Graduate Student Administrative Information
The School provides office space to graduate students mostly in cubicles in Deering and Murray Halls. Some offices are in other buildings such as Hitchner and the Environmental Science Lab. If you serve as a TA (Teaching Assistant), you must have such office space for meeting students. Keys to the offices in Murray, Deering, or Hitchner Halls are available from Trish Costello in the main office.
Phones are provided in the graduate-student cubicles. Let the main office know the phone numbers where you can be reached. Long-distance calls can be made from campus phones only with an access code available from your advisor.
You can sign up for a Firstclass account at the Help Center in the basement of Shibles Hall or through UNET at the Computer Center in Neville Hall. Firstclass is the primary means of university communication. Give your E-mail address to Trish Costello as soon as you receive an account. A listing of all graduate students with their contact information is posted on the Web. Contact information for School faculty and staff is also listed on the SBE website. Fax machines are in the main administrative offices in Deering and Murray Halls. In order to send a long-distance fax you must have your advisor’s access code.
Photocopying for any course in which you serve as a TA is charged to the course. An access code for the course will be given to you by the faculty member or instructor. Copying for your own research or studying can fall within an amount that the School budgets: each graduate student is allowed 150 free copies per month and is given a personal copy-access code for that use. Any copies over that total will be billed to you at .08/copy.
The University provides free bus service between the campus and outlying towns on The Bus’s routes (Orono, Old Town, Veazie, Bangor). You need to show your student ID when boarding The Bus. The main departure point from campus is at the back entrance to the Memorial Union, at the traffic loop; buses leave for Veazie and Bangor at approximately 30 minutes past the hour and for Old Town and Stillwater at approximately 45 minutes past the hour. Bicycle lanes are marked on the local roads. A bike path through the University Forest between campus and Old Town provides an especially safe route to University Park (married-student housing) and Old Town. For commuting by automobile to campus, you will need to register with the Public Safety office to obtain a parking decal. To obtain the appropriate decal, you need to show proof of employment at the University; the Graduate School keeps track of students on graduate appointments and provides them with the validated application form. (If you have not received this form yourself through campus mail, contact Trish Costello. You may also simply take a copy of your appointment letter with you to the parking office.)
Paychecks will be mailed to your campus address the last working day of each month. You do not need to reapply for support each year, even though the paperwork on appointments is issued on an annual or semester basis. The School is committed to providing support for the duration of your degree program, typically 2 years for a student in an M.S. program and 4-5 years for a student in a Ph.D. program. You may want to change the type of support you have by applying specifically for certain University Research Assistantships, for example, or for national assistantships and fellowships or for assistantships funded through grants to individual faculty. Because of the requirement that Ph.D. candidates have teaching experience, all such students may serve as a TA at some point. Information on available fellowships and assistantships is posted regularly on the web site.
The campus has wireless internet. Ethernet ports are active in rooms with graduate cubicles for connecting personal computers to the UMaine network and the Internet. Computers and scanners for general graduate-student use are in a cluster in Deering Hall (Room 304, plus a single PC on second floor), Nutting Hall (Rooms 245 and 239), Winslow Hall (Room 301), Norm Smith Building (Room 11), and Murray Hall (Room 319). Computer clusters for general student use are also at various locations around campus, such as the Memorial Union and Fogler Library. For preparing slides and computer-based presentations (for scientific meetings, for instance) computers, scanners, and a slide printer are available in the Electron Microscopy Laboratory (Room 11, Murray Hall). The College’s computer clusters in Nutting Hall have a color laser printer, a 36-inch plotter (for posters and maps) and a large (36-inch bed) scanner. The New Media Center (104 Lord Hall) has facilities for multimedia and large-bed printers for color printing of posters; a slide printer is available at the Computer Help Center (Shibles Hall).
Funds for traveling to scientific meetings to present thesis research are available through grants from the Association of Graduate Students, the Alumni Association, the Hillborn Fund, the Hyland Fund, and, on a limited basis, the Director of the School.
The School of Biology and Ecology sponsors an invited speaker to present a seminar to students, faculty, and staff every week throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. These visiting scientists expose us to current research in a diverse array of subdisciplines. The seminar program is a high priority for the School, as we consider it an important forum for intellectual exchange and an enriching component of graduate-student education. Graduate students are expected to attend the Friday afternoon seminars (3:10 pm in 102 Murray Hall; refreshments available at 3 pm), but we also encourage you to participate in the lunch-time journal club with the speakers and in other informal opportunities to interact with our guests. The lunch time journal club will be held in either Murray or Deering Hall at noon on most Fridays. Often, the seminar speaker of the week will lead a discussion of an article of his or her choosing. These articles will be available in the main offices earlier in the week for students and faculty to copy.
The School Seminar Committee, currently consisting of two faculty and four graduate students, works with other faculty and students to put together the program each semester. Faculty and graduate students are encouraged to invite colleagues whom they feel will be of interest to their programs and to the School as a whole. We require graduate students to assist with the hosting responsibilities for seminar speakers. These responsibilities include a) getting and copying the articles for the lunch-time journal club from the speaker directly or through his or her faculty host, b) getting refreshments for the lunch-time journal club, c) getting and setting up refreshments for the seminar, and d) setting up and/or running the projector during the seminar. Please see one of the graduate-student members of the Seminar Committee (below) to sign up for at least one task during the semester. All graduate students are expected to attend School seminars unless they are taking or teaching a course at that time. Attendance at relevant seminars in other departments is also encouraged; particularly relevant may be those in Marine Sciences, BMMB (Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology), Chemistry, and Mathematics. As a rule of thumb, if you attend one seminar a week during regular academic sessions, in or outside the School, you are meeting expectations.
You may be asked to drive a University motor vehicle as a TA or research assistant. To sign up for a vehicle or to participate as a secondary driver, you will need to provide a copy of your drivers license to the Facilities Management Motor Pool Office. Forms for doing this are available in 100 Murray Hall & 202 Deering Hall. You should take the driver-safety class (a short, one-session affair) offered by the Safety Office; otherwise, you will be liable for a $ 1000 deductible in the case of an accident involving a University motor vehicle you are driving. The University covers this deductible for anyone having taken the course.