Orono students monitor the health of the Penobscot

Native Students Help Keep Penobscot River Clean – WABI-TV

Posted Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 at 6:07 pm.


An internship program on Indian Island is teaching the next generation the value of preserving natural resources.

It includes protection of the Penobscot River.

“We’ve got like 180 sample sites. And we keep an eye on the water, watch the discharges,” said Jan Paul of the Penobscot National Department of Natural Resources.

The Penobscot Nation on Indian Island goes to great lengths to make sure the surrounding waters stay clean.

And this summer, as part of the Wabanaki Youth Science Program, Native American students are learning how to do that firsthand.

“We go out and test the water, the Penobscot River and lakes and tributaries,” said Haley Francis, an incoming freshman at the University of Maine.

“We’re taking samples to test for different stuff like the P-H levels and different bacteria,” said high school junior Shayne Dow.

The goal-to show the next generation the importance of environmental management.

“It’s important for them to appreciate our river and taking care of it. It’s like anything else. It’s the blood that runs in our veins, this river,” said Paul.

Sampling the waters of the Penobscot

Now that they’ve grabbed all the samples from the boat, it’s time to bring those samples back to the lab.

“We’re looking for alkilinity and conductivity, and also we’re looking for e-coli in the river because that makes us sick,” said Francis.

The students examine the samples and log them in the computer. Then they seal them up and place them in this incubator.

“The water reacts with a chemical which will end up turning a yellow or fluorescent color,” said Francis.

“If there’s a flag in the lab, then we tell DEP, we notify DEP that this site on the river or wherever it is, that there’s an issue,” said Paul.

And these interns know they’re helping preserve a resource that’s been a part of their culture for thousands of years.

“Knowing that my ancestors utilized this river for their food source, travel source, everything, and just being able to help keep this river healthy and don’t let it get any worse than what it already is,” said Francis.

“It’s so important because my culture in general just depends on it, and really everyone who lives on the river kind of depends on it in some way,” said Dow.

Wabanaki Center links

In SYNC Week 11 We Go Inside the Mind!

SYNC for Young Adult Listening: Free Weekly Summer Classics & Novels


Download the 11th FREE pair here »

This Week’s Audiobooks:
Available to download free July 24 – July 30

HeadstrongBy Patrick Link
Read by Deidrie Henry,
Ernie Hudson, Ntare Guma
Mbaho Mwine, Scott Wolf
Published by L.A. Theatre Works

In the wake of increasing concern over brain trauma in professional athletes, Patrick Link has crafted a story about a retired NFL linebacker who must deal with a family tragedy and his own suffering because of the violence of his chosen sport.

“Veteran actor Ernie Hudson shines as the volatile, opinionated father of a woman whose football-playing husband has recently died.”
– AudioFile Magazine

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. HydeBy Robert Louis Stevenson
Read by Scott Brick
Published by Tantor Audio

Stark, skillfully woven, this fascinating novel explores the curious turnings of human character through the strange case of Dr. Jekyll, a kindly scientist who by night takes on his stunted, evil self, Mr. Hyde.

“Scott Brick narrates in his wonted American voice with particular attention to atmosphere and delivers his British characters with personality and a reserve that lends appropriate gravity to the tale and plays effectively against its melodrama.”
– AudioFile Magazine

Thank you to L.A. Theatre Works and Tantor Audio for generously providing this week’s titles.

Available for a Limited Time:
Remember — grab these titles before they are gone! Once you have downloaded the MP3 files, they are yours to keep.

Downloading Tips:
The OverDrive Media Console will deliver SYNC summer audiobooks to you. The app is available for every major desktop and mobile platform.Visit OverDrive to download.

SYNC Week 10 Brings Us Mysteries to Solve!

Download the 10th FREE pair here »

This Week’s Audiobooks:
Available to download free July 17 – July 23

The Case of the Cryptic CrinolineBy Nancy Springer
Read by Katherine Kellgren
Published by Recorded Books

Abandoned by her mother and fearing her brothers will exile her to a finishing school, 14-year-old Enola lives a lonely London existence. But when someone kidnaps her elderly landlady — the closest thing she has to family these days — the feisty heroine will do whatever it takes to find her.

“Katherine Kellgren’s spirited narration transports listeners along the cobbled streets and back alleys of London.”
– AudioFile Magazine

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes IIBy Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Read by David Timson
Published by Naxos AudioBooks

In this collection are four of the finest cases of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, narrated by his faithful friend and admirer Dr. Watson.

“Four of the Holmes canon’s more memorable tales are read with skill and style by David Timson.”
– AudioFile Magazine

Thank you to Recorded Books and Naxos AudioBooks for generously providing this week’s titles.

Available for a Limited Time:
Remember — grab these titles before they are gone! Once you have downloaded the MP3 files, they are yours to keep.

Downloading Tips:
The OverDrive Media Console will deliver SYNC summer audiobooks to you. The app is available for every major desktop and mobile platform. Visit OverDrive to download.

Maine high school students receive National Merit Scholarship awards — Bangor Daily News

By Nell Gluckman, BDN Staff
Posted July 14, 2014, at 4:22 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Ten high school students from Maine have been named recipients of the National Merit Scholarship, one of the country’s most prestigious scholarship programs, according to a statement released by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation on Monday. That brings the total number of recipients from Maine to 33. The other 23 scholarship recipients were announced in April and May.

The winners were selected from a nationwide pool of 16,000 semifinalists who scored high enough on the 2012 Preliminary SAT to be considered for the award. The statement said that 1.5 million high school juniors took the exam.

The scholars receive between $500 and $10,000 annually or a one-time $2,500 award toward their undergraduate study. There are three different types of awards: college-sponsored awards that are funded by the schools the award recipients choose to attend; corporate-sponsored awards, where companies fund awards for the children of their employees, residents of the communities where the company serves or students who plan to pursue a career in that company’s field; and National Merit Scholarship Corporation-sponsored awards, scholars who are selected by a committee.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation cautions against using the award to compare high schools, saying the program “honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies” and does measure the quality of schools.

Our congratulations to Jesse Amar!

Summer camp aims to create future environmental leaders in Maine’s tribes

By Nell Gluckman, BDN Staff

Posted July 13, 2014, at 4:33 p.m.
WINTER HARBOR, Maine — Barry Dana is worried about the next generation of environmental leaders within Maine’s Native American tribes.

The former Penobscot Nation chief said Tuesday he and others began to recognize several years ago that the tribal members running some institutions were getting older and there was no one to replace them.

“[Darren] Ranco realized that we didn’t have kids in the sciences,” he said, referring to the University of Maine professor of anthropology and coordinator of Native American Research.

That is why Dana and other experts on Wabanaki culture, accompanied by forestry professionals, led nearly 30 high school students on a trek along a crudely maintained trail into the woods on Tuesday morning.

The students were participating in the Wabanaki Youth Science Program, which includes a week-long earth science camp hosted at Schoodic Point for native students.

Dana said the program’s mission is to “turn [the students] on to science, through the lens of their own culture.”

“Our culture mandates that we are caretakers,” he said. “We’re taking native kids and making sure they’re strong in their culture and giving them the reins.”

The program is funded through UMaine’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research and Forestry Department and the Frederika Gillroy Trust for Native American Education, according to Tish Carr, one of the organizers.

The students come from each of Maine’s tribes, as well as the Haudenosaunee tribes in New York. Carr said the camp’s curriculum was inspired in part by a similar program started by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in Massachusetts.

The students in the program learn about science and their cultural heritage simultaneously. They receive lessons on forestry, climate change and local plant species, along with basket-weaving and tribal history.

In a clearing in the woods on Tuesday morning, a discussion of the importance of soil was led by Bill Livingston, associate professor of forest resources at UMaine. Dana contributed by relating Livingston’s points to Penobscot history.

“The last glaciers left 12,000 years ago, and the soil has been developing since,” Livingston told the students, who found places to sit on rocks and under trees. “This soil is 10,000 years old.”

“That’s how old we are,” Dana said, referring to the Wabanaki.

“We have soil here today because the people who were here let the soil develop,” Livingston added.

When Ernest Carle, a forester for the Passamaquoddy Tribe, discussed the characteristics of a nearby cedar tree, Dana explained that the tree’s sap can be used for medicinal purposes and the wood is good for making paddles for canoeing.

The summer camp is paired with internships in environmental management during the school year that six of the students participated in so far. Those students are also assigned both a cultural mentor from the community and a professional science mentor, which Ranco said is a key component to the program.

Haley Francis, 18, of Indian Island, worked at the Penobscot Nation’s Department of Natural Resources this spring as part of the program.

The recent Orono High School graduate said she’s loved the outdoors since she was old enough to walk, and her parents would take her fishing and hunting.

“This is relevant to the field of work I want to pursue,” she said on Tuesday. In the fall, Francis will begin her first semester at UMaine where she will major in wildlife ecology, and possibly double major in forestry.

She said she’s leaning toward becoming a big game wildlife biologist someday.

Francis said she appreciates the cultural component of the science program.

“Our ancestors utilized these lands for their purposes,” she said. “They didn’t just go and hunt an animal or kill a plant. If they feel like it’s the right thing to do to pick the plant, they leave an offering for the creator. Or at least that’s what I do.”

After listening to Livingston and Carle, the students split off into small groups to practice measuring the height and width of trees in the area, which Carle said needs to be done to determine “whether it’s economically viable for a logger to make entry or let trees keep growing.”

He told the students that his job with the Passamaquoddy is to harvest in a way that minimizes disturbance. For example, he would not cut a white birch of a certain size because it could be used in the construction of a canoe.

Throughout the morning, the sounds of a nearby construction site, where Carle said a new housing development is underway, could be heard through the trees.

“We’re looking at a permanent change down there,” Carle said. Because of the gravel that’s being laid down, trees will not grow again, he explained.

“You can have both,” Carr said, referring to development and preservation.

“That’s where we need you as our future environmental leaders,” she told the students. “To find that balance … we don’t have the answers yet.”

Earlier post regarding this program



In SYNC Week 9 We Learn from the Past!

SYNC for Young Adult Listening: Free Weekly Summer Classics & Novels
Download the 9th FREE pair here »

This Week’s Audiobooks:
Available to download free July 10 – July 16

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward JusticeBy Philip Hoose
Read by Channie Waites
Published by Brilliance Audio

Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of a major, yet little-known, civil rights figure whose story provides a fresh perspective on the Montgomery bus protest of 1955–56.

“Channie Waites superbly narrates a text that offers both cogent explanations of history, including especially informative sidebars, and first-person accounts of those who witnessed the battle for civil rights firsthand, dramatized by Waites in a vivid array of voices.”
– AudioFile Magazine

While the World WatchedBy Carolyn Maull McKinstry,
with Denise George
Read by Felicia Bullock
Published by Oasis Audio

Fifteen-year-old Carolyn Maull McKinstry was just a few feet away when the Klan-planted bomb that killed four of her friends exploded in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. A unique and moving exploration of how racial relations have evolved over the past five decades.

“Felicia Bullock narrates with a gentle, subtle voice that complements the text and captures the emotions involved in the author’s account.”
– AudioFile Magazine

Thank you to Brilliance Audio and Oasis Audio for generously providing this week’s titles.

Available for a Limited Time: 
Remember — grab these titles before they are gone! Once you have downloaded the MP3 files, they are yours to keep.

Mallory Lavoie is the next Young & Free Maine Spokester! – Orono tutor takes state-wide role

It’s official! Mallory Lavoie is the new Young & Free Maine Spokester. She was announced as the winner in front of a large excited crowd during the Maine Credit Union Convention today. Both Mallory and the audience were very excited when she accepted the job.

Our three finalists submitted amazing videos and blogs and each performed very well during the “If I were a Spokester Phase.” In the end, Mallory was selected by a panel of judges after a very intense competition. Thank you so much to all of our applicants for your hard work! All of us at Young & Free Maine truly appreciate you.

Mallory will get settled in and take over the blog sometime in July.

Mallory has one year ahead of her that she will never forget! She is originally from Aroostook County hailing from Madawaska, Maine. She is a 2012 graduate of the University of Maine with a degree in Journalism and French.

Since graduating Mallory has resided in Orono, Maine where she has worked in the Indian Island Elementary school system. She has a passion for figure skating and makes time to coach young students on the ice. This winter she even competed in the 2014 Adult National Championships in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

From Guidance Associate, Heidi Clarke: “She tutored students from Indian Island every week at OHS last year – everything from English to Chemistry to Algebra. She was great; the kids really related to her. She’ll be back again in the fall to do it all over again!”

Check out the Young & Free Field Guide You’ll find tips on using a credit card, having fun without spending too much cash, and even some DIY projects to save you money.