UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – September 26, 2022

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

Monday 26 September 2022

Hi Everyone,

Last week I was grateful to commemorate the 128th anniversary of the Sifting & Winnowing statement that expresses the commitment of UW-Madison to the freedom of inquiry.  Such occasions are also opportunities to note that our values and even our missions evolve.  If the university had a research mission in its early years, it was ancillary and limited.  Although founded by the state constitution of 1848, the university did not award its first PhD until 1892 (it awarded its first MD only in the late 1920’s).  If the university had a public service mission its early years, it was inchoate and episodic: for example, the Ag Short Course launched in 1886 (and is arguably part of the instruction mission), and the university didn’t hire its first county Extension agent until 1912, some 63 years after the UW held its first formal classes.

Sometimes federal dollars have helped to declare, or at least to clarify (and most importantly, to fund) emerging missions and values. The original Northwest Ordinance landgrant for the university encompassed the instruction mission, as did the second federal landgrant from the Morrill Act of 1862.  In contrast, the 1887 Hatch Act (and the 1906 Adams Act named for Wisconsin representative Henry C. Adams) provided not landgrants but rather annual federal funding for agriculture research.  The 1914 Smith Lever Act committed yearly federal money for the Cooperative Extension system that to this day includes county, state and federal partners in connecting folks from all over Wisconsin with the people, places & programs at our land-grant university.

Looking back now, one-fifth the way through the 21st Century, it may seem that these missions and these values were ‘present at the creation” back in the midpoint of the 19th Century.  But creation, like invention, is a continuing process, whether the focus of the making be missions, values or priorities.  Every generation gets to wrestle with which of these fundamentals it will affirm or revise, reject or expand, or create anew.  This history, this story, is fascinating in no small part because it is being written and revised, a story still being unrolled; and in our work in outreach that we do every day, we all get a say in drafting the play.

Thanks again!

Tom Zinnen


Coming Up This Week and This Coming Month

  1. The UW-Madison Science Alliance meets weekly Monday meetings at 10:00 am on September 19.  Come to Room 1120 Wisconsin Energy Institute, 1552 University Ave; or tune in by Zoom. The Zoom link for the fall meetings of Science Alliance will continue to be: https://zoom.us/my/glbrc.weieducation.vmr?pwd=L2Q0L0g0S3lEd2gyazNscjA1d2JYZz09

The draft agenda for September 26 at 10 am includes:
•  Welcome:
•  Updates

  1. Cardinal After School on Tuesdays
  2. “PLATO Frontiers in Life Science” (research speakers Wednesdays at 1pm)
  3. Healing Labs + Science Alliance Coalition:  “Letting Off STEAM” at Goodman Madison South Branch Library, Oct 20, 5-7pm
  4. Dane County 4-H  STEAM Team’s “Science Fright Night” Thursday Oct 20, 7-8:30pm at UW Space Place
  5. Mt. Horeb Intermediate Center field trips to campus for 150 third graders, sometime before December
  6. Southern Lakes Advanced Learner Network’s “Science Immersion Day” Slated for Tuesday February 14 at UW-Madison.  Theme:  “For the Love of Science”
  • Other Business
  • Next Meeting:  Monday, October 3, 10 am

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

  1. Recurring Programming Events Coming This Week and Soon.
  2. 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
  3. Saturday Science Workshopsat UW Space Place  every Saturday, from 10 am to 11 am. These family-friendly events are always free and open to the public every Saturday morning during the school year. This program is held in person only at UW Space Place, 2300 S. Park St, Madison. The workshop starts promptly at 10:00 and is typically over by 11:00.
  4. Badger Talks Live:Watch live and in archive at  https://www.facebook.com/BadgerTalks/live_videos/  and check the schedule at  https://badgertalks.wisc.edu/events/  .   September’s theme is “The Latest on Cancer Research” and the next talk is Tuesday, September 27 at noon when Wei Xu, McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research speaks on “Breast Cancer Biology and Treatments.”
  5. PLATO Frontiers in Life Sciences” continue its 10-week Fall Series of public talks held every Wednesday at 1pm at UW Space Place, 2300 South Park Street, Madison.  Come listen in live or zoom to the room at go.wisc.edu/27448v. This week Jaime Cordova of Genetics will speak on “
  6. “Wednesday Nite @ The Lab” series of public science talks 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.  On September 28 Lindsey Snyder of the School of Veterinary Medicine speaks on “Acupuncture in Animals:  What’s the Point?”
  7. Science Writer Position Open at Wisconsin Energy Institute The Wisconsin Energy Institute is looking for a science writer to join our creative and collaborative team of communicators. This position will help share the stories of the institute’s research and outreach by finding and developing story ideas, writing and editing stories, and pitching engaging stories to the media. We are looking for someone who is curious, loves science, and is passionate about telling stories driven by people, ideas, and discoveries. Please share this opportunity with anyone you think might be interested, and feel free to direct questions to Matt Wisniewski (matthew.wisniewski@wisc.edu).
  8.  Check Out the 2022-2023 “Family Science Nights” Opportunities: https://gasch.genetics.wisc.edu/outreach/family-science-nights/. For example, this request from Jen Grosh at Waunakee Prairie Elementary School: I am helping to put together a family science night for Waunakee Prairie Elementary School. We are looking for a variety of fun science activities to put on display during the evening of Thursday, November 10 at the school in Waunakee for Kindergarten through 4th grade. Would you be available to help that evening by bringing a hands-on Exploration Station to our event? Thanks for sharing your science with the families at Waunakee Prairie! Jen Grosh Researchers & Outreachers, if you’d like to help with this or with other Family Science Nights over the coming months, please sign up here. Parents & Teachers, if you’d like help in inviting UW researchers & outreachers to participate in your Family Science event, please sign up here.
  9. Dane County 4-H STEAM Team Invites Your Exploration Stations for the “Science Fright Night” Thursday, October 20 at UW Space Place Fire up your carbon-dioxide cauldron, break out your luciferase light-sticks, or invent a new schtick with light, sound, color, smell or touch to add some shivers to your hands-on Exploration Station. Contact Tom Zinnen at the Biotech Center, or Lisa Curley at Dane County UW-Madison Extension 4-H to register your interest and reserve a space.  We’ll be outside in the dusk and dark, weather permitting, at 2300 S. Park Street.  Hosted by UW Space Place and the Wisconsin Science Museum, both located in lower level of The Atrium at the Village on Park, 2300 S. Park St, Madison.
  10. The “Resources and Opportunities for Science Education” ( The ROSE Project) has resumed for the 2022/23 school year at Edgewood College just west of the UW Campus on Monroe Street.  If you are interested in being a science expert for a ROSE event (which includes dinner, a $100 budget for supplies and a $100 honorarium for your work), please contact Sarah Stoehr, ROSE Project Coordinator, at sstoehr@edgewood.edu. Edgewood Science Outreach ROSE Project
  11. “The Physics of Climate Change” Invites STEM Teachers to Collaborate Are you a STEM teacher interested in incorporating climate science concepts into your curriculum but don’t know where to start? The Physics of Climate Change project, a collaboration between the UW–Madison Department of Physics and Wisconsin’s 4-H program sponsored by the Wisconsin Idea Collaboration Grant, has you covered! Adding climate science concepts into your curriculum this school year is made easy with an engaging activity, easy-to-use teacher materials, and in-class support from the project team. If you are interested in having the project team join your class for a session during the 2022-23 school year, or if you’re simply interested in receiving the activity instructions, please fill out this form. Please reach out to Mallory Conlon (mallory.conlon@wisc.edu) with any questions.
  12. UW Science Alliance is continuing its collaboration with the Healing Labs Consortium to present in the underserved communities throughout Madison. The newest opportunities have been set up in the Madison Public Library – Goodman South Madison located at 2222 S Park St, Madison, WI 53713 from 5pm – 7pm. The idea is to have smaller science hands-on events on different dates this fall. We are looking for 3-4 science hands-on stations on each of these dates in this part of the city and to reach out to this side of Madison’s underserved communities:
  • Thursday, October 20 from 5-7pm
  • Thursday, November 15 from 5-7pm Cool
  • Thursday, December 1 from 5-7pm
  • To sign up for one or more events to participate with a hands-on station or to volunteer, please contact Ana Garic (ana.garic@wisc.edu
  1. UWArboretum Fall Events Saturday work parties, Sunday walks, and night walk 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/ 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 Prairie, 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. 

UW Arboretum Events

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


– Saturday, October 1, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna

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

– Saturday, October 8, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

– Saturday, October 8, 1–3 p.m. Garden Tour: Conifers

– Saturday, October 8, 8:30–10 p.m. Full Moon Night Walk

– Sunday, October 9, 1–3 p.m. Nature Hike in the Grady Tract

– Sunday, October 9, 1–3 p.m. Family Nature Program: Welcoming Fall

– Tuesday, October 11, 7–8:30 p.m. Fall Lecture: Relationship and Connection – Community and Ecological Restoration

– Friday, October 14, 4:30–6 p.m. Class: Following W.S. Merwin – The Well-Being of Poetry in Nature ($, registration required)

– Saturday, October 15, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Grady Tract

– Saturday, October 15, 1–3 p.m. Garden Tour: The Colors of Fall

– Saturday, October 15, 1–3:30 p.m. Class: Reading the Landscape – Woodlands ($, registration required)

– Sunday, October 16, 1–2:30 p.m. Nature Hike

– Thursday, October 20, 7–8:30 p.m. Fall Lecture: Restoring Healthy Food Connections on Madison’s South Side

– Saturday, October 22, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

– Sunday, October 23, 1–2 p.m. Garden Stroll

– Tuesday, October 25, 7–8:30 p.m. Fall Lecture: Dream of Wild Health

– Sunday, October 30, 1–3 p.m. Touring the Lost City (free, registration required)


– Saturday, November 5, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna

– Saturday, November 5, 1–3 p.m. Class: All About Owls ($, registration required)

– Saturday, November 5, 7–8:30 p.m. Full Moon Night Walk

– Sunday, November 6, 1–3 p.m. Touring the Lost City (free, registration required)

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

– Sunday, November 13, 1–3 p.m. Nature Hike in the Grady Tract

– Sunday, November 13, 1–3 p.m. Family Nature Program: Loving Nature

– Saturday, November 19, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Grady Tract

– Saturday, November 19, 1–3 p.m. Class: History of the Arboretum’s Lost City ($, registration required)

– Sunday, November 20, 1–2:30 p.m. Nature Hike

– Saturday, November 26, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

– Sunday, November 27, 1–2 p.m. Garden Stroll

Events from Madison Friends of Urban Nature

For more events, see https://cityofmadison.com/parks/events/bird-nature.cfm

HOW CAN I JOIN THE Friends of Urban Nature?

* Join the FUN with Friends of Urban Nature Parks and Partner Groups co-sponsored nature outings!

* Outings are FREE, healthy, welcoming, diverse and family and kid friendly

* Just show up, no registration required unless noted, rain or shine unless weather is dangerous;  no pets

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

* Find maps, fun facts and activities for self-guided walks at http://Tinyurl.com/MadisonFUNAdventures

* Connect with outing co-sponsor parks, environmental and friends groups for more great nature activities!