2019 IURC Awardees
Biophysical and social dimensions of tick-borne disease risk in Maine’s public parks and natural areas
PI: Allison Gardner, UM School of Biology and Ecology
Collaborators: Sandra De Urioste-Stone, UM School of Forest Resources, Sean Birkel, UM Climate Change Institute; Danielle Levesque, UM School of Biology and Ecology.
Climate change is expected to cause an increase in the amount of ticks infected with Lyme disease, which will increase people’s chances of exposure to the illness. This is not only a public health concern, but also a potential for losses in Maine’s nature-based tourism industry. This project aims to deepen our understanding of the natural and human drivers of tick-borne disease transmission and potential interactions among climate, wildlife, and visitation. Work will be done through field studies, Acadia visitor surveys, and the production of a tick and Lyme disease awareness document for public outreach. Click to read more.
Science and Workforce Development for Sustainable Aquaculture in Maine
PI: Heather Leslie, UM, Darling Marine Center
Collaborators: Brian Beal, UMM Marine Sciences Field Station; Rachel Lasley-Rasher, USM Biological Sciences, Theo Willis & Karen Wilson, USM Environmental Science & Policy; Jeremy Rich, Damian Brady & Joshua Stoll, UM School of Marine Sciences
As part of an effort to ensure Maine’s aquaculture potential is met, this project aims to help train the next generation of aquaculture scientists and professionals through research experience. Six complementary projects are involved, examples of which are developing a sustainable system for scallop spat collection, understanding community perspectives and benefits of coastal marine aquaculture, and the development and testing of a freshwater recirculating aquaculture system.
The Western Passage student research collaborative: Considering physical, biological, and social dynamics of a tidally energetic system in Eastern Maine
PI: Kristina Cammen, UM School of Marine Sciences
Collaborators: Gayle Zydlewski, Maine Sea Grant, Jessica Jansujwicz, UM Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions; Lauren Ross, UM Civil and Environmental Engineering; Tora Johnson, UMM Marine Biology; and Gabriella Marafino, UM School of Marine Sciences
The objectives of this project are 1) to evaluate the utility of available water current data for building a three-dimensional turbulence model of the Western Passage region, 2) to describe the frequency of occurrence and interactions among multiple trophic levels of marine species in Western Passage, and 3) to document local ecological knowledge of Western Passage and identify remaining data gaps and regulatory and social implications. Click to read more.
Making Maine’s Local Food System Sustainable: Opportunities to Address Hunger and Reduce Waste through a Multi-Site, Interdisciplinary Team
PI: Deborah Saber, UM School of Nursing
Collaborators: Jean MacRae, UM Civil and Environmental Engineering; Balu Nayak, UM School of Food and Agriculture; Travis Blackmer, UM School of Economics; Linda Silka, UM Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions; Cindy Isenhour, UM Anthropology; UMPI; USM, UMA; UMF, and UMFK.
This project is a continuation of an IURC-I program that focuses on food loss, food waste, and barriers to establishing a circular food system and environmental sustainability while addressing food insecurity. Through this IURC-II program, college-educated Millennials who are engaged in projects and research have the opportunity to join an interdisciplinary team that aims to discuss problems, conduct research, develop solutions, participate in decision-making processes, and expand a youthful workforce in growing work sectors in Maine.