UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – September 14, 2020

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

September 14, 2020

 Hi Everyone,

Today begins two weeks of all-online classes for UW-Madison, and in the next few days the leaders of the 14 Big 10 universities are expected to vote on a proposal to re-open the football season this fall.  

As Captain Millers says to Sergeant Horvath in “Saving Private Ryan” on the bridge at Ramelle,  “We have crossed some strange boundary here.  The world has taken a turn for the surreal.”  

The Sergeant replies, “But the question still stands—what are your orders?”

We don’t have orders, but those of us in the outreach mission of the university will be continuing to roll with the real this fall, and with our community partners we will be making up the strategy and laying out the tactics and adjusting on the fly.  

As I mentioned in the previous Updater, at our weekly Science Alliance meetings we’ll be sharing ideas and insights on how to adjust & adapt, how to craft collaborations to speed our work on campus and in communities, and how to sustain our mission of sharing science with Wisconsin.   

I hope you can join us this today at 10:00am and every Monday morning.  Email Liz Jesse ejesse2@wisc.edu to receive the link.

Thanks again!

Tom Zinnen

Note: please visit https://science.wisc.edu/science-alliance/ for the updater archive.

 Notable This Week

  1.  After taking the Labor Day holiday off, Science Alliance resumes our weekly meetings by Webex at 10:00 am today, September 14. Email Liz Jesse ejesse2@wisc.edu to receive the link. The meeting notes are archived on https://science.wisc.edu/science-alliance/.

 The draft agenda for September 14 at 10am includes:

    • Welcome
    • Updates from science outreach programs
    • Status of public visitors on campus, and maintaining access for all ages, by zoom or in person
    • Wisconsin Science Festival
    • UW Science Expeditions in April:  parallel planning for online, hybrid, and in person
    • Other announcements or topics  
  1. Please add your upcoming online programs or resources with learners of any ages to the list at http://science.wisc.edu/ and be sure to include program events in the calendar at http://today.wisc.edu and tag them with “Science” and any other appropriate tag.
  1. Programming Events coming this week and soon
  1. The PLATO Frontiers in Life Sciences Seminar will be firing up again this fall for online presentations to a group of 20-25 active retires.  

If you’re a researcher or outreacher looking for a venue to hone your skills in sharing your science with an appreciative, affirmative audience, please contact Tom Zinnen at zinnen@biotech.wisc.edu and let’s find a Wednesday at 1 pm that’s good for you.


Two announcements from Paul Noeldner, Madison FUN Volunteer Coordinator, Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program, a program of the Division of Extension.  paul.noeldner@hotmail.com.  


The year round free family kid and student friendly Madison FUN Bird and Nature Outing program has resumed unofficial Naturalist led walks limited to the first 10 people with masks and social distancing required at all outing locations except the Lakeshore Nature Preserve.  We also now feature Self-Guided Bird and Nature Walks Any Day each month with fun and interesting nature topics, fun facts and self guided nature scavanger hunts and activities at all 8 Madison FUN partner groups co-sponsored locations including the Lakeshore Nature Preserve.  For more information see FUN Friends of Urban Nature on Facebook, Madison Parks activity postings at http://cityofmadison.com/parks, and the Friends of Lakeshore Nature Preserve at http://friendslakeshorepreserve.com, scroll down to click on the September Virtual Field Trip


Paul Noeldner with Madison FUN is helping Nelson Institute Capstone students create Self-Guided Walks and Activities with a focus on families and kids.  Please contact paul_noeldner@hotmail.com if you are interested in sharing ideas or need help with an idea you have.   


  1. “On the Spot” Workshop Opportunity, weekly running October 26-November 16, from Travis Tangen, ttangen@warf.org

National partners with local connection were recently funded for a project by the National Science Foundation to provide more communication tools for scientists to use in their public engagement events.  The On-the-Spot Feedback projects provides feedback tactics that help you identify how well audience members are following you and their level of interest in your event.  The workshop also includes suggestion for effective ways to respond to the feedback you receive during your engagement.  In addition, you have the opportunity to receive a $200 honorarium for your participation.  Here’s how to sign up: 

 Getting On-the-Spot Feedback from Your Audience: Online workshop for scientists who engage with the public: 

October 26 – November 20, 2020, 60-minute live sessions on Mondays at 2pm PT / 5pm ET (October 26, November 2, 9, 16)

More details and application:

Complete an online application form by Sunday, September 27. The form has 22 questions and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Note that this course has limited capacity, so we may not be able to accept everyone who applies. The project team will send out acceptance notifications by October 7.  

  1. Some splendid resources for science teachers were posted last week at the link to the Wisconsin DPI Science Digest for September 9 from Kevin J.B. Anderson  DPI Science Consultant:  https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/science/WI-Science-Matters-9-9-20.pdf

 Five Powerful Routes to Promote Your Events: The Updater newsletter (750 subscribers), the science.wisc.edu portal, the @sciencewiscedu Twitter feed (3.2K followers), the @UWMadisonScienceOutreach Facebook page, and the today.wisc.edu calendar.

 *  Add your news, requests and programming announcements to the Updater by emailing them to ejesse2@wisc.edu

Check out www.science.wisc.edu for more science activities! We’re delighted to help you promote your upcoming science outreach events.  Send a note to Liz Jesse at ejesse2@wisc.edu.

  * Or post your events to the @sciencewiscedu Twitter feed and to the @UWMadisonScienceOutreach Facebook page.