The University of Maine at Machias (UMM) fills a unique niche in higher education in Maine. As a public Environmental Liberal Arts institution, UMM’s mission is closely linked to its location on the rugged Maine coast. Students engage in scholarly pursuits and service learning projects that are integrated into the natural and social environments of the surrounding rural communities. UMM’s applied research and public services contribute to the improvement of the quality of life and economic development in Downeast Maine.
UMM is one of the five smallest public four-year institutions in the nation, serving approximately 1,100 full- and part-time students. The small average class size of 16 encourages students to be involved in the scholarly activities of their instructors. Science graduates successfully find careers in natural resource divisions of state and federal governments, with conservation organizations, and in biotech and education. One-third of science alumni pursue graduate or professional degrees.
INBRE has improved UMM’s research infrastructure. Resources include electronic journals that are used heavily and software to analyze genomic data generated through faculty and student research. Equipment dedicated to cellular and molecular research has been purchased, including incubators for both bacterial culture and tissue culture.
Most science majors come to UMM interested in ecological and field-based experiences; INBRE has increased the visibility of activities related to biomedical and genomic research at UMM to many students who initially only thought of themselves as field biologists. INBRE funds support undergraduate participation in short courses, summer research fellowships, and opportunities to attend and present at the annual Maine Biological and Medical Sciences Symposium. UMM’s goal is to increase the number of students who choose to pursue careers in biomedical fields or to incorporate genomic studies into their ecological and evolutionary research.
Summer Research Fellowships
The INBRE Summer Research Fellowships Program pairs individual students with a federally-funded biomedical researcher of the student’s choice for a 10-week hands-on summer research experience. Funding is provided for lodging, food, and supplies.
Two Summer Research Fellowships are awarded annually to UMM students to work with a faculty member at an INBRE-network institution.
Laboratory Training Course at the MDI Biological Laboratory
Each year, UMM students have the opportunity to participate in a two-week laboratory course at the MDI Biological Laboratory during spring break. The course focuses on using molecular biology techniques for genetic research.
Scientific Speakers Program and Enrichment Activities
INBRE supports a seminar series throughout the academic year. In addition, enrichment activities, such as visit to major research laboratories are planned during the academic year.