With thousands of Maine residents and tourists doing summer grilling and picnicking, University of Maine Cooperative Extension food safety expert Jason Bolton is available to discuss food handling and cooking tips to keep food-borne illnesses at bay. Bolton also discusses food safety while camping or hiking in an online video. He can be reached at 207.942.7396.
Many Mainers earn their livelihoods from harvesting bounty — including blueberries and lobsters — from the land and sea.
And Samuel Belknap and Kourtney Collum, the first students to enroll in the University of Maine’s new anthropology and environmental policy doctoral program, want to preserve those storied traditions, as well as the state’s natural resources.
Belknap and Collum say the doctorate program, which focuses on “understanding human society and culture in cross-cultural perspective and their pivotal role in implementing successful environmental policy,” is an ideal fit for their interests.
“It is so applicable and has an interdisciplinary framework,” says Collum. “I can look at issues holistically.”
Collum favors a multifaceted approach. She double-majored in anthropology and environmental studies at Western Michigan University, and earned her master’s in forest resources at UMaine.
Belknap agrees. He earned his undergraduate degree in anthropology and a master’s in Quaternary and climate studies, both from UMaine. “No problem is one-dimensional and no one person can solve everything,” he says.
His doctoral thesis, “Abrupt Climate Change and Maine’s Lobster Industry,” proposes collaboration between lobstermen and policymakers to better protect the state’s iconic industry, especially in the wake of abrupt environmental changes.
Experienced lobstermen possess valuable information, says Belknap. They have knowledge of the industry, concerns about both climate change and fishing regulations, and about how they’ve adapted their behavior in response to both.
Policymakers will be better informed and better positioned to craft policies customized for various situations if they routinely involve lobstermen in the regulatory process, Belknap says.
Belknap, who grew up in Damariscotta, Maine, knows his way around a lobster buoy. He learned to haul traps from his grandfather, a retired physician.
“I grew up lobstering,” Belknap says. “My wife jokes that I’m clumsy because I learned to walk on a boat, not land.”
Belknap worked as dock manager at his family’s lobster pound prior to starting his doctorate and respects lobstering as a way of life.
Abrupt climate change could threaten that way of life for the roughly 5,000 lobstermen in the state, as well as coastal communities in Maine and around the planet, he says.
Last summer, warmer water temperature in the Gulf of Maine contributed to lobsters molting a month or more earlier than usual, which resulted in a glut of crustaceans on the market. And then the price per pound plummeted.
“It’s humbling,” Belknap says of how quickly a temperature fluctuation of 1.5 to 2 degrees caused the drastic ripple effect. Another sudden change in temperature might have the opposite effect on the lobster population, he says.
Belknap doesn’t have to look far in space or time to see examples of that.
In September 1999, huge numbers of lobsters died within a few days in Long Island Sound. It devastated the local industry, which languished for more than a decade. Scientific reports have indicated warmer ocean water was — and remains — a culprit.
And last summer, lobsters in water off New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut were afflicted with a shell disease, with warming ocean water was again cited as a factor.
How policymakers and Maine lobstermen work together to deal with abrupt climate changes could be a model for other fisheries regionally, nationally and globally, says Belknap.
Practical application of knowledge is also important for Collum, whose doctoral dissertation will explore the impact of the declining bee population on wild blueberry growers and the growers’ ability to conserve wild pollinators.
Because many crops rely on insect pollination to produce fruits and vegetables, the global decline of bees – due to pesticides, habitat loss and disease — threatens food security and the livelihood of farmers who produce food.
The lowbush blueberries that grow in Maine are completely dependent on insect — mostly bee — pollination to produce fruit. Without bees, there are no blueberries for Sal — or anyone else.
Commercial honeybees are crucial for the intensive agriculture practiced in the U.S, says Collum. But research suggests, through conservation efforts, native bees can provide a significant amount of pollination without the cost associated with renting commercial hives, she says.
Last year, Maine blueberry growers imported 70,000 commercial honeybees to pollinate about 60,000 acres of wild blueberries, she says. The busy bees trucked to Maine generally start their trek in California, where they pollinate almonds, and make multiple work stops en route.
The cost to blueberry producers to pay for pollination has risen significantly, says Collum, bringing into question whether the practice is financially sustainable.
She’ll therefore explore the ability of farmers to integrate the use of both wild and commercial bees to pollinate crops and increase the yields.
Because Maine has more than 240 bee species — at least 40 of which pollinate blueberries, Collum says it’s a good place for farmers and researchers to collaboratively figure out the best practices to protect, promote and utilize wild, native bees to pollinate crops.
Collum will explore obstacles that growers in Maine and Canada have to increasing their use of wild bees to pollinate lowbush blueberries. She’ll also study what influence government policies and programs have on the way growers manage pollination of crops and how growers can adapt to changing ecological conditions.
Growers of other crops that want to transition to utilizing wild bees, where applicable, could apply the findings, she says.
Collum, who grew up in Monroe, Mich., near the border of Ohio, is used to working in the field and on the trails.
She fell in love with Maine when she was a college intern working on a trail crew at Baxter State Park in Millinocket. As a field coordinator for Rocky Mountain Youth Corps in Colorado, Collum battled the pine beetle infestation. And she worked on an ecotourism project in New Zealand, building trails, battling invasive gorse and planting native trees.
Collum urges people to know where their food comes from, to build relationships with local farmers and to support those doing their best to reduce chemical inputs. She also encourages people do what they can to protect bees, including not using pesticides around their homes and planting bee-friendly gardens.
Collum and Belknap both want to make a positive difference in the state they love and ensure that ensuing generations of lobstermen, farmers and foresters have the opportunity to make livings from the land and sea.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
Creating a garden using only plants native to Maine will take center stage at the University of Maine’s Rogers Farm June 18. The free UMaine Cooperative Extension program begins at 6 p.m. It is the fourth in the summer series Public Nights at the Garden, and will be held rain or shine. Soil preparation, plant selection and best planting practices will be discussed and demonstrated by UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and Kate Garland, UMaine Extension horticulturist, at the Rogers Farm Demonstration Garden, 914 Bennoch Road, Stillwater. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact the UMaine Extension Penobscot County Office, 207.942.7396.
The University of Maine’s 211th Commencement will be held May 11 in Harold Alfond Sports Arena on campus.
Held in two ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the university’s Commencement is one of Maine’s largest graduation events. Live streaming of the ceremonies will be available online (umaine.edu/commencement) for friends and family worldwide. Also on the Commencement website that day will be the names of all graduating students.
This year in keeping with UMaine’s leadership as a nationally recognized “Green campus,” each graduating student attending one of the ceremonies will receive a digital Commencement program on a commemorative 2GB USB flash drive. The full program will contain the names of all degree-earning undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a welcome message from the University of Maine Alumni Association. At the ceremonies, an abbreviated print version of the program will be available for audience members.
The 10 a.m., ceremony is for graduating students in three colleges: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Business, Public Policy and Health; and Education and Human Development. Joining them will be students graduating from the Division of Lifelong Learning.
The 2:30 p.m., ceremony is for graduates in the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.
The honorary degree recipient and Commencement speaker will be UMaine alumnus Lawrence Bender, the producer of films that have won a total of six Academy Awards®. He will address both ceremonies. Bender graduated from UMaine in 1979 with a degree in civil engineering. His successful career as a producer and activist spans two decades. His films, which include such noteworthy projects as “Inglourious Basterds,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting,” have been honored with 29 Academy Award® nominations, including three for Best Picture.
This year’s valedictorian and salutatorian are Spencer Hathaway of Turner, Maine, and Lindsay LaJoie of Van Buren, Maine, respectively. Both were 2009 valedictorians of their high schools. Hathaway will receive two bachelor’s degrees — economics and business administration in accounting. LaJoie will receive a bachelor’s degree in food science and human nutrition.
Also being honored at Commencement and at a Faculty Appreciation and Recognition Luncheon that day are four faculty members in physics, insect ecology, finance and computer science. Professor of Physics Robert Lad, director of UMaine’s Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology is the 2013 Distinguished Maine Professor, an award presented by the University of Maine Alumni Association in recognition of outstanding achievement in the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service.
Professor of Insect Ecology Francis “Frank” Drummond is the 2013 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award recipient. This year’s Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award recipient is Professor of Finance Richard Borgman. Professor of Computer Science George Markowsky is the recipient of the Presidential Public Service Award.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
During the last two weeks of the semester at the University of Maine, when undergraduates are camping out in Fogler Library poring over textbooks and notes in preparation for finals, Joey will be on duty. He may be only a few feet tall, but his silky hair, dark brown eyes and gentle demeanor make him the perfect calming agent.
Joey is one of seven certified therapy dogs who will have special office hours in the Reserve Reading Room on the library’s first floor, May 1–8, for any student or faculty member looking to escape from end-of-semester stress.
No appointment is necessary.
“We really think of this as the student’s library,” Fogler’s Public Relations Manager Gretchen Gfeller says. “They brought the suggestion to us, so we wanted to do it for them. We’re trying to keep it as relaxed and open as we can.”
The event is in response to student suggestions on the library’s comment board to “please bring puppies” during finals week, according to Gfeller, who says this is the first time Fogler Library will host therapy dogs.
Fogler’s staff did research into similar successful programs at the University of New Hampshire and Massachusetts Institute of Technology before reaching out to Rebecca Henderson of Holden-based Renaissance Dogs who organizes a group of trained handlers not affiliated with her business.
Henderson says visiting with the dogs would be great for someone who is missing their own pet, seeks comfort and laughter from animals, or wants a five-minute diversion from studying.
“Studies have proven that petting a dog can lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety,” Henderson says. “What other time are students more stressed than during finals week?”
Seven dogs of various sizes and personalities are scheduled to visit the library, according to Henderson, who will bring her own yellow Labrador retriever Atticus and two papillons, Finch and Keeper. The other dogs include another Lab, a Sheltie, a corgi and a goldendoodle. All of the animals have been trained and certified by either Therapy Dogs International, Therapy Dogs Inc., or Love on a Leash.
One of the dogs scheduled to visit the library is owned by Patty Counihan, director of UMaine’s Career Center.
Counihan’s dog Joey is a 6-year-old Shetland sheepdog, or Sheltie, who will be making his official debut since passing Therapy Dogs International’s certification test a few months ago.
Counihan, who has used Henderson’s boarding, doggie day care and agility training services for years, thinks the event will be a great way to help students and is confident everyone will love Joey.
“Joey is so sweet and cuddly — not to mention soft and furry — and petting him is really soothing. He will just crawl in your lap and snuggle in,” Counihan says of her pet. “I know how nice it is to cuddle with Joey when I’ve had a bad day or if I’m stressed, so I’m looking forward to sharing him with others who might need a four-legged, furry destressor.”
Henderson, whose dogs also volunteer at the Bangor Public Library, is excited to introduce more people to therapy dogs while giving back to the community. She says she is proud of the owners and dogs who are volunteering their time.
Gfeller says if the event is well received, the library would like to expand the program and host the dogs two or three times a semester in addition to finals week.
Dogs will be available in the library 2:30–4:30 p.m. May 1 and May 8; 10 a.m.–noon May 2–3; and 2–4 p.m. May 6–7. For more information or to request disability accommodations, call Gfeller, 207.581.1696.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
Over 25 digital posters by University of Maine Art Department students in Kerstin Engman’s 2-D design class are on display through finals week in Hauck Auditorium.
The posters depict climate change issues, such as sustainability and the divestiture of fossil fuels, and are the result of a collaboration between Engman and Karen Marysdaughter, organizer with 350 Maine, a grassroots movement dedicated to solving the Earth’s climate crisis.
Engman asked the students to chose a particular climate change topic and direct a clear, visual message to the campus community.
“By working together as a community of concerned students, the hope is that the impact of a collective effort will have greater inﬂuence in general public awareness and policymaking,” Engman says.
For more information, contact Engman on FirstClass.
For the fourth consecutive year, Princeton Review has rated the University of Maine as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada.
UMaine is profiled in the newly released “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges.” Four-year colleges are chosen for the guide based on schools’ course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation to measure their commitment to the environment and to sustainability.
The Princeton Review creates its “Guide to 322 Green Colleges” in partnership with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, with generous support from United Technologies Corp., founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools.
“This is national recognition of the University of Maine’s leadership and long-standing commitment to being one of the most sustainable universities in the country,” says UMaine President Paul Ferguson. “At UMaine, stewardship of place is a priority in how we live in our campus community, conduct research, and provide service that benefits Maine and addresses global issues.”
The University of Maine’s “Green Highlights” in the guide range from the campuswide Blue Bikes initiative and the Orono Black Bear Express shuttle service that reduce motor vehicle use to UMaine’s Sustainability Council, alternative energy research and the University of Maine Foundation’s Green Loan Fund.
The university is now home to five LEED-certified buildings — three silver and one gold. It has a comprehensive campus Zero-Sort recycling program and a new advanced composting facility, and is a participant in STARS — the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System.
The university was a recipient of the 2011 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award recognizing outstanding climate leadership (UMaine received the award representing doctoral institutions). UMaine is a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007 and has been a member in good standing for six years. President Ferguson was elected to the ACUPCC Steering Committee in 2012.
The “Green Guide” is one of UMaine’s multiple national ranking citations. This year, for the ninth consecutive time, Princeton Review also named UMaine one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education. UMaine is featured in Princeton Review’s 2013 edition of its annual college guide, “The Best 377 Colleges.” Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges are profiled in the book, which is Princeton Review’s flagship college guide.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
Challenges facing older veterans and the resources available to them in Maine will be the focus of the 8th annual University of Maine Clinical Geriatrics Colloquium May 13 on campus.
The colloquium, “Serving Our Older Veterans: Today’s Clinical Issues and Best Practices,” will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Monday, May 13 at Wells Conference Center, hosted by the University of Maine Center on Aging, University of Maine School of Social Work and Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education at the University of Maine.
There were 9.2 million veterans 65 and older in 2011 representing 43 percent of the military veterans in the United States. Some of the major challenges in serving veterans are developing programs and services that respond to the health needs of a rapidly aging population and ensuring that veterans in need of care are aware of the services that exist.
“We need to be aware of the extent to which veterans are surviving into old age but are not necessarily having their needs attended to,” University of Maine Center on Aging Director Lenard Kaye says.
The event, sponsored by Lunder-Dineen Health Education Alliance of Maine, Maine Veterans’ Homes, Maine Gerontological Society and Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, includes a screening of the award-winning film featuring Bangor troop greeters “The Way We Get By” and an evening performance of Outside the Wire’s “Theater of War.”
“Older veterans make up large proportions of every community across the state of Maine,” Kaye says. “We need to recognize the fact that they have issues and experiences having served in the military that can in some cases color the way they approach old age.”
Participants will hear from veterans who will describe their experience of growing older as well as practitioners and clinicians who will explain services available to veterans, according to Kaye, who is also a UMaine School of Social Work professor.
Several speakers including United States Congressman Mike Michaud and Chairman of the Maine Troop Greeters Board of Directors Charles Knowlen are expected to attend.
Participants can register online or download a paper form at the UMaine Center on Aging’s website, mainecenteronaging.umaine.edu/colloquium. The $50 regular registration fee includes all colloquium materials, continental breakfast, lunch and admission to the screening of “The Way We Get By.” Registration for Maine Gerontological Society members and employees of sponsoring organizations is $40. Students can register for $25. The deadline for mailed registration forms is Friday, May 3.
The Outside the Wire’s “Theater of War” performance 7 p.m., 100 D.P. Corbett Business Building is free and open to the public. Participants are asked to RSVP to Prudence Searl at firstname.lastname@example.org; 207.262.7925.
“Theater of War,” produced by social impact company Outside the Wire, presents readings of ancient Greek plays to serve as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, their families, caregivers and communities. The May 13 performance will feature award-winning actor, David Strathairn, of “Lincoln” and “Good Night, and Good Luck.”
“It’s going to be a full day of events,” Kaye says. “People will learn, people will be entertained, people will have an opportunity to participate.”
The University of Maine Center on Aging, which was established in the winter of 2002, is a multidisciplinary center within the University of Maine System devoted to aging-related education and training, research and evaluation, and community service.
For additional information or to request disability accommodations, contact Prudence Searl, 207.262.7925.
More information about the colloquium can be found online.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
University of Maine President Paul Ferguson has announced Spencer Hathaway of Turner, Maine, as the 2013 valedictorian and Lindsay LaJoie of Van Buren, Maine, as the salutatorian.
“Spencer and Lindsay represent the very best of our outstanding UMaine students — both for their outstanding academic success, but for their dedicated service to the campus and community as well,” Ferguson says. “We are extremely proud of their achievement.”
Both will be honored at UMaine’s 211th Commencement ceremonies in Harold Alfond Sports Arena May 11.
Hathaway will receive two bachelor’s degrees — economics and business administration in accounting. LaJoie will receive a bachelor’s degree in food science and human nutrition.
Both were 2009 valedictorians at their high schools and received the University of Maine Top Scholar Award.
Hathaway has accepted an auditing position in the Portland, Maine-based accounting firm Baker Newman Noyes, and plans to be a CPA. LaJoie has a dietetic internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston this fall. She plans to pursue a career as a clinical dietitian.
Hathaway, a graduate of Leavitt Area High School, received a number of other awards, including the Class of 1945 Scholarship and, most recently, the Maine Business School Excellence in Accounting Award.
Last summer, Hathaway interned with Baker Newman Noyes, doing tax and audit work to help companies prepare their financial statements. In summer 2011, he was a project manager on the statewide waste composition research project, led by UMaine Professor of Economics George Criner in conjunction with the State Planning Office. Also that summer, Hathaway was an intern in the Farm Credit Fellowship Program, working with loan officers in Presque Isle.
For two years, Hathaway was a peer tutor with Academic Support Services for Student-Athletes, teaching accounting and economics, and mentoring in the Maine Business School’s accounting lab. He also was involved with UMaine’s Knowledge Transfer Alliance, helping small businesses set up or revamp their accounting systems using QuickBooks software.
“Early on, I knew I wanted to get into the business world,” says Hathaway. “Then I took my first accounting class and really enjoyed finding the nuances of how the accounting world fit into the business world. Economics? I had no idea what it meant before I came here, but I discovered all of the different questions you can answer with an economics mindset. Economics is more than just money.”
Hathaway says he chose UMaine because it is close to home in the state he loves. The university is also affordable and has a great reputation, he says.
“The University of Maine has made all the difference,” Hathaway says. “People here are so inviting. If you want to do something, they help you do it.”
LaJoie, a graduate of Van Buren District Secondary School, received numerous awards, including the Frank B. and Charles S. Bickford Prize, and the Edward and Grace Cutting Award. She also minored in child development and family relations.
For two years, she worked as a student research assistant in the laboratory of Adrienne White, professor of human nutrition, where LaJoie was involved in two multistate research projects. The first, “Young Adults Eating and Active for Health,” was led by UMaine graduate student Jennifer Walsh, and LaJoie collected health-related data on 18- to 24-year-olds to understand the potential for behavior changes for improved health, including weight management. The second project, called iCook 4-H, led by graduate student Douglas Mathews, is a five-state study of a childhood obesity prevention program.
LaJoie is a nutrition services volunteer at Eastern Maine Medical Center. Last summer, she interned with St. Apollonia Dental Clinic in Presque Isle and, in 2010, was a dietary aide at Borderview Rehabilitation and Living Center in Van Buren.
On campus, LaJoie is president of All Maine Women Honor Society and Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society. She is also an active member of the Nutrition Club, through which she has volunteered at such community organizations as Manna Ministries, the YMCA and the Ronald McDonald House.
In her sophomore and junior years, LaJoie also was involved in UMaine’s Alternative Breaks, traveling to El Paso, Texas to volunteer with a child crisis center, and to West Milford, N.J., to volunteer at Camp Vacamas, a camp that serves at-risk youth.
“I’ve always been interested in health care,” LaJoie says. “I was fascinated to learn that what we eat plays a huge role in overall health and wellness. Through taking classes, my interest has grown in the field of nutrition. It’s very up-and-coming.”
LaJoie says she chose UMaine because of its proximity to her family and the beauty of the campus.
“There’s just something about the buildings and the atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re in a special place,” she says. “The faculty and administration emphasize the value of education, making me as a student value my education.”
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
University of Maine alumnus Lawrence Bender, the producer of films that have won a total of six Academy Awards®, will return to his alma mater May 11 to receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and share remarks during Commencement ceremonies.
Bender will address both the 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ceremonies as part of UMaine’s 211th Commencement in Harold Alfond Sports Arena.
“Lawrence is one of our truly outstanding alumni,” says University of Maine President Paul Ferguson. “We are so pleased to award him a Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his excellent contributions to the arts through film and his deep commitment to addressing some of the major issues facing our society. I am confident our new graduates will enjoy and value hearing how his UMaine degree provided a foundation for such success and passion.”
Bender graduated from UMaine in 1979 with a degree in civil engineering. His successful career as a producer and activist spans two decades. His films, which include such noteworthy projects as “Inglourious Basterds,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting,” have been honored with 29 Academy Award® nominations, including three for Best Picture, and have won six.
His film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which raised unprecedented awareness about climate change, won the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature. His documentary, “Countdown To Zero,” which features Tony Blair, Pervez Musharraf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Frederik De Klerk and Jimmy Carter, among others, details the urgent risk posed by proliferation, terrorism and accidental use of nuclear weapons.
Bender’s other films include: “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996), “Anna and the King” (1999), “The Mexican” (2001), “Innocent Voices” (2004) and Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” (1992), “Jackie Brown” (1997), and “Kill Bill” — Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (2003–04). He has also produced “Havana Nights: Dirty Dancing 2”; “Knockaround Guys”; “A Price Above Rubies”; “White Man’s Burden”; “Killing Zoe”; and “Fresh.” His most recent film, “Safe,” which stars Jason Statham, was released worldwide early last year, according to biographical information provided by Lawrence Bender.
Bender is also a passionate social and political activist. In 2003, he co-founded the Detroit Project, a campaign advocating vehicles that will end the U.S. dependence on foreign oil. He also traveled to the Middle East with the Israeli Policy Forum, meeting with heads of state. Bender is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council. He received the ACLU’s Torch of Liberty Award and was named a Wildlife Hero by the National Wildlife Federation.
In 2009, Bender was one of five alumni honored by the University of Maine Foundation at its 75th anniversary celebration. He also was inducted into the College of Engineering’s Francis Crowe Society as a distinguished engineer in recognition of extraordinary accomplishments to society and his profession. Bender returned to campus that fall to give an address at the Maine Business School.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745; 207.949.4149
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