Discovery is the essence of
higher education institutions like the University of Maine. It's at the
heart of our basic and applied research, and inseparable from the
academic and experiential learning that goes on in and out of classrooms
and laboratories. To discover is to encounter the unexpected, to find
new ways of thinking about the world, to contribute information that
expands our understanding, and to explore who we are as people and a
As such, discovery is much more than the euphoric, culminating "aha"
moment. It is a dynamic, ongoing process that can take years to develop
and, in the end, may or may not yield tangible results. Yet we must keep
asking the questions and seeking answers to what we do not know.
In this issue of UMaine Today, as in so many others, members of the
University of Maine community demonstrate the importance of discovery
and the creative thinking it takes. In each case, their research and
educational activism push us back to the basics, begin to answer
long-held questions and urge us to consider other perspectives.
For example, research by Ph.D. wildlife ecology student Angela Fuller
and professor Dan Harrison involves backtracking in order to better
understand the elusive and threatened lynx. Marine archaeologist Warren
Riess undertakes a similar process, taking a step back in time by
exploring shipwrecks in an effort to contribute to our understanding of
Philosopher Jessica Miller's research goes back to the basic, yet often
unfathomed tenant of trust that has far-reaching social implications.
With his knowledge of the latest advances in information technology,
spatial engineer and lawyer Harlan Onsrud is involved in ongoing inquiry
about its capabilities and limitations. In Cooperative Extension, a
youth program dares to question, then reenvision, society's
long-standing definition of beauty.
And then there's Linne Mooney. In her more than two decades of
scholarship devoted to the study of medieval manuscripts, she has
compiled a database of more than 200 scribes who were working in England
from 1375–1425. Mooney also is one of the pioneers in using computer
technology in manuscript research. This year, she made headlines around
the world with a classic "aha" moment — identification of the scribe who
wrote for Chaucer.
Discovery. It's what we're about at the
University of Maine.
UMaine Today Magazine
Department of University Relations
5761 Howard A. Keyo Public Affairs Building
Phone: (207) 581-3744 | Fax: (207) 581-3776