Pilot Episode #2: We Resume by Zoom


Explore the Unknown!

For October 7, 2020

Please share this missive with your friends & neighbors.

Hi WN@TL Fans,

Well, it’s been quite a year since last Tuesday.  With a lot of stuff heading south (like the height of the noontime sun), I hope the return of WN@TL is a happy example of something bearing boreal.

If you registered last week, you should be good through the end of May 2021.

If you haven’t signed up yet, please register at https://uwmadison.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUrce2vrDwtHNBMv0FxIcmw56npNOhu831_

I have set this up as a Zoom Meeting rather than as a Zoom Webinar.  This is good news for a couple of reasons:

1.  Our Zoom license does not include Webinars, so we couldn’t do Webinars anyways; and

2.  Zoom Meetings will allow everyone to choose whether to turn on their video; and I’ll be able to unmute you in the pre-talk warmup (we’ll probably fire up the video around 6:50pm) and you’ll be able to ask questions by audio or by chat.  I believe this is as close to the WN@TL experience in the Biotech Center Auditorium as the technology permits.

I’ll record the presentations and Q&A and post them on the WN@TL YouTube site.  Here’s mine from last week.


Tomorrow night, on October 7, Bruce Johnson will continue our pre-season of WN@TL prototypes by Zoom.

“Solar Farming & Electric Cars” with Bruce Johnson, Solar Farmer

Bruce will share the latest in his experiences as a Solar Farmer and electric-car owner charged with electricity gathered from his roof. By the way, Bruce also does live webinars for a living, so he’ll be able to provide us an extra layer of technical insights.

Speaker Bio: Bruce A. Johnson has spent over 35 years as a television production professional, first in the commercial and public TV sectors and now with a non-profit. He is also a fierce advocate for alternative energy, having installed his first set of solar panels 12 years ago, and having owned three electric cars in the last seven years. Johnson lives on the far east side of Madison with his wife and two college-age daughters. This will be his sixth appearance on Wednesday Nite @ The Lab.


On October 14 Kristin Krokowski, Commercial Horticulture Educator of UW-Madison’s Division of Extension in Waukesha County, will share with us her horticultural insights.  She works to create timely and relevant education and information for the green industry, fruit and vegetable growers and farmers’ market managers throughout Wisconsin.

“Keeping Produce Safe and People Healthy” with Kristin Krokowski
With outbreaks of food borne illness and a global pandemic how can people be safe and access locally produced fruits and vegetables? Learn the steps farmers, Pick-Your-Own farms and farmers markets are taking to keep you safe and make sure you can get your produce.


On October 21 Ankur Desai, Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, will speak on weird ways climate change is hitting us.  I was in California in August for the beginning of the fires, and the apocalyptic skies qualified as weird for me.  Alas, I’m guessing the list runs much, much longer.

“Weird Ways Climate Change Will Affect Use That You Probably Didn’t Know”

You’ve probably heard about climate change and you’ve probably seen the news about heatwaves, forest fires, intense hurricanes, or shrinking glaciers. You can guess how those are linked and be mostly right. But there are also some harder to make sense impacts and some innovative ways to address those. Our lab has found curious links between climate change and windier lakes, wetter snow storms, lower crop yield, and cooler wetlands. Learning about these are not just academic exercises, but help us better understand how the Earth system works, improve our computer model predictions of future climate change, and develop novel ways to combat the worst effects.  So come join and get weird with us!


I’m grateful to Bruce, Kristin and Ankur for agreeing to help with the prototyping phase of bringing back WN@TL online as a public science series offered every Wednesday night, 50 times a year, albeit by Zoom.  And I’d be especially grateful to have you join in and to share your insights for improving the WN@TL-by-Zoom experience.

I’d be happy to respond to any questions or suggestions.

Finally, I am delighted to say again this week:  I hope to see you tomorrow at 7 by Zoom, now that we can resume Wednesday Nite @ The Lab.

Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H