News & Events

UMPI hosts Science Lunchtime Seminar Series

Two academic programs at the University of Maine at Presque Isle are again joining forces this spring to provide the campus and community with an innovative way to explore the world of science. The Environmental Science and Sustainability and the Biology programs are again presenting a lunchtime seminar series that will provide a forum to present scientific research conducted by UMPI students and faculty as well as other local and regional scientists. This is the sixth time the two groups have hosted the series.

“This is the sixth semester of this seminar series, and we continue to have a diverse and well regarded lineup including scientists, a medical doctor, and an organic farmer. We are also highlighting our current students’ research accomplishments as well as our recent graduates who are professionally employed locally,” Dr. Jason Johnston, coordinator of the Science Lunchtime Seminar Series, said. “The range of topics this semester covers some of the most important and most debated issues in contemporary science—like stem cells, agriculture, medicine and environmental quality. These talks all have great local relevance, and we welcome anyone from the local community to join us to learn and discuss.”

Seminars generally will be held on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 12:15-1:30 p.m. in Folsom 201, UMPI’s GIS Lab, unless otherwise noted. Faculty, students, staff and community members are welcome to attend this free event and are encouraged to bring their lunches and join the discussion.

The series kicked off on Thursday, Feb. 11, with a presentation by Lakesh Sharma, Ph.D., UMPI Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, on Role of Precision Ag. in Agronomy.

On Tuesday, Feb. 23, Kenji Saito, MD, JD, with The Aroostook Medical Center, will deliver his talk, Bioethics: Harmonizing Medicine, Law and the Environment.

On Tuesday, March 1, Jim Gerritsen of Wood Pairie Farm in Bridgewater, Maine, will deliver a talk, Challenges of Organic Farming.

On Thursday, March 10, Dustin Updike, Ph.D., Assistant Professor with the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, will deliver his talk Germ Granules and the Maintenance of Cellular Totipotency.

On Tuesday, April 5, the series will present two undergraduate presentations: Comparison of Pathogenic Antibiotic Resistant Genes from Fall and Winter, by Abigail Riitano, UMPI Biology major; and Mapping Forests in the Micmac Trust Lands and Developing a Forest Resource GIS Database, by Nate Norris, Daniel Swallow, and Dean Costello, UMPI Environmental Science & Sustainability majors.

On Tuesday, April 12, the series will host Recent UMPI Graduates Working Locally—A Discussion Panel. Panelists will include Scott Belair (Environmental Science), who works for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection; Amanda Buzzell (Biology), who serves as a P.A. for Katahdin Valley Health Center; and Lana McCurry (Biology), who works for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The spring series ends with a presentation on Tuesday, April 26 titled The History of Maine’s Water Quality from the 1950’s up to 2015 by Matt Scott, Maine DEP and Maine Board of Environmental Protection (retired).

For more information about the Science Lunchtime Seminar Series, contact Dr. Jason Johnston at 768-9652 or email jason.johnston@maine.edu.