Recent episodes

S3E10: How are lobsters doing?

Lobsters are synonymous with Maine, defining it alongside lighthouses, forests, rocky coasts, blueberries and potatoes. Beyond its reputation as a delicious meal, this iconic crustacean propels a major industry, draws tourists from around the world and serves as a bellwether for climate change and environmental health. Few people know this creature from all angles better […]

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S3E9: How do you teach music during a pandemic?

The coronavirus has disrupted just about every facet of academia, especially music education. Like concerts and jam sessions, teaching music is a shared community experience, but the pandemic has prompted several educators to switch instruction from in-person to remote. How can a teacher help a student improve when they can’t be in the same room […]

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S3E8: What’s so cool about cold-water corals?

When people think of coral reefs, they might imagine snorkeling in warm Caribbean waters. But corals also live in the Gulf of Maine and in some of the most extreme environments on Earth, including the Arctic and Antarctic. Rhian Waller, associate professor of marine sciences and a National Geographic Explorer, dives deep in near-freezing water […]

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S3E7: Did climate impact WWI, Spanish flu casualties?

Incessant torrential rain and cold air over Europe from 1914 to 1919 likely increased the number of people who died during World War I (22 million) and the Spanish flu pandemic (50 million). Alex More and Paul Mayewski from the Climate Change Institute connected data from climate science, history and public health to make the […]

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S3E6: How do face masks affect first impressions?

There’s an adage that people don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Mollie Ruben, assistant professor of psychology, examines how face masks affect people’s first impressions of others during the COVID-19 outbreak. Do people appear more or less smart to others, depending on whether they’re wearing or not wearing a mask? More […]

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S3E5: How can philosophy help deliver the best medical care?

Some may imagine that people who major in and pursue careers in philosophy are relegated to poring through old dusty books about Plato and Socrates. In reality, philosophy majors work in all kinds of fields, including the legal profession and entertainment. One place you might not expect to find a philosopher is in the hospital […]

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S3E4: How does diversity strengthen education and community?

The death of George Floyd is just one of several incidents that pushed issues of race, diversity and justice to the front burner in 2020. At the University of Maine, President Joan Ferrini-Mundy created a new council to examine where UMaine stands in relation to these issues and what can be done to foster a […]

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S3E3: How are technology and online classes changing education?

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated many changes that were already underway in how and where education is delivered these days. From Pre-K to Ph.D., online curricula offered through digital platforms like Zoom and Brightspace are now a key component of virtually every student’s instruction. What are the advantages of using these technologies? Will they replace or […]

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S3E2: What does the future look like for Maine’s wild blueberries?

Along with lobsters and lighthouses, wild blueberries are an iconic product from the state of Maine. While the industry has struggled of late, promising developments exist for wild blueberries and the people who grow and make products out of them. UMaine’s wild blueberry expert Lily Calderwood shares her thoughts on the work being done at […]

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S3E1: How have Maine schools dealt with the pandemic?

Last spring, when the coronavirus was causing major shifts in how schools educated children, Catherine Biddle, Maria Frankland and students from the College of Education and Human Development did some research. They explored how schools were managing and communicating decisions to families. One of the researchers’ goals was to identify best practices for educators to […]

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