Stone tools talk at Tosham Public Library
TOPSHAM — On Tuesday, Aug. 21, geologist Mark Brockmann will discuss the archaeological, geological, physical properties and occurrence of 35 types of lithic tools used by New England-based native peoples. He will focus on the items used in the Kennebec Valley.

Replicas of these tools will be on display, and the public can bring personal specimens for identification and discussion.

The discussion begins at 6 p.m. at the Topsham Public Library at 25 Foreside Road. The program is open to the public.

Brockmann earned a master’s degree in geology from Miami University in Ohio and has travelled throughout the Northeast working as an environmental, geotechnical and educational geologist. In the early 90s, Brockmann purchased property along a glacial esker in Chesterville and built a house there in 1995. This is his home library, office and lab and where he keeps his lithological and mineralogical collections.

For more information, call 725-1727 or visit topshamlibrary.org.

Wiscasset library to hold Labor Day fundraiser
WISCASSET — The Wiscasset Public Library will hold its 5th annual Bands for Books event on Monday, Sept. 3, to raise money for the library.  

The event will be from 5-7 p.m. at Marianmade Farm in Wiscasset along the Sheepscot River. The Salty Dogs band will play rock music from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. 

In addition to the music, the Bands for Books event includes hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and a silent auction items including an hour-long scenic coastal airplane flight for three, two cases of wine, a set of framed prints, several original paintings, a gift certificate for framing, a homemade cake and a filled picnic basket.

Advanced tickets can be purchased for $20 at the library. Tickets will be available for $25 the night of the event. All the monies collected will be used refurbish the library’s Children’s Room.

For more information call Wendy Ross on 882-7060.

Patten Free Library opens teen writing contest
BATH — Patten Free Library has begun accepting submissions for its annual teen writing contest, “Write On!” Any student in grades seven through 12 residing in the library service area or attending schools in Regionall School Unit 1 may participate in the contest and may submit up to two pieces of original work in the categories of short fiction and memoir.  

This is the sixth year the library has offered the competition.

“We are really pleased by the steady increase in participation and in the quality of the entries,” said Roberta Jordan, the library’s outreach and research librarian. “It’s such a great opportunity for local students to gain recognition for their talents, because the competition is only open to local students.”

First and second prizes will be named in two categories — short fiction and memoir — and two age groups; grades 7-9 and grades 10-12. First prize winners will earn a $100 gift certificate and second prizes winners will win $50 gift certificates.  

Submission-s will be accepted until Nov. 19. All entries will be judged by a panel of library staff, trustees, local educators and teen library council members. 

Winners will be announced in early December and there will be a recognition ceremony in January. For the first time, winning writers will have the opportunity to read their work for a library podcast. 

Submission guidelines are available on patten.lib.me.us. For more information, call 443-5141.

Presidential historian giving talk 
DAMARISCOTTA — On Aug. 16, Skidompha Library’s Chats with Champions program will host writer, columnist, biographer, presidential historian and educator Patricia O’Toole.

The talk begins at 10 a.m.

O’Toole’s latest book, “The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made” measures Wilson by his own standards. O’Toole has written about Theodore Roosevelt in “When Trumpets Call,” and her biography of Henry Adams and his friends, “The Five of Hearts,” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. 

O’Toole is a professor emerita at Columbia University and a Fellow of the Society of American Historians. She has served on the nonfiction panel of judges for National Book Awards and has been a guest curator at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.Briefs

O’Toole lives in Camden.

International research expedition sets sail for the Arctic
EAST BOOTHBAY — The Arctic climate is changing faster than anywhere else in the world. On July 31, a Swedish-American research expedition to the Arctic Ocean set sail to study how these polar changes may impact global temperatures by altering cloud formation.

Forty researchers from across the world will be based aboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden. Paty Matrai, a senior research scientist from Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, will act as co-chief scientist for the expedition. After sailing nearly as far north as the Pole, the crew will moor the ship to a moving ice floe. As they drift with the ice, specialized research teams will collect vital statistics from the sea, ice and air.

“A better understanding of how clouds form in the Arctic is key to predicting the global climate of the future,” Matrai said. “Clouds play a very important role in our planet’s climate – but how are they affected by the microbiological life that thrives in and beneath the sea ice?”

Clouds are made up of small droplets and ice crystals that form in certain wind, moisture and temperature conditions. Condensation and formation of cloud droplets depend on the existence of small particles in the atmosphere, which in the Arctic originate from microbiological life in the sea and ice. The more sea that opens up as the Arctic ice pack melts, the more biological particles bubble out into the atmosphere. This process may lead to more clouds and earlier freezing of seasonal sea ice. 

Matrai will examine the process of how these ocean particles seed clouds. Using seawater from the open spaces between Arctic ice floes, her team will conduct experiments that create artificial sea spray. The results will allow them to quantify how organic aerosols influence cloud formation.

“This research takes us from the microscopic to the global very quickly,” Matrai said. “By understanding how sea spray particles in the air influence cloud formation in the high Arctic, we will understand the polar ecosystem much better, and be better equipped to predict its future.” 

Between the journey north and the time required to prepare experiments, Oden will spend two months at sea. For one month of this time, the ship will be moored to a large ice floe in the Arctic Ocean, enabling the scientists aboard to perform research in this remote environment. Together, the projects conducted during this time will provide better insight into how the varying sections of the complex Arctic system are linked.

“Perhaps the Northeast Passage will be passable by merchant vessels as early as in ten years’ time,” said Caroline Leck, professor of chemical meteorology at Stockholm University and co-chief scientist for the expedition. “We must rise to the challenge and carry out onsite studies into the link between life in the sea and cloud formations, a logistical and technical challenge beyond the ordinary in inhospitable and inaccessible areas of the North Pole.”

The researchers will return at the end of September. The Arctic Ocean 2018 research expedition is conducted by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat and the National Science Foundation. It is the result of several years of collaboration between Sweden and the United States to strengthen research in the Arctic.

Maine Maritime Museum to host RFK’s son
BATH — Author Maxwell Taylor Kennedy, a son of assassinated former presidential candidate and U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, will speak about his latest book, “Sea Change: A Man, A Boat, A Journey Home,” during a talk on Aug. 22 at the Maine Maritime Museum.

The event begins at 6 p.m. It costs $7 for museum members and $10 for non-members.

According to the museum, the new book takes readers on a wild ride as he relates the harrowing voyage to deliver his boat, Valkyrien, a 90-foot dilapidated wooden schooner, from San Francisco through the Panama Canal and up the coast to Washington, D.C. 

Taylor Kennedy is an author, sailor, attorney, historian and teacher. He is the author of “Danger’s Hour: The Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikazi Pilot Who Crippled Her,” and “Make Gentle the Life of this World: the Vision of Robert F. Kennedy and the Words that Inspired Him.”

For more information, call 443-1316 or visit mainemaritimemuseum.org.