Archive for the ‘News’ Category

SFR Ph.D. Student Researches Caliciopsis Pinea

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Kara Costanza, a Forest Resources Ph.D. student at the University of Maine, recently started work on a three-part study focused on Caliciopsis pinea, a native fungus infesting North American white pine stands. In northern New England, the pathogen has become a growing concern among researchers, foresters and the timber industry alike. The fungus can cause profuse pitching, bark scars, and staining of the xylem, which all result in potentially downgraded lumber. Costanza’s work aims to improve current understanding of Caliciopsis infestations, while at the same time quantifying potential economic losses in the logging industry resulting from damage caused by the pathogen. Her work is in collaboration with the US Forest Service, New Hampshire Division of Forest and Lands, Maine Forest Service, Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association, and a wide range of local researchers, foresters and loggers.
Costanza has spent the summer sampling white pine in southern New Hampshire and southwestern Maine, where Caliciopsis infestations are causing higher levels of damage. Her work includes felling highly symptomatic and non-symptomatic white pine in two stand treatments: thinned and unthinned stands. The field team then evaluates the trees for canker incidence, severity, and location on the tree. Several samples have been brought back the University of Maine where they’ll be further analyzed for changes in radial growth, likely resulting from Caliciopsis infestations.
The results of Costanza’s work will hopefully lead to management recommendations aimed at reducing future infestations and limiting the amount of damage caused by the pathogen.
For more information on the pathogen, please visit:


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SFR student receives $225,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

NadirNadir Yildirm, Forest Resources Ph. D. student at the University of Maine, and business partner Alexander Chasse, received a $225,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for their development of a foam insulation that is 100% recyclable and reusable. This grant will help the pair start their own lab and refine the process for making the insulation using wood fibers and organic polymers.

The NSF grant requires a new prototype and Revolution Research, Yildirim and Chasse’s company, will spend the next year working to make their product cheaper and fire resistant in hopes of competing for another $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. This next grant could help Revolution Research move to commercial sales in less than five years.

Read more about the project on the Bangor Daily News website:


25th Annual North American Dendroecological Fieldweek (NADEF)

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Dr. Shawn Fraver, Assistant Professor of Forest Ecosystem Science, is participating in the 25th annual North American Dendroecological Fieldweek (NADEF) June 1-10th at the Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor. NADEF trains students in dendrochronology, the scientific method of dating based on tree ring patterns, through fieldwork, laboratory exercises and lectures.
A total of 40 students and 13 instructors from across the country, as well as Canada and India, will take part in the Fieldweek. Four students will represent UMaine, among those, SFR Ph.D. student, Kara Costanza. Kara will co-teach the intro dendrology course with Neil Toth, an Indiana State University Alumnus.

Read the full UMaine News article at:
See local news coverage:

Dr. Lilieholm hosts visiting Australian professor

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Dr. Robert Lilieholm hosted Professor Geoff Wescott on a study tour of regional planning efforts in Maine. Dr. Wescott, on sabbatical leave from Australia’s Deakin University, is based at the Harvard Forest while while in the U.S.

In Maine, he visited the UMaine faculty and discussed conservation initiatives with representatives of the Orono Land Trust, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor.

Professor Wescott

UMaine Forestry students practice skyline logging at Acadia National Park

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Bill Green’s Maine paid a visit to watch our own forestry summer camp student practice skyline logging at Acadia National Park.

Sarah J. Medina – 2015 Distinguished Alumnus

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Sarah J. Medina (aka Sally) graduated from the University of Maine with a B.S. in Forest Management in 1972. She was the first woman to pursue a forest Medina2120webmanagement degree at UM, hence the first woman required to attend forestry summer camp. At the time (1971), camp was a six-week session between one’s junior and senior years. The Princeton camp was single-sex, with six-man log cabins and a central washroom, so Sally was required to board with a family in town and commute daily. Upon graduation the following spring, she served as a teaching assistant at summer camp, boarding with the family in town and that summer’s lone female student.

In September 1972 she joined Seven Islands Land Company and became the first woman employed as a field forester in Maine. A few women who had pursued forest science degrees were working nationally in research and teaching. There were also a few women in wildlife management careers, but women foresters working in the Maine woods were unheard of. Sally was extremely fortunate to even obtain a job in forestry. At the time, Seven Islands Land Company managed nearly 1.5 million acres in Maine and NH, primarily for the Pingree and Irving families. The Pingree family had two “Sally’s” so immediately her boss, John Sinclair, declared that she would henceforth go by her given name, Sarah.

The Maine Tree Growth Tax Law had just been passed and The Land Use Regulation Commission had recently become the planning and zoning board for all of Maine’s unorganized territory. One of Sarah’s first jobs was interpreting aerial photographs to make broad forest type maps to submit with Tree Growth Tax applications. She also became enmeshed in LURC zoning and regulations, and began managing ownership records, deeds and leases. In the field, she cruised timber, laid out roads, laid out harvest blocks, marked timber for harvest, inspected harvesting operations, maintained boundary lines, surveyed camp lots, dug soil test pits and performed other duties of a field forester. Field experience gave her the essential foundation for all the work she would do throughout her career.

Sarah was Land Use Forester until 1980 when she became Land Use Director. Over time, her job evolved to less work in the field and more work in the areas of recreation administration, regulatory compliance, taxation, communications, and policy and ownership issues. One of the ownership issues was consolidation. During the 1970 and 1980’s she worked on numerous land trades to amalgamate fractional “in-common and undivided” interests. In about 1980, Irving created its own management organization in Maine. Pingree acreage was ultimately consolidated to the 816,000 acres that Seven Islands manages today.

The Pingree family forest was the third in the US to become FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified (1994.) It is also SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified as well as a Legacy Tree Farm. The Pingree-New England Forestry Foundation easement (2001) conserves approximately 80% as undeveloped. Remarkably, the land has been owned and sustainably managed by the same family for 174 years (seven generations) with Seven Islands Land manager since the family founded Seven Islands in 1962.

Sarah administers all recreational management programs on lands managed by Seven Islands, including commercial and recreational leasing, and licensing for short-term activities. Land uses run the gamut, from traditional sporting camps and campsites to bee-yards, bonsai collecting and road rallies. Providing public accommodation through North Maine Woods, Inc. has long been a particular interest of hers. An important aspect of her work is contact and communications with recreational users and user groups including the Maine Professional Guides Association, Maine Snowmobile Association, Maine Sporting Camp Owners Association and many others.

She maintains land ownership and timberland taxation records and coordinates environmental regulatory activities, often working with state agency representatives in the Departments of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (particularly Land Use Planning Commission) and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. She has served on numerous advisory committees and task forces that influence state land use and regulatory policy and/or enhance forest management, including the Governor’s Land Acquisition Priorities Advisory Committee, Bureau of Public Lands and Allagash Wilderness Waterway advisory committees, Land Use Regulation (Planning) Commission task forces and committees (deer, lakes, planning), Snowmobile Advisory Council and the Maine Tourism Commission.

Sarah’s professional affiliations include Maine Licensed Forester (#35), Board of Licensure of Professional Foresters (Chair), Society of American Foresters, Maine Forest Products Council, Small Woodlot Owners Association of Maine, Sportsman’s/Forest Landowner Alliance and Maine Woods Consortium. She currently serves on North Maine Woods’ Administrative and Public Affairs committees, IF & W’s Landowner Sportsman’s’ Relations Advisory Committee (Chair), Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust Board of Directors, Maine TREE Foundation Board of Directors, and as an officer of Girl Scouts of Maine.

Sarah has served on the School of Forest Resources Advisory Committee since 1994, served on a Search Committee for the Irving Chair in SFR and on an accreditation review committee. She enjoys talking with students about managing public use of private land. She also participates in IFW’s hunter ethics courses focusing on landowner relations.

She received the Northeastern Loggers Association award for Outstanding Service to the Forest Industry in 2008 and the President’s Award from the Maine Forest Products Council in 2010.

Sarah lives in Dixmont where she tends her gardens and woodlot. She also enjoys Ski-dooing, rug-braiding, volunteering and spending time with family and friends (especially outdoors and at camp.) She served for seventeen years (Secretary, Chair) on the Planning Board, served on a Comprehensive Planning Committee and is in her twentieth year as coordinator for Food Friend-Z Coop. A Girl Scout since age seven, Lifetime Member and past president of Abnaki Girl Scout Council, she has experience in all aspects of Girl Scouting. She is the recipient of the Honor Pin, Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II. The “Girl Scouts of Maine Sarah J. Medina Scholarship” was established by colleagues to honor her service. It is awarded to a student who is involved in community service, with preference to Girl Scout service.

The School of Forest Resources is pleased to recognize Sarah J. Medina as the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus.

UMaine students study snow-soil connection…

Monday, May 11th, 2015

While the past two winters have featured plenty of the white stuff, snow packs over the last couple of decades have dwindled, say climate experts. Now, two doctoral researchers at the University of Maine are trying to find out exactly how a thinner- or absent- snow pack might affect the state’s ecology.

This winter, two students shoveled four 16.5-foot by 33-foot plots of land in the University Forest in Old Town, by hand, every time it snowed.

“So we basically removed a thermal barrier” says doctoral student Corianne Tatariw. The idea, she says, was to keep those areas clear to compare how soil was impacted by snow pack and lack thereof.

The researchers found that ground temperature with snow pack maintains a constant temperature of around freezing, even during the deeper, sub-zero cold of January. Without it, ground temperatures swing wildly. “And as a result you’re going to lose the root biomass, you’re going to lose the microbial population, and that would affect nutrient availability as well, says Kaizad Patel, another doctoral researcher on the project.

Read the full article here:

David Carter (MS) and Nadir Yildirim (PhD) win NSFA awards

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Congratulations to our graduate students David Carter, Outstanding Master’s Degree Student Award and Nadir Yildirim, Edith M. Patch Outstanding Ph.D. Award !

Read press release here !


Branching Out Newsletter – Winter 2015 (issue 11)

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

SFR’s Branching Out Newsletter winter 2015 edition (issue 11) has been published and mailed out to our alumni list.  You can view this issue, and all past issues, on our website at

Nadir Yildirim, PhD student in SFR, named 2015 Edith Patch Award recipient

Monday, April 6th, 2015

College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture Announces Edith Patch Award Recipient

Nadir Yildirim, a doctoral student in the Wood Science and Technology Program in the School of Forest Resources, was named the 2015 recipient of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture’s recently renamed Edith Patch Award.

Yildirim of Mugla, Turkey studies the production and evaluation of super-light nanocellular structures, nanocomposites, aerogels and eco-friendly foams under the supervision of Stephen Shaler, professor of wood sciences and technology and director of the UMaine School of Forest Resources.

After completing the graduate certificate in Innovation Engineering through the Foster Center for Student Innovation, Yildirim started Revolution Research, Inc. (RRI) based in Orono. RRI focuses on the development and commercialization of eco-friendly replacements of petroleum-based thermal insulation products.

Read more here…