Tag Archives: USM

Author, humanitarian to speak at USM | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Author, humanitarian to speak at USM | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Lab goes to sea: USM science team sails south to study oil spill’s effects on whales | Portland Press Herald

PORTLAND, Maine — A University of Southern Maine professor and  a crew of students are embarking on an expedition to learn how the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is affecting the health of whales.

The research vessel, Odyssey,  a 93-foot, two-masted sailboat packed with laboratory equipment, is now berthed at DiMillo’s Marina. The vessel is scheduled to depart Portland next Friday.

John Wise, a professor of toxicology and molecular epidemiology at the University of Southern Maine, is the lead scientist. At least 10 USM students will be on board for some portion of the three-month expedition.

The vessel is carrying Wise’s cellular molecular laboratory – the only laboratory of its kind at sea, according to Iain Kerr, chief executive officer of Ocean Alliance, the Massachusetts nonprofit that owns the $1.5 million ketch.

Wise and the crew will be hunting for cell samples of sperm, humpback and Bryde’s whales. Wise will study DNA extracted from the cells to examine the effects of pollution.

He will use his lab to grow additional cells, which in effect become a permanent living sample for further study.

The creation of new cell lines from wild marine animals is difficult if not impossible to do because the cells degrade within hours, Wise said. That’s why it’s important to have a floating laboratory.

Click on the link for the rest of this story by Tom Bell in the Portland Press Herald.

USM to host international conference on tech learning | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

USM to host international conference on tech learning | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

For more information, including how to register, call 207-780-5055 or visit usm.maine.edu/pdc/diverse/presentations.html

Keith’s rides Part 3: Getting stuck in the Duster while getting a box of sand

[This is the third of several blog entries on the cars and other vehicles I have driven. It may or may not be of interest. Enjoy. Or not. It’s your choice. – KM]

I went off to the University of Southern Maine in fall 1980 to begin college and spent the first two years there pretty much dependant on friends with wheels and the university’s bus service between the Gorham campus and the one in Portland.

It was an OK situation, I suppose, since I had plenty of friends willing to give me a ride and the bus stopped near the Maine Mall in South Portland where I had a part-time job at Olympic Sporting Goods selling athletic footwear and other assorted athletic gear.

But my sister was to attend USM, too, and my parents felt it was time for a more dependable vehicle to carry the two of us back and forth between Gorham and Aroostook County, typically a six-hour drive with a meal stop midway in Bangor.

If I didn’t make it clear enough, let me do so now: The Bug, in its physical condition, wasn’t particularly safe for the roads, especially wet and winter Maine roads.

My parents got rid of the Bug and purchased a used Dodge Duster. It was plain and brown, brown and plain. And plain. And brown. But it worked fine enough for a while.

I don’t even remember how or when we got rid of that car. It may have happened after I went to California via the National Student Exchange where I attended California State University, Chico. If I couldn’t walk, I usually was able to wrangle a ride from one of my floor-mates and later house-mates, much as I had done the first two years at USM.

I suppose the only road-trip story I have about the Duster involves getting stuck at a beach in the middle of winter.

You see, I was an activity assistant at Robie-Andrews Hall, one of the residential halls on the University of Southern Maine campus in Gorham. (USM also had a campus in Portland, Maine, and I believe it now also has a campus or satellite campus in Lewiston, Maine.) The winters in Maine can be demoralizing – long, dark and cold. So I suggested we have a beach party.

An assistant decorated some butcher paper with a beach scene, but I wanted to add to the scene. I jumped in the Duster and drove to a beach about 30 or 45 minutes away. I pulled into the parking lot. Cold, cold wind was cutting through my coat and snow blowing about, stinging any exposed skin.

I took a shovel and a box, trudged to the beach, dug up some of the beach sand, trudged back to the parking lot, and threw the shovel and box of beach sand in the trunk. I climbed into the Duster, started it up and nearly immediately found that the car was stuck in the blowing snow. Ugh!

Fortunately, a town snowplow drove by before too long and the driver offered to use the snowplow to pull out the car. I’m sure the driver, a Mainer through and through, had plenty to say to his buddies back at the plow barn about the college kid he helped out of a snowbank.

I got the sand back to Robie-Andrews and put it on the floor under the beach scene and changed into a tropical shirt for the party.

Here’s a tip: Never schedule a wintertime beach party on St. Patrick’s Day. College students tend to follow the green beer before they follow the box of beach sand.

 Rides of My Life … so far

Part 1: Jeep Commando

Part 2: VW Bug

Part 3: Dodge Duster

Part 4: Chevrolet Caprice Classic

Part 5: Nissan pickup

Part 6: Suzuki Sidekick

Part 7: Isuzu Rodeo

Part 8: Honda CRV