“How Glaciers Move; Rural Medical Training–The Stats, The Need, The Future; Six Ways to Reduce Your Risks for Alzheimer’s Disease”

Explore the Unknown!


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For June 2, 2021


Hi WN@TL Fans,


The first of June is a pivotal date for me every year.  It’s the doorway to step through going from meteorological spring to summer. It’s my Mom’s birthday; she was born in 1928, and was named June. It’s the day we can affirm that James Russell Lowell got it right when he wrote, “And what is so rare as a day in June;  then, if ever, come perfect days…”


I started my job here at the Biotech Center on such a perfect day.  Yesterday was my 30th anniversary;  I was 33, my Mom was 63.  Now I’m the one who is 63.


A lot can change on a university campus over 30 years.  Buildings are built up and torn down. The center of mass of the physical plant can shift.  New spaces open up where old building are razed to the ground.  Because of Jim Feldman’s book entitled “The Buildings of the University of Wisconsin” we can trace the changes in the physical face of the university, but only through 1995.


The inner workings, the motive forces, the demography and the direction of a university university can also change over three decades.  Because of the four volume “The University of Wisconsin:  A History” we can trace the changes in the inner workings and overall arc of the university, but only through 1971.  We don’t have a book for tracking the latest 50 years.


One thing that hasn’t changed over the last 30 years is that this campus is shaped largely by its setting, and its setting with its lakes & wetlands and moraines was shaped by glaciers.  The university itself was shaped by glaciologists: from 1887 to 1892 President  Thomas Chamberlin sped the transformation of the UW into a leading institution of both research and extension.


Tonight’s talk is entitled “How Glaciers Move.” Glaciers, like universities, don’t move fast, but they do move, and they can move mountains.  Understanding how they move helps us better understand the face of the Earth and the fate of our world.



On June 2 Professor Luke Zoet of Geoscience returns to WN@TL with the latest on “How Glaciers Move” based in part on his two recent papers in Science (2020) and in Science Advances (May 14, 2021).


Description: While glaciers are often thought of as static bodies of ice infamous for melting, steady glacial movement is constantly at work. Many of Earth’s largest glaciers are flowing into oceans, and the rate at which they   contribute to sea level rise directly depends on their speed of flow. We will discuss how glaciers physically flow, the various factors that impact those processes, and resulting speeds.

Bio: Luke Zoet is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geoscience, who holds an appointment in Geological Engineering, and the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

His primary field of research focuses on understanding the physics of glacier motion through field observation, laboratory experiments, numeric modeling and theoretical analysis. His work sits at the intersection of glaciology and glacial geology. He uses a variety of geophysical and geological methods to explore glacial processes in modern glaciers as well as landforms left behind by Pleistocene glaciers. He also works on coastal processes using a range of instruments and new field and modeling techniques to estimate bluff stability and nearshore sediment transport processes.

Links:  http://www.subglacial.org

2020  https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6486/76

2021  https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/20/eabe7798



On June 9 Laura McDowell of Obstetrics & Gynecology will be here to delve into an issue of importance across many communities in Wisconsin, especially to those of us who grew up in small towns an hour or two from a cluster of specialists.  She’ll be speaking on “Rural Medical Training: The Stats, The Need, The Future.”


Bio: (Extracted from https://www.obgyn.wisc.edu/residency/RuralResident written in 2017) “Not everyone can claim to be the first in the nation, but since Laura McDowell, MD, joined the University of Wisconsin Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in June, she can. McDowell is the first-ever rural resident in the first-ever dedicated, sanctioned rural obstetrics and gynecology residency program in the country.  McDowell got to know both the joys and challenges of rural life growing up in Minnesota and Iowa. She attended the University of Minnesota for undergrad and medical school. “Ever since starting medical school I have been committed to practicing rural medicine,” she says. (McDowell pursued a rural training track in medical school.) “I am excited that there is now an opportunity to do so in ob-gyn training.”

“Over the next four years, McDowell will spend about 80 percent of her training time in Madison, experiencing high-volume and specialty training alongside the six other UW Ob-Gyn residents. The rest of the time, McDowell will rotate through collaborating rural hospitals in Portage, Monroe, Watertown, Ripon and Waupun. Hartenbach describes the rural training program as “residency-plus.”

““The rural rotation is a little bit more about giving our residents the smaller community experience so they’ll have the confidence to take those jobs when they graduate,” Hartenbach says. “There’s a fear of not being around specialists all the time. We hope to teach doctors when to refer, when to know that your hospital or your community doesn’t have the resources to take care of, say, a premature delivery.”

“So how does McDowell feel about making history as the first rural ob-gyn resident in the country? “I am very grateful for the honor of being the first rural ob-gyn resident and I know it comes with a lot of anticipation,” she says. “I intend to make the most of learning from my patients and mentors on how to be a better physician and better serve rural communities.””






Remember, we continue to meet by Zoom, since we can’t gather all in one room.


Hope to see you soon at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab!


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