SOE article about offshore wind power development picked up by European Commission’s news service

June 30th, 2014 6:03 AM

The article “Will Offshore Energy Face “Fair Winds and Following Seas”?: Understanding the Factors Influencing Offshore Wind Acceptance” will be highlighted in Science for Environment Policy, a news service published by the European Commission’s Environment Directorate-General.

Science for Environment Policy is a service providing news of the latest environmental research specially selected by their independent scientific advisors. Once published, the article is sent to over 18,000 policymakers, academics and business people across Europe.

Link to original “Estuaries and Coasts” article:

Work by Haley Engelberth, Kathleen Bell and Mario Teisl focus of BDN article

June 30th, 2014 6:02 AM

Pregnant women are urged to avoid fish high in methylmercury (MeHg) since it can limit the fetus’ brain development; however, fish is a good source of omega-3’s which promote brain development. Agencies issue consumption advisories to inform the public about the risks & benefits of eating fish; however, the difficulty in communicating both the risks & benefits lead readers of the advisory to inappropriately over-restrict their fish consumption. The authors worked with Maine CDC and UNE personnel to test the effectiveness of Maine’s advisory. Compared to nonreaders, they find the advisory increased women’s: knowledge of both the benefits and risks of consuming fish while pregnant, ability to differentiate fish by their MeHg content, and knowledge of specific low and high-MeHg fish. This suggests the advisory has the potential of reducing MeHg-related health risks while avoiding the drop in fish consumption show in other studies.


MS student Stephenie MacLagan & Kathleen Bell on the news

June 30th, 2014 6:00 AM

Stephenie and Kathleen appear in a WABI TV news segment related to their research on safe beaches and clam flats in Maine. Stephenie did a great job presenting at a Hancock County Planning Workshop where she linked the knowledge she gleaned from her graduate studies, and time in the field with various stakeholders, with action on the ground.

Her insights were shared with a broader audience on Channel 5 last evening – link to clip below:

Kathleen Bell recognized for exceptional service to NAREA

June 25th, 2014 7:42 AM

The Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association recognized the outstanding service of Dr. Kathleen Bell to the organization. This service was recognized by a formal proclamation, which was voted unanimously by the members of the association at their Annual Business meeting. Congratulations Kathleen!

Faculty Chen and Criner awarded MAINE MILK COMMISSION grant

April 27th, 2014 10:58 PM

The Principal Investigator on a Dairy Cost of Production grant is Xuan Chen with a research team including Richard Kersbergen, Gary Anderson, George Criner (SOE) and Julia McGuire (EES).

Determining the Current Cost of Producing Milk in Maine 2013

Abstract:  This research project will accurately determine the costs of producing milk in Maine, based on 4 different 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 onsite visits to collect financial performance data for the year 2013. This data will be summarized and presented to the Maine Milk Commission in written and oral testimony as well as during the state legislative hearings.

SOE faculty Jim McConnon helps coordinate the Maine Black Bear Business Conference

April 27th, 2014 10:57 PM

Jim helped organize the UMaine Alumni Association sponsored conference “Making it in Maine – Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology” which was held April 25th at the Buchanan Alumni House on Campus. Dr. McConnon also served as a panelist during the conference which was designed to bring together UMaine faculty, economic development staff, students, and successful entrepreneurs to share ideas, resources, and strategies for successfully starting a growing a business in Maine. Jim also coordinated a luncheon between SOE graduate students and business leaders.

SOE partners with Bates, Bowdoin and Colby to sponsor the second annual Maine Economics Conference

April 27th, 2014 10:55 PM

The conference took place at Colby College; more than 40 economists from across the state gathered to learn about the latest economic research, and establish and renew ​​collaborations with other Maine scholars. The conference also included a poster session featuring research by students from Bowdoin, Bates, Colby, and the University of Maine.

The conference was organized by faculty from all four schools.  Three faculty members from SOE presented their latest research and four SOE graduate students presented poster sessions:

Eva Manandhar: “Message Framing and People’s Perception about Wind Power in Maine”

Johanna Barrett: “Muncipality-Level Characteristics of Local Food Exchanges in Maine”

Sandra Goff: “Do Dollars Degrade Sustainability Norms? An Experiment to Assess the Effect of Economic Valuation Information on Pro-Environmental Behavior”

Steven Dutra: “Economic Feasibility of Distributed Solar Water Heating in Maine”

For more information about the conference and poster sessions, please click on the link here.

Alum Dr. Ewa Kleczyk provides two days of inspiration and mentoring to SOE students

April 27th, 2014 10:51 PM

Ewa provided two seminars: the first, for a general UMaine audience, discussed the steps that helped her progress from a back-office statistician to a leader within the Pharmaceutical Industry. Ewa also discussed the importance of female leadership in corporate America, including the significance of mentoring female employees and developing women organizations in order to establish future female leaders. Her second seminar, aimed at SOE students and faculty, presented how economic theory and tools were used to help pharmaceutical clients develop successful market strategies for their pharmaceutical products across various stages of the product life cycle. Ewa also spent several hours mentoring both undergrad and grad students on their career planning.

Ewa, an Executive with Symphony Health Solutions, has presented in the areas of healthcare and economics at many conferences and has published in peer and non-peer re-viewed journals. She is a member of the Editorial Board for Business and Economics Research. She is active in several women’s organizations including the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). She has been recognized with several Leadership and Mentoring Awards from the HBA and from the International Women’s Leadership Association. She has a passion for Math and Economics and teaches, mentors, and encourages women to pursue careers in these fields. Ewa completed her B.S. and M.S. economics degrees at UMaine.

School of Economics Professors and Students attend Maine Water and Sustainability Conference

April 2nd, 2014 4:14 PM

IMG_20140401_082336  Kay Mann of Green Energy Maine wrote about the event held:

“On April 1, 2014, Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative at the Senator George J. Mitchell Center presented a daylong session on “Maine’s Energy Future” at the 2014 Maine Water & Sustainability Conference, held at the Augusta Civic Center. The Chair of the session was Dr. Caroline Noblet, University of Maine School of Economics.

This session examined Maine’s energy future and the different options and strategies being proposed and implemented to further the state’s energy security. Presentations included research and applications related to the economic, environmental and social impacts of: renewable energy technologies under development in Maine including tidal, off-shore wind and bioenergy; the transition from reliance on oil; the role of efficiency in lowering energy needs and the potential for using Maine’s biomass and waste stream.”

You can read about various  presentations at

Grad student Stephanie Whalley selected to speak at sold out TEDxUMaine 2014 The Student Experience.

March 30th, 2014 7:34 PM

Stephanie’s talk is titled: “Toward a Sustainable Energy Future: A Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis of Electricity Options for the United States.”

Abstract: The term “sustainability” has become a popular catch phrase in recent years. Many recent definitions of sustainability emphasize the importance of meeting growing energy needs of both present and future generations while addressing social, environmental, economic and technological limitations. The electric power sector is the single largest consumer of primary energy in the United States, making the sustainability of the sector an essential component of national sustainability goals. Some researchers have compared technologies based on one measure of sustainability such as land or water use, emissions, or cost but very few have attempted to compare multiple electricity generating technologies across many criteria spanning the four main areas of sustainability. Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) is a unique tool that allows multiple measures to be included and weighted and results in an overall ranking of technologies. This research uses MCDA to compare the sustainability of 13 commercially available electricity generating technologies in the United States using the criteria of job creation, the levelized cost of energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, land use, and capacity factor (the amount of electricity generated in a year divided by the maximum electricity that could be generated based on the facility rating). The resulting sustainability ranking is a helpful summary tool for analyzing the overall sustainability of electricity generating technologies which can be useful for policy making.