Recent News

UMaine research shows Maine consumers willing to pay more for food sustainably harvested, seafood from the state

By Chase Brunton

Maine consumers would be willing to pay more for food that is sustainably harvested and some may even be willing to spend extra for seafood harvested in Maine waters, according to a recent survey conducted by researchers in the University of Maine School of Economics.

The issue, according to researchers, is that information about the source and sustainable practices of food production isn’t always available.

In a survey of more than 1,000 Maine citizens this spring, 75 percent of respondents indicated that they were willing to pay more for sustainably harvested food, and 30 percent believed Maine people are willing to pay extra for seafood from Maine.

UMaine Assistant Professor of Economics Caroline Noblet, who collaborates on the research with Associate Professor of Marine Policy Teresa Johnson, says people do care where their food comes from and they might have preferences. But when information is incomplete or unavailable, especially in restaurants, customers’ choices may be impacted.

Maine restaurants owners told the UMaine researchers that tourists — not Maine residents — were far more likely to ask about seafood origins.

The survey is part of a Maine Sea Grant research project called Seafood Links, studying what consumer perceptions of seafood, and learning how Maine businesses source their seafood. The goal of the research is to increase awareness and availability of local and sustainable options.

Also part of the research project, Brianne Suldovsky, a Ph.D. candidate in communication, conducted preliminary interviews with people in supermarkets and at seafood festivals, asking them to write down three or four words they associated with “seafood,” “local seafood” and “sustainable seafood.” Her intent is to evaluate how consumers understand the word “sustainable” in relation to seafood.

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Historical Atlas of Maine receives three new awards

The Historical Atlas of Maine has received three new awards, bringing to four the number of honors presented to the folio, its editors, cartographer and publisher this spring.

The atlas won the best Book/Atlas category and was named Best of Show by the international Cartography and Geographical Information Society, and received the Excellence in Publishing Award from the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.

In February, Historical Atlas of Maine received the 2016 American Association of Geographers Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography — one of the two most distinguished book prizes available in American geography.

The atlas, the result of a 15-year scholarly project led by University of Maine researchers, offers a new geographical and historical interpretation of Maine, from the end of the last ice age to the year 2000. The volume was published in 2015 by University of Maine Press, a division of UMaine’s Raymond H. Fogler Library.

The folio-size Historical Atlas of Maine is edited by UMaine historian Richard Judd and UMaine geographer Stephen Hornsby, with cartography by Michael Hermann. It tells the principal stories of the many people who have lived in Maine over the past 13,000 years — the history of Native peoples, European exploration and settlement, the American Revolution, Maine statehood, agricultural and industrial development, and the rise of tourism and environmental awareness.

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Maine Matters Award

Starting in Fall 2016, the University of Maine is pleased to announce our new financial aid program for in-state students called the Maine Matters Program. The program is made up of the Maine Matters Award, Merit Scholarships and the Maine Match. See below for requirements.

Maine Matters Award

Every in-state student admitted to the University is guaranteed $500 in either a Maine Matters Award or other merit aid (including Athletic scholarships) if they meet the eligibility requirements.

Maine Matters Awards will be offered based on an enrollment of 15 credits per semester. Maine Matters Awards will be pro-rated based on enrollment if students enroll in less than 15 credits. Students enrolling in less than 6 credits per semester will not be eligible for the Maine Matters Award.

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University of Maine to host Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

The University of Maine has been selected as one of 37 institutions nationwide as partners with the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

Beginning in mid-June, UMaine will host 25 emerging public management leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa for a six-week academic and leadership institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the 2014 flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and support for activities in their communities. Fellows are young leaders who have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities and countries.

The 25 Mandela Fellows at UMaine are among 1,000 young African leaders ages 25 to 35 who were selected from more than 43,000 applications. The fellows are being hosted at institutions across the United States this summer, studying in institutes focused on business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, public management or energy. In addition, fellows will participate in community programming that offers insights into American culture.

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2016 UMaine Alumni Black Bear Marathon

Black Bear Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K

The University of Maine Alumni Association presented the second annual Black Bear Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K on Sunday, June 5. The cool morning offered optimal conditions for the runners.

All three races began on the track at UMaine’s Harold Alfond Stadium. The 26.2-mile course, a double loop of a 13.1-mile course, began on the UMaine campus, traveled through Orono and Old Town, and returned to campus on the university’s bike path. The certified course featured cheer stations, music, water, and sports drinks.

The Black Bear Marathon is the only Maine race included in Holiday Lettings from TripAdvisor’s “50 U.S. road races to attempt in your lifetime.”

Two UMaine alumnae won in their categories. For the second year in a row, Tracy Guerrette ’03 was the first woman to finish the marathon. Lisa Wiley Kingsbury ’86 won the 10K. Also among the race participants was Karl Leitz from Jersey City, NJ, who after the Black Bear Marathon has completed marathons in all 50 states. See the list of winners and their race times.

See the story [WLBZ] [WABI]

2015 Black Bear Marathon

Black Bear Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K to be held June 5

The University of Maine Alumni Association will present the second annual Black Bear Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K on Sunday, June 5.

All three races will begin at 7:30 a.m. on the track at UMaine’s Harold Alfond Stadium. There is a six-hour limit for the marathon course. An early start at 6:30 a.m. is available to those who prefer an extra hour to complete the marathon.

The 26.2-mile course is a double loop of the 13.1-mile course that begins on the UMaine campus and travels through Orono and Old Town and back to the university’s bike path. The certified course will feature cheer stations, music, water and sports drinks.
The Black Bear Marathon was the only Maine race included in Holiday Lettings from TripAdvisor’s “50 U.S. road races to attempt in your lifetime.”

Registration is online. Fees are $90 for the marathon, $70 for the half and $35 for the 10K. The first 600 runners to register will receive a logo race shirt. Medals will be given to all registered runners who cross the finish line.

A race expo and packet pickup will be held 2–6 p.m. Saturday, June 4 in the New Balance Field House on campus.

The Black Bear Race series is run by the Student Wellness Resource Center with support from several sponsors. Proceeds benefit the center’s substance abuse prevention services and programs, as well as the Black Bear Exchange food pantry and clothing exchange. Race organizers also plan to form a fundraising partnership with charitable organizations to give back to the community.

More information is available on the race website or by contacting Lauri Sidelko at, 581.1423.

Black Bear Leadership Summit

BBLS-02-26_600pxThe inaugural Black Bear Leadership Summit was held Friday, February 26, at Wells Conference Center. The program, “Leading with Passion,” featured five speakers; each presented his or her unique perspective on leadership roles and skills. The event also offered workshops in which attendees could work with business professionals.

The summit, organized by the Golden Key International Honour Society and the Sophomore Owls, provided students and participants with an opportunity to gain leadership skills and hone real-world management techniques.

“We hope attendees grasp that leadership is not a position up here; it’s everybody. If we don’t realize the leaders in ourselves, we can’t move forward,” said Kathy Hill ’16, Golden Key member and event co-emcee.      

Presenters included: Todd Saucier ’93, ’97G of United Insurance, Brigadier General Douglas Farnham, Chief Master Sergeant Daniel G. Moore, Dr. Carol Kim, and Dr. Robert Dana ’80.

BBLS_IMG_8462-500pxThe two workshops offered were “Professionalism and Networking in a Digital World,” hosted by Sam Kunz ’14G of the UMaine Career Center, and “Managing Group Dynamics,” hosted by Nicole Gogan, deputy director of economic development for the City of Brewer.

“This event is fantastic. It was started by students who showed initiative in creating intentional opportunities. It’s an experience to draw from a strong group of students,” said Gogan, a UMaine alumna who earned her MBA in 2011. “After I graduated, I missed the energy here, so when I got the opportunity to come back, I jumped on it,” she added.