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Research Achievements

  • UMaine is one of the National Science Foundation’s top 105 public universities for research.
  • UMaine’s Carnegie Classification is a High Research University.
  • In FY10, UMaine exceeded $100 million in external expenditures for research — 86 percent of which was federal funding. Leading sectors of the university in generating external support are advanced materials, marine sciences, climate change, environmental studies, forestry, precision manufacturing and aquaculture.
  • 70 percent of UMaine’s research proposals were funded in 2010 (2011).
  • 2,182 faculty, research staff and professional and classified employees were involved in externally funded research in FY09 (2011).
  • UMaine faculty and staff members – across all academic disciplines – produced more than 5,518 scholarly outputs in FY11. These include scholarly journal articles, books, book chapters, technical reports and presentations.
  • UMaine researchers submitted 575 grant proposals in FY11, involving 359 faculty members and professionals as principal investigators or co-investigators. Sixty-one departments or units were represented in that group.
  • UMaine was awarded a $20 million NSF EPSCoR grant for the Sustainability Solutions Initiative in 2009.

Notable research by college includes (fall 2011):

College of Engineering

  • NASA EPSCoR Wireless Shape Monitoring of Inflatable Structures (as of November 2010, UMaine hosts NASA’s only mock-up of the Lunar Inflatable Habitat).
  • Modular Advanced Composite Hull (MACH) forms for Hybrid Ship Structures.
  • Structural Integrity Assurance of Aerospace Vehicles for the Maine Space Grant Consortium.
  • Modular Ballistic Protection System (MBPS) with the U.S. Natick Army Soldier RD&E Center.
  • Bridge-in-a-Backpack.
  • Blast-Resistant Wood Structures with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers R&D Center.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • One of the world’s largest collections of chromosomal images that will be used to compare normal and abnormal cells to indicate the onset of tumors.
  • “Thwarted Voices,” recovered music of composers silenced by the Third Reich.
  • Moral and ethical issues surrounding medicine and medical research.
  • Infant sleep neurophysiology and behavior studied to analyze the consequences of prenatal exposure to alcohol, opiates and other drugs on the developing brain.
  • Archaeological field research in Machias Bay with the local Passamaquoddy to analyze subsistence changes along the coastal regions of Maine at the time of European contact.

Maine Business School

  • “What Is Wrong with this Picture? A Problem with Comparative Return Plots on Finance Websites and a Bias Against Income-Generating Assets.”
  • Organization research: how sports teams (baseball, football, ice hockey) enable knowledge sharing, creativity and team learning.
  • Knowledge Transfer Alliance, connecting UMaine professors in business, economics and engineering to Maine businesses to help improve their efficiency and effectiveness.
  • “Sustainability, Complexity and Learning: Insights from Complex Systems Approaches.”

Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture

  • The ecology of the Canada lynx in Maine’s northern forests.
  • Cellular and molecular processes that allow plants to respond to low-temperature stress.
  • Bear Brook Watershed Project — climate change, air quality regulation, surface water quality and forest sustainability.
  • Use of cellulose nanofibrils in thermoplastic composites.
  • Economic impacts and spending patterns of cruise ship passengers visiting cities.
  • Consortium of 11 state universities working to develop a program for promoting healthful eating and improving the quality of life of young adults.
  • Satellite ocean color imagery to study ecological processes, such as what species of phytoplankton dominate, and biogeochemical processes, including how fast carbon is fixed by phytoplankton into organic material.

College of Education and Human Development

  • Literacy i3 (Investing in Innovation) grant.
  • Using the State Longitudinal Data System to examine the impact of student mobility on the changing educational services needs throughout Maine and to evaluate the state professional development activities targeting special education teachers and staff.
  • The Developmental Epidemiology and Biobehavioral Informatics group continues to work with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to provide state-of-the art informatics that support enhancing the state’s capacity to identify at-risk children and ensure they receive services, and has partnered with the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council on the Maine Autism Spectrum Disorders Development Project to assess the prevalence and nature of autism in Maine.
  • Aunts and uncles and their relationship with nieces and nephews.
  • Contexts, causes and consequences of women faculty’s advancement, recruitment and retention at UMaine.
  • Hazing on college campuses.
  • Kinesiology: aerobic capacity in 17 schools across Maine; and, in partnership with Logan Chiropractic University, research on sophisticated gait measurements with implications for athletes with concussions.