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UMPI hosts State Geologist Robert Marvinney

Maine State Geologist and Director of the Maine Geological Survey Robert Marvinney will give a lecture, Lessons Learned from Maine’s Ocean Energy Test Siting Process, at the University of Maine at Presque Isle at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 16 in the Campus Center.

In 2009, State Geologist Dr. Robert Marvinney led the team effort to locate suitable sites in Maine State coastal waters for testing the technology necessary to deploy wind turbines in deep waters of the Gulf of Maine. This presentation will provide an overview of that effort, including the GIS process for narrowing down the list of potential sites. Marvinney will also highlight the effort to communicate to and get input from fishermen, recreational boaters, coastal resource managers, and other stakeholders with interest in Maine’s nearshore marine environment.

The research project was the result of federal funds received by the State of Maine and University of Maine at Orono to develop new materials for the manufacture of off-shore wind turbines and to build test sites for off-shore wind turbines. The test siting project led to the announcement of offshore energy demonstration sites on December 15, 2009. The sites are the first of their kind in the nation and intended to permit testing of deep-water devices within state waters. The Monhegan site has been designated the University of Maine’s offshore energy research center, and UM expects to deploy test devices in early 2012.

University of Maine Presque Isle professor, Dr. Chunzeng Wang, notes “The Gulf of Maine holds high potential as a source of renewable ocean energy. Development of Maine’s vast offshore wind energy resource, particularly that in deep-water areas, will be a central feature of the transition to the renewable energy-focused economy in the state. This transition will include and necessitate creation of significant opportunities for growth and expansion of Maine’s emerging ocean energy business cluster in areas related to manufacturing, research and development, design, financing, deployment, operations and maintenance of ocean energy and other renewable energy systems, energy distribution, and related businesses.”

Marvinney received his PhD from Syracuse University and has been with the Maine Geological Survey since 1987. He has served as the Survey’s director and as Maine State Geologist since 1995. The Maine Geological Survey is a multi-faceted agency with programs including geological mapping, groundwater quality, coastal environment geology, geological hazards, and fossil fuels and renewable energy. Marvinney also focuses on public policy as it relates to geological issues – primarily ground water resources, coastal geological processes, and energy resources.

“As a public university, UMPI and its recently developed renewable energy curriculum are committed to educating the public about state-wide issues regarding Maine’s resources of renewable energy and concerns on development of renewable energy resources,” stated Wang. “We are very excited to host Dr. Marvinney on campus and provide this opportunity for the public to interact with him.”

For more information about the lecture, contact the University’s Community and Media Relations office at 768-9452.