Richard Brzozowski, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for an article about Maine’s snow depth and its potential to cause flooding and affect future crops. Brzozowski said the winter’s consistent snow cover is beneficial to gardens and farms. He said strawberry crops benefit from the snow protecting them from the cold, and lawns and vegetable gardens can enjoy nitrogen left behind by melting snow. He also warned a snowpack that lasts longer than usual could delay spring bulbs from sprouting, but added the insulating snow cover means the soil won’t take as long to thaw.
WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) and the Associated Press reported on Maine Gov. Paul LePage citing a maple industry study by University of Maine economist Todd Gabe. Gabe found the state’s maple industry directly contributes nearly $28 million to the state’s economy every year. LePage said the industry has a “huge potential for additional job creation.” MPBN and Boston.com carried the AP report.
The Darling Marine Center and its resources were mentioned in a Boothbay Register article about the Damariscotta River Association’s Estuarine Monitoring Program. The program offers community members a chance to get out on the water and become part of a data-gathering effort that will help determine the health of the estuary. Water samples collected during the program are taken from seven locations beginning at the DMC. The salinity, temperature and other data from the samples are then entered into a DRA database at the DMC. “We’re grateful to the Darling Marine Center for their expert partnership and continued technical consultation on this project,” said DRA Executive Director Steven Hufnagel.
Karlton Creech, University of Maine’s athletic director, was quoted in a Bangor Daily News article about the university’s decision to decline the offer by WABI (Channel 5) to televise UMaine’s Hockey East first-round game against Merrimack College. UMaine officials turned down the offer because they wanted to honor their agreement with their current broadcast partner, WVII ABC 7 and Fox 22, which couldn’t televise the game. Creech said, “Unfortunately, our partner [WVII-Fox] wasn’t able to produce the game for several reasons and we didn’t want to go outside of that [agreement].” He added, “The good news is there are plenty of tickets available so people can watch it in person instead of on TV.”
GeoCommunity SpatialNews previewed the 2014 NERCOFE Workshop to be held at the University of Maine on March 10–11. The workshop, hosted by New England Regional Council on Forest Engineering, is held annually for Maine’s forestry students and professionals and will include presentations on GIS/GPS technology and discussion regarding Maine’s strategy against spruce budworm. Blue Marble Geographics of Hallowell, Maine, is scheduled to demonstrate the LiDAR Module for Global Mapper and how it is used throughout the forestry industry.
A new study by University of Maine economist Todd Gabe was cited in a Bangor Daily News article titled “LePage says Maine could lead the nation — and maybe Quebec — in syrup production.” Gabe’s study, which received financial support from the Maine Agricultural Development Grant Fund and the Maine Maple Producers Association, showed the state’s syrup industry contributes nearly $49 million to Maine’s economy and supports more than 800 jobs. The figures include multiplier effects. The Sun Journal also carried the BDN report.
The Bangor Daily News reported Charles Porter, a research associate for the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute and well-known mountain climber, passed away Feb. 23, 2014 at the age of 63. Paul Mayewski, director and distinguished professor of the Climate Change Institute, and Brenda Hall, a professor in the institute and UMaine’s School of Earth and Climate Sciences, shared their memories of Porter with the BDN. Mayewski said, “Charlie had a very rare ability and a staunch drive to understand as much as he could about the physical, chemical, biological and socio-cultural aspects of some of Earth’s most remote places.” Hall called Porter a “one-of-a-kind person” who was always up for an adventure.
The Portland Press Herald interviewed David Townsend, an oceanography professor in the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences, for an article about two major oil companies exploring potential drilling sites in water off Nova Scotia that could generate opportunities for Maine businesses, but also threaten the state’s fisheries. Townsend spoke about currents in the proposed exploration area. He said because of the circular currents in the Gulf of Maine, a major spill could cause highly diluted trace oil to reach coastal waters in Maine.
University of Maine School of Performing Arts’ students Christian Giddings, Megan Rounds and Sydney Walker spoke with WABI (Channel 5) about the school’s spring break production of the child-friendly folktale “Baba Yaga and the Black Sunflower.” The students are performing the play on campus March 22, as well as at several schools around the state. Walker said performing the play is a nice way to be able to give back to the community. Carol Korty, professor emerita at Emerson College and a guest artist at UMaine, wrote and directs the play about a young girl who doesn’t fit in, and a witch that lives in a walking house. Korty told WABI the tour is a good learning experience for the students to see what it’s like to be on the road.
Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of the University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about a 16-year-old from Cape Elizabeth, Maine who is creating digital games for the Apple store. Moriarity said technology companies such as Apple are increasingly targeting a younger demographic in hopes of creating customers for life.