Madeline Soucie examining original source documents at the Maine State Archives.UMF history major Madeline Soucie at her internship at the Maine State Archives.FARMINGTON – Madeline Soucie, a University of Maine at Farmington senior, spends much of her time nowadays with Maine’s founding fathers who helped put Maine on the path to statehood nearly 200 years ago.A senior from Auburn, Soucie is interning at the Maine State Archives. There she is working with historical letters, journals, documents and surveyor information to create an online index of original source material relating to the 1820 Act of Separation of the District of Maine from Massachusetts.Maine started as a separate colony in the 1620s, but from the 1650s until 1820 was a part of Massachusetts. In an effort to pay off its post Revolutionary War debt to the new U.S. government, Massachusetts raised money by selling off public land in Maine. Maine became the twenty-third state on March 15, 1820.Soucie’s online index is one of the Archives’ efforts in preparation for the Maine Bicentennial in 2020. Majoring in history and minoring in political science, Soucie, or Maddie, as she is known by most, is excited to work with the actual pre-1820 documents.“They speak to me,” said Soucie. “It’s so important to not only know what happened historically, but also why it happened, how people felt about it and what they decided to do about it. Being able to read their first hand experiences is just like being there.”Soucie sees her current internship as an important part of her career development. She found the opportunity with the Maine State Archive through the UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement, a campus resource for experiential learning. She is receiving a stipend through the Partnership funded by a grant from Franklin Savings Bank and is also working with the history department to receive college credit for her work with the Archives.UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement supports student engagement in community-based activities in western Maine and beyond that are intentionally designed to be mutually beneficial to UMF students, its community partners, and the communities served.Her internship is also one of seventeen supported by the “Making History Work” grant, a collaborative University of Maine System multi-campus initiative. Launched this year, the grant provides financial support to history students interested in working in the field.Soucie is interested in a career as an archivist or museum curator and also recently finished interning at the Norlands Living History Museum in Livermore. There she learned about the Washburne family, their prominence with state, national and international politics and the huge role they played in business and industry.Soucie’s senior thesis will center on Elihu Washburne, longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Minister to France and personal friend to Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S.Grant.
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Students at Wednesday’s Student Safety Summit talked with local and campus police officers about how to be safe both on and off campus. All seven officers at the summit, representatives from Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) and the South Bend Police Department (SPBD), stressed the importance of sticking with friends from the beginning of the night to the end. NDSP Deputy Chief Dave Chapman said walking alone is a recipe for crime, especially at night. South Bend is not a bad place to live, he said, but every city has dangerous citizens against whom residents need to protect themselves. “It’s just the perfect target for some people in South Bend whose lifetime goal it is to rob someone,” Chapman said. On campus, Chapman said there has never been forced entry during a robbery in residence halls across campus. Dorm robberies occur when students simply leave their doors open with valuables in sight, Chapman said. “The only way to prevent crime from happening on campus is for you guys to help each other,” he said. Students can be vigilant and avoid crime on campus by locking doors, walking in groups and using common sense, Chapman said. Sgt. Ally Taylor of the Indiana State Excise Police explained while most police officers cover a single town, city or county, her fellow officers have jurisdiction over 12 counties. “Our goal is to look for criminal activity and minors in possession of alcohol,” Taylor said. Students at the Summit expressed curiosity about the Excise Police, asking specific questions about alcohol laws. For instance, a minor riding in a car with alcohol does not break any laws as long as he or she is not physically touching or in possession of it, Taylor said. Law enforcers also pay attention to some little-known state laws and encourage students to become familiar with them as well, no matter how unusual they may seem. St. Joseph County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Tamashasky said one “crazy Indiana state law” is one preventing people under age 21 from driving a person older than 21 who has been drinking. But the No. 1 problem for authorities is when students talk back, claiming to know more about the law than the officers themselves. Chapman said most arrests carried out by police around campus occur due to rude and irreverent behavior toward the law enforcement officials. “Believe it or not, police do have discretion,” Chapman said. If respect is upheld on both ends, Taylor said students could maintain a mutually friendly relationship with authorities. “As long as you are respectful, you will get respect back,” she said. At the end of the discussion, SBPD Capt. Scott Ruszkowski said students should be smart when considering personal safety. “Common sense is going to be the No. 1 lifesaver you have,” he said. After thanking the officers and emphasizing the growing relationship between the police force and Notre Dame’s student government, student body vice president Katie Rose concluded the summit with some advice for students. “We’re inviting ourselves into South Bend as guests,” she said. “Be good neighbors.”
The World’s Waters Are Becoming Corrosive to Critical Marine Life. Is Time Running Out to Save our Oceans?The oceans do a lot of the Earth’s dirty work. On a given day, they will absorb 22 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), a third of the global output. In doing so they help to keep climate change in check, but they also pay a heavy toll as a result.Increasing levels of carbon in the ocean are making the water more acidic, and that’s beginning to have an impact on shellfish, corals and some of the tiniest shell-making marine organisms that are essential to the ocean food web. The June 2012 issue of E – The Environmental Magazine (now posted at www.emagazine.com) takes a closer look at the phenomenon of “ocean acidification,” the process by which levels of CO2 are rising, changing the chemistry of the ocean, and the ways this is impacting sea creatures on which mankind depends.Shellfish farmers in Washington and Oregon were some of the first to sound the alarm about ocean acidification. In 2006, hatchery-produced oyster larvae began to die off, despite their controlled and monitored environments. The two largest oyster hatcheries — which supply seedling to the majority of West Coast oyster farmers — lost between 60% and 80% of their larvae. Through ocean monitoring, the farmers discovered that the pH had fallen enough to make the water too corrosive for the oysters to form shells.Once the problem was identified, shellfish farmers were able to take precautions — such as waiting to fill tanks following a north wind when upwelling causes corrosive water to rise to the surface. But in the open ocean, there are no quick fixes for ocean acidification.“A lot of things we like to eat have these calcium carbonate shells and they’re very sensitive to acidification,” says Richard Feely, Ph.D., a senior scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL). “Just a small drop in pH can cause the shells to begin to dissolve. It turns out that for many of these species, the larval and juvenile stages are much more sensitive than the adults. And we’re finding that they can die off quite rapidly even with the kinds of changes that we’re seeing right now.”One of the most serious threats posed by ocean acidification is to corals — marine animals that need carbonate ions to form their skeletons. During ocean acidification, CO2 sinks into the water and releases hydrogen ions which combine with carbonate ions, making them unavailable to the shell- and exoskeleton-making creatures that need them.“There have been a lot of studies showing that under ocean acidification scenarios corals and other organisms on the reef calcify at a slower rate,” says Davey Kline, Ph.D., a coral reef ecology expert at the University of Queensland in Australia. “Even with just a little less growth, the corals can be tipped into these situations where they’re getting eroded faster than they can grow and the reefs start to dissolve.”Coral reefs are already at risk from pollution, development, overfishing and warming waters as a result of global warming. Ocean acidification may be the final stressor that pushes them into extinction. The most recent report on reef health — Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2008 — found that 19% of coral reefs were already lost, 15% were in a critical state with loss possible within a decade or two, and 20% could be lost in 20 to 40 years. “If we continue on the trajectory that we’re currently at,” says Kline, referring to unchecked global emissions, “we will lose reefs as we know them.”The impacts of a world without reefs would be profound. The estimated net global value of reefs is $29.8 billion per year, and reefs provide essential work in protecting shorelines from storm damage, providing a home to one million species and offering new sources of medicine to treat everything from cancer to arthritis.There are certainly local solutions, including designating marine protected areas to at least minimize the stresses on coral reefs in light of global warming and ocean acidification. But any major solution to keeping ocean acidification from further threatening our oceans and its inhabitants needs to involve a global agreement for keeping emissions in check — something that, despite the warning signs, seems oceans away.————————————————————E – The Environmental Magazine distributes 50,000 copies six times per year to subscribers and bookstores. Its website, www.emagazine.com, enjoys 150,000 monthly visitors. E also publishes EarthTalk, a nationally syndicated environmental Q&A column distributed to 1,850 newspapers, magazines and websites throughout the U.S. and Canada. Single copies of E’s May/June 2012 issue are available for $5 postpaid from: E Magazine, P.O. Box 469111, Escondido, CA 92046. Subscriptions are $19.95 per year, available at the same address.