Facilities and Collections

The School has teaching and research facilities in five buildings on the UMaine campus. Its principal administrative office is in Murray Hall with a satellite administrative office in Deering Hall. Faculty offices and research facilities are located in in Murray Hall, Deering Hall, Hitchner Hall, Hannibal Hamlin Hall, and the Environmental Sciences Laboratory.

The Electron Microscopy Laboratory is a facility for teaching and research, serving the entire campus as well as other educational institutions and businesses in Maine. It houses a scanning electron microscope, two transmission electron microscopes, equipment and software for digital-image analysis, a specimen-preparation laboratory, and X-ray microanalytical equipment. A confocal laser scanning microscope is also accessible through the EM Laboratory.

The University operates the Ira C. Darling Marine Center, located 100 miles south of the Orono campus in Walpole, as a teaching and research facility for the entire university community. It is equipped with large, flowing-seawater tanks, a fleet of small boats, and a complete SCUBA facility, as well as classrooms and laboratories. Living accommodations are available on its campus. Many faculty and students in Biology and Ecology take advantage of this unique facility for part of their teaching and research.

The DNA Sequencing Facility in Hitchner Hall serves the needs of the campus community, including students and faculty in Biology and Ecology. A wildlife forensics laboratory, located in Murray Hall, uses DNA techniques to identify tissues from big-game animals and helps Maine game wardens enforce fish and wildlife laws.

The School’s collections of plants and animal comprise a wide representation of taxa occurring in Maine and throughout the world. These collections were started more than 100 years ago and contain many representatives of species that are now extinct and of others listed as endangered. The University of Maine Herbaria, located in Hannibal Hamlin Hall, are fully catalogued collections of preserved specimens of plants. In addition to about 100,000 specimens of vascular plants, the collection also includes algae, lichens, mosses, and fungi. The entomology collections are especially rich in mayflies, stoneflies, bees, and grasshoppers, and also offer comprehensive collections of aphids and Lepidoptera donated by Edith Patch, Bruno M. Spies, Manton Copeland, and Charles Burton Hamilton. More than 6,000 specimens of fish, 3,500 birds, and 1,200 mammal specimens comprise the vertebrate collections, used in both teaching and research. Of particular note are specimens of birds and mammals formerly held by the Portland Society of Natural History, the Paul F. Eckstrom Bird Collection, and an extensive reference collection of marine and freshwater fishes from Maine.

The Fay Hyland Arboretum is a living collection of woody plants native to Maine. The arboretum also includes many exotic species and serves as a resource for teaching, research, and recreation. The ten-acre facility borders the Stillwater River, the aquatic western boundary of the UMaine campus.

The Greenhouse Complex on the Orono campus is used for both research and teaching. Among projects conducted here are studies of foraging behavior in bees, susceptibility of bees to biological control agents, and the biological control and feeding behavior of the Colorado potato beetle and Mexican bean beetle.

The Blueberry Hill Research Farm is located in Jonesboro, 2 hours east of the University of Maine. It consists of 32 acres of blueberry-research fields and a 5-acre organic-research farm in Whitneyville, Maine. An entomology laboratory and a plant- and soil-processing laboratory are located in three barns at the Research Farm.

The Penobscot Experimental Forest (PEF) is located 20 miles from campus in Bradley, Maine. The forest is predominately coniferous with a mixture of spruces, eastern hemlock, northern white-cedar, eastern white pine. Associated hardwoods include paper birch and red maple. The PEF was established in the 1950′s and stands averaging 10 Ha in size have been managed by the USDA Forest Service for many years. The original objectives of these long-term studies was to determine the effects of forest manipulation on stand structure and tree growth, and to identify the best silvicultural system for increasing the spruce component in northern conifer forests. Spruce is favored over its common associate, balsam fir, for both pulpwood and lumber products. Spruce is also less susceptible than balsam fir to the spruce budworm, a native defoliating insect that reaches epidemic levels about every 30-40 years. The PEF is home to many USDA and University research projects.

In affiliation with the Climate Change Institute, the School operates the Laboratory for Paleoecology and Paleohydrology.


See also Affiliated Research Resources.

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