UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – March 20, 2023

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

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Monday 20 March 2023

Hi Everyone, 

The students are back from Spring Break, the temperatures are above single digits Fahrenheit, and today is the Vernal Equinox.  Life is accelerating here at 42 degrees north latitude as we enter one of the busiest periods of science outreach in our annual cycle.  The next seven weeks (culminating in my counting with UW Family Gardening Day on May 6) at the end of the academic year are a kind of harvest time when we get to show what we have learned to grow in our outreach programming.

In 2020 the pandemic pummeled the first spring on campus for the students of the Class of 2023.  They had no April days on campus, no Terrace days in early May to bask in the sun and to look at the liquid lake that so recently had been a frozen expanse. In a way unprecedented in my lifetime, they had to worry about their health & that of their parents and grandparents, and about the well-being of their communities.

For those undergrads who volunteered to work with the public, they along with nearly everyone else lost two springs of opportunities for face-to-face outreach.  They got pretty darn good at the Zoom, though. This spring is unrolling more placidly for most of us, and we get to resume our cadence of engagements as in days gone by.  But it is not just our immune system that will carry memories of covid, and I look forward to watching how this generation comes into their own after having been thrown on the wheel of the pandemic.

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 and we meet in hybrid mode on the last Monday of the month by zoom and in person in Room 1120 Wisconsin Energy Institute.  Our next meeting is Monday, March 20.


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 March 20, 2023 at 10 am includes:•  Welcome•  Updates

•  Possible dates for 2024 UW Science Expeditions:  April 5-7, 2024.  (Easter is March 31, 2024; Eid al-Fitr begins Tuesday April 9, 2024; Passover begins Monday April 22, 2024; Orthodox Easter is May 5, 2024; 

•  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;  banner placement Friday March 24

          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, March 27, 2023, 10 am, by zoom (and in person?).

 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.

 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:  Watch in-person, or online live or in archive at  https://www.facebook.com/BadgerTalks/live_videos/  and check the schedule for Badger Talks LIVE and In-Person Badger Talks live or online are listed at  https://badgertalks.wisc.edu/events/.  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.  

• “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 March 22 Jonathan Martin of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences speaks on “Warmer Winters & Wavier Jet Streams:  The Cold Season in a Changing Climate.”


• PLATO Frontiers in Life Sciences takes place at UW Space Place, 2300 S. Park St,  on Wednesdays at 1pm.  Zoom at https://go.wisc.edu/27448v .  On March 22 Jennifer Van Os of Animal & Dairy Science speaks on “Giving Dairy Cows a Voice through Science”.


3.  Researchers & Outreachers:  Sign Up Now (and Before March 24) 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. Zuzana Buřivalová and Andrew Greenberg Recognized with Inaugural Bassam Z. Shakhashiri Public Science Engagement Award

Zuzana Buřivalová is the principal investigator of the Sound Forest Lab, a group of researchers using soundscapes – all the sounds that can be heard in a landscape – to understand the health of rainforests. The Sound Forest Lab collaborates with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and local communities to design research projects that can help on the ground. “An important by-product of our research is recording beautiful, unique and sometimes strange soundscapes,” Buřivalová adds. “We always try to use these soundscapes beyond the science – to inspire people to listen more to their landscapes, and be curious about what makes all the sounds they hear in nature.”

Andrew Greenberg previously served as the associate director of the Institute for Chemical Education (ICE) from 2010–21. In that role, Greenberg co-directed the education and outreach efforts of the UW–Madison Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center and helped lead the outreach efforts of ICE. He  designed and currently teaches Chemical Engineering in the Community, an outreach-focused course to help undergraduate and graduate students learn to communicate STEM research being conducted in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He also is the education and outreach leader for the Untied States Department of Energy (DOE) funded Center for the Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics and leads the education and outreach efforts for multiple National Science Fourdation (NSF) projects and serves as the education and outreach advisory board member for the NSF National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), a national consortium of 16 university nanotechnology cleanroom facilities.


5. Applications Due Today:   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 today 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. Family Science Night 6:30 to 8:00 pm March 27 at Edgewood College


7. MADISON BIRD AND NATURE FESTIVAL on Sunday April 23 from Noon to 4pm

UW Science Alliance partners and other groups are invited to have free outdoor table space at the 11th Annual Madison Bird and Nature Festival at the Warner Park Rainbow Shelter on Sunday April 23, noon-4.  This is a free city wide inclusive fun educational community event celebrating Earth Week, Arbor Day, International Bird Day and All Things Nature. Last year 700 people including lots of families and kids enjoyed the ongoing Open Door Bird Sanctuary Live Raptor Show and visiting about 25 parks, community, education and nature group table exhibits, short guided nature walks, food cart, music and lots of fun kids nature games and hands on activities.

This event is a lot like UW Science Expeditions so bring your ready-to-go Exploration Station or activity and use it again!  Come for all or part of the afternoon.  Some tables are provided, but please bring a table if you can and paper weights if it’s windy.  Canopies are ok if not windy.  Student volunteers are welcome.  Email Paul_Noeldner@hotmail.com or call 608-698-0104 to let him know who can come and your contact info to send additional details. Last minute is ok.

Please share this invitation.

Thanks for Helping Connect Madison area Communities and Kids with Learning About Nature!

Paul Noeldner

Volunteer Madison FUN Coordinator

Wisconsin Master Naturalist Instructor

136 Kensington Maple Bluff


608 698 0104


8. Sauk Trail Elementary School in Middleton Is Hosting a STEM Fair on Thursday, April 13 from 5:00-7:00 PM.

The organizers would be delighted to welcome your hands-on Exploration Station for kids & families.To sign up, please contact Kathleen Franzen at kefranzen@gmail.com


9. Opportunities in Quantum Science

Apply to Participate in TeachQuantum

The Department of Physics is excited to start accepting applications for TeachQuantum, an NSF-funded 6-week summer program that immerses middle and high school STEM teachers in real quantum science and supports quantum curriculum development. Applications are available on the TeachQuantum website and are due on April 21st, 2023. All questions about the program or applying can be directed to mallory.conlon@wisc.edu.

Celebrate World Quantum Day 2023 with QuanTime!

Interested in adding quantum science to your classroom but unsure where to begin? Join the National Q-12 Education Partnership for QuanTime, an international event dedicated to celebrating quantum science and making it accessible to all. Registration to receive free activity kits is now open on the QuanTime website! Any questions can be directed to mallory.conlon@wisc.edu.


Quantum information science is a booming field, but what is it and what are possible career paths? We invite you to join the Quantum To-Go program, where you’ll be matched with quantum professionals that will introduce the importance of quantum science and technologies and share their experiences and career paths in quantum. All visits will be virtual and take place during the month of April 2023 to celebrate World Quantum Day on April 14, 2023. You and your matched scientist will work out specific dates, times, and details for your visit. Sign up here: https://quantum2go.org


10. BioCore Outreach Ambassadors “Summer Science Camp” at Wisconsin Heights School June 12-16

The BioCore Outreach Ambassadors are seeking presenters for their annual “Summer Science Camp” the week of June 12-16 at the Wisconsin Heights School.  Camp runs from 8:30 noon each day, except on Thursday it runs 8:30 to 3:00.  They can provide travel, and lunch will be provided.  They can also provide 2-3 BOA volunteers to any science outreacher who wants to participate but needs a few extra hands.  For more information, contact Daniel Parrell at  dparrell@wisc.edu


11. Ag Discovery Day May 2 at State Fair Park

Kari Schoenike is the Agriculture Education Manager at Wisconsin State Fair Park planning the first Ag Discovery Day at the Fair Park, scheduled for May 2, 2023. They’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response from area schools and have about 1000 students plus their teachers and chaperones scheduled to attend. The goal of the day is for students to immerse themselves in agriculture and experience hands-on learning.  If your program would have staff or volunteers available to host 2 learning stations focused on ag-related topics at this event (the same station content, just delivered in two locations; because of the large response, we are running 2 concurrent locations of the same stations), please contact Kari Schoenike.  Thanks for your consideration!

Kari Schoenike (she/her)Agriculture Education ManagerWisconsin State Fair ParkP: 414.266.7150  C: 414.640.7661  E: kari.schoenike@wistatefair.com


12. Mark Your Calendars for April 17 at 5:30 PM at the Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard St, Madison WI


13. Rediscover the Joy and Fun of Learning Together at Remake Learning Badgerland Days April 21-29

Explore hands-on educational experiences for youth and families across southern Wisconsin!

From Greater Madison to Stateline and beyond, a community of arts, education, libraries and cultural organizations are coming together to provide exciting in-person, hands-on and virtual learning experiences for youth and families.

Find out more here and sign up your event here.




14. 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 ServicesBadger Precollege

Division of Continuing Studies

21 N. Park Street

University of Wisconsin-Madison





15. Edgewood College Summer Camps have a few spaces remaining:  see https://www.edgewood.edu/outreach/science/summer-camps


16. #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.


17. 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


18. “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.


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

Watch here for more updates.


20.  UW Arboretum Winter-into-Spring 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.

  1. Nature Walks — Every Sunday at 1 p.m., learn about the land, plants, and animals from local naturalists.
  2. Nature Hikes — On the first and third Sundays of the month, adults are invited on these longer walks.
  3. Family Nature Walks — On the second Sunday of the month, families can explore the arboretum with a guide.
  4. 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/


21. 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