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UMFK to host environmental speakers on campus

January 23, 2008

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The Academic Outreach office and the Environmental Studies program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent will host four guest speakers during the spring semester. All Environmental Speakers Series presentations are scheduled from 12 noon to 1 p.m. in the Nadeau Hall teleconference room.  

All events are free and the general public is encouraged to attend.  Refreshments will be provided.   

“For several years, the Environmental Studies program at UMFK has invited environmental professionals from the region to speak on campus about their areas of expertise.  The presentations enable our students to learn firsthand about the wide variety of careers that are available in the area of environmental studies.  This year, we are especially fortunate to have two professionals scheduled to speak who are graduates of our Environmental Studies program – Sean Lizotte and Julie Daigle,” said Dr. Kim Borges, associate professor of environmental studies. 

“The series has brought people to the campus who are involved in current environmental issues,” said Donald Eno, coordinator of academic outreach. 

The series will kick-off on Friday, February 8 with David Rand, a board member of the International Appalachian Trail/Sentier International des Appalaches.  Rand will present an overview of the entire trail, from Maine through New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. He will highlight the history, scenery, and geology of the trail.  The first section focuses on Baxter State Park, where the trail begins. 

The International Appalachian Trail/Sentier Interantional des Appalaches originated from an idea by Dick Anderson, a fisheries biologist and former commissioner of Maine's Department of Conservation. Beginning at Mt. Kathdin, the trail connects the Northern Forest, on both sides of the US-Canada border. Since 1995, the trail has been extended northward, twice. First, it was extended from the original end at Mont Jacques Cartier to the east end of the Gaspé Peninsula at Cap Gaspé. Then, in 2002, upon a request from a Newfoundland delegation, the trail was extended through the Appalachians of Newfoundland to Belle Isle. The trail is now approximately 1,400 miles long.  

On Friday, February 22, the campus will welcome Mary Jo Kimble of the United States Department of Agriculture.  Kimble is a soil scientist and a project leader for the department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soil survey.  She is working out of the Presque Isle USDA office.

Kimble and her team conduct soil surveys in the county’s major agricultural areas as well as the “big woods.” Kimble will discuss the soil survey findings and demonstrate the on-line Web Soil Survey (WSS), which is produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world.  

Currently NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation’s counties and anticipates having 100 percent in the near future. The site is updated and maintained on-line as the single authoritative source of soil survey information. 

Sean Lizotte will speak on Friday, March 28. Lizotte is a graduate of UMFK’s Environmental Studies program and is a registered Maine guide.  He and his wife, Kelly, own and operate Allagash Guide Service.  Lizotte will discuss his personal experience in guiding and hunting in northern Maine and his perspective on habitat and wildlife management. 

On Friday, April 18 the final speaker for the spring semester series will be Julie Daigle.  Daigle also is a graduate of the Environmental Studies program at UMFK. She works for Stantec Inc., which is an environmental consulting and engineering company.  Daigle will discuss some interesting projects the company has worked on and how to prepare for a career in the field. 

For more information contact Don Eno at 834-7835 or visit: http://www.umfk.maine.edu/academics/outreach/ (link no longer available).