UMF students are inspiring local students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the new UMF 4-H STEM Ambassadors program. The program is a collaboration between UMF students, Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H professionals and local educators to keep elementary and middle school students excited about the STEM subjects. “This UMF program is a wonderful opportunity for our students to get additional, real-life classroom experience while also helping the community’s younger students obtain knowledge and confidence in their own science and math skills,” said Grace Eason, UMF professor of environmental science. “It’s so rewarding to hear a child’s excitement when they say, ‘I can do science!’”
UMF’s innovative, new Biomass Central Heat Plant is up and running, affirming its vision of a sustainable campus for the future. The $11 million facility will consume approximately 4,000 tons of locally-sourced woodchips annually, replacing 95 percent of the 390,000 gallons of fossil fuel formerly used to heat the campus. Environmental stewardship is a core value in the University’s classroom and campus life, according to Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president, and UMF’s continuing commitment to reducing reliance upon fossil fuels.
Portland Press Herald
The Roanoke Times
UMF student Casey Taylor takes advantage of new UMF Alpine Ops Certificate program where he helps children in UMF Snow cats learn to ski.
The University of Maine at Farmington is offering a new program that prepares its students for careers in Maine’s $300 million ski industry. Recently featured on WCSH6 Bill Green’s Maine, UMF’s Alpine Operations Certificate program is not only preparing the ski industry leaders of the future, it’s helping to build the ski industry as well. Developed in collaboration with ski-industry partners in western Maine and launched in 2015, the program offers business, marketing and skiing classes in addition to completing a mountain internship. Farmington’s nearby Titcomb Mountain serves as an on-hill learning lab where Alpine Ops students are responsible for running the successful UMF Snowcats children’s learn-to-ski program. They are currently teaching more than 80, K-3 children how to ski. This is the first skiing experience for many children, and it’s a great opportunity to see how UMF students’ passion for skiing teaches these brand new skiers to develop a love of the sport.
WCSH 6 Bill Green’s Maine
Jean Doty, UMF professor of biology
UMF has been named by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to its nationwide SEA-PHAGES project. The pilot research program is designed to engage college students in real scientific research and discovery as early as possible in their academic careers. As reported in the Daily Bulldog, students will isolate their bacteriophages (a commonly occurring virus that infects bacteria) extract DNA and select a specimen for whole genome sequencing. Additionally, students will analyze the genome sequence using special computer software and participate in the nation-wide study by submitting their findings to the National Center for Biotechnology Information GenBank database. “Students in the program will not only receive a great educational foundation and valuable lab experience, but also contribute to an important national scientific body of knowledge aimed at understanding complex biological systems,” said Jean Doty, UMF professor of biology.
(Left to right) Mila Tappan, Jennifer Rooks, Anne Richardson and Jared Cash discuss the college admission process on MPBN’s Maine Calling.
What do high school juniors and sophomores need to start thinking about to plan for college and navigate the application process? Jared Cash, UMF vice president for enrollment; Anne Richardson, Kents Hill School direct of college counseling and Mila Tappan, Finance Authority of Maine college access and outreach manager discuss the facts that will help students and their families understand the college admission process.
MPBN Maine Calling
MPBN’s “Maine Calling” recently broadcast an industry update on skiing in Maine this winter season. UMF’s new Alpine Operations Certificate Program led by Scott Hoisington with years of four-season resort experience, was highlighted in the podcast by Greg Sweetser, executive director of Ski Maine, as a program to look into for anyone interested in on-mountain internships and in-depth involvement in the ski and snowboard industry.
Ski Maine podcast on MPBN. UMF mentioned at 19:28 (MP3)
Catherine Dufault, a sustainability-minded UMF student majoring in environmental planning and policy, is working to “recover” excess, prepared food from the campus dining service to help meet critical food needs at a local homeless shelter. Dufault, according to a recent Kennebec Journal article, established a UMF chapter of the Food Recovery Network, a national charity that engages students on college campuses to fight food waste and hunger. With this new organization in place, excess fresh prepared food is packaged by campus food service and transported by students to the Western Maine Homeless Outreach in Farmington. In addition to her work with the Food Recovery Network, Dufault is also working to establish a UMF food closet for needy students.
In light of the troubling growth of substance abuse and addiction in Maine, UMF has created an Addiction Rehabilitation Certificate that will help students prepare for a professional career in the addiction field while they are simultaneously pursuing their undergraduate college degree. The new certificate, as reported by the Sun Journal, first became available in fall 2015. It is composed of 22 credits in rehabilitation courses that focus on understanding addiction, prevention and recovery from substance abuse. “Maine is really struggling with the opioid crisis and needs well-trained professionals who have a good educational foundation,” said Joanne Grant, director of the Day One residency treatment program and UMF lecturer. “Having a bachelor’s degree plus addiction training is of tremendous value when looking to be a professional in this field.”
Geography Professor Matthew McCourt’s class saw logs for new creative outdoor playscape.
What do mud kitchens, tree cookies and raised garden beds have in common? They are just several of the creative outdoor playscape elements being considered for a new nature-based early childhood play area at UMF, according to the Morning Sentinel. The proposed play area to be built at the Sweatt-Winter laboratory school at UMF, is a collaborative project between students in early childhood education professor Patti Bailie’s Environments for Young Children course and others in geography professor Matt McCourt’s Land Usage course. Bailie, who has 22 years of experience in the field of nature-based education, said that the benefit for giving children the opportunity to learn in a natural environment are the numerous ways it allows a child to develop.
Patti Bailie, early childhood education professor, and Jeff McKay, director of facilities, listen to playscape ideas shared by Bailie’s class.
Two internationally renowned figures in the avant-garde and experimental music world demonstrate how sound has no boundaries at the innovative UMF Sound Forum, Nov. 18-21. According to a recent Daily Bulldog article, Pauline Oliveros and Annea Lockwood will offer an extraordinary series of UMF Sound Forum events that reveal how sound, silence and noise shape the aural landscape of our lives. Composers, performers, artists and innovators—both Oliveros’ and Lockwood’s work have profoundly influenced American music.