UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – February 13, 2023

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

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Sunday 13 February 2023

Hi Everyone, 

Last Monday I described how I consider February 4 through February 15 to comprise the 12 Days of the Wisconsin Idea, with February 4 being the anniversary of the proposal by Governor Scott Walker in 2015 to strip the Wisconsin Idea from the state statutes, and February 15 being the anniversary of the speech by UW President Charles Van Hise in 19015 that included his resonant “I shall never be content” formulation of what has become one ideal of the Idea.

On this past Friday February 10, the Seventh Day of the Wisconsin Idea, the Division of Extension announced that when it moves out of the Extension Building at 425 Lake Street—its home since 1962—the Division headquarters will not move as originally planned into space in the current Computer Sciences building on Dayton Street just east of Union South, but rather it will move out to the old UW Credit Union building on 3500 University Avenue, two miles west off of campus.

I had been looking forward to having Extension headquarters return to the central part of campus, close to its original location in Ag Hall to its second location in what was originally the Extension Building (now Nancy Nicholas Hall) next door to Ag Hall.  The Computer Science plan put Extension next door to the conference facilities of Union South and of the Discovery Building.

Even more importantly in my view, it placed Extension in the heart of the science part of campus:  across the street from Geology and from Atmospheric Oceanic & Space Sciences; a block east of Engineering, a block south of the new school of computer & digital & information sciences, two blocks southwest from Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Zoology; two blocks southeast from the School of Medicine & Public Health departments of medical genetics and biochemical science, three blocks from horticulture and agronomy and the School of Human Ecology, four from bacteriology and ice cream at Babcock Hall.

The opportunities for energy and synergy in the sciences, especially for connecting young people in 4-H and Community Youth Development to the people, places and programs here at the nation’s 8th largest research university by budget, were dazzling.

In turn, the Extension presence in central campus presented the equally valuable opportunity for projecting to science researchers on campus the essence & the vital role of Extension in the third mission—the public service mission—of the university.  For researchers who went to universities that were not land-grants, or for researchers who went to land-grants but who were in departments not in the colleges of ag or of human ecology, having a physical reminder of the presence of Extension in this part of campus would be informative, perhaps on occasion transformative.

That location would also underscore to visitors to campus the role of Extension in inter-connecting people from all 72 counties of Wisconsin with the people of the university, and vice versa.  And it would have made it even clearer that welcoming people to campus to contribute in the vibrancy of the university is as vital in the sciences as it is in the performing arts, in the fine arts, and in Badger athletics, all of which continue to have their venues on campus as major destinations for visitors from all over Wisconsin.

As I am fond of saying: Hospitality counts, and venue matters.

But as the folks in real estate say:  location, location, location.

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 Monday, February 13.

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 Feburary 13, 2023 at 10 am includes:•  Welcome•  Updates

•  Science Immersion Day, Tuesday Feb 14, with 96 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. Tom Zinnen

          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, Feb 20, 2023, 10 am, by zoom.

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 Feb 18, 19.

Tickets are sold out.  

 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 resumes Tuesday, February 14, 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.   And you can join the new BadgerTalks Facebook page here.

 Cool Plants on Friday, February 17, form 10am to Noon, Verona Public Library in Verona, WI  How do plants survive the winter? Join members of Allen Centennial Garden and the UW Horticulture department to handle plant materials, use kid-proof microscopes, and have conversations about plant buds, backyard tree selection, and how plants experience climate change. For kids and adults of all ages. In the middle of the Library.  More at https://www.veronapubliclibrary.org/events

For more information: Ryan Dostal, Department of Horticulture, (608) 576-2501, https://allencentennialgarden.wisc.edu


• “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 February 15 Francisco Peligri of the Laboratory of Genetics will talk on “Preserving Biodiversity for the Future.”

•  Tour the UW Nuclear Reactor on Friday February 24.  Space is limited. Sign up by noon on February 16 at https://go.wisc.edu/bu7wu0

3.  Researchers & Outreachers:  Sign Up Now to Participate in the 21st Annual

#UWScienceExpeditions Campus Open House April 14-16

On behalf of the UW–Madison Science Alliance, we are delighted to invite you to participate in the 21st Annual UW-Madison Science Expeditions on April 14-16, 2023.

UW Science Expeditions is UW-Madison’s annual campus-wide science open house: it’s an opportunity for all of us to welcome everyone to their public, land-grant research university, and it’s a splendid chance to share your research & outreach with visitors of all ages.

As a campus-wide open house, UW Science Expeditions features multiple options this year:

  1. Exploration Stations: hands-on exhibits where you share insights into your research;
  2. Science Spectaculars: presentations that engage a larger audience, usually in an auditorium; and
  3. Destinations for Exploration: tours or Open Houses of venues across campus.

**To Sign Up to lead an Exploration Station, a Science Spectacular, or a Destination for Exploration, please register by March 24 at: https://forms.gle/bgyr6ATNXyLnLhU39 

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Tom Zinnen (zinnen@biotech.wisc.edu or 608-265-2420).

Please help us spread the word: if you know others on campus who may be interested in sharing their research or outreach at UW Science Expeditions, please forward this information to them.

Thank you for considering this invitation to participate in the 2023 UW-Madison Science Expeditions!

-The 2023 Science Expeditions Planning Team

4. The Badger Precollege K-12 Program for DCS is recruiting instructors for 2023 summer programs.

We hire UW Madison instructors, staff and graduate students to teach in our program and provide stipends according to the Badger Precollege compensation rates. Please find a list of roles and links to apply here. There are separate links for graduate students (student jobs) and staff/instructors (wisc.jobs); however, the student jobs postings have additional course details. Do let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for passing this information along to your contacts. 

Best wishes,


Christopher Pevey Harry

Assistant Dean

Director of Precollege Services 

Badger Precollege

Division of Continuing Studies

21 N. Park Street

7th Floor

University of Wisconsin-Madison




5. Restore the Land, Become a Leader: Arboretum Restoration Team Leader Training

Did you know that the United Nations has designated 2021-2030 to the be UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (#GenerationRestoration)? Join this global movement by becoming a Restoration Team Leader! You will develop professional ecological skills, care for the land, and give back to your community.

Team leaders play a critical role in restoring Arboretum prairies and savannas by supervising other volunteers at Saturday morning ecological restoration work parties. They also gain invaluable personal and professional experience as they learn about native ecosystems and plants, manage and maintain native landscapes, and develop leadership and communication skills. Team leaders get to know the Arboretum and how it works in every season.

Restoration Team Leader Training will begin March 29, 2023 and costs $100; deadline for the application is March 22. You will participate in an extensive training that includes working outdoors, online and in-class time, and Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Certification. We ask for a big commitment, and we provide a unique and enduring opportunity in leadership and ecological restoration. For more information (including position description, schedule, and application form), please contact Marian Farrior at (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

Jennifer Mitchell (She/Her/Hers)

Youth and Community Education Coordinator

UW Madison Arboretum

1207 Seminole Hwy

Madison WI 53711

(608) 265-5872


6. Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers Annual Convention Will Be in Madison on March 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.

7. #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.


8. 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



9. 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

10. “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.

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


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

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