Lobster-flavored dog biscuits are
one of the newest ways to pamper your pooch.
The Lobster Bisque-its, sold by Blue Seal Feeds Inc., were developed by
the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine and its
commercialization partner Saltwater Marketing LLC. The all-natural dog
treats are baked with lobster meal, a source of natural flavor and
Saltwater Marketing, a Portland, Maine-based company, has been working
with the Lobster Institute for the past two years to develop a
nutritious, flavorful lobster-based pet treat. The institute's product
development work is geared to creating a more efficient and profitable
use of the lobster resource, says Executive Director Bob Bayer.
"Working with Saltwater Marketing and now Blue Seal Feeds, we were able
to get this product out of the lab and into the commercial market,"
Bayer says. "It's yet another example of the collaboration between
business and the university that is such a critical part of economic
development for Maine and New England."
Managing a Campuswide Arboretum
For their senior capstone project,
University of Maine landscape horticulture students have written a
how-to guide of best management practices for use in one of the state's
largest arboretums — the campus of their alma mater.
The capstone project mirrors similar management plans drawn up by
previous landscape horticulture seniors for such high-profile sites as
the grounds of the Maine governor's mansion and the Yew Dell Gardens in
In 2004, UMaine President Robert Kennedy announced the desire to
establish the campus as an arboretum.
Students conducted research and heard from nationally recognized experts
on how to manage large landscapes from an environmentally friendly
perspective. Their strategies included guides for proper plant care and
"putting the right plant in the right place" as part of an integrated
pest management approach.
Last semester, three student teams each developed how-to manuals that
were presented to the university's Campus Arboretum and Beautification
Committee. This spring, the students' best recommendations have been
compiled into a Web-based UMaine landscape management plan with a public
The students call it a plan for the campus' future, with a concentration
on large, diverse plantings to enhance the outdoor experience.
"The hope is to take care of the campus more as a botanical garden, not
just landscape to maintain," says senior Merideth Torrey.
The values of organ donation
Across this country, more than 90,000 people are on waiting lists for
organ donations, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services. While an estimated 74 people each day receive an organ
transplant, another 18 die because of the shortage of donated organs.
In the face of this social dilemma, researchers are attempting to
identify people's values that influence their behavior when it comes to
signing up to donate their organs posthumously. With these values
identified, it would then be possible to tailor health communication
messages to more effectively encourage donation, according to University
of Maine psychologists Richard Ryckman and Joel Gold, working with Bart
van den Borne of the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands and
Bill Thornton of the University of Southern Maine.
In their study, the researchers surveyed 180 Maine college students
using a factual test of their knowledge of organ donation, an
examination of their drivers' licenses as a measure of their intent to
donate, and a personality inventory indicating their values.
The researchers found that young adults whose values reflect
benevolence, universalism, achievement and risk taking are more likely
to have registered to donate their organs posthumously. In a college-age
population, students in certain majors most often hold those values.
For decades, psychologists have known that people in particular
occupations, including students in various majors, tend to strongly
endorse certain values and be less concerned with others. For example,
business and economics students particularly value achievement, and
social science students strongly endorse benevolence and universalism.
The scientists now are conducting a parallel study with Dutch
A new hand-held sensing device designed to detect hazardous materials
has the potential to be a real boon to firefighters and other first
responders on the scene of an emergency. University of Maine Professor
of Chemistry Carl Tripp from the Laboratory for Surface Science and
Technology, and engineers from Orono Spectral Solutions, have nearly
completed a prototype, with business assistance from Bret Golann of the
Maine Business School. A product survey of fire chiefs yields enthusiasm
for the new invention. Then one of the fire chiefs asks: What happens if
it's accidentally dropped from a building?
"You have to reengineer to respond to that," says Golann, assistant
professor of entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. "That's
why you can't just function in a lab (when doing new product
Golann and other UMaine professors teach entrepreneurship courses as
part of the undergraduate business curriculum at UMaine. He also offers
a new course in technology commercialization that builds on the
entrepreneurship courses by helping seniors and graduate students in any
field learn how to launch and grow technology-based businesses.
"Whether they join an entrepreneurial company or go out on their own, I
want them to be able to take even the most poorly defined ideas and
figure out if they can be viable and grown into sustainable businesses,
not flashes in the pan," says Golann.
Adding Student Innovation to the
Sports Done Right, the University of Maine program designed to guide the
improvement of interscholastic and youth sports in Maine and across the
country, has teamed with the campus-based Student Innovation Center to
develop a national marketing campaign.
Last summer, two students conducted market research to determine the
most effective informational product for customers — schools, coaches,
parents, community groups and student-athletes. Now four students with
graphic design, multimedia and marketing skills are working with Karen
Brown, director of the Maine Center for Sport and Coaching in UMaine's
College of Education and Human Development, which initiated Sports Done
Right. Together, they are developing a kit, complete with informational
and survey material and a DVD, to assist schools and communities with
the implementation of Sports Done Right. The implementation tool kit
also will include a self-assessment instrument, which is required when
applying for Sports Done Right accreditation.
Sports Done Right's five-year accreditation, through the Maine Center
for Sport and Coaching, means that a school or community "signs on" to
the core principles and practices as outlined in the report, Sports Done
Right: A Call to Action on Behalf of Maine's Student-Athletes. As such,
they pledge at all levels — from the student-athlete to the coach, from
the school and the school district to the entire community — to provide
opportunities for young people to experience the very best of
interscholastic athletics in a setting where sports are "done right."
The tool kits are expected to be ready for distribution to a nationwide
waiting list by early summer.
Insight Light: Ocean Bowl
In February, 17 teams of high school students from Maine, Vermont and
New Hampshire were at the University of Maine competing in the annual Nor'Easter Ocean Sciences Bowl, designed to introduce high school
students to marine sciences. This year's northern New England
championship team from Contoocook Valley Regional High School in
Peterborough, N.H., is headed in May to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl
in California. Among the possible questions teams faced in the regional
On North America's Atlantic coast, identify the four major intertidal
zones and organisms found in each.
Answer: Upper intertidal — lichens, encrusting algae; middle intertidal
— barnacles, mussels, rockweed; lower intertidal — Irish moss; extreme
lower intertidal — seaweeds.
Why does coral bleaching occur?
Answer: Zooxanthellae, a type of algae, gives coral color. Changes in
salinity or an increase in temperature, UV exposure or pollution results
in the expulsion of zooxanthellae.
Globally, which regions tend to have the greatest and the least species
Answer: Regions of high species diversity tend to be located near the
equator. Regions of low species diversity tend to be in the North
Atlantic. Within geologically recent times, these areas were glaciated,
with only a relatively short period of evolutionary time for species to
Forests for Maine's Future
Representatives from four key forestry groups in the state — the Maine
Forest Service, the University of Maine's Forestry Programs, the Small
Woodland Owners Association of Maine and the Maine Tree Foundation —
have joined forces to help promote greater public awareness of Maine's
forests and their importance to the state's economic, social and
The group will work to draw attention to all aspects of Maine's forests
— from jobs, clean water, vibrant rural economies and unique habitats to
industry, recreational opportunities and sustainable energy products.
"Our forest products, outdoor recreation and tourism industries depend
on a healthy, vibrant forest in order to thrive," said Gov. John
Baldacci. "The work of Forests for Maine's Future will give all Maine
citizens a new perspective on Maine's forests in the 21st century."
Worldwide, governments use site leasing as a means of regulating the
aquaculture industry. But with the end of the lease comes the
uncertainty of whether it will be renewed or cancelled.
Evergreen operating contracts, like those used for forestry leases in
New Zealand and Canada, and for grazing rights in Australia, provide a
more efficient and effective alternative. Under an evergreen contract,
the lessee and the government renegotiate terms midway through the
agreement. The advantages, say a University of Maine economist and an
Australian scientist, are greater continuity and predictability, which
help avoid undesirable incentives to pursue shortsighted gains as the
"Evergreen contracts can often find common ground on issues that would
be more difficult in either a regulatory context or a fixed-period
lease," according to Ralph Townsend, chair of UMaine's Department of
Economics, and Michael Young of the Australian Commonwealth Science and
Industry Research Organisation, in the journal Marine Resource
The option to renew a lease half way through the current agreement
dramatically affects the ability of the lessee and the government to
plan, say the researchers. An evergreen contract encourages longer-term
vision, and recognizes that the relationship must evolve as new
The Silica Solution
University of Maine Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering William DeSisto is conducting research on a new class of modified mesoporous
silica membranes with the help of a prestigious award to young
scientists, the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career
DeSisto is the sixth UMaine faculty member to receive the award since
With $400,000 in the next five years, DeSisto will study silica
membranes as an alternative to traditional energy-intensive separation
processes, like distillation. The membranes could have applications in
refining petrochemicals and building better batteries for everyday
In order for silica membranes to be used on a large scale, fundamental
research is needed on how to control their performance. DeSisto plans to
control the size of the silica membrane's tiny pores and, ultimately,
their surface chemistry through new chemical reaction approaches.
Hybrid composite membranes of inorganic, nanoscale — millionth of a
millimeter — pores filled with organic material could be molecularly
tailored to specific separations, like light gases and vapors, and
larger molecules, like proteins.