Free seminars to focus on genetics

Southern Maine Community College is launching a free seminar series that focuses on genetic approaches to studying science.

The SMCC Science Department is hosting a series of four seminars beginning Jan. 30. The lectures are geared toward a general audience and should be of interest to members of the public, high school and college students, scientists, professors and others.

All seminars are free and open to the public and are being held in Jewett Auditorium, located in Jewett Hall at 57 Fort Road on the SMCC South Portland Campus. The seminars include:

Jan. 30: East Coast Salt Marsh Response to Sea Level Rise: Microbial Community Function and Structure. Matt Simon, SMCC biology instructor.

Feb. 27: RNA Expression in Fast-Growth Clams: Effect of Selection in Aquaculture. Shallee Page, biology professor, University of Maine at Machias.

March 27: Epigenetic Regulation of Metabolism, Obesity and Related Disorders. Robert Koza, research scientist, Maine Medical Center Research Institute.

April 7: Keeping Your Babies Happy: Antidepressant Properties of Dietary Choline via Genomic and Epigenomic Mechanisms. Melissa Glenn, psychology professor, Colby College.


Friday, Jan. 31: “Tar Sands Exposed: Exploring the Human and Environmental Costs,” a presentation by Garth Lenz, whose award-winning photos have been featured in National Geographic, and Eriel Deranger, of the indigenous Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in northern Alberta, takes place in Portland at USM’s Abromson Center Hannaford Hall in Portland. Doors open at 6:30, talk begins at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 1: From 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Cape Closet is holding a Souperbowl Saturday Dress Drive at Ann Veronica, 535 Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth. Bring in a gently used prom or formal dress or make a purchase at the store and enjoy a cup of Kamasouptra as thanks. Ten percent of all sales that day will benefit Cape Closet, a Cape Elizabeth High School nonprofit group that collects and redistributes prom dresses to girls in need.

Feb. 1: The Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church will host a public supper from 4:30-6 p.m., featuring foods casseroles, beans, salads, breads and pies for dessert. The charge will be $8 for adults, $5 for children and $20 for families (two adults and children). Take-out will be available. The church is located at 280 Ocean House Road.

Tuesday, Feb. 4: The Scarborough Democratic Town Committee meets 7-8:30 p.m. at the Scarborough Municipal Building, Chambers B, to review plans for the coming year and prepare for the March 2 Biennial Caucus. All Democrats are welcome. Email [email protected] for more information.

Feb. 4: South Portland Public Library, 482 Broadway, is holding a discussion of William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” starting at 6:30 p.m. The Patron Page to Stage event is presented by Portland Players with director Stacey Koloski, producers Joanna Chantal and Gigi Paquette, musicians and cast members. “Twelfth Night” runs from Jan. 24-Feb. 9, at The Portland Players’ home, located at 420 Cottage Road, South Portland. For more information, contact 799-7337, or visit for more information regarding the performance schedule and ticket prices.

Thursday, Feb. 6: The monthly meeting of the Scarborough Historical Society will be held at 7:30 p.m. with a brief business meeting followed by a presentation. The meeting is held at the society, located at 647 U.S. Route 1 (adjacent to the Dunstan Fire Station). All monthly meetings are free to the public. However, donations are always welcomed. The presentation is about one hour in length. Becky Delaware, president of the Society, will speak about the history of buildings and sites located in Scarborough in a Now and Then format.

Feb. 14-March 1: Lyric Music Theater, 176 Sawyer St., South Portland, is performing “Into the Woods” (music by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine) Feb. 14-March 1. Fridays and Saturdays performances start at 8 p.m., Sunday performances start at 2:30 p.m. For tickets or more information, call 799-1421, email [email protected] or go to

Saturday, Feb. 15: From 10 a.m.-noon, join Scarborough Land Trust for a winter walk at Sewell Woods & Frith Farm during the Great Maine Outdoors Weekend. Wildlife expert Gil Paquette will lead the walk, which will end at the farm with hot cocoa and a visit with Frith farmer Daniel Mays. Free and appropriate for all ages. Meet at the Sewell Woods kiosk on Ash Swamp Road, near Hearn Road. Dress for the weather and trail conditions. Download free trail maps at SLT’s website. For more information, contact 289-1199.

March 5-April 9: A Grief Support Group will be held Wednesdays, 6-7:30 p.m. March 5 through April 9 at VNA Home Health Hospice, 50 Foden Road, in South Portland. This will be a closed group (same group of people meeting for the six sessions) that works best if you are able to attend all sessions. For more information or to sign up for the group, call Linda Hopkins, bereavement coordinator, at 400-8714 or e-mail [email protected].


• Square dancing lessons take place at Eight Corners School, 22 Mussey Road, Scarborough, from 6:30-7:45 p.m. each Thursday through April. For more information, email [email protected] or call 839-5512.

• The Think Local Scarborough Chapter meets every Thursday at 8 a.m. at Egg & I in Scarborough. Join for breakfast with a weekly networking meeting among local business owners. For more information, contact Jason Shinn at 885-9499.

On Friday, Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m., musical theater students under the direction of Betsy Dunphy from Studio 408 will present “Snow Stage” at St. Nicholas Episcopal Church, 350 U.S. Route 1 in Scarborough (across from Scarborough Downs). The production features the music of Broadway with singing, dancing and dialogue and will be presented by a troupe of junior and senior high students. Terry Foster will be the accompanist. The show is free and open to the public. Ample parking is provided in front of the church. A reception will follow the performance. 

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