University of Maine

the university OF Maine, established in 1865, is the flagship university of the University of Maine system. It is located in Orono, just outside Bangor, one of Maine's largest cities. Also known as UMaine, the university has an enrollment of over 11,000 students, making it the largest university in the state. The college was the fourth to be established in Maine, after Bowdoin, Bates, and Colby. Originally intended as an agricultural college, it also places a large emphasis on engineering and the sciences. The University of Maine is a major research institute composed of six separate and distinct colleges offering 184 areas of study. The Department of Earth Sciences offers graduate degree programs focusing on climate change in conjunction with the Climate Change Institute.

The Climate Change Institute (formerly the Institute for Quaternary and Climate Studies) is an interdisciplinary research unit organized to conduct research and graduate education focused on the variability of the Earth's climate, ecosystems, and other environmental systems and on the interaction between humans and the natural world. Institute investigations cover the Quaternary period, a time of numerous glacial/interglacial cycles and abrupt changes in climate, ranging in time from the present to nearly 2 million years ago. Research activities include field, laboratory, and modeling studies that focus on the timing, causes, and mechanisms of natural and anthropogenically forced climate change and on the effects of past climate changes on the physical, biological, chemical, social, and economic conditions of the Earth. Institute research is supported by grants from a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, and endowments from the Bingham Trust and the Dan and Betty Churchill Exploration Fund.

The Climate Change Institute offers an M.S. degree program with potential for a continuing Ph.D. program through Earth Sciences or an independent degree through the graduate school. Students in the program investigate human and global change, past, present, and future. This program involves in-depth documenting of past and present and predicting future environmental changes and human cultures through the primary disciplines of climatology, archaeology, glaciology, glacial geology, ecology, history, marine geology, and modeling. Over 40 faculty and staff of the institute provide multidisciplinary strength in the fields of climatology, archaeology, glaciology, glacial geology, geochemistry, ecology, history, remote sensing, and marine geology.

The institute's internationally recognized researchers have contributed to the scientific literature in multiple areas of study including understanding controls on the climate system, identifying and exploring abrupt behavior in the climate system, detecting and documenting human-source pollution in the atmosphere, exploring changes over time in the behavior of major atmospheric circulation systems such as El NiƱo/Southern Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation, studying climate-induced changes in the distribution and abundance of plants and animals, detecting and documenting changes in civilization resulting from climate change, and identifying changes in the extent of ice sheets and mountain glaciers and their effect on the environment.

sEE ALsO: Greenhouse Effect; Maine.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Climate Change Institute, www.climate; Department of Environment, www.; University of Maine,

Fernando Herrera University of California, San Diego

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