The Times of London interviewed Len Kaye, director of the University of Maine Center on Aging and professor in the UMaine School of Social Work, for an article about healthy aging for men. Kaye and Edward H. Thompson Jr., a professor emeritus of sociology and former director of the women and gender studies program at the College of the Holy Cross, co-wrote “A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging: Stay Smart, Strong, and Active.” The book discusses issues related to the mind and body in relation to aging and presents the latest medical and psychological advice on actions men can take to stay healthy. Kaye said aging men are more likely to enjoy life if they’re in the best possible health.
The Bangor Daily News published the sixth article in a yearlong series by Sandra Butler, a professor of social work at the University of Maine, and Luisa Deprez, a professor and department chair of sociology and women and gender studies at the University of Southern Maine. “First a parent, then a scholar: How this Maine woman finally completed college,” is the pair’s latest column to share stories of Mainers struggling in today’s economy. The article focuses on UMaine graduate student Elizabeth “Liz” Franck.
Mainebiz published a Q&A with Carrie Enos, the University of Maine Pulp & Paper Foundation’s new president. In January, Enos formally took over leadership from Jack Healy, who is retiring in the spring. Enos graduated from UMaine in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and has worked in the paper industry since 1997. She said she sees the appointment as her opportunity to give back to the foundation and industry.
WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) interviewed Jenny Shrum, a Ph.D. candidate in the ecology and environmental sciences graduate program in the University of Maine School of Biology and Ecology. Shrum is researching the biophysical relationships between weather and sap flow. Her goal is to better understand what drives flow and how expected trends in climate may affect the processes and harvesters in the future. Shrum showed the reporters two of her research sites where she is tapping and has set up weather stations. The Weekly also carried a report on Shrum’s research.
A Portland Press Herald article about proposed waterfront concert venues in South Portland and Westbrook cites a study by Todd Gabe, an economics professor at the University of Maine. Gabe’s study found Bangor’s Waterfront Concerts have generated more than $30 million in local spending in the first three years of the series.
A Maine Public Broadcasting Network report titled “Bill to protect Maine lakes sparks disagreement,” cited information from former University of Maine graduate student Ian McCullough’s study on water clarity in Maine lakes. The study found the clarity in Maine’s lakes has declined since 1995.
Marc Cryer, director of the University of Maine’s Bureau of Labor Education, was quoted in a Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting article titled “Tax ‘game’ allows some towns to protect their state at expense of other towns.” The report states every year the state shares money it collects in taxes with Maine’s schools and municipalities. The state determines which communities get how much by a formula that includes the size of the town and the total value of its real estate. According to the article, an exception that lets some richer municipalities and school districts look poorer to get more money is tax increment financing, or TIF. Cryer said he’s not aware of any data that shows TIFs improve local economies or increase jobs in Maine. The article also cited a 2000 report by the state’s Economic Development Incentive Commission that quoted UMaine economist Todd Gabe who found “there is not a statistically significant relationship between employment growth and an establishment’s participation in the TIF program, all other things being equal.” The Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald also carried the report.
The Penobscot Bay Pilot reported on a handheld device developed by University of Maine researchers to quickly detect disease-causing and toxin-producing pathogens such as algal species that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. The device — called a colorimeter — could be instrumental in monitoring coastal water in real-time, thereby preventing human deaths and beach closures. Janice Duy, a recent graduate of UMaine’s Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering led the research team that included UMaine professors Rosemary Smith, Scott Collins and Laurie Connell.
University of Maine researchers are studying the most efficient way to commercially thin regenerating clearcuts from the spruce budworm outbreak of the 1980s that are starting to reach profitable size throughout northern Maine. With no consensus among foresters and those in the logging industry about how best to thin stands, the researchers are investigating commercial thinning treatments that are silviculturally effective.
Jeffrey Benjamin, associate professor of forest operations, and Robert Seymour, the Curtis Hutchins Professor of Forest Resources, teamed with Emily Meacham, now with American Forest Management, and Jeremy Wilson, executive director of the Harris Center for Conservation Education, to compare thinning methods.
In the team’s recent study, they compared two whole-tree and two cut-to-length systems in terms of residual stem damage, retention of downed woody material, product utilization and production cost. While initial results were mixed in terms of residual stand damage, more than four times more biomass was produced from the whole-tree operations. The study also found commercially available equipment can conduct these treatments with skilled operators, but at a high production cost. The best system silviculturally was also the most expensive.
The researchers say efforts to develop cost-efficient harvesting machines to treat the stands should continue. No matter what technological advances are made, logging contractors carry the biggest responsibility for success because they need to balance residual stem damage and crop tree selection with production costs, according to the researchers.
Details of the study were published in the December 2013 issue of the Society of American Foresters’ Northern Journal of Applied Forestry.
WVII (Channel 7) spoke with Laurie Connell, a research professor in the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences, about a handheld device she helped develop to quickly detect disease-causing and toxin-producing pathogens such as algal species that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. Connell said the device — called a colorimeter — could be used by government agencies for water sampling. The device could be instrumental in monitoring coastal water in real-time, thereby preventing human deaths and beach closures. Phys.org also carried a report about the device.