Eight paintings by abstract expressionist Angelo Ippolito were
donated to the University of Maine Museum of Art this past fall by his
son, Jon Ippolito, a faculty member in UMaine's Department of New Media.
Angelo Ippolito was an influential member of the New York School. The
career of the late artist included international exhibitions of his
works on paper and oils on canvas, and faculty appointments at the
International School of Art, Michigan State University and Binghamton
The donation came at the start of the museum's five-year anniversary
celebration of its relocation to Norumbega Hall in downtown Bangor. The
announcement coincided with a second gift to the Museum of Art from
Machias Savings Bank — free admission to the museum from now through
2008. Bank President and CEO Edward Hennessey made the gift in memory of
Bangor attorney Edward "Ted" Leonard, a museum benefactor and local arts
advocate who died in October.
Up, Up and Away
NASA has cleared for takeoff four student scientists from the
University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine. They'll have
the chance to experience floating in near-zero gravity in a modified
jetliner while performing experiments that could benefit astronauts.
UMaine's Michael Browne, a sophomore in chemical engineering, and
Benjamin Freedman, majoring in both chemical and biological engineering,
are teaming up with USM first-year biology major John Wise Jr., the team
leader, and Adam Courtemanche, a senior information technology major, to
participate in NASA's Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities
Program in Houston, July 10–19.
The team, the first from Maine, is one of 40 from around the country
selected this year by NASA, which awards the coveted slots based on the
merit of the students' research proposals. After their training and
physical tests, the Maine team will carry out in-flight experiments to
measure the response of human lung cells to certain toxicants that are
known to damage DNA. The tests will determine whether microgravity and
hypergravity affect the cellular uptake of the chemicals, and create
differences in the amount of chemical-induced DNA damage and repair.
The students' mentors, Michael Mason, a UMaine assistant professor of
chemical and biological engineering, and John Wise Sr., director of
USM's Laboratory for Environmental and Genetic Toxicology, will travel
to Houston as part of the ground crew.
The students will fly aboard an airplane that will perform parabolic
maneuvers up to 34,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico. The students will
experience 30 seconds of hypergravity as the plane climbs to the top of
the parabola. Once the plane starts to dive to Earth, the students will
experience 25 seconds of near-zero microgravity. The plane will do this
30 times in one flight.
Virtual climate change and other supercomputing capabilities
Schoolchildren in Maine soon will have an opportunity to
experiment with variable climate change scenarios by accessing the
University of Maine's environmental modeling programs from their
The UMaine Department of Computer Science has received two National
Science Foundation grants — $200,000 to buy a second supercomputer and
$300,000 to develop new supercomputer software — to improve the transfer
of massive data files.
The new supercomputer and an access portal being developed will allow
Maine middle school students to access the University of Maine's Ice
Sheet Model for environmental experiments. It also will enable the
university to engage in much greater outreach and research activities,
the type that require massive computing power, according to Phillip
Dickens, a UMaine professor of computer science and the principal
researcher receiving the grants.
Computer science faculty and students will create a user-friendly,
scientific grid portal for accessing UMaine's vast computing resources,
scientific applications and research animations, Dickens says. Users,
ranging from Maine's top research scientists to students, will access
the grid portal with a standard Web browser.
The new 96-processor supercomputer will be housed at Target Technology
Center in Orono. It will be overseen by Dickens and four grant project
collaborators: Sudarshan Chawathe and James Fastook from the Department
of Computer Science, and Yifeng Zhu and Bruce Segee from the Department
of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The supercomputer will support the work of participating faculty, in
addition to research by members of Maine's general research community,
including Jackson Laboratory.
Archaeological work along Peru's southern coast over the past
several decades has largely supported ethnohistoric accounts by 16th-
and 17th-century Europeans, which depicted prehispanic life as dependent
on specialized economic activities related to fishing or agriculture.
However, recent excavations at Wawakiki in the midst of the Osmore
region, one of the southernmost valleys of Peru, have revealed
communities involved in complex, wide-ranging economic organization and
production strategies as the Chiribaya people responded to the effects
of population growth and diminishing agricultural potential.
Communities along this rugged intervalley coastal zone may have
constituted a third division of society, according to University of
Maine archaeologist Gregory Zaro, writing of his field excavations in
that area in a recent issue of Latin American Antiquity. Rather than
relying primarily on the highland resources of the Andean slopes or
specialized economic activities related largely to farming or fishing,
communities along the intervalley coast appear to have satisfied
economic needs by intensively pursuing multiple subsistence strategies
in agriculture and fishing, and the gathering of wild terrestrial
Due in part to centuries of decreased highland precipitation that
stressed lower valley farming communities along the Ilo River, the
Chiribaya expanded into the relatively unpopulated intervalley coast and
focused more on diversified community-level production. According to
Zaro, Wawakiki and some neighboring communities represent a historically
contingent response to both cultural and biological necessities and the
environment during the Late Intermediate period (A.D. 1200–1400) in
300 years of spruce budworms
To better understand the frequency, severity and extent of
outbreaks by the spruce budworm, one of the most devastating forest
pests in eastern North America, researchers have reconstructed a
300-year history of invasions in northern interior Maine.
A similar timeline exists for the woods of eastern Canada, but this is
the first time such a history was compiled for northeastern American
The Maine study identified five major outbreaks by the insects that feed
on buds and developing foliage of mature conifers, primarily balsam fir
and spruce species. Those outbreaks began around 1709, 1762, 1808, 1914
and 1976. The mean outbreak return interval was 67 years, nearly two
times longer than the cycle in eastern Canada, where there are slightly
different forest types and stand dynamics.
The researchers from the University of Maine and Indiana State
University combined historical documentation and analyses of growth
rings in red spruce, which are host trees, and nonhost northern white
cedar. Their study area was the Big Reed Forest Reserve, owned by the
Nature Conservancy, one of the largest remaining tracts of old-growth
forest in the Northeast.
The results of their research were published in the Canadian Journal of
Encore: Native writers
For the past year, Assiniboine playwright William Yellow Robe has
been a part-time instructor in the University of Maine English
Department, where he has taught Native American drama and literature.
Last fall, two of his plays were performed as part of Readers' Theater
on campus, and in December, one was staged in New York City. We asked
Yellow Robe to share his reading list of works by Native authors and
Ghost Dance, a play by Annette Arkeketa
Seventh Generation: An Anthology of Native American Plays, edited
by Mimi D'Aponte
New Native American Drama: Three Plays by Hanay Geiogamah
American Indian Theater in Performance: A Reader, edited by Hanay
Geiogamah and Jaye Darby
Inter-Tribal, a play by Terry Gomez
Staging Coyote's Dream: An Anthology of First Nations Drama in
English, edited by Monique Mojica and Richard Paul Knowles
Where the Pavement Ends: Five Native American Plays by William
Yellow Robe Jr.
Hitching a ride – with whom?
When it's time for the larvae of freshwater mussels to disperse,
they hitch a ride on the gills, fins or scales of certain fish species.
Finding out which fish the parasitic larvae or glochidia prefer as hosts
is essential to regional conservation efforts leading to recovery of
In Maine, that's particularly important to two state-designated
threatened species — the yellow lampmussel and tidewater mucket.
University of Maine wildlife ecologists Stephen Kneeland and Judith
Rhymer have developed and used a molecular identification key to the 10
species of freshwater mussels in Maine in an effort to determine which
fish in the wild serve as hosts for the larvae.
In their research, published by the international Journal of Molluscan
Studies and, most recently, the Journal of the North American
Benthological Society, DNA samples were taken from mussels in the
Penobscot, Kennebec and St. George River drainages in Maine. The key was
used to successfully identify more than 680 larvae on the gills of 230
fish, representing 18 species from 13 locations in the study area.
As a conservation tool, molecular identification keys provide efficient
and accurate information on host use by the entire mussel community. In
this case, potential new host fish were identified for five of six
mussel species, including three considered by the state to be of
For frogs in Acadia National Park, beavers are their best
friends, according to a new University of Maine study.
In a survey of 71 freshwater wetlands in Acadia, the researchers found
that active, beaver-modified wetland landscapes created such habitat
diversity as to benefit all pond-breeding amphibian species, even those
with very different living requirements. Sites richest in pond-breeding
amphibians were those connected to stream corridors and those modified
by beaver activity.
As beavers have recolonized areas of their former range in North
America, they have increased the number and diversity of available
breeding sites in the landscape for pond-breeding amphibians, according
to UMaine wetland ecologists Jesse Cunningham and Aram Calhoun, and
biologist William Glanz. The study highlights the importance of beavers
in creating and connecting suitable breeding sites for pond-breeding
amphibians in northern forested landscapes.
Their findings were published in the Journal of Wildlife Management.
This summer, University of Maine journalism faculty members will
participate in a professional exchange and certificate program with
From mid-June through August, six East African journalists will visit
the university and several media organizations in Maine and on the East
Coast to see how Americans cover the news, from small towns to large
The Certificate in Journalism Training for International Scholars
program is possible through a $183,000 grant from USAID (United States
Agency for International Development) to the UMaine School of Policy and
International Affairs, the university's Communication and Journalism
Department, and the Office of International Programs on campus.
The Tanzanian journalists will be exposed to some of the latest
information technologies employed by American media. UMaine faculty and
American journalists the Africans meet during the summer will learn how
Tanzanians have overcome some of the reporting challenges they face at
"The Tanzanian population relies much more on radio news mass media than
many American media markets," says Shannon Martin, chair of the
Department of Communication and Journalism, whose research has included
work with journalists in Bosnia-Herzegovina. "One thing I'm hoping to
learn from the Tanzania media is how they prepare their media broadcasts
to reach rural markets."
Martin anticipates UMaine's journalist exchange continuing to include