Maine EPSCoR conference attracts over 400 attendees, including UMaine Portland Gateway 

More than 430 people gathered in Portland Nov. 13–16 for the 27th National Science Foundation (NSF) EPSCoR National Conference (NSF Award # 2038037) hosted by the University of Maine and the Maine EPSCoR Office. All 28 NSF EPSCoR jurisdictions were present at the event, including representatives from Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Understanding the incredible importance of the Science of Team Science, a new interdisciplinary field that examines the processes by which research teams conduct research), early on the Maine EPSCoR Director, Shane Moeykens, contacted a national leader in the field –  the UMaine Portland Gateway Director Pips Veazey, who also has strong ties to the EPSCoR community, having previously directed the Alaska EPSCoR program.

Veazey invited three disciplinary experts to present two Science of Team Science sessions during the conference: a keynote panel, and a workshop focused on the future of research collaboration and spanning boundaries.

Presenting alongside Veazey were Christine Ogilvie Hendren, director of the Research Institute for Environment, Energy and Economics at Appalachian State University; Dave King, founder of Exaptive; and Anne Heberger Marino, associate director of the UMaine Portland Gateway.  

The keynote panel highlighted the strong community of practice that EPSCoR has developed over several decades and explored the theme of interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaboration using the metaphor of air travel: We can fly! Now where to? How do we get there effectively? How does this change our lives?

The workshop introduced participants to three techniques to create shared meaning across boundaries: developing a team dictionary, creating a “Cognitive City” linking thoughts and meaning, and building 3D models with interlocking bricks.