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Jemison, Black Bear Food Guild Members Talk to WVII About Local Foods

WVII (Channel 7) spoke with John Jemison, a soil and water quality specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and two members of the Black Bear Food Guild for a report about Maine’s high commitment to local foods. Jemison said people want to know what’s in their food and how it’s grown, and he has seen a lot of that interest in Maine. UMaine students and Black Bear Food Guild members Laura Goldshein and Lindy Morgan spoke about their work within the guild. The Black Bear Food Guild is a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that is organized and managed by sustainable agriculture students and offers CSA shares to community members in an effort to increase accessibility to fresh, seasonal produce.

Phys.org Reports on UMaine Glacial Melting Research

Phys.org published an article on research conducted by a University of Maine team that found stratification of the North Atlantic Ocean contributed to summer warming and glacial melting in Scotland during the period recognized for abrupt cooling 12,900 to 11,600 years ago in the Northern Hemisphere. Prevailing scientific understanding has been that glaciers advanced in the Northern Hemisphere throughout most of the Younger Dryas Stadial (YDS) — a 1,300-year period of dramatic cooling. However, the researchers determined carbon-dated bog sediment indicates the 9,500-square-kilometer ice cap over Rannoch Moor in Scotland retreated at least 500 years before the end of the YDS.

Press Herald Interviews UMaine Career Specialist About Pre-Med Program

Crisanne Blackie, the University of Maine’s health and legal professions career specialist, spoke to the Portland Press Herald for an article about a report that states Maine is likely to suffer a shortage of medical professionals unless the industry boosts student enrollment at health care-related schools and recruits more workers from outside Maine. The report was published by the Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information. Blackie said UMaine is trying to maintain an adequate number of doctors in the state by taking part in the Maine Track Program. The program is a partnership among Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Maine Medical Center in Portland and Maine colleges and universities that allows pre-med students in Maine to compete for fast-tracked enrollment at Tufts University’s medical school.

Black Bear Food Guild Offering CSA Shares

The Black Bear Food Guild, a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that is organized and managed by students in the University of Maine’s Sustainable Agriculture program, is offering CSA shares for the season.

In an effort to increase accessibility to fresh, seasonal produce for all members of the community, the Black Bear Food Guild is offering full, half and quarter shares. The 2014 season marks the first time the guild will be offering quarter shares, which are recommended for one person and an ideal choice for students. Quarter shares cost $175. Full shares are $475 and will feed four people, and half shares are $300 and will feed two people.

Shareholders can pick up produce each week at the university’s Rogers Farm. The guild’s season runs from mid-June through early October.

A limited number of shares are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in purchasing a share for the 2014 season should email the Black Bear Food Guild at blackbearcsa@gmail.com.

Since 1994, students have farmed two acres of MOFGA-certified organic vegetables and cut flowers on Rogers Farm. The farmers for the 2014 Black Bear Food Guild are Laura Goldshein, Lindy Morgan and Abby Buckland.

UMaine Researcher: Ocean Stratification Drove Disintegration of Scotland Ice Cap

A University of Maine research team says stratification of the North Atlantic Ocean contributed to summer warming and glacial melting in Scotland during the period recognized for abrupt cooling 12,900 to 11,600 years ago in the Northern Hemisphere.

Prevailing scientific understanding has been that glaciers advanced in the Northern Hemisphere throughout most of the Younger Dryas Stadial (YDS) — a 1,300-year period of dramatic cooling.

But carbon-dated bog sediment indicates the 9,500-square-kilometer ice cap over Rannoch Moor in Scotland retreated at least 500 years before the end of the YDS, says Gordon Bromley, a postdoctoral associate with UMaine’s Climate Change Institute (CCI).

“Our new record, showing warming summers during what traditionally was believed to have been an intensely cold period, adds an exciting new layer of complexity to our understanding of abrupt events and highlights the fact that there is much yet to learn about how our climate can behave,” Bromley says.

“This is an issue that is becoming ever more pressing in the face of global warming, since we really need to know what Earth’s climate system is capable of. But first we have to understand the full nature of abrupt climate events, how they are manifest ‘on the ground.’ And so we were compelled to investigate the terrestrial record of the Younger Dryas, which really is the poster child for abrupt climate change.”

Glaciers, says Bromley, respond to sea surface temperatures and Scotland is immediately downwind of the North Atlantic Ocean.

“Scotland was the natural choice as it lies within the North Atlantic Ocean — widely believed to be a driver of climatic upheaval — and thus would give us a robust idea of what really transpired during that critical period,” he says.

What the team found was that amplified seasonality driven by greatly expanding sea ice resulted in severe winters and warm summers.

While sea ice formation prevented ocean to atmosphere heat transfer during winters, melting of sea ice during summers created a stratified warmer freshwater cap on the ocean surface, he says. The increased summer sea surface temperature and downwind air temperature melted the glaciers.

Bromley says this research highlights the still-incomplete understanding of abrupt climate changes throughout Earth’s history.

“Ever since the existence of abrupt climate change was first recognized in ice-core and marine records, we’ve been wrestling with the problem of why these tumultuous events occur, and how,” he says.

Kurt Rademaker, Brenda Hall, Sean Birkel and Harold W. Borns, all from UMaine’s Climate Change Institute and School of Earth and Climate Sciences, are part of the research team. So too is Aaron Putnam, previously from CCI and now with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University/Earth Institute. Joerg Schaefer and Gisela Winckler are also with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Thomas Lowell is with the University of Cincinnati.

The team’s research paper, Younger Dryas deglaciation of Scotland driven by warming summers, was published April 14 on the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” website.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

Slate Quotes UMaine Doctoral Student in Article on Stephen Colbert

University of Maine doctoral student Skylar Bayer, aka “The Lonely Lady Scientist” among fans of “The Colbert Report,” was quoted in a Slate article titled, “Stephen Colbert is the Best Source of Science on TV.” Article author David Shiffman, a University of Miami doctoral student, said he hoped Colbert would continue to showcase scientists when he succeeds David Letterman as host of “The Late Show.” Bayer told Shiffman that Colbert’s method of using humor and sarcasm to explain science is effective. After she played the Colbert segment in which she appeared to high school students, she asked them for their impressions. “I asked them what they thought about scientists afterwards. They said I seemed pretty normal,” she said. “I asked them if they learned anything about scallop reproduction. They said they got that it was important to the fishery. Getting some high-schoolers to get those two pieces of information out of a TV segment while laughing hysterically is a huge accomplishment.”

McCleave Talks to Press Herald About Eels

James McCleave, a University of Maine professor emeritus of marine sciences and a leading expert on eels, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for an article about Maine’s elver industry. McCleave, who has spent the last 40 years studying eels, said he has seen eels go from being considered a food source for humans, to fish bait, and now an expensive export while in their early stages as elvers. McCleave also spoke about the “muddy” flavor of wild eels. He said the eels’ natural fattiness makes it easy for them to retain toxins. “Eels in the wild that are 10 years old have been out there collecting nasties for 10 years,” he said.

EMMC Announces Inaugural Chair of UMaine External Advisory Board

Ian Dickey, MD, FRCSC, lead physician of Eastern Maine Medical Center’s orthopedic surgical specialists, has been invited to serve as the first chair of the University of Maine Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering’s new external advisory board, EMMC announced.

UMaine established the school in 2006 as a collaborative effort between the university, The Jackson Laboratory, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, University of Southern Maine and University of New England. About 40 Ph.D. students and 100 faculty members are currently involved with the school, researching molecular and cellular biology, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, toxicology and functional genomics.

“To move to the next stage, the program needs the advice of a high-powered, knowledgeable external advisory board,” said David Neivandt, director of the UMaine Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering. “This board, with Dr. Dickey’s leadership, will provide external counsel and perspective regarding scientific direction and curricula, assist in identifying and securing external funding, aid in networking for students and faculty, and serve as an advocacy role both internal and external to the university.”

The full EMMC news release is online.

Press Herald, WVII Cover Paper Days at UMaine

The Portland Press Herald and WVII (Channel 7) reported on the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation’s 64th annual Paper Days held at UMaine. The event brought together UMaine students, faculty and professionals in the pulp and paper industry to discuss how to better prepare students for careers in the field. Carrie Enos, president of the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation, said for the past three years, the foundation has placed 100 percent of its scholarship students in jobs after graduation. “One of our goals is to expand our outreach and help people understand that the paper industry is vibrant. There is still significant demand for people to fill jobs in the industry,” Enos said. Nicholas Hart, a UMaine senior studying chemical engineering, told WVII Paper Days is a great networking opportunity and recommends the event to other students.

The Free Press Advances Darling Marine Center Symposium

The Free Press reported on the upcoming symposium, “Maine and The Mortal Sea: Taking Stock of the Past, Present and Future of Our Living Sea,” to be held at  the University of Maine Darling Marine Center (DMC) in Walpole on Saturday, April 26. Fishermen, historians, marine scientists, authors, students, economists and fisheries managers are expected to gather at the interdisciplinary event that is based on the award-winning book, “The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail,” by University of New Hampshire historian W. Jeffrey Bolster.


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The University of Maine
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