UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – November 28, 2022

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

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Monday 28 November 2022

Hi Everyone,

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was splendid, with good food, even better wine, and the bestest conversations.

I returned yesterday from my Thanksgiving week road-trip to New England with my daughter to visit family and to tour college campuses. We got to visit liberal-arts institutions (Williams and Babson), an engineering school (Olin), a big research university in the middle of a city (Boston University), a public urban university on a peninsula overlooking a bay (UMass Boston), and two rural land-grant universities (UMass Amherst and Cornell).

Having worked at UW-Madison for three decades, it was enlightening to see such a constellation of college campuses with fresh eyes, with the perspective of a parent of a prospective student.  There are probably better weeks than that of Thanksgiving to take the pulse of the vibe and vibrancy of a university, but in the quietude there’s likely no finer time to get a feel for the lay of the land, the architecture of the built environment, and the sense of place.

Some reflections.  First: upon reflection, water matters.  “Campus” comes from the Latin for “field”, and a campus’ land is of the essence, but as the Psalmist almost sang, “O Lord, let us have our field next to water.”  Some campuses have no connection to water, not a crick nor a creek nor a pond;  others have streams, rivers or gorges; some lie alongside lakes or, alas, merely within view of a lake; a lucky few border the sea.

Second, buildings shape our views, both of the landscape and of the institutional priorities.  Football stadiums & basketball arenas; theaters & museums; libraries & galleries; gardens & greenhouses; stock pavilions & experimental plots all speak to public participation in the life of a university.  Alas, laboratory sciences don’t necessarily project well from the street, and indoor boutique science venues may go hiding in plain sight on holidays when most buildings are locked up tight.

Finally, how can a campus extend hospitality to visitors, even in slack times when the campus is deserted, or nearly so?  As the Evangelist almost wrote: Let this be a sign unto you — Even in a day of a cellphone in every other hand, signage still matters, and outdoor all-weather maps especially help give the visitor a better grasp on the sweep of a university.

It was an intriguing expedition to the Northeast.  I’m not sure, but as we were driving back into Madison I thought I heard Claire quote a certain Dorothy, something about not having to look any further than her own backyard.  Well, maybe I just hoped I heard her say that.

Meanwhile, I’m already looking forward to the second edition of the campus expedition in a couple of years when it’ll be time to take my son a-scouting in search of his Athens or Alexandria.

Thanks again!

Tom Zinnen

===Coming Up This Week and This Coming Month

1.  The UW-Madison Science Alliance meets on most Mondays at 10:00 am by Zoom. Our next meeting is today, November 28. 

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 November 28 at 10 am includes:•  Welcome•  Updates

•  The Planning Timeline and the Budget for the 21st Annual UW Science Expeditions April 14-16, 2023

            People, Places & Programs to Invite for 2023

            Budget Report

•  Other Business

•  Meet next on Monday, December 5, 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  nearly 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 for Badger Talks LIVE and In-Person Badger Talks at  https://badgertalks.wisc.edu/events/.  Badger Talks LIVE is on hiatus in December & January and will resume in February 2023. Check back here for the schedule to be posted in early January.   Meanwhile, check out the current schedule of In-Person Badger Talks occurring in communities across Wisconsin.

 “PLATO  Frontiers in Life Sciences” finishes 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 November 30 John Shutske of Biological Systems Engineering & Division of Extension will speak on “The Future of Farm Safety.”

 • “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 November 30 Michael Arnold of Materials Science & Engineering will speak on “The Sun Is Ready to Make Your Electricity Cheaper & Greener in Wisconsin.

3. WISCIENCE is Hiring a Program Coordinator; Applications Due December 9 


The WISCIENCE Program Coordinator works collaboratively with program directors to provide intellectual, programmatic, and organizational support for several WISCIENCE programs and courses.  See job description for details.

4.  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.

Deadlines:  Sessions & Snapshots – December 15, 2022Please remember that it is WSST Policy that:– All presenters must register for the conference.– No products for services can be offered for sale at the workshops or sessions.– Half-day and full-day workshop fees cannot include a stipend for presenters to cover transportation/lodging costs.Please contact WSST Conference Chairs Corinne Michor <corinne.michor@gmail.com> or Patrick Mootz <patrickmootz@gmail.com> with any questions.

5. Energy Career Pathways in Wisconsin, Tuesday Nov 29 at 4:30pm CT by Zoom

Info at https://energy.wisc.edu/events/energy-career-pathways-wisconsin


6.  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.

7. “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.

8.  Fond du Lac County 4-H Family Learning Day is Saturday, February 25.

4-H Family Learning Day is February 25 at the Fond du Lac Campus of UW-Oshkosh.  We are looking for presenters to teach sessions, including in STEM fields. 

Family Learning Day is an opportunity for 4-H members (grades K-12) and the community to learn a new skill. Please help make this day a success by volunteering to teach a session or two. If you need help with your session, invite another person to co-teach with you. The program is held at UW-Oshkosh’s campus at Fond du Lac. Sessions 2 and 3 are 90 minutes, while sessions 1 and 4 are 60 minutes. Indicate the length and time of day that fits your needs. You may repeat your session if you wish.

Here’s the 4-H Family Learning Day Presenter form: https://go.wisc.edu/familylearningday2023presenter. 

Please let me know if you have any questions.



Tina Engelhardt

Program Assistant

UW-Madison Extension Fond du Lac County


Phone: (920) 929-3171

Fax: (920) 929-3181

Hearing Impaired Relay: 711



9.  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/

10. Events from Madison Friends of Urban Nature

Thank You for helping to publicize Madison FUN Bird and Nature Adventures, now entering our 10th Year! 


Your support for these volunteer-led year-round weekly outings helps make Madison a welcoming, vibrant and healthy place for both people and nature.


“Architecture of Trees” Sat Dec 03, 2:30pm at Tenney Park Beach with JoAnn Riecke“Winter Native Plant ID” Sun Dec 04, 1:30pm at Cherokee Marsh North Unit with Eva Roos“Nature as Classroom” Sat Dec 10, 2:30pm at Owen Conservation Park with Beth Whitaker“Magic of Winter” Sun Dec 11 1:30pm at Turville Point with Andria Blattner“Gifts for the Wild” Wed Dec 21 1:30pm Senior Adventure at Warner Park Center with Kathlean Wolf“Winter Tree ID” Sat Dec 17, 10am along Starkweather Creek with Eva Roos“The Longest Night” Sun Dec 18, 1:30pm at Warner Park Rainbow Shelter with Robin Kling“Natures Gifts” Sat Dec 24, 10am at Aldo Leopold/Edna Taylor with Paul Noeldner“Signs of Life” Sat Dec 24, 1:30pm at Pheasant Branch Conservancy with Alex Singer“Favorite Places” Sun Dec 25, 1:30pm at Picnic Point with Friends of Lakeshore Nature Preserve“New Year’s Family Walk” Sat Dec 31, 6:30pm at Aldo Leopold/Edna Taylor with JoAnn Rieke


* Join the FUN with Friends of Urban Nature on Parks and Partners co-sponsored outings!

* Free Naturalist Guided outings are offered in local parks and natural areas year round

* Outings are fun, welcoming, diverse, accessable and family and kid friendly

* Enjoy healthy nature recreation with a bit of fascinating nature education


* Just show up, no registration unless noted

* Dress for an outdoor walk, outings are rain or shine unless weather is dangerous

* See monthly outing publicity at http://CityofMadison.com/Parks/Events/Bird-Nature.cfm and co-sponsor social media

* Find trail maps, fun facts and activities at http://Tinyurl.com/MadisonFUNAdventures

* Connect with parks, environmental and friends groups for more great activities

* Support natural areas in every yard, park and neighborhood for kids, birds, bees, and wildlife!


Thanks for helping connect Madison area Communities and Kids with Nearby Nature! 

Paul Noeldner

Volunteer Madison FUN Coordinator

Wisconsin Master Naturalist Instructor

136 Kensington Maple Bluff


608 698 0104

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