humphrey said he believes the state can decrease “brain drain” by exposing youth to engineering at an early age. “If you don’t have the engineers to design it, you can’t build it, whether it be a bridge or a jet engine,” Humphrey said, adding that engineers are a force multiplier in terms of economic development. An article on research by Beth Fulton, a UMaine Ph.D. student studying food science, was also including in the publication. Fulton is researching ways to use lobster shell waste to create a pigment extract as a green alternative to synthetic versions found in fish food.

Rice Quoted in BDN Article on FAME Loan

Robert Rice, a professor of wood science and technology at the University of Maine, was quoted in the Bangor Daily News article “$25 million FAME loan remains intact despite changes in Millinocket pellet mill plan.” Rice was selected by the Finance Authority of Maine as an independent forest industry analyst to review Cate Street Capital’s plan to build a pellet mill in Millinocket after the company decided to change the project’s technology and scope. Rice said he thinks the new steam-exploded technology will yield a better product that is easier to manufacture than the microwave-based torrefaction process Cate Street originally planned to use. Mainebiz also reported on the BDN article.

UMaine Environmental Horticulture Students Can Now Earn Degree in Turfgrass Science and Management

During their senior year, University of Maine students majoring in environmental horticulture can now earn an associate of science degree in turfgrass science and management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Under a new agreement, qualified students in the Environmental Horticulture Program at the University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture will spend their senior year at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture pursuing a concentration in turfgrass science and management.

In the Stockbridge School program, students study topics that include turfgrass management, pest and weed management, plant nutrients and equipment maintenance to prepare them for careers in turfgrass management with golf courses, athletic facilities, lawn care and park maintenance industries, according to the Stockbridge School of Agriculture website.

UMaine students will be accepted to the Stockbridge School after completing the first three years of their degree and maintaining at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average. Credits earned at the Stockbridge School toward the associate of science degree will also count for the completion of the bachelor’s degree at UMaine.

“Our faculty look forward to offering more diverse academic options to environmental horticulture students through this agreement with the Stockbridge School of Agriculture,” says Stephanie Burnett, UMaine associate professor of horticulture who, along with professor emeritus William Mitchell, spearheaded the agreement. “These students will be highly competitive in the job market with both a bachelor’s degree in environmental horticulture from UMaine and an associate degree in turfgrass management from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture.”

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745


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The University of Maine
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