Special Friday Night Edition: Challenges of Climate Change

9 April 2021

Explore the Unknown!

*Check out UW Science Expeditions Open House online April 9-11 at science.wisc.edu/science-expeditions

For the Special Friday Night Edition on April 9, 2021

Hi WN@TL Fans,

In the late 1980’s I first learned from working with colleagues at PhytoFarms, an indoor hydroponic facility, the power of growing crops under higher-than-normal concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air.  Not for the first time in culinary history, it became clear that you could have too much of a good thing.   Spinach just grinned and grew happily, but basil grimaced and turned yellow.  The fancy name of the (noninfectious) disease was basil chlorosis.

It was for me an early alert that elevated CO2 could be a big deal.   In the more than 30 years since then, the growing global impacts of human-driven climate change have laid before us one of the single greatest challenges ever to our well-being.  How we parse the causes, project the effects, and probe ways to handle climate change will test the mettle, temper and ingenuity of humanity for as far into the future as I can see.

So it’s apt that on Friday, April 9 we’ll have a special Friday Nite Edition of Wednesday Nite @ The Lab with Tracey Holloway of the Nelson Institute and Bassam Shakhashiri of Chemistry.  They will share with us by zoom their points of view on what’s ahead in grasping & dealing with climate change.  This special edition is part of the 19th Annual UW Science Expeditions campus open house April 9-11.   First-time WN@TL viewers can register as usual at go.wisc.edu/240r59

Professor Shakhashiri will lead off with his talk entitled, “Conversations in Science:  Global Warming” followed by Professor Holloway’s talk entitled, “Solving the Climate Challenge.”

Description:  Conversations in Science: Global Warming.
Professor Shakhashiri’s talk will address aspects of the science of climate change with some emphasis on the properties of carbon dioxide and water.  One home experiment that relates to rising sea levels employs an ice cube and a glass of water: melting glaciers and ice and water densities. Specific suggestions for what we individually and collectively can do to mitigate global warming.

Description:  Solving the Climate Challenge
From satellite data to identify emissions, to electric vehicles to reduce CO2 emissions — a wide range of technologies and strategies can support climate solutions. Professor Tracey Holloway will share a few of these opportunities, along with her personal motivation for studying energy, climate, and the air we breathe. Holloway will discuss lesson learned from past environmental success stories, and how these success can offer hope for climate.

Bio:  Bassam Shakashiri: Professor Shakhashiri is a noted chemistry and science educator. He is probably best known for his leadership in national science policy, promoting excellence in science education at all levels, and for his development and use of demonstrations in the teaching of chemistry. His scholarly publications, including the multi-volume series, Chemical Demonstrations: A Handbook for Teachers of Chemistry, are models of learning and instruction. He is an advocate for policies to advance knowledge and to use science and technology to serve society. He promotes the exploration and establishment of links between science, the arts and the humanities, and the elevation of discourse on significant societal issues related to science, religion, politics, the economy, and ethics.

Link:  www.scifun.org ; https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience.html

Bio:  Tracey Holloway: Professor Holloway is the 2017-2021 Gaylord Nelson Distinguished Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, jointly appointed in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences. Holloway serves as the Team Lead for the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team, which connects NASA data with stakeholder interests in air quality management and public health. Tracey is a co-founder and served as the first President of the Earth Science Women’s Network “ESWN”, which has a mission of supporting the scientists of today and welcoming a diverse community of scientists for tomorrow. Among her awards, Holloway was the first-ever recipient of the MIT C3E Award in Education and Mentoring, the 2018 UW-Madison Undergraduate Research Student Mentoring Award, the 2019 UW-Madison Phi Beta Kappa Excellence in Teaching Award, the 2020 Ascent Award from the American Geophysical Union. Dr. Holloway earned her B.S. in Applied Math from Brown University and Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from Princeton University.

Link: https://sciencemoms.com/our-message/


On April 14 Mary Hayney of the School of Pharmacy will speak on “Insights into the Development of Covid Vaccines.”

Description: The Hayney laboratory conducts research studies of vaccine responses in immunosuppressed patient groups.  In this talk, Professor Hayney will describe and compare the development and review of covid vaccines, including those authorized for the US as well as some of the others from around the world.

Bio:  Mary Hayney joined the University of Wisconsin’s School of Pharmacy in 1997. Her research interests are in host response to vaccination and protective effects, especially as they relate to immunosuppressed individuals. Her clinical practice is with the lung transplant group at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Her postdoctoral training was at the Mayo Clinic and Foundation in Clinical Pharmacology and Vaccine Research. Her laboratory studies responses to vaccines, particularly in immunosuppressed populations.


On April 21 Matthew Edney of the University of Southern Maine and director of the UW-Madison’s History of Cartography Project returns to Wednesday Nite @ The Lab to share a tale with a twist:  “What’s a Portrait Doing on this Map? Reinterpreting Captain John Smith and His Map of New England.”

Description:  After his exploits in Virginia (think: Pocahontas), Captain John Smith sailed briefly to “northern Virginia” in 1614. His voyage led him to think about a new colonial endeavor to what he now called New England. Few early maps are as burdened with myths and misconceptions as the map he then made of the region. Almost every aspect of the map has been misunderstood. This liberally illustrated lecture blends art history with marine exploration with cartography. It starts with the question of why the map bears a portrait of Smith — when no other maps of the period bear likenesses of their makers — to reveal how the map is less a precise record of Smith’s 1614 voyage and more a complex portrait of a man, a region, and a colonial ideal.

Bio:  Matthew Edney is a geographer, map historian, and UW alum (MS 1985, PhD 1990). Since 2005 he has directed the History of Cartography Project at UW, up in the warrens of Science Hall (geography.wisc.edu/histcart/). The Project prepares the award-winning series, The History of Cartography, a comprehensive history of the science, technology, and sociocultural ramifications of maps and mapmaking, across human cultures and all times. The series comprises six volumes in twelve books. Volume One appeared in 1987, covering prehistoric, ancient, and medieval mapping; four of the five published volumes are online for free access (www.press.uchicago.edu/books/HOC/) and their chapters have been downloaded more than 3.7 million times. Edney edited Volume Four (Cartography in the European Enlightenment) with Mary Pedley; the volume appeared in print just after the start of the pandemic but is available! Only Volume Five (Cartography in the Nineteenth Century) is left! The series has been a major force in reconceptualizing the nature and history of maps and mapping and in popularizing the study of map history across the humanities and social sciences. Edney is also Osher Professor in the History of Cartography at the University of Southern Maine, Portland. He is broadly interested in the technologies, practices, and institutional contexts of surveying and mapping in Europe after 1600. His latest book is Cartography: The Ideal and Its History (Chicago, 2019). Edney also maintains an academic blog at www.mappingasprocess.net and tweets @mhedney


 Online April 9-11

Hope to see you soon at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab, and this weekend at UW Science Expeditions!

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



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