How Sea Ice Impacts the World; Diseased, Decayed, Defective & Dangerous–When Good Trees Go Bad; The WiBee App–The Wisconsin Wild Bee Community-Science Project


Wednesdays at 7pm CT in room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison WI,  or Zoom at

For 6 July 2022    

Hi WN@TL Fans,

Today is the 4th of July, “The Day We Celebrate” as Mark Twain (among others) put it.  Twain celebrated the Fourth in London on at least three occasions:  1872, 1899, and 1907.  I now get to know what it is to be a tramp abroad on our national holiday:  this year I am in Belgium.  I find that the Fourth continues to be a day to celebrate, as well as to contemplate.

 The Declaration of Independence is animated by a pivotal postulate:  that all men are created equal.  We are, forsooth, still working out the proofs of the proposition.

 In contrast to humans, I am not sure that all ice on the seas is created equal.  For example, the RMS Titanic was sunk by a combination of overconfidence and a freshwater iceberg floating in the North Atlantic.  

 But, there’s a technicality:  the symmetric property of algebra does not necessarily hold for scientific terms.  To wit: not all ice on the seas is sea ice. Apparently only frozen seawater (one word) counts as sea ice (two words).  Luckily, there is some balance in the field:  sea ice can form in the Arctic as well as in the Antarctic. 

 On the other hand, I’m not sure how the ice that forms on the Great Lakes, inland seas that they be, might contrast to its saline sibling.  As Liz Jesse and I often declare when working with school or 4-H groups:  “I don’t know; let’s find out.”


On July 6 Till Wagner of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences will temper the midweek heat with his talk on “How Sea Ice Impacts the World.”

Description:  Sea ice is a hugely consequential component of the climate system. It impacts the physical configuration of the oceans and atmosphere, it plays a key role in the yearly cycle of the polar ecosystems, it is an integral part of the traditional ways of life in the high Arctic, and it is increasingly perceived as a factor determining Arctic tourism, economic development, and geopolitics.  In this talk I will discuss how sea ice works, and why we’d do well to learn more about it.

Bio:  Till Wagner grew up in southern Germany and moved to the United Kingdom to study physics and philosophy in college. An early focus on modern physics in graduate school soon gave way to a fascination with applied math and its use in the geosciences. Till’s postdoc years brought him to California where he learned about modeling of the climate system, in particular the polar regions. He spent the next three years in North Carolina, teaching physics and physical oceanography and continuing his research on polar climates and ice-ocean interactions. Till joined the UW–Madison Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences in July 2021. He once made a stop-motion animation of a giant glacier calving event.  

Explore More:

Background on Arctic Sea Ice:

An interesting Blog on Arctic Geopolitics:


On July 13 Glen Stanosz of Forest & Wildlife Ecology will speak on “Diseased, Decayed, Defective and Dangerous:  When Good Trees Go Bad.”

Description:  Trees provide a variety of benefits to society. But trees also lose branches or break when forces exceed their structural strength or the root-soil connection. Tree failure can cause severe damage to houses and other structures, deny access or use of infrastructure, and injure or kill people. Landowners have legal “duty of care” for trees on their properties, including responsibility to obtain expert assistance when appropriate. Learn how qualified arborists assess tree risk by estimating likelihood of tree failure and impact, and the consequences to property and people. Dr. Glen Stanosz is the UW-Madison emeritus professor of tree and forest health, and is also a certified arborist with the additional qualification in tree risk assessment.

Bio:  Glen Stanosz is a Wisconsin native and the Emeritus Professor of Tree and Forest Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He studies the biology and management of tree diseases caused by fungi, and is a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society.  Glen is an award-winning teacher with students including not just university undergraduates, but also professionals in forestry and the green industry.

Explore More:



On July 20 Claudio Gratton of Entomology returns to Wednesday Nite @ The Lab to speak on “The WiBee App: The Wisconsin Wild Bee Community-Science Project to Count and Learn about Bees!”

Explore More:


 Hope to see you soon, in person or by zoom, at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab.

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


If you’ll be watching the Zoom for the first time, please register for the WN@TL Zoom at 

If you’ve already registered for a previous WN@TL zoom this year, you’re good—you don’t have to register again.

Continue to use the link found in the confirmation message Zoom sent you when you first registered.

WN@TL begins at 7:00pm Central.

You can also watch the web stream at the WN@TL YouTube channel.  

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 YouTube channel

3. WN@TL on the University Place broadcast 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