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.
James Warhola, a political science professor and chair of the the Political Science Department at the University of Maine, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for the article “Russian actions of significant interest to U.S.” Warhola, an expert on Russian, Turkish and Eurasian politics, said Russia and the U.S. have collaborated against terrorist threats, especially from Islamic extremists. He said the U.S. and Russian anti-terrorism cooperation has been broader and more effective than many people realize.
Habib Dagher, director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, was quoted in a Bloomberg Businessweek article about the offshore wind pilot project proposed by Maine Aqua Ventus, a consortium that includes UMaine and partner companies. In the article, “Floating wind farms venture farther out to sea,” Dagher said Maine Aqua Ventus companies will save tens of millions of dollars by using floating concrete platforms as opposed to renting barges and cranes to install fixed-foundation turbines. He said ideally the unit will be towed back to shore every 20 years to have a next-generation turbine installed.
The Penobscot Bay Pilot published the article “Saying bon voyage to the Hutchinson Center’s Nancy Boyington, a real friend” about Boyington’s retirement after 25 years within the University of Maine System. Boyington spent 14 of those years at UMaine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast where she was assistant director of the center. Boyington said working at the center was the best job she ever had. “If you know you’re doing good work and making a difference, it’s the best,” she said.
University of Maine graduate student Noah Oppenheim was interviewed for a Hawaii News Now story about marine scientists and students attending the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu who participated in dives to clean up debris littering a coral reef. Oppenheim, who is pursuing dual degrees in marine biology and marine policy at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, helped remove trash from the reef, including fast food containers, bits of plastic, aluminum cans, a car battery, an outboard motor and an automobile tire.