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November 27, 2006


Two University of Maine at Fort Kent professors have received approval of $7,000 in grant funding for environmental research through the University of Maine Forest Bioproducts Research Project.

A small-equipment grant proposal by Instructor of Forestry, Jeff Dubis, for $5,000 to cover the purchase of an ATV and trailer for use by the University's Forest Technology program was approved. Also, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, Dr. Steve Selva, received grant approval for $2,000 to cover travel expenses associated with his continued research into lichens as environmental indicators.

Small Equipment Grant: Instructor Dubis' students in UMFK's Forest Technology program conduct timber harvest exercises during their first semester of study. The majority of harvesting is done on small, privately-owned woodlots in the local community. Currently, however, the program has no way to extract this wood from the forest and relies on others to bring it to the roadside. The purchase of the ATV and trailer will eliminate the problem.

In most instances, wood is harvested from young softwood stands or timber stand improvement operations in young hardwood stands. The areas harvested in those operations usually are only a few acres. The size of the wood and the volumes harvested in these operations are not feasible for larger harvesting equipment commonly used in the region. UMFK's program provides a service to local landowners by treating stands that may not otherwise be treated.

The ATV purchase also will benefit other Environmental Studies faculty and students engaged in studies for transporting gear to various study sites.

Travel Grant: As part of an on-going investigation of old-forest lichens in northern New England and Maritime Canada, Selva is preparing a manuscript that will summarize his current understanding of the biodiversity and ecology of a group of old forest species of lichens and fungi commonly known as "stubble lichens."

The $2,000 travel grant will cover Dr. Selva's proposed trips to Philadelphia, Pa., Orono, Me., and Halifax and Saint John, N.B. to study lichen collections at The Academy of Natural Science, The University of Maine, The Nova Scotia Museum, and The New Brunswick Museum herbaria.

Selva's visits will afford him the opportunity to study actual lichen specimens that have been cited in reports from literature. Selva previously has conducted similar investigations of lichen collections at the National Museum of Canada in Ottawa/Hull, the New York Botanical Garden, the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany at Harvard, and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.