UMF Research Learning Experiences (RLEs): Fall 2022

Supported by a generous donation from the Harold Alfond Foundation as part of UMS TRANSFORMS.


First Year RLEs: First Year Fusion

Conflict and Compassion (Course Filled)

FYS 100 Section 11 & 12

Kelly Bentley & Nicole Kellett

Credits: 4
Fusion Week: Micmac Pow Wow
Course Fee: $100

Passionate about diversity, equity, and social justice? This course will permit you to explore these issues through interactions with activists from across the State. During Fusion Week, we begin by attending the “Mawiomi (gathering) of Tribes” of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs to learn about the community’s culture and traditions through drumming, dancing, music, foods, crafts, ceremonies and more. Throughout the term, we will meet with other organizations working on social justice, civil rights, diversity, and inclusion, including LGBTQAI+and immigrant and refugee groups. By exploring Maine’s different communities (and cuisines), we will learn more about the diversity that enriches our State, reflect on ways in which we are interconnected, and how we can foster knowledge and actions to address conflict and promote compassion. (Photo Credit: The Micmac of Maine)

  • Enjoy camping with the Aroostook Band of Micmacs at the Mawiomi Gathering of Tribes
  • Engage in traditional dancing, drumming, crafts, music, foods, and ceremonies to learn about the strength, spirit, and endurance of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs
  • Learn about organizations, agencies and individuals dedicated to celebrating and promoting diversity in Maine
  • Collaborate with a small cohort of students to engage with community resources and cultural life at UMF.

Freshwater in the Anthropocene (Course Filled)

FYS 100 Section 9

Rachel Hovel

Credits: 4
Fusion Week: Maine Huts & Trails
Course Fee: $150

Lakes and rivers provide important habitat and cultural connection. Access to water defines political boundaries and decisions. Yet, freshwater ecosystems are changing rapidly in the current Anthropocene era where human activity is the dominant influence on the environment. During Fusion Week and throughout the semester, we will explore local lakes and rivers, identifying and working collaboratively to address challenges to critical freshwater ecosystems in our local landscape. (Photo Credit: Maine Huts & Trails)

  • learn about lake ecosystems while spending two nights at the Maine Huts & Trails Flagstaff Hut
  • identify and investigate a contemporary topic related to freshwater ecosystems in our region
  • complete a hands-on project to improve awareness and connection to freshwater in our own community

Success and Failure (Course Filled)

FYS 100 Section 16

Denisa Cundick

Credits: 4
Fusion Week: Maine Huts & Trails
Course Fee: $200

What does it mean to be successful? Why do some people see failures as steps on the path to success while others do not? In this course, we will explore different ways of thinking about success and what it can mean, as well as the role failing might play in success. During Fusion week, we will explore around town and beyond, talking to successful people, learning more about how to stay active and healthy, as well as how to manage your money and time. Throughout the semester, we will talk with people about the paths they took to get where they are today, and what success looks like to them so that you may develop your own plan for success at UMF and beyond. (Photo Credit: UMF Fusion 2021)

  • Explore what it means to be successful in college and how to go about setting yourself up for a positive college experience.  
  • Learn about the resources UMF and the Farmington area have to offer to ensure your success in college and life.
  • Figure out how to eat well at college and try at preparing your own food!
  • Enjoy going on adventures on campus and off as you find your footing with a group of peers, making the whirlwind first days of the academic semester easier to manage.

Sustainable Campus (Course Filled)

FYS 100 Section 13

Mark Pires

Credits: 4
Fusion Week: Maine Huts & Trails, Saddleback Mountain, Mt Blue State Park
Course Fee: $195

Using the UMF campus as a learning laboratory, students examine how sustainability principles are put into practice right in their own academic backyard at an institution that values its commitment to environmental stewardship. During Fusion Week, we will explore how people in and around Farmington conceptualize and promote sustainability through a series of outings, including a two-night stay at Maine Huts & Trails. During the semester, we will then use the UMF campus as a learning laboratory to examine how principles of environmental sustainability and stewardship are put into practice right in our own academic backyard. For their final project, students will develop their own proposal to help make UMF a more Sustainable Campus. (Photo Credit: Maine Huts & Trails)

  • Explore projects on campus designed to make UMF more sustainable including the UMF Biomass Heating Plant, the LEED-certified Kalikow Education Center, the UMF Community Garden, and the Thrifty Beaver Student Coop
  • Visit community projects in the Farmington area designed to promote sustainable practices such as the Tom Eastler Memorial Compost Site and the Farmington Solar farm
  • Meet other upperclass students interested making UMF a Sustainable Campus through the Sustainable Campus Coalition

Urban Maine (Course Filled)

FYS 100 Section 15 & HON 101 Section 5

Lewis Robinson & Steve Pane

Credits: 4
Fusion Week: Exploring Portland
Course Fee: $50

Maine is more than a pastoral vacationland. Its cities like Portland and Belfast continue to evolve and add new layers to their unique histories. During Fusion Week, we will travel to these two coastal cities to meet with a wide variety of Maine urbanites: from fishermen to artists, shopkeepers to chefs. Over the course of the semester, students will gather and document individual narratives and soundscapes, and then create their own work in the form of audio podcasts, sound collages, and videos. (Photo Credit: Embrace Someplace)

  • Explore the Coastal Maine cities of Portland and Belfast
  • Investigate how the dynamics of sounds shape place and experience
  • Learn how to record and produce audio
  • Craft powerful stories from the soundscapes you collect
  • Collaborate with your classmates as you explore Maine and join the UMF community

First Year RLES: First Year Seminars

Bigfoot (Course Filled)

HON 101 Section 1

Luke Kellett

Credits: 4
Experiential Outing: Cryptozoology Museum

Big Foot at Cryptozoology Museum of MaineThis course explores the role that Bigfoot plays in American culture while also examining its historical, cross-cultural roots. Much of the course considers how the Bigfoot phenomenon offers a window into the complex relationships between belief, evolution, science, myth and culture. Students will consider the existing evidence for Bigfoot and come to understand those who “hunt”, study, ridicule and celebrate this legendary creature. At a broader context, the course questions why belief in Bigfoot continues and how it may reflect our own separation from nature and our ancient, wild past. Prerequisites: Acceptance in the UMF Honors Program, or permission of instructor. (Photo Credit: The Cryptozoology Museum of Maine)

Your Success at UMF and Beyond (Course Filled)

FYS 100 Section 6

Christine Wilson

Credits: 4
Experiential Outing: Writers’ Retreat

FYF Students Note Taking in the SunYou are at UMF because we appreciate your achievements in life so far, we see your potential as a UMF Beaver, and we know you will be able to make a positive difference after graduation. Everyone’s journey through UMF will be different because each of you is unique. Whether you’re coming to UMF right out of high school or after being away for a while, whether high school was easy or hard for you, whether you want to participate in activities at UMF that already interest you or explore new opportunities, whether you are outgoing or shy, a commuter or an on campus student, if you have to hold a job–you can succeed at UMF. In this class we will explore what it takes for students, as individuals, to succeed. In addition, we’ll learn about the many resources available at UMF to make sure you have fun and are supported through both good and challenging times. While you are all different, you all want to succeed, and UMF is invested in your success. (Photo Credit: UMF FYF 2021)

Advanced RLEs

Data Analysis

MAT 220 Section 1

Lori Koban

Credits: 4
Pathways to Careers: Actuaries, Data Analysis, Math Education

UMF Actuary Intern speaking to classmatesThis course is intended for those majoring in mathematics, secondary mathematics education, or computer science. The course is designed to contain the content of AP statistics, but at the deeper level required for pre-service teachers. Topics covered include descriptive statistics, regression and correlation, sampling and experimentation, basic probability, normal distributions, sampling distributions, point estimation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing for means and proportions, two-sample t-tests for means, chi-squared tests, and possible other topics. Appropriate technology will be used. (Photo Credit: UMF Actuarial Science)