2024 Spring

Become a UMASC member today!

Registration begins
Monday, March 4
at noon. 

Outdoor Shorts

Instructor: Listed with each outing below

Wednesdays • 5/1-6/19 • First class is 12-4 PM

Class size 15-35 students
35 seats remaining
Location: Fireside Lounge

OUTDOOR SHORTS is a series of single day outings, starting with an overview on May 1st and followed by a series of seven single day-long outings that visit a variety of outdoor locations as described in the course descriptions, below.  Outings are scheduled for seven consecutive Wednesdays, with Fridays of the same week as a backup or rain day.

MAY 1 OVERVIEW – OUTING LOTTERY

Although class enrollment is 35, the actual number of students that can attend each of the 7 outings ranges from 12-25 students. Therefore, signup for individual outings will be done by lottery at the May 1 overview. A drawing for first time choice, second choice, etc., until the individual outings are filled.

Students may sign up for just one trip, or as many trips as they are interested in. We will discuss logistics, carpooling, and fill out the required permission and liability forms. Lanyards will be handed out. Students will have an opportunity to meet the site visit instructors either in person or by Zoom.

7 Site Visits

Prior to each field trip, an agenda, maps and driving directions, along with other information pertinent to the day’s field trip, will be emailed.  It is crucial that we have an accurate e-mail and phone number for each student.  Each trip will have one or more trip instructors and either Kathy and/or Cheryl as the lead coordinator(s) for each trip.

TRIP 1: MAY 8
DIG MAINE GEMS AND TAMMINEN QUARRY

Meet at 10:00 AM at Dig Maine Gems
110 Bethel Road, West Paris, ME
Tour Guides: Steve Lemieux, Cheryl Fontaine

Dig Maine Gems, owned by Jody Matolcsy, transports mine tailings from a local mine to her facility.  Two Students can share a 3-gallon bucket for $25 and use Dig Maine Gems equipment to sort and sift through the rock fragments and possibly find garnets, tourmaline, quartz, muscovite, biotite and other pegmatitic crystals.  Steve and Cheryl will help to identify the minerals as you find them. It will take about 1½ hours for two students to dig, wash, screen and sort one bucket.

After Dig Maine Gems we will have either a bag lunch at Snow Falls Gorge Rest Area in West Paris or a restaurant lunch (TBA), and then continue on to the Tamminen Quarry in Greenwood, where Steve will lead us in rock collecting at a quarry open to the public.  Students will need to bring their own digging tools and buckets.

UMASC Trip Coordinator:  Cheryl Fontaine

LOCATIONS:
  — Dig Maine Gems, 110 Bethel Road, West Paris, ME at 10 AM
  — Tamminen Quarry, Richardson Hollow Rd., Greenwood, ME after lunch
LUNCH: BYO or Restaurant TBA
CLASS SIZE:  25 max.
COST: $25.00 for 2 students to share 3-gallon bucket.
RAIN DATE: Friday, May 10

STEVE LEMIEUX  graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a bachelor’s degree in music education and went on to get a master’s degree from Thomas College.  A life-long collector of minerals and fossils, Steve spent more than a decade doing natural science outreach and shares his knowledge with the students in Cheryl Fontaine’s Rocks and Walks Course.  He is currently a division director at the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.


CHERYL FONTAINE
graduated from University of Maine at Orono in 1981 with a Bachelor’s degree in Geology.  Cheryl retired from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection as a Senior Geologist in 2016.  While there, she advised technical staff on remediating underground oil and gasoline contamination and locating replacement drinking water wells.

After retirement Cheryl spent two years learning more about the origin of Maine’s bedrock and as a result now teaches “Rocks and Walks”, an outdoor class which offers participants an opportunity to both look at and understand the significance of the geology of many public parks.

TRIP 2: MAY 15
TOUR OF WAYNE MAINE: GLACIAL GEOLOGY

Meet at 9:00 AM at Wayne Memorial Church,
22 Old Winthrop Rd., Wayne, ME
Tour Guide: Tom Barden

This outing will begin at the Wayne Memorial Church from 9:00 to 11:00 AM with Tom Barden’s Powerpoint presentation on glacial geology.  Tom will discuss glaciers, what glaciers do to the landscape and glacial geology forms. A booklet will be provided to each student. After a bag lunch at the church, we will caravan carpool to visit various glacial feature sites in the area.

UMASC Trip Coordinator:  Cheryl Fontaine

LOCATION: Wayne Memorial Church, 22 Old Winthrop Road, Wayne
TIME: 9:00 AM
LUNCH: Bring a bag lunch
CLASS SIZE:  25 max
COST:  $5.00 donation for use of church
RAIN DATE: May 17

TOM BARDEN has a wealth of experience volunteering for UMASC.  Tom has taught one classroom class, Introduction to Windows 7,  lead two Explore Maine classes: Geology and Explore Maine and Ice Cream Shoppes, and was an assistant instructor with Duane Prugh on the Explore Maine classes in lighthouses, waterfalls, State of Maine record trees and State of Maine interesting places.

TRIP 3: MAY 22
LILACS AT MCLAUGHLIN GARDEN

Meet at 10:00 AM at McLaughlin Garden and Homestead,
97 Maine Street, South Paris, ME
Tour Guide: Corey Kotfila, resident horticulturist

This one day visit to South Paris will provide the opportunity for students to learn about the two acre McLaughlin Garden and Homestead property, which is home to 125 varieties of lilacs as well as a wide variety of native wildflowers, terrestrial orchids, hostas, daylilies, iris, phlox, astilbe and ferns. Cory Kotfila, will discuss the characteristics and care of the many lilac varieties as well as answering gardening questions that may arise during his 1 to  1½ hour tour.  The visit is timed so that most of the lilacs should be in full bloom.

Lunch can be at the nearby Square Family Restaurant w/room rental fee, or you can bring a bag lunch to eat at the McLaughlin Garden and Homestead barn. After lunch, students will be free to explore the garden and gift shop.

UMASC Trip Coordinator: Kathy Gillis-Soltan

LOCATION: McLaughlin Garden and Homestead, 97 Maine St., South Paris
TIME: 10:00 AM
LUNCH: Square Family Restaurant (room rental fee) or BYO bag lunch
CLASS SIZE:  25 max
COST:  $10.00/person
RAIN DATE: May 24

COREY KOTFILA is in his fourth season as the horticulturist for McLaughlin Garden and Homestead, where he is responsible for maintenance of the gardens, as well as providing horticultural programming.  He has a passion for wildflowers and terrestrial orchids.  Cory graduated from University of Maine, Orono campus with a degree in Forestry.

TRIP 4: MAY 29
LET'S LOOK AT LICHENS

Meet at 10:00 AM • Randall 250
Instructor: Andrea Ostrofsky

Lichens are beautiful and fascinating and common throughout Maine. They are composed of a fungus and a photosynthetic partner living together and sharing resources.  After an introduction to lichens- what they are, where they’re found, and their role in the environment, we will take a close up look at lichens in the classroom. 

In the afternoon, after a lunchbreak, we will go on an on-campus lichen adventure! We will follow the paved loop outside the Klahr Center in search of lichens. You will be amazed at the variety of lichens we will find and where we will find them.  

UMASC Trip Coordinator: Kathy Gillis-Soltan

LOCATION: UMASC classroom (TBA)
TIME: Classroom 10 AM-2 PM • Afternoon in field
LUNCH: Moose Tracks Café (Randall Student Center) or BYO bag lunch
CLASS SIZE:  12 max
COST:  No fee
RAIN DATE: May 31

ANDREA OSTROFSKY has lived in New Jersey, New Hampshire, Oregon, Nebraska and Maine.  Her background is in the biological sciences.   She has worked in laboratories studying wood decay fungi for the USDA Forest Service and for the University of Maine.

She has had a long-term interest in fungi, lichens and algae and is an enthusiast, but not an “expert”. Fifty years ago in Oregon, she studied fungal spore germination in a lichen for her master’s degree and has since taken college classes on algae in New Hampshire and Oregon. In a class on seaweeds on the west coast, her professor warned “Never turn your back on the ocean!”

She moved to the Bangor area in 1982. After moving to Augusta in 2006, she began volunteer work with the Natural History collection at the Maine State Museum. She also enjoyed working the library at Cony High School for 9 years before retiring and is now enjoying UMA Senior College.

TRIP 5: JUNE 5
TREE IDENTIFICATION

Meet at 10:00 AM • Randall 250
Instructor: Merle Ring
Identifying Native Maine Trees – Spring 2023

This class will focus on identifying native Maine trees, particularly those found in the Augusta area.  Identifying features will include leaves, needles, bark, twigs, tree form, size and color. We will start out in the classroom with a PowerPoint presentation on the Maine Forest Service guide, The Forest Trees of Maine

The afternoon portion of the class will be held at the property of Louis and Cheryl Fontaine where we will look at many different tree species and how to identify them as they grow in the forest.  Please bring a bag lunch to eat at the Fontaine’s.  This class will appeal to anyone with an interest in forest management or with just a curiosity about the trees growing all around us in Maine.  Participants should be prepared to walk on uneven ground on woodland roads and trails.

UMASC Trip Coordinator: Cheryl Fontaine

LOCATIONS:
  — UMASC classroom (TBA)
  — Lunch and tree tour at the Fontaine’s, 138 Robinson Road, Sidney ME
TIME: Classroom 10 Am-2 PM • Afternoon in field
LUNCH: BYO Bag lunch
CLASS SIZE:  20 max
COST:  No class fee, but the purchase of Forest Trees of Maine, published by the Maine Forest Service, is recommended. Available from the Maine Forest Service and on Amazon.
RAIN DATE: May 24

MERLE RING is a Maine licensed forester with over 45 years of experience in forest management.  He graduated from the University of Maine at Orono in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in Forestry, then worked for 42 years for the Maine Forest Service, mostly as a District Forester in Oxford County, retiring in 2019.  Merle continues his forestry career as a private consulting forester.   For many years he taught a six week forest management course for woodland owners at the Oxford Hill Comprehensive HS., Adult Ed.

TRIP 6: JUNE 12
SO YOU WANT TO BE A BEEKEEPER!

Meet at 10:00 AM at Spicer Bees, 463 Mills Road, Whitefield, ME
Instructor: Brian Mason, Owner of Spicer Bees

This will be a 2-hour talk with questions and answers interspersed throughout on the basics of beekeeping.  Brian will detail different types of bees, basic honeybee behaviors, making habitat for bees, and the tools of a beekeeper. This will be a stand-alone course, intended to give someone who might be interested in beekeeping honeybees what the hobby entails, as well as discussing ways to help all pollinators out, even if you don’t decide to get bees.

Following the lecture, the afternoon will be open to participants who would like to have a first-hand experience with honey bees. Spicer Bees will provide protective gear and tools for participants to use on site with their hives. Brian will also demonstrate good beekeeping practices and open a hive as a demonstration and reinforcement of the lecture information.

UMASC Trip Coordinator: Cheryl Fontaine

LOCATION: Spicer Bees, 463 Mills Road, Whitefield, ME
TIME: 10:00 AM
LUNCH: BYO Bag lunch
CLASS SIZE:  20 max
COST:  No fee
RAIN DATE: June 14

BRIAN MASON has been keeping bees in Maine for 11 years.  He strives to maintain a sustainable apiary and healthy Maine adapted bees.  Brian is working to breed bees that are hearty to survive Maine winters, gentle for both new and experiences beekeepers, productive for honey and pollination, and finally, resistant to the varroa mite.  In addition, Brian owns and operates Spicer Bees in Whitefield, supplying bees and beekeeping supplies to Maine beekeepers.  Spicer bees also offers introduction to beekeeping classes every spring!

TRIP 7: JUNE 19
EXPLORING NATURE AT REID STATE PARK

Meet at 10:00 AM
at Todd Point Parking Lot (Half Mile Beach) at Reid State Park
Instructors: Andrea Ostrofsky, Kit Pfeiffer, Merle Ring and Cheryl Fontaine

This is a day for our students to explore and enjoy nature at Reid State Park.  We have brought together a group of instructors to help examine the birds, trees, rocks, beach geology, lichens and seaweed as we investigate the beach area and the Little River Trail.

Andrea Ostrofsky will be on the watch to highlight various lichens and types of seaweeds.
Kit Pfeiffer will help students to identify as many as 25-30 species by sight or sound: warblers such as the Black-throated Green, Pine and Ovenbird, various sparrows, and of course some seaside birds such as Osprey Eagle, Common Tern, Great and Snowy Egret and the iconic Great Blue Heron. Kit can also help us identify early summer wildflowers which may include Sheep Lauren, Bluet, and Ox-eye Daisy.
Merle Ring will identify Maine trees in the various types of habitat. These will include the oak-pine woodland, the spruce-fir forest and the pitch pine communities.
Cheryl Fontaine will point out the bedrock and beach geology of Todd Point and will lead the hunt for pegmatites and garnets.

UMASC Trip Coordinators: Cheryl Fontaine & Kathy Gillis Soltan

LOCATION: Todd Point Parking Lot (Half Mile Beach), Reid State Park, Georgetown ME
TIME: 10:00 AM
LUNCH: Pot Luck style lunch at noon (details to come).
CLASS SIZE:  25 max
COST:  Entrance fee $6, under 65; no fee for Maine residents over 65
RAIN DATE: June 14

CHERYL FONTAINE graduated from University of Maine at Orono in 1981 with a Bachelor’s degree in Geology.  Cheryl retired from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection as a Senior Geologist in 2016.  While there, she advised technical staff on remediating underground oil and gasoline contamination and locating replacement drinking water wells.

After retirement Cheryl spent two years learning more about the origin of Maine’s bedrock and as a result now teaches “Rocks and Walks”, an outdoor class which offers participants an opportunity to both look at and understand the significance of the geology of many public parks.

ANDREA OSTROFSKY has lived in New Jersey, New Hampshire, Oregon, Nebraska and Maine.  Her background is in the biological sciences.   She has worked in laboratories studying wood decay fungi for the USDA Forest Service and for the University of Maine.

She has had a long-term interest in fungi, lichens and algae and is an enthusiast, but not an “expert”.  Fifty years ago in Oregon, she studied fungal spore germination in a lichen for her master’s degree and has since taken has taken college classes on algae in New Hampshire and Oregon.   In a class on seaweeds on the west coast, her professor warned “Never turn you back on the ocean!”

She moved to the Bangor area in 1982.  After moving to Augusta in 2006, she began volunteer work with the Natural History collection at the Maine State Museum.  She also enjoyed working the library at Cony High School for 9 years before retiring and is now enjoying UMA Senior College.

KIT PFEIFFER is a Maine Master Naturalist volunteer who is especially keen on our birds and wildflowers. ‘’I am not a scientist”, she says.  “But I am an expert in enthusiasm for the natural world!”

MERLE RING is a Maine licensed forester with over 45 years of experience in forest management.  He graduated from the University of Maine at Orono in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in Forestry, then worked for 42 years for the Maine Forest Service, mostly as a District Forester in Oxford County, retiring in 2019.  Merle continues his forestry career as a private consulting forester.   For many years he taught a six week forest management course for woodland owners at the Oxford Hill Comprehensive HS., Adult Ed.

Outdoor Shorts
INSTRUCTORS

Tom Barden
Cheryl Fontaine
Corey Kotfila
Steve Lemieux
Brian Mason
Andrea Ostrofsky
Kit Pfeiffer
Merle Ring



Trip Coordinators


Cheryl Fontaine


Kathy Gillis-Soltan