The Weekly spoke with Alan Davenport, director of Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium at the University of Maine, about the university’s new Emera Astronomy Center that is slated to open this fall. The $5.2 million astronomy center will be the new home of the Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory. The center will feature a planetarium dome 33 feet in diameter — the largest in the state — equipped with a state-of-the-art projection system. The new observatory’s 20-inch digital telescope also will be the largest in Maine. Davenport said the new facility is “quantum leaps beyond what we’ve had and been able to do before.”
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a free apple tree pruning and grafting field day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at Avalon Acres Orchard & Farm, 234 Dexter Road, in Saint Albans.
Avalon Acres owner Mark Sheriff, an alumnus of the UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers program, will host. He’ll present information about general planting and management practices for apple trees then demonstrate pruning and grafting in the orchard. Apple tree growers and people who plan to plant apple trees this spring are invited to attend.
Preregistration is requested but not required. Attendees should wear footwear appropriate for walking on uneven terrain. Rain date is Saturday, April 26. For more information, to register, or to request a disability accommodation, call Tom Goodspeed, 207.474.9622, 800.287.1945 (toll free in Maine).
Due to the expected winter storm, the University of Maine’s third annual Summer Camp Fair for Kids originally scheduled for March 12 has been postponed. The fair will now take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 19 in the New Balance Student Recreation Center on campus.
Parents and children are encouraged to attend to learn about more than 60 Maine summer camps for youth. The fair is free and open to the public. All attendees will receive a day pass to UMaine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center.
The Maine Edge reported registration is open for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s annual Maine Grain Conference. The conference will be held Saturday, March 15 at the Spectacular Event Center in Bangor and is designed for farmers, crop advisers and others involved in the agricultural community.
Gretchen Faulkner, director of the Hudson Museum, and Polly Moutevelis-Burgess, director of the Employee Assistance Program, are the recipients of the 2014 Outstanding Professional Employee Award of the University of Maine Professional Employees Advisory Council (PEAC).
The annual PEAC award recognizes UMaine professional employees who demonstrate a dedication to serving others, maintain the highest level of professional services and standards in their disciplines or areas of responsibility, help create a better campus environment and demonstrate public service through significant contributions.
Faulkner, a UMaine alumna, has been affiliated with the Hudson Museum since 1986 — the last 11 as director of the Hudson Museum in the Collins Center for the Arts. In her multiple nominations for the award, Faulkner was cited for her “highly ethical and visionary approach” that has advanced the museum’s programming and collections to a worldwide audience. Through her leadership, thousands of Maine schoolchildren have visited the CCA to learn about history, culture and diversity. This year will mark the 20th annual Maine Indian Basketmakers Sale and Demonstration at the Hudson Museum — one of Faulkner’s many collaborations with the state’s Native American communities.
Faulkner serves on the board of directors of Maine Archives and Museums, and the Deer Isle Historical Society. She actively participates in the collaboration among the Hudson Museum, Page Farm and Home Museum, and Maine Folklife Center that has resulted in UMaine’s longstanding presence at the American Folk Festival and publishes a twice-yearly newsletter, “Artifacts,” for Maine schools that promotes UMaine field trip destinations.
Moutevelis-Burgess has directed the Employee Assistance Program for the past three decades. In her nomination for the award, Moutevelis-Burgess is described as “uniformly responsive, compassionate, committed to providing UMaine employees with comprehensive and high-quality counseling services, as well as enthusiastic about her role in making UMaine a compelling place to live, work and learn.” Her many nominations cite her caring and commitment to UMaine employees, and her work ethic and professionalism. One colleague characterized Moutevelis-Burgess as “a champion of people grappling with challenging life circumstances.”
Moutevelis-Burgess was the founder and first president of the International Association of Employee Assistance Professionals in Education and served eight years on the Maine Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure. Her many community service activities include fundraising for the St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor by establishing a Greek food booth at the American Folk Festival, which has since become a mainstay at the event.
WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) covered the 76th annual Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show held in the newly renovated New Balance Field House at the University of Maine. Lois Ann Holmes, an official with the Penobscot County Conservation Association that puts on the show, told WLBZ, “We needed space, and the University of Maine has been so cooperative with us and very helpful to let us grow here.” WLBZ (Channel 2) also reported on children getting a chance to kayak during the show in UMaine’s Stanley Wallace Pool.
The Free Press of Rockland advanced the March 11 University of Maine Singers concert that will take place at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. The show is one of five free public concerts the group is performing in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts over spring break.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a six-session course that covers moving a specialty food product to market.
The class, which meets 5:30–9 p.m. each Tuesday, April 8–29, will be held in two locations — 7 County Drive, Skowhegan, and 165 East Main St., Dover-Foxcroft. Two May class sessions will include individual business consultations and a tour of the Dr. Matthew Highlands Pilot Plant, a state-of-the-art UMaine facility that assists food processors, entrepreneurs, farmers, researchers and students in the food industry.
Topics to be covered include licensing, safe preparation and packaging of food, assessing potential profits and locating resources to support a developing business. The class is for people operating a value-added business and those seriously considering one; participants must have a specific food product or recipe in mind and are expected to attend all sessions. Presenters include: Beth Calder, UMaine Extension food science specialist; James McConnon, UMaine Extension business and economics specialist; and Kathy Hopkins, Debra Kantor and Donna Coffin, UMaine Extension educators.
Cost is $35 per person. Partial scholarships are available. Registrations must be received by April 1 to reserve a space. More information, including online registration is online. For questions, or to request a disability accommodation at the Skowhegan site, call 207.474.9622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions, or to request a disability accommodation at the Dover-Foxcroft site, call 207.564.3301 or email email@example.com.
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.
Registration is open for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s annual Maine Grain Conference, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at the Spectacular Event Center, 395 Griffin Road, Bangor. The conference is designed for farmers, crop advisers and others involved in the agricultural community.
Featured speakers Klaas Martens and Mary-Howell Martens from Lakeview Organic Farm in Penn Yan, N.Y., will talk about organic grain rotations, production considerations for alternative grains, growing grain for seed and protecting grain quality with proper harvesting, drying, cleaning and storage. The Martens farm 1,400 acres of corn, wheat, barley, oats and legumes. They also operate a feed mill and sell organic feed, crop seed and food-grade grains.
Dorn Cox of the four-generation Tuckaway Farm in Lee, N.H. will discuss grain equipment options for all scales of operation. The grain grower will also give an overview of his 250-acre farm, as well as of the Great Bay Grain Cooperative that shares equipment and expertise.
Ellen Mallory, UMaine Extension sustainable agriculture specialist and conference organizer, will update attendees on UMaine grain research results with graduate students Aaron Englander and Erin Roche. An open question-and-discussion session will be held so participants can tap into available expertise.
Participants will receive two pesticide certification credits and six Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits.
Registration is required by Thursday, March 13. Cost is $20 if registered by March 10, $30 after. The fee covers lunch and a snack. Registration is available online. For more information, to register by phone, or to request a disability accommodation, call Meghan Dill at 207.581.3878.
Categories: Campus Announcements; Cooperative Extension; Economic Development; Penobscot County; Statewide; Outreach