UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – January 23, 2023

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

Monday 23 January 2023

Hi Everyone,

In preparing for my talk on the Xenos Paradox coming up this week at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab, I’ve been impressed with some of the places dedicated for science engagement that various universities have built over the years to engage the public on campuses.

For example, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego features the remarkable Birch Aquarium on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.  Across the continent on the Atlantic coast, two miles up the Charles River from Boston Harbor rises the new home of the 50-year old MIT Museum that serves “to make what MIT does, both the processes and the products, accessible” to the public. In Denver, where the shortest drive to a major body of salt water is not the 1000 miles to the Gulf Coast but rather the 500 miles west to the Great Salt Lake, the new Spur campus of Colorado State University strikes me a defining a fresh and boldly-innovative public science venue in a class by itself.

Such campus venues, new or old, can be pivotal in at least two key ways.

First, they project to the public that the university is a destination committed to welcoming all to come experience science within a community of researchers.

Second, the venues make it easier for campuses to acknowledge a kind of Kennedy/Sorenson dichotomy in the enterprise of science outreach:  it’s not just what the university can do to inform the public; it’s also what the public can do to transform the university and to contribute to the vitality & vibrancy of the institution.

In an era when we have had to hunker down in response to covid pandemics and conspiracy theories, there is no finer time than now to keep our heads up to be on the lookout for innovations & advances in hospitality & engagement being pioneered by our science outreach counterparts at universities close to home and around the world.

Thanks again!

Tom Zinnen

Coming Up This Week and This Coming Month

1.  The UW-Madison Science Alliance meets Mondays at 10:00 am by Zoom.  Our next meeting is today, Monday, January 23.

The Zoom link for the spring meetings of Science Alliance will continue to be: https://zoom.us/my/glbrc.weieducation.vmr?pwd=L2Q0L0g0S3lEd2gyazNscjA1d2JYZz09

The draft agenda for January 23, 2023 at 10 am includes:•  Welcome•  Updates

Science Immersion Day, Tuesday Feb 14, with 104 7th/8th grade students from Southern Lakes Advanced Learners Network, at UW-Madison.

Planning the 21st Annual UW Science Expeditions April 14-16, 2023

  • Please volunteer to serve on committees Here
  • Budget Report:  Tom Zinnen
  • Communications:  Lindsey DeCarlo, Wes Marner
  • Publicity: Liz Jesse, Haddie McLean
  • Venues:  Ana Garic, Drew Lakuta, Jennifer Mitchell, Tom Zinnen,
  • Presenters:  Allison Bender, Val Blair, Liz Jesse:

•  Other Business

•  Meet next on Monday, January 30, 2023, 10 am, by zoom and in person at the Wisconsin Energy Institute, Room 1120.

 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.

 Wonders of Physics Annual Show Feb11, 12, 18, 19.

Tickets available for 4pm Feb 12, and for 1pm & 4pm Feb 19.  

 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.

• WID Seminar Series on February 1 at 3pm in the Orchard View Room of the Discovery Building: Claudia Solis-Lemus and Kushin Mukherjee will present about Resilience Robustness and Adaptability in their research. Light refreshments will be served to in-person attendees.

 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 resumes Tuesday, February 14th, 12:00 PM Central with The Arts for Everyone, Everywhere by Chris Walker, Professor of Dance and Director, Division of the Arts.  Also, check out the current schedule of In-Person Badger Talks occurring in communities across Wisconsin. 


 • “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.   Tom Zinnen will be giving the talk on January 25 entitled “The Xenos Paradox & the Futures of Science Outreach.”

3.  North Freedom Elementary School Invites Scientists to STEM Day on March 14

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 noon to 3pm is the STEM Day at North Freedom Elementary School.  The school’s parent group recognizes it may be difficult to get scientist volunteers to make the trip to North Freedom so they are offering $30 each to offset the travel costs.  If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Karen Disch.

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

The UW Science Alliance will have a double booth in the Exhibitors Hall at the Monona Terrace on March 9 and 10.  This is a great chance to promote your science outreach program to the 400-500 teachers from all across Wisconsin.  If you’d like to help staff the booth on the afternoon of Thursday March 9 or on Friday March 10, or if you’d like to have brochures on hand to distribute, please email Tom Zinnen.

5. #MakeClimateAClass Initiative Coming in April for Earth Month 

#MakeClimateAClass is part of a larger event the Wisconsin Energy Institute hosts called the Worldwide Teach-In on Climate Justice.  #MakeClimateAClass encourages engagement with climate-related issues by having instructional faculty speak on how climate is integrated into their discipline for 10-30 minutes during a class sometime in April.

If you are interested in taking part in this initiative, please provide your contact information and details about your Spring 2023 courses in this Google Form.  For more information and resources, visit the UW–Madison Teach-In landing page 

Sent by Marina Kerekes of WEI.

6. Grant Opportunity for Users of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve

The Lakeshore Nature Preserve Committee, an oversight committee for UW-Madison’s 300-acre Lakeshore Nature Preserve, is pleased to announce a small grant opportunity (up to $1000) for undergraduates and faculty, staff and graduate students working with undergraduates to facilitate the use of the Preserve for educational purposes.

Go to our website to view the Request for Proposals and to see past grant awards. Please feel free to distribute widely! If your department, program, or organization maintains a list serve or list of funding opportunities we kindly ask you to include this opportunity.

The application deadline is March 1, 2023. Funds should be expended by October 31, 2023 when a final report is due. 

Questions may be directed to Preserve Assistant Director Laura Wyatt (laura.wyatt@wisc.edu).

Bryn Scriver

Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator

UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve

21 N Park St, Suite 6101

Madison, WI 53715

Cell: 608-220-5560



7. UW-Madison Wisconsin 4-H State Meats Judging Contest on Campus on Saturday February 4

Info at https://Tinyurl.com/5d6yfhup

Coordinated by Bernie O’Rourke, Extension Youth Livestock Specialist; and Jeff Sindelar, Extension Meats Specialist, both of the Dept of Animal & Dairy Sciences; and Jill Jorgensen, Extension 4-H Youth Development Agriculture Specialist

8. 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.

The calendar of upcoming science outreach at schools is at https://teamup.com/ks37f37f6a8028e6d0

9. “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.

10.  Call for Artists:  “Technical to Beautiful:  Data as Art”


For more information and to submit project proposals: https://forms.gle/xXMbdeHhwwMihUKV6

11.  UW-Madison Hosts Latino Youth Summit on March 27-28

The Latino Youth Summit returns to UW-Madison on March 27-28 and one of the leading themes is STEM.  If you or your program would like to offer a presentation or workshop to this group of approximately 100 students in grades 7-8, please send an email to Tom Zinnen.

12.  Wisconsin Science Olympiad State Tournament Runs April 1 at UW-Milwaukee

Watch here for more updates.

13.  UW Arboretum Winter 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/

14. 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.


* 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, accessible 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