Making a Garden for YOU; Science, Politics, & Schoolchildren: Reflections on a Special UW-Ukraine Collaboration; Lower Extremity Biomechanics in Collegiate Athletes: The Influence of Injury

Come Explore the Unknown!   


By Zoom:  at  

In Person: Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison.

7pm Central. Every Wednesday Night, 50 Times a Year

Interactive map at


27 April 2022    



Hi WN@TL Fans,


In heaven there is no beer, but any place without gardens must be hell.  Thus gardeners give us a little slice of paradise here on Earth.


The allure of the wortyard is not solely in the greenery.  The horticulturalist gathers the plants, and then the plants gather the people.  Kings and cottagers both know it takes more than flowers in a row to make a garden grow into a destination.  To paraphrase Winston Churchill, who from his labors at his estate in Kent called Chartwell knew something of designing greenspaces:  First we shape our gardens, and thereafter our gardens shape us.


This week we get to hear Reba Luiken’s ideas of how the plants, the designs, and the programs of Allen Centennial Garden intertwine to inform and transform the campus community as well as the broader array of visitors and volunteers who make the Allen a vibrant & vital space flourishing in the heart of the university.


By the way, it happens that the perennial UW Family Gardening Day is Saturday May 7 from 10am to 1pm.  Allen Centennial Garden is one of four major destinations of that splendid day, along with DC Smith Greenhouse, Steenbock Library, and the Wisconsin Energy Institute.  Happily, gardens grow gardeners.  Come see how.

On April 27 Reba Luiken of the Department of Horticulture and of the Allen Centennial Garden will speak on “Making a Garden for YOU.”


Description: Creating a public garden that is welcoming for everyone is not as simple as doing things that everyone will like. In this talk, Dr. Luiken will discuss ways that Allen Centennial Garden has worked to be inclusive by making programs and gardens for specific audiences from first-year students at UW to Indigenous people living in Wisconsin.


Bio: Reba Luiken is the Executive Director of Allen Centennial Garden. She has a background in Plant Biology, Religious Studies, and Museum Studies and a Ph.D. in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. Her research and professional practice have focused on the ways in which museums, universities, and public gardens have shared their missions and messages with diverse audiences.


Explore More: This work builds on the work of OF/BY/FOR ALL, and the book The Art of Relevance by Nina Simon (available online here for free:

On May 4 Dan Lauffer of Wisconsin Fast Plants will speak on “Science, Politics, & Schoolchildren:  Reflections on a Special UW-Ukraine Collaboration.”


Description:  As Ukraine faces Russian invasion and the US grapples with supporting Ukrainian defenses, we bring to Wednesday Night at the Lab insights and memories about a close working relationship among UW-Madison and Ukrainian scientists and educators from a 1997 NASA-funded collaborative project. Both global and local in scope, this talk recalls the serendipitous events leading up to a Ukrainian and US collaboration in space research and education. Dan Lauffer recalls and presents the story of roles played by UW-Madison, NASA, and Ukrainian scientists in a shared, large-scale project, involving Wisconsin Fast Plants and experiments in space. Situated during the end of the Cold War, this collaboration entwined facets of politics, plant sciences, and high school science learning across Ukraine and the United States.


Bio:  Dan Lauffer is the director of the research arm of the Wisconsin Fast Plants Program, the Rapid-cycling Brassica Research Collection. Over the last 30 years, he has worked to strengthen science education with school districts across the country and around the world through the Fast Plants Program. Lauffer’s primary interest and expertise is in developing and refining seed stocks, growing protocols, tools and investigative strategies for using Fast Plants as a model organism in research and education.


During his tenure with the Fast Plants Program, Lauffer has facilitated large collaborations among researchers and educators from all levels to design and implement innovative student-centered inquiries. This work included a global NASA-funded project in which Fast Plants were grown in space, while classrooms throughout the US and Ukraine conducted simultaneous experiments and communicated regularly with the astronauts. Lauffer earned his BS and MBA degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to his work with the Wisconsin Fast Plants Program at UW-Madison, Lauffer was the Chief Operations Officer for the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center from 2008 to 2014 and is the President and CEO of the 35 year old seed production company, Tetrad Inc.


Explore More:

On May 11 Dan Cobian of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation speaks on “Lower Extremity Biomechanics in Collegiate Athletes: The Influence of Injury.”

Description: Badger Athletic Performance (BAP) is a collaborative partnership between the Department of Orthopedics & Rehabilitation and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Wisconsin. BAP is dedicated to the mission of maximizing each student-athlete’s on-field performance through the integration of science, training, and injury management. The study of human biomechanics is the foundation for athletic performance. This session will illustrate the effects of injury on athletic movement and how this information is used to maintain student-athlete health and wellness through individualized care.


Bio: Dan Cobian, DPT, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopedics & Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a faculty member in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and a research scientist with the Badger Athletic Performance Lab. Prior to joining the faculty at UW-Madison, he received a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from The University of Iowa (2015), and completed a postdoc position in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at UW-Madison (2016). The focus of Dr. Cobian’s thesis work was lower extremity power and rapid force development after knee injury, surgery, and rehabilitation. The objectives of his current research are to better understand the neuromuscular implications of musculoskeletal trauma, characterize the effects of injury on movement biomechanics, sports performance and function, and determine how to best prescribe and dose rehabilitation interventions to facilitate improved outcomes and long term quality of life. He has authored peer-reviewed articles published in numerous sports medicine journals and has presented research and delivered educational content at a variety of state and national meetings. Dr. Cobian maintains a clinical practice in Sports Rehabilitation for UW Health at The American Center, and specializes in treating patients with lower extremity musculoskeletal trauma, with an emphasis on knee joint injury and surgery. He also provides consultation services to the University of Wisconsin Athletics Department. Dr. Cobian is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (Sports, Orthopaedic, and Research sections), the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the American College of Sports Medicine. He currently serves on the Research Committee of the AASPT and as the Research Coordinator for the Annual Meeting & Scientific Conference.


Explore more: 

Badger Athletic Performance website:

Badger Athletic Performance twitter account: @UWBadgerAP

Dan Cobian DPT Faculty page:

Hope to see you soon at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab


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



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UW-Madison:  5.9 million owners, one pretty good public land-grant teaching, research and extension university.


Visit UW-Madison’s science outreach portal at for information on the people, places & programs on campus that welcome you to come experience science as exploring the unknown, all year round.


Here are the components of the WN@TL User’s Guide:

  1. The live WN@TL seminar, every Wednesday night, 50 times a year, at 7pm CT in Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center and on Zoom at
  2. The WN@TL YouTubechannel
  3. WN@TL on the University Placebroadcast channel of PBS Wisconsin
  4. WN@TL on the University Place website

Park for a small fee in Lot 20, 1390 University Avenue, Madison, WI


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Wisconsin Alumni Association | UW-Madison Biotechnology Center

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