UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – May 9, 2022

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

9 May 2022

Hi Everyone,

This past Saturday was a splendid sunny day with a cloudless sapphire sky.  Visitors have never enjoyed finer weather for the annual UW Gardening Day since it was first sown and grown back in 2005.  The turnout has never been greater, either.  The folks at Allen Centennial Garden counted 606 visitors at the Discovery Center’s Exploration Stations in English Garden between 10am and 1 pm, and I’m guessing similarly high numbers stopped by the Exploration Stations at the plaza of Steenbock Library, at the conservatory and teaching spaces at DC Smith Greenhouse, and at the eight Exploration Stations in the Bioenergy Garden at the Wisconsin Energy Institute.

These are the fruits of the work of the many volunteers and especially of the organizers, who include Johanna Oosterwyk, Val Blair, Reba Luiken, Ryan Dostal, Jane Cramer, Patricia Friday, Lisa Johnson, Jeri Bryant, Tom Bryan, Allison Bender, Karen Dunn, Liz Jesse, and Jennifer Mitchell.

This constellation of collaboration also welcomed 80 4-H visitors from Milwaukee County and Waukesha County who had originally hoped to come to campus last month for UW Science Expeditions, but who had to reschedule.  Luckily for them, and happily for us, UW Family Gardening Day provided another Saturday for the 4-H youth and the adult volunteers to come to campus and connect with many of the people, places and programs in science at Wisconsin’s public land-grant research & extension university.

4-H is the national youth-development organization of the US Department of Agriculture.  Each state’s 4-H organization is part of the state’s Cooperative Extension service, which in turn is part of each state’s land-grant university.  The University of Wisconsin, as it was then, started Wisconsin 4-H over a century ago, and grew to have 4-H agents (UW faculty & staff) and 4-H clubs in nearly every of the 72 counties.   But when Fred Harvey Harrington moved Cooperative Extension from UW-Madison into the separate & distinct UW-Extension campus in 1965, 4-H was no longer part of UW-Madison.

However, with the merger of UW-Extension and UW-Madison in 2019, Wisconsin 4-H once again became the statewide youth-development organization of UW-Madison.  STEM writ large (including the agriculture sciences and extending to the full range of physical, biological and social sciences) is a focus of 4-H both nationally and here in Wisconsin.

I saw on Saturday how vibrant it can be to welcome our UW-Madison 4-H county colleagues to campus while also giving our campus-based colleagues a chance to connect with 4-H faculty and staff, and with 4-H youth and adult volunteers.  In keeping with the motif of UW Family Gardening Day, a lot of ideas were planted for campus-community collaborations in horticulture, in food science, in environmental science, in biotech, and in engineering.

I am grateful that several of the organizers of UW Family Gardening Day were pleased to know ahead of time that they had a known audience of 80 people the organizers could plan on.  Likewise, I am thankful as a 4-H state specialist that I could help plan the day knowing the 4-H groups could do a round-robin at several sites and get to talk with a scientists across a range of ages & stages in their careers.

I look forward to a yearly cycle of weekend events to which we can invite 4-H groups to adventure to campus, including (but not limited to) the Wisconsin Science Festival, the Wonders of Physics & Physics Fair, UW Science Expeditions, UW Engineering Expo, and UW Family Gardening Day, along with the long-standing series of 4-H focused events hosted by CALS.

Like the weather this past Saturday, it’ll be splendid for all.

Thanks again!

Tom Zinnen


Coming Up This Week and This Month

1.  During the spring semester, Science Alliance meets at 10:00 am Mondays, including Monday May 9.

Please Note:  We will be meeting by Zoom on May 9 and for the coming few weeks.

The Zoom link for the spring meetings of Science Alliance will continue to be:

The draft agenda for May 9 at 10am includes:
•  Welcome
•  Updates

•  Other Business

•  Deciding our Meeting Schedule for the Summer

As with the #Updater, the Science Alliance meeting notes are also archived on https://science.wisc.edu/science-alliance/.

2. Recurring Programming Events coming this week and soon.

•  Weekly Reminder: Please Post your science outreach events and Check for Other Science Events presented online and available to all at http://today.wisc.edu/events/tag/science

•  Badger Talks Live:  –    https://www.facebook.com/BadgerTalks/live_videos/  and  https://badgertalks.wisc.edu/events/

•  Saturday Science Workshops at UW Space Place.   Saturdays at 10am at UW Space Place, in the lower level of The Atrium at The Village on Park, 2300 S. Park Street, Madison, WI.  Check at http://www.spaceplace.wisc.edu/#satworkshops for the summer schedule.

 •  Wednesday Nite @ The Lab Public Science Series every Wednesday night, 50 times a year, at 7pm CT by zoom (go.wisc.edu/240r59) or in person in Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison WI.

This week Daniel Cobian of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation will speak on “Lower Extremity Biomechanics in Collegiate Athletes: The Influence of Injury.”

Next week Amy Paulios of UW Health Orthotics & Prosthetics speaks on “Back on Two Feet: Restoring Ambulation with Lower Limb Prosthetics.”

3. “Stars That Lurk in the Night” by Andrew Nine, UW-Madison Astronomy Department

Tuesday, May 10th at 7:00 pm
Stars in binary systems can interact with each other, and in the process change the course of a star’s evolution. A new product of this kind of interaction, called the “blue lurker”, has recently been discovered in the open cluster M67. In this talk Andrew will describe what we know about these mysterious stars, including recent observations and discoveries made with the Hubble Space Telescope.

The presentation will be offered both in person and virtually. To attend virtually, search for the UW Space Place YouTube channel that evening. If you cannot join us at that time, the talk will also be recorded for you to enjoy later. For more information, see our website: spaceplace.org.


4. Family Science Nights:  Sign Up Here to Volunteer — https://tinyurl.com/UW-FamilyScienceSignup

This spring we have a number of schools and community centers that are scheduling virtual and in-person Family Science Nights (FSN) this semester.

Many of the currently scheduled events are later in the semester.  We recognize that we will all have to be flexible in this uncertain time.  We will follow the rules of each school or community center, some of which require proof of volunteer vaccination.  See signup form for details.

As always, you can sign up for one or more event on our signup form.


Several other events will be added shortly, so please check back on the form over time.

I’m happy to answer questions or guide people in choosing activities to present.

Thanks for your past participation.  Stay safe everyone,

Audrey Gasch

Dept of Genetics

5.  Invitation to Provide Exploration Stations at the Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday June 18 at Penn Park in Madison.

The Kujichagulia Madison Center for Self-Determination is organizing the annual Juneteenth Celebration to be held on Saturday June 18 in Penn Park in Madison, and the Center is delighted to welcome the participation of science outreach programs.

If you’d like to reserve a space for your Exploration Station, please contact Ana Garic of the UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program.  The lead organizer of Juneteenth celebration, which starts with a parade stepping off at 11:00 am, is Annie Weatherby-Flowers with the Kujichagulia Madison Center for Self-Determination.

6.  Invitation:  Share Your Science in the 4-H Youth Tent at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days July 12-14 in Clark County

As some of you may know, Clark County is hosting Wisconsin Farm Technology Days July 12-14 on Roehl Acres Farm near Loyal, just northwest of Marshfield in central Wisconsin.

Please consider coming to share your science by hosting a hands-on Exploration Station in the 4-H Youth Tent.  You can participate for one, two or three days.

The 4-H Youth tent will be a great way to connect UW-Madison science research programs with Wisconsin 4-H youth and adult volunteers from all over central Wisconsin.

I’d be happy to respond to any questions or suggestions.  I’ve been participating in Farm Tech Days since 1992, and for me there’s nothing like getting to chat with people at an Exploration Station in a big-top tent in a hayfield at the height of summer.


Tom Zinnen

Biotech Center & Wisconsin 4-H

For more information, contact:

Seth Harrmann

Clark County 4-H Program Educator

UW-Madison – Division of Extension

Website: Clark County 4-H

Phone: (715)743-5121

7.  UW Arboretum Spring Events

Saturday work parties, Sunday walks, and night walks
Saturday restoration work parties, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.: https://arboretum.wisc.edu/get-involved/volunteer/work-parties/
See the full list of Sunday walks (nature hikes, family walks, and garden strolls), plus monthly night walks, on the Arboretum events calendar:https://arboretum.wisc.edu/visit/events/

UW Arboretum Spring Events, from Susan Day

See Arboretum events calendar for information and registration: https://arboretum.wisc.edu/visit/events/


– Tuesday, May 10, 9:45–11:15 a.m. Family Class: Learning Together—Flowers in the Garden

– Saturday, May 14, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna

– Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Friends of the Arboretum Native Plant Sale

– Saturday, May 14, 1–3 p.m. Garden Tour: Crabapples

– Sunday, May 15, 1–2:30 p.m. Nature Hike

– Sunday, May 15, 8–11 p.m. Full Moon Night Walk and Lunar Eclipse Watch Party

– Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Grady Tract

– Sunday, May 22, 1–2 p.m. Garden Stroll

– Saturday, May 28, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

– Sunday, May 29, 1–2:30 p.m. Nature Hike

8. Events from Madison Friends of Urban Nature