Protecting Groundwater from Leaching Soil Contamination;Design, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: the Case Study of ‘Hello Loom!’

Come Explore the Unknown!   
By Zoom:  at  
In Person: Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison.
7pm Central
For 2022.02.16    
Hi WN@TL Fans,
If the soil is akin to the thin skin of the Earth, then the groundwater is the land’s lifeblood coursing beneath. In many parts of Wisconsin, this soil integument is integral to our environment, to our lives, to our livelihoods, to our ways of life.  Likewise, the groundwater is the reserve, the reservoir, that helps to make us a land flowing in milk and honey.  Plus, a cool drink of water coming out of the faucet is one of the two best things one can have on tap.  
The soil-as-skin metaphor goes only so far, and only so deep.  Unlike our rather impermeable skin, soil lets water seep.  As with coffee, water percolates through the grounds and soils, and as with coffee, the water picks up and carries along components from the perk.  When the components are nasties, this leaching tinges, taints or poisons the aquifers so vital to our wells and to our well-being.
As a word, “leaching” has an off-flavor to it, yet I can’t tell the difference at a molecular level between leaching and percolating or steeping.  Perhaps there is a difference that makes a distinction;  perhaps I’ll learn that distinction this Wednesday. In any case, I’ve got a pretty good hunch that it’s a good thing to be able to see, or at least to foresee, and to track potential threats from contaminants on & in soil.  For sailors, foresight is being able to see over the horizon;  for soil scientists and hydrologists, foresight is being able to see what’s moving through the horizons.  
Bob Schneiker at the Sphinx in Egypt
This week, on February 16 Bob Schneiker guides us through computer models that help geologists analyze threats to our water supplies in his talk entitled “Protecting Groundwater from Leaching Soil Contamination.”
Description: Soil and groundwater are precious resources that need protection. Permissible concentrations of contaminants in surface soil and groundwater are based on consumption. However, it is difficult to assess threats to groundwater quality posed by contaminants leaching from soil. Many regulatory agencies have turned to contaminant modeling. To ensure adequate protection of groundwater quality the default cleanup objectives are based on a worst-case scenario. Alternatively site-specific modeling can be performed that could indicate that higher levels of soil contamination are permissible while maintaining an equal protection of groundwater quality. Elsewhere, site-specific modeling may indicate that an imminent threat to groundwater quality exists that should be addressed before it gets worse.

Bio: Robert (Bob) Schneiker obtained a BS and MS in Geology/Geophysics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 1992 he performed SESOIL modeling for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Model results were used to establish soil cleanup standards for the WDNR NR 700 Rule Series. Bob provides support and training for his SEVIEW modeling software that is used by regulators and consultants around the world. He has presented papers on contaminant modeling in the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Mr. Schneiker conducts training seminars for consultants and regulatory agencies. He is currently a member of the MassDEP Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFAS) in Residuals Technical Workgroup. Bob also conducts research on the construction, age, and preservation of the Great Sphinx in Egypt.

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Marianne Fairbanks

On February 23 Marianne Fairbanks of the School of Human Ecology returns to Wednesday Nite @ The Lab to share her sagas of ingenuity, innovation and entrepreneurship as she describes how she invented, patented and brought to market her hand-held “Hello Loom!”  Fibers are my mostest favoritest tactile technology. I learned to weave on a potholder loom my Grandma Deutsch gave me, and my Grandma Zinnen taught me how to knit.  Weavers are the original textualists to me, although the spiders prolly beat us to it with both spinning and webbing.

Here’s how Prof. Fairbanks describes her talk entitled “Design, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: the Case Study of ‘Hello Loom!’”

Description:  Weaving is the interlacement of threads at a 90 degree angle used to construct cloth that has been used for shelter and protection for over 12,000 years. While there are many ways to hold threads in tension on a loom or frame, Hello Loom, a hand-held laser-cut loom, designed by Associate Professor, Marianne Fairbanks offers portability and access to weaving in hopes of finding new ways to connect modern makers to this ancient technique. The small laser cut loom design, the size of a cell phone, was first developed as part of her social weaving project called Weaving Lab, hosted at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery in the summer of 2017 and 2018. Later, when traveling to Scandinavia for her Weaving Lab project, Fairbanks invited 40 Danish weavers to make small woven works on Hello Looms to see the range of current weaving practices. These weavings are now on exhibit as part of a show currently on exhibit at the Center for Design and Material Culture. Fairbanks will discuss the evolution of Hello Loom and how she has patented the design with the help of WARF. The idea grew into a business when Fairbanks realized how many people were eager to have their own experience with weaving. The mission of Hello Loom is to get as many people excited about the limitless possibilities of weaving that are found in combining colors, texture and patterns. Beyond the aesthetic and tactile pleasures of weaving, Fairbanks works with engineering and horticulture faculty to innovate textile-based solutions for a sustainable future.

Bio: Marianne Fairbanks is a visual artist, designer, and associate Professor of Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work spans the fields of art, design, and social practice, seeking to chart new material and conceptual territories, to innovate solution-based design, and to foster fresh modes of cultural production. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the University of Michigan. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally in venues including The Museum of Art and Design, NY, USA, Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen Denmark, RAM Gallery, Oslo, Norway and The Röhsska Museum of Design and Craft, Gothenburg, Sweden.

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Remember, we’ve now shifted to Hybrid so we can both Zoom and gather in one Room—Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison WI.


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


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



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