UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – May 31, 2022

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

30 May 2022

Hi Everyone,

This year the week of Memorial Day marks a rare transition for UW-Madison:  the departure of our long-serving chancellor invites a time of reflection of where the university stands relative to when Becky Blank arrived in 2013, and where we’re heading as she leaves.

In her February 10 valediction to the Board of Regents, the chancellor highlighted many angles of the instruction and research missions of the university, but was next to silent on the public service/extension mission.

In her final blog post of May 11 the chancellor did note the return starting five years ago of Wisconsin Public Broadcasting and of Cooperative Extension back to UW-Madison.  These statewide outreach components had been part of UW-Madison from their inceptions in the first two decades of the 20th Century, but both had been lopped off in 1965 by UW President Fred Harvey Harrington and placed in a distinct campus called UW-Extension.  However, beyond this change, we are left to our own devices in assessing the current status and the future directions of Our Third Mission.

So let me invite all of us to invest some of our time & talent in the coming weeks to consider the changes in the UW’s outreach mission during the past decade, and to re-imagine the nature of the work and of the ideal of the Wisconsin Idea in the coming years.

Our next Science Alliance meeting will be at a special place and at a special time:  Monday June 6 at noon at the Terrace.  I’ll look forward to hearing your ideas and aspirations then as a starting point for a continuing conversation over the summer and into the fall.

Thanks again!

Tom Zinnen

===Coming Up This Week and This Month

1.  During the summer, Science Alliance meets episodically.

Our next meeting is Monday June 6 at noon at the Terrace.

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/  

 •  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 (June 1) Anna Huttenlocher of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, and of the Department of Pediatrics, will share insights into her research & clinical work on inflammation.

3.  UW Science Outreachers areinvited to participatein Madison’s 2022 Kujichagulia Juneteenth and Healing Labs:

June 18 for the min Junetheenth event, and also several other neighborhood events throughout June.

The week of June 13 – 19 are the major Juneteenth activities. On June 18 we would like to have between 12-15 Exploration Stations, just like last year at Penn Park from 12pm – 4pm for the UW Science Celebration Tent.

In addition to the main Juneteenth event on June 18, the organizing committee is delighted to invite UW Science Outreachers to participate in additional Science Demo Celebrations during the month of June and in celebration of Juneteenth. The idea is to have smaller science hands-on events on different dates. This is what we have confirmed and are looking for 3-4 science hands-on Exploration Stations on each of these dates (kind of like mini science-open-houses) in Madison’s underserved communities:

June 5, from 2pm – 4pm at Packer Community Center at 1927 Northport Dr, we would like to have between 4-6 exploration stations; we will invite scholars and families from Mendota and Lake View Schools, families that live in the Packer and Northport Condominiums.

June 11,2022, Event: 9-11am at East Community Center at 8 Straubel Ct, we would like to have between 4-6 exploration stations.

June 27, 2022 from 5pm -7pm at Bel Parks Alive/Allied Park,  Madison – the hands-on science Exploration Stations will be part of their monthly neighborhood community gathering we would like to have between 4-6 exploration stations

The Allied Park Community is also inviting the UW Science Alliance to participate at their other monthly neighborhood community gatherings on July 11, August 8 and August 15;  we would like to have between 4-6 Exploration Stations at each of these events.

For more information contact Ana Garic (ana.garic@wisc.edu)

To sign up for one or more events to participate with a hands-on station or to volunteer go to:


4. Calumet County “Festival of Fun” on Saturday October 1 in Chilton at the Calumet County Courthouse. 

UW-Madison’s Calumet County 4-H invites 50-minute hands-on science presentations, with sessions available at 9:00, 10:00 or 11:00 for 4-H Cloverbuds (grades K-2) and then also sessions at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 for older 4-H members (grades 3-8).   

To register, please contact Carlea Liermann.

Carlea Liermann

4-H Program Educator

UW-Madison | Extension Calumet County

206 Court Street | Chilton, WI  53014-1127


5. Wisconsin 4-H Fall Forum Runs November 4-6 at the Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids.

Wisconsin 4-H’s Fall Forum is an opportunity for science outreachers to connect with youth and adult volunteers from all overs Wisconsin. 

To Register:

Friday Interactive Learning Activity Submission Friday Evening November 4

Saturday Workshop Submission November 5

Session proposals are due July 15.

Carlea Liermann

4-H Program Educator

UW-Madison | Extension Calumet County

206 Court Street | Chilton, WI  53014-1127


6. 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

7.  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

8.  UW Arboretum Summer Events

Saturday work parties, Sunday walks, and night walksSaturday 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/

Taking a self-guided stroll is one way to explore the Arboretum on your own terms. Some of the most popular routes include the Grady Tract Loop, the Curtis Prarie, or a five mile loop through the whole arboretum. Always remember to stay on the paths to preserve wild plants + wear appropriate shoes.  

You can also take one of the free guided nature walks offered for different skill levels and ages on a weekly basis. Most meet at the Visitor’s Center, located right in the heart of the arboretum.

  • Nature Walks — Every Sunday at 1 p.m., learn about the land, plants, and animals from local naturalists.
  • Nature Hikes — On the first and third Sundays of the month, adults are invited on these longer walks.
  • Family Nature Walks — On the second Sunday of the month, families can explore the arboretum with a guide.
  • Garden Strolls — On the fourth Sunday of the month, gently-paced strolls are offered with wheelchair-accessible routes.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. Check out the calendar for monthly night walks, seasonal birding hikes + more family-friendly events.

The arboretum is open daily from 4 a.m.-10 p.m. and is always free. 



Dragonfly Monitoring Walk3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Join the Arboretum and the Wisconsin Dragonfly Society for guided walks to monitor dragonflies, including identifying species and collecting data for the Arboretum’s dragonfly monitoring project. No experience required, but an online training video is available by request (email jwhidden@wisc.edu). Family friendly, recommended for ages 8 and up. Walks take place the first Wednesday and third Saturday monthly through September. Meet at the Visitor Center.


Ecological Restoration Work PartyWingra Oak Savanna

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Arbor Dr. parking lot, off Monroe St. Event capacity is limited, please arrive by 9 a.m. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu. 


Monarch Larva Monitoring Project virtual training: northern states10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Learn how to collect data that contributes to knowledge of monarch populations. Participants will learn about monarch biology, monitoring procedures, and data entry protocols, and have time to ask questions of experts. Trainings are relevant for both newcomers and active participants in monarch citizen science projects. A one-hour break is included. Select training based on geographic interest. Register by June 2.


Nature Hike1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Learn about the land, plants, animals, fungi, phenology, and ecology. Geared for adults, these longer walks may cover some sloping terrain. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come seasonally prepared for weather and insects. Walks take place rain or shine, except in unsafe weather. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

9. Events from Madison Friends of Urban Nature

 More events at https://cityofmadison.com/parks/events/bird-nature.cfm


“Good Native Plants” Sat Jun 04, 2:30pm at Tenney Park Beach with Master Naturalist Susan Scott

“Wildflower Wander” Sun Jun 05, 1:30pm at Cherokee Marsh North Unit with School Naturalist Mary Binkley

“Walk in the Woods” Sat Jun 11, 2:30pm at Owen Conservation Park with Master Naturalist Sean Gere

“Explore Turville Trails” Sun Jun 12 1:30pm at Turville Point Conservation Park with Master Naturalist Melissa Kesling

“Blooming Prairies” Wed Jun 15 1:30pm Senior Bird and Nature Adventure with Master Naturalist Julie Melton, register 608-222-3415

“Summer Solstice” Sat Jun 18, 10am at Starkweather Creek with Master Naturalist Alex Singer

“Orienteering” Sun Jun 19, 1:30pm at Warner Park Rainbow Shelter with Master Naturalist Kathlean Wolf

“Baby Bird Bonanza” Sat Jun 25, 10am at Edna Taylor/Aldo Leopold Nature Center with Enthused Birder Dane Gallagher

“Prairie Plant ID” Sat Jun 25, 1:30pm at Pheasant Branch Prairie with Master Naturalist Lyn Persson

“Preserve Projects” Sun Jun 26, 1:30pm at UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve with Preserve Staff


* See guided outing details at http://CityofMadison.com/Parks/Events/Bird-Nature.cfm


Enjoy year-round FREE welcoming diverse family friendly healthy outdoor Nature Recreation and Nature Education in nearby Madison Parks and Natural Areas!  Naturalist guided outings and self-guided walks and activities you can do on your own each month help you enjoy and learn about the birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees, and many other fascinating nature topics!  These free, fun casual outings are co-sponsored by Madison FUN Friends of Urban Nature, a partnership of Madison Parks, Madison Audubon and many other community and environmental groups, friends of parks, and volunteers.  Everyone is Welcome including all ages, abilities, education levels, communities, students, individuals, families and kids!  No registration required, no pets. Come on out and Join the FUN with Friends of Urban Nature – Its Naturally FUN!


FIND Bird and Nature Adventure Details below and online at http://CityofMadison.com/Parks/Events/Bird-Nature.cfm

LEARN about Monthly Nature Topics with Maps, Fun Facts and Activities at http://Tinyurl.com/MadisonFUNAdventures 

JOIN Naturalist Guided Outings and Connect with Madison FUN Outing Co-Sponsor Partner Groups

ENJOY Self-Guided Walks and Nature Activites You Can Do On Your Own Any Day in the Month

HELP SUPPORT Nature Groups and Natural Areas in Every Yard, Park, School, and Neighborhood for Critters and Kids to Enjoy!