UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater: October 17, 2022

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

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Monday 17 October 2022

Hi Everyone,

On Saturday I had the pleasure of welcoming a group of 40 youth and their accompanying adult volunteers from UW-Madison Division of Extension Waukesha County to campus to visit the Geology Museum, the Physics Museum, the Discovery Building, and the Biotech Center as part of the Wisconsin Science Festival.

I was delighted to note to the group that their visit corresponded with the 27th anniversary of the opening of the Genetics Biotech Center, including the teaching & outreach labs.  Since 1995, having dedicated lab space for outreach has transformed our Cooperative Extension work.  A key theme became “Hospitality Counts, and Venue Matters.”  The gist was this:  hospitality is reciprocal, and if we hope to be welcomed into communities around Wisconsin, then we in turn need to be able to welcome folks from around Wisconsin to campus.  Just as having a dedicated venue matters in teaching and in research, so too in the outreach mission.

Four summers later, the organizers of the UW’s Sesquicentennial Celebration asked me to help organize a science open house on a Saturday in the summer.  We reprised the open house in 2000.  My hope was this would become a yearly event, but later in 2000 the stock market crashed, and the university funding for the open house dried up.  Happily, in fall 2002 I was again asked to organize a public biotechnology event on campus, and I agreed to provided the event would encompass all sciences and not just biotech, and that the event and the funding would be perennial.

So in January 2003 a group of colleagues began planning what became the UW Science Expeditions open house on the first weekend of April.  Out of this event grew UW Science Alliance and the science.wisc.edu outreach portal.

Over the two decades since its inception, Science Expeditions has grown from one day to three, and from one venue to over two dozen sites spanning the campus from east to west.  The number of scientist/volunteers involved started with about three dozen in 2003 and has grown now to several hundred.

Planning will soon start for Science Expeditions 2023 set for April 14-16 as we sustain the commitment to welcoming the public to come experience science as exploring the unknown, here on the campus of their public land-grant university.

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, including October 17. 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 October 17 at 10 am includes:•  Welcome•  Updates

•  Reviews of Wisconsin Science Festival  Oct 10-16 Statewide

•  Some UW-Madison Science Outreach Events seeking Presenters:

a.       Cardinal After School on Tuesdays from 4pm to 5pm

b.       Healing Labs + Science Alliance Coalition:  “Letting Off STEAM” at Goodman Madison South Branch Library, Oct 20, 5-7pm

c.       Dane County 4-H  STEAM Team’s “Science Fright Night” Thursday Oct 20, 7-8:30pm at UW Space Place

d.       River Trail School (K-8) from Milwaukee planning an Ag Day on campus on November 1; we are looking for venues to be part of the round robin for 50 students in grades 3-5 that day.

e.        Southern Lakes Advanced Learner Network’s “Science Immersion Day” Slated for Tuesday February 14 at UW-Madison. About 80 students, 20 teachers.  Theme:  “For the Love of Science”

•  Other Business

•  Next Meeting:  Monday, October 24, 10 am

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

 Saturday Science Workshops at 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.

 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/.  On Tuesday October 18 at noon the talk will be The School of Human Ecology Equity & Justice Network” by Janean Dilworth-Bart, Human Development & Family Studies

 “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.  On October 19 Jeannine Richards of Botany will speak on “Shadegrown Coffee & Epiphyte Conservation:  A Social-Ecological Perspective.”

 • “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 October 19 we have a Special Event at a Special Venue with Catherine Jackson of the University of Oxford and Tracy Drier of the Department of Chemistry who will speak on the historical impacts of glassblowing on speeding discoveries in chemistry starting in the mid 19th Century.  The special venue is Room S-429 in the new Chemistry addition, 1101 University Avenue. 


3. Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers Annual Convention Will Be in Madison on March 9-11, 2023.

See the schedule for submitting proposals for workshops at https://wsst.org/2023-conference.

4.  Check Out the 2022-2023 “Family Science Nights” Opportunities: 


Researchers & Outreachers, if you’d like to help with 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.

5. “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.

6. 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)

7. UW Arboretum Fall 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 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/


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

8. Events from Madison Friends of Urban Nature


“Who’s Still Here?” Wed Oct 19 10am Senior Adventure with Naturalist Nancy Fonzen, register 608-222-3415

“Fall Comings and Goings” Sat Oct 22, 10am at Edna Taylor/Aldo Leopold Nature Center with Julie Melton

“Night Isn’t Scary For All” Sat Oct 22, 1:30pm at Pheasant Branch Creek with Master Naturalist Alex Singer

“Poetry in the Preserve” Sun Oct 23, 1:30pm at Lakeshore Nature Preserve with Will Vuyk and Paul Noeldner

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!