Francis Avery, a scientific research specialist with the University of Maine School of Forest Resources, spoke with WLBZ (Channel 2) about tapping the university’s maple trees. He said the trees were tapped three weeks ago, but he hasn’t seen much sap flowing yet.
Andrew Pershing, an associate professor in the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences and researcher at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, was interviewed for a Morning Sentinel article about a research proposal from the institute and the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences that was chosen to compete for NASA funding. The project aims to use Earth-system data to predict the movements of key species in the Gulf of Maine and provide seasonal forecasts for the lobster industry. Pershing, who is the project’s senior scientist, said providing predictions about the timing and volume of lobster landings could help the industry avoid a repeat of the early glut of soft-shell lobsters in 2012 that drove lobster prices down.
The Huffington Post reported on maple syrup research being conducted by Jenny Shrum, a Ph.D. candidate in the ecology and environmental sciences graduate program in the University of Maine School of Biology and Ecology. Shrum is researching the biophysical relationships between weather and sap flow. Her goal is to better understand what drives flow and how expected trends in climate may affect the processes and harvesters in the future. Shrum said she’s also trying to understand the links between people’s relationship with their land, where they get their information from, how they perceive climate change, and their motivation for harvesting. “I’m trying to piece together how those four things are related. I think that also plays into whether people will want to collect maple syrup in the future, and which people,” she said.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the 5th annual Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR). Presentations from 149 students in the form of 77 posters, 21 oral presentations or performances, and nine exhibits were featured. Several presentations included multiple students. Ali Abedi, director of CUGR, told WABI the showcase gives students an opportunity to learn how to present themselves and their project, as well as write proposals. Awards were given to students in each presentation category. Ten winners of $3,000 Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowships were also announced at the event.
Student research was displayed during the 5th annual Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase on April 1.
The event, sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR), was open to any undergraduate at the university and featured presentations from 149 students in the form of 77 posters, 21 oral presentations or performances, and nine exhibits. Several presentations included multiple students.
Following are the winning presentations:
Nicole Curtis-Bray (electrical and computer engineering), “Remote Excitation of the Resonant Transverse Shear Mode in AT-cut quartz;” adviser: John Vetelino
Paige Martin (molecular and biomedical sciences), “Exosome-Mediated Drug Delivery for Treatment of Brain Cancer;” adviser: Carol Kim (first place)
Christine Gilbert (Honors), “Sustainability Inconvenient Discourse;” adviser: Mark Haggerty (second place)
Samuel Hatch and Emily Blackwood (anthropology), “Native American Plant Use: Pollen Analysis of Shell Middens;” adviser: Brian Robinson (first place)
Chi Truong (chemical and biological engineering), “Separation of Sodium Acetate from Maine hardwood extract via Electrodialysis;” adviser: Joseph Geneco (second place)
Elizabeth Chenevert, Rebekah Flanders, Lindsay Thornton and Sylvia Paradis-Reynolds (nursing), “Radon Detect To Protect;” adviser: Elizabeth Bicknell (third place)
Also announced at the showcase were the 10 winners of a $3,000 Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowship:
Danielle Walczak (communication and journalism), “Fresh Light: Maine’s Young Small Diversified Farmers Growing Hope in Maine;” adviser: Margaret Nagle
Gwendolyn Beacham (molecular and biomedical sciences), “Towards Understanding Cluster E Phage Integration and Maintenance of Lysogeny;” adviser: Sally Molloy
Marissa Bovie (anthropology), “Landscape Evolution and Human Agency Along Croatia’s Adriatic Coast;” adviser: Greg Zaro
Tyler Roy (psychology), “Activated Microglia in a Mouse Model of Chemo-Brain;” adviser: Thane Fremouw
Julia Sell (physics), “Platinum-Zirconium Diboride (Pt-ZrB2) Multilayer Thin Film Structures for Sensor Applications in Harsh High;” adviser: Robert Lad
Torey Bowser (marine sciences), “Arsenic Exposure of Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Embryos and the Potential to Affect Adult Fish Behavior;” adviser: Rebecca Van Beneden
Katrina Harris (molecular and biomedical sciences), “Identification of Genome and Integration Morphology of Mycobacteriophages ChipMunk and EvilGenius;” adviser: Keith Hutchison
Amy Fish (food and agriculture), “Evaluation of Persistence Factors in C.pseudotuberculosis;” adviser: Anne Lichtenwalner
Taylor Merk-Wynne (mechanical engineering), “Micromechanical Modeling of Fiber Reinforced Composites;” adviser: Senthil Vel
Juliana Tavora (marine sciences), “Satellite-Measured Bio-Optical Measurements of Lagoa dos Patos, Brazil;” adviser: Andrew Thomas
Phage Genomics is a two-semester course offered to 16 UMaine first-year biology, microbiology, biochemistry or molecular and cellular biology majors in the Honors College each year. Students learn techniques in DNA isolation and analysis by studying novel bacteriophages, or viruses, infecting a bacterial host.
Students work alone or in pairs to culture their own phages, document the interaction between phage and host, isolate a DNA sample from the phage and sequence its genome. In the spring semester, they use computer-based analytical tools to explore and understand the structure of the phages. The procedures used throughout the process are nearly identical to those used for studying more complex genomes, including the human genome.
The active research component is integrated with group activities and reflective assignments that encourage students to develop interpersonal skills and thinking, strategic project development, and persistence.
The curriculum is provided through an association with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance, and funded through a partnership between the Honors College and the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences.
The Free Press reported applications are now being accepted for Dive In, a two-day summer immersion program offered to college-bound high school students who are interested in marine sciences. The first 20 students who register will be accepted to the program that offers hands-on, field-oriented activities at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center in Walpole and the UMaine campus in Orono. The program will showcase the university’s marine science faculty and facilities and the academic and research opportunities available to students.
The Bangor Daily News published an opinion piece by University of Maine graduate student and small-business owner Charles E. Scott II, who received his bachelor of social work from UMaine and is currently in the master of social work program. Scott’s article is titled “From a small-business owner: Why Maine shouldn’t let corporations hide profits offshore.”
Bangor Metro reported two new potato varieties — the Easton and the Sebec — that were developed by the University of Maine and the Maine Potato Board over the past several growing seasons will make their debut this year. The varieties are targeted at the french fry and potato chip industries. Kris Burton, director of technology commercialization in the UMaine Department of Industrial Cooperation, said several other varieties are currently being evaluated for release over the next few years through the university’s partnership with the Maine Potato Board. “Working closely with the board allows us to commercialize the best varieties to support the Maine potato industry and further research in the field,” Burton said.
The Bangor Daily News published the seventh article in a yearlong series by Sandra Butler, a professor of social work at the University of Maine, and Luisa Deprez, a professor and department chair of sociology and women and gender studies at the University of Southern Maine. “How a Milo man is raising grandson after the death of wife, loss of income” is the pair’s latest column to share stories of Mainers struggling in today’s economy.