UMaine faculty, staff and students involved with 2023 Maine Science Festival

University of Maine faculty, staff and students will present at and be involved in a number of events at the Maine Science Festival (MSF), a program of the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor and will include more than 70 events and activities, that will take place March 22–26. 

Additional UMaine presenters — particularly those involved with the headliner event, Queen — will be announced as more information becomes available. The full programming for the festival can be found on the MSF website.

MSF is a five-day celebration that showcases the science and technology happening in Maine in the format of an arts or music festival, with events for all ages. Through forums, workshops, talks, art exhibits, film screenings and hands-on activities, attendees learn about science happening and being used in Maine. Since 2015, MSF has had over 50,000 attend its events. 

UMaine is sponsoring the Maine Science Festival Field Trip Day, which features curated events for nearly 600 middle school-aged students around the state, at the Cross Insurance Center from 9 a.m.–noon, March 23. UMaine faculty and staff hosting activities at the event include Taylor Ward, communications specialist at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC); Anna Martin, Intermedia Programs; Sheila Pendse, communications and outreach at the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute, along with other UMaine Engineering faculty and staff; Scarlet Tudor, education and outreach coordinator at the Aquaculture Research Institute; Jennifer Perry, associate professor of food microbiology; Beth Campbell, education, outreach and diversity program manager at Maine EPSCoR; and Gabrielle Brodek, 4-H youth development professional at the UMaine Extension.

Phil Fanning, assistant professor of agricultural entomology, will present at the Science on Tap forum about bees on March 23, 6:30–8 p.m. at Mason’s Brewing Company.

Caitlin Howell, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Salimeh Sekeh, assistant professor of computer science, will present at 5 Minute Genius, which takes place March 24 starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Bangor Arts Exchange.

The UMaine VEMI Lab will host a rapid research experience, where festival goers can develop and test a hypothesis with VEMI Lab students, on March 25, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. at Meeting Rooms A&B in the Cross Insurance Center. VEMI Lab presenters include Rick Corey, RJ Perry, Grant Beals, Nick Giudice, Paul Fink, Emily Blackwood, Justin Brown, Anna Johnson, Sean Radel, Jake Loranger, Aleigha Morgan, Sam Orlando, Ersi Cako, Jake Doolittle, Alexa Guerrero, Darien Orethun, Cedric Fahey, Henry Kindler, Georgia Doore, Ainslie Allen, Em Hanscom, Maher Alsamsam, Anthony Caccese, Theo Erikson and Roisin Rumsey.

Katherine Allen, associate professor at the School of Earth and Climate Sciences with a cooperating appointment at the Climate Change Institute, will host a workshop about ancient oceans on March 25, 10–11:30 a.m. in Meeting Rooms 3 and 4 of the Cross Insurance Center.

Shawn Laatsch, director of the Versant Power Astronomy Center, will present at a workshop about how to observe the solar eclipse of 2023 and total solar eclipse in 2024, on March 25, 11 a.m.–noon, in Meeting Room D at the Cross Insurance Center. Laatsch will also present about the cosmic views of the James Webb Space Telescope 2:15–3:15 p.m. in Meeting Room 1 and 2 of the Cross Insurance Center.

Ali Abedi, professor of electrical and computer engineering, will present about the Maine Space Complex is a unifying and aspiring vision for a coordinated effort to engage Maine in the new space economy, on March 25, 1–2 p.m. in Meeting Rooms 1 and 2 of the Cross Insurance Center. John Thompson, professor of physics, will moderate the presentation. 

Micah Pawling, associate Professor of history and Native American studies, and John Bear Mitchell, lecturer of Wabanaki studies, will present about  the importance of Wabanaki knowledge and practices of science on March 25, noon–1 p.m. in Meeting Room 3 and 4, of the Cross Insurance Center.

Victor Ortega-Jiménez, assistant professor of integrative avian biology and biomechanics, will present about how animals use fluid dynamics on March 25, 1–2 p.m. in Meeting Room C at the Cross Insurance Center.

Mac Stetzer, associate professor of physics, will moderate a presentation about sound pressure level at concerts and the potential for hearing loss on March 25, 3–4 p.m., in Meeting Room 3 and 4 at the Cross Insurance Center.

Francis Drummond, professor emeritus at the School of Biology and Ecology, will present at a forum about Maine bees on March 26, 12:30–1:30 p.m., at the Dramatic Academy at the Penobscot Theater Company.

Samantha Schipani, news writer at the Division of Marketing and Communications, will present about the basics of science writing on March 26, 1–2 p.m. at the Maine Discovery Museum.

Christopher Clark, Lindsay Decker and Heather Perrone with Fogler Library will present about how they combined popular fiction and scientific themes to promote engagement with the library and its collections on March 26, 2–3 p.m. at Dramatic Academy at the Penobscot Theater Company.