UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater, Monday October 16, 2023

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

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 Monday 16 October 2023

 Hi Everyone,

Today is launch day of the annual Wisconsin Science Festival running October 16-22 with destinations & explorations all over the Badger state.  You can find out more at https://www.wisconsinsciencefest.org and see the list of events that are engaging folks in nearly 2/3rds of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

For many of us in science outreach the Science Festival is a focus of our autumn programming.  The Festival helps us promote to a wider audience the regularly-scheduled events that fall during the week.  It also helps us design new events tailor-made for this special week.  The connections reach back & forth from communities & campuses;  and that warp & weft helps make a durable weave that serves everyone all year round.

I hope your Science Festival events go great, and that you’ll have a chance to invite your friends & networks to enjoy the many colors & textures of science throughout this extraordinary week in Wisconsin.


Tom Zinnen 

1.  The UW-Madison Science Alliance meets Mondays at 10:00 am by Zoom and in person at the Wisconsin Energy Institute, Room 1120, first floor (1552 University Avenue).  Our next meeting is Monday, October 16 at 10:00 CT.


The Zoom link for the 2023-2024 meetings of Science Alliance will continue to be: https://zoom.us/my/glbrc.weieducation.vmr?pwd=L2Q0L0g0S3lEd2gyazNscjA1d2JYZz09

The draft agenda for October 16, 2023 at 10 am includes:• Welcome• Updates

 Wisconsin Science Festival, October 16-22

• Mark your calendars for 22nd Annual UW Science Expeditions April 5, 6 & 7, 2024.  UW-Madison 175th Anniversary Campus Open House is also on April 6, 2024, in concert with UW Science Expeditions

• Other Business

• Meet next on Monday, October 23, 2023, 10 am, by zoom or 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

 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 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, 425 Henry Mall.   On October 18 artist, author & chemist Daniel Kelm will speak on “Chemical Glassware as Functional Sculpture.”

• “Saturday Science Workshops at UW Space Place every Saturday at 10am at UW Space Place, in the lower level of the Village on Park, 2300 S. Park Street.  Free. For children ages 6-10 and their caregivers. 

 October 18, 2023, 9-11 p.m. Open night at Washburn Observatory (weather permitting)

Washburn Observatory, operated by the UW-Madison Astronomy Dept., is located atop Observatory Hill, at 1401 Observatory Drive. The observatory will not open unless the sky is clear. N.B. Washburn Observatory is a historical landmark building and the telescope is not handicap accessible. Visitors learn about the distinguished work of UW astronomers dating back over 140 years.

 Astronomy on Tap Madison meets monthly.  Next meeting is Oct 17 at 7pm at Northstreet, 557 North Street, Madison.


3. Dane County 4-H’s Third Annual “Science Fright Night” October 19 7-8pm at UW Space Place & Wisconsin Science Museum, 2300 S. Park Street.

Should we be leery of the eerie?  Should we be wary of the scary? In the dark & gloaming come explore the light & glowing of Exploration Stations featuring treats for your eyes & ears.  Plus Explorations in Aviation & Rocketry to get your imagination soaring.  Free.  Please register here.  

Dane County 4-H is part of Wisconsin 4-H, UW-Madison’s statewide youth development program that is part of UW-Madison’s Division of Extension, with offices in all 72 counties in Wisconsin.


4. 175th UW Anniversary Gala October 27, 2023, 6-9:30 p.m.

In celebration of UW–Madison’s 175th anniversary, we invite you to a gala 175 years in the making! The evening will feature inspiring speakers, musical guests, delicious food and beverages, and more.  Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard St.  Cost:  $100


5. Goodman Library Public Science Events This Fall

Will Glenn from the Goodman Library and Ana Garic of the Neuroscience Training Program are scheduling three events at the Goodman Library.

Monday, November 6 from 3pm – 5pm

For these events, interested science outreach colleagues please email Ana Garic to sign up to participate.


6. Check Out the 2023-2024 “Family Science Nights” Opportunities: 


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

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. Forest Products Lab Open House Friday October 20

 Come see what the Forest Products Lab does and visit us at the Open House Friday, October 20 from 9am to 3pm! Discover the wonders of the forest and its products at our 1 Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison, WI, USA location. Get ready to explore the fascinating world of forestry and learn about sustainable practices.  More info here.


8. Yerkes Observatory Now Open for School Visits

Yerkes Observatory is excited to welcome school groups for curated educational visits for the 2023-24 school year! Details and information, such as costs per student and other logistics, can be found on the Yerkes website. Plan your school visit today and reach out to Mallory Conlon (mconlon@yerkesobservatory.org) with any questions.


Mallory Conlon, M.S.

Outreach & Education

Yerkes Observatory | Yerkes Future FoundationImage


9. Seeking Coaches for Science Olympiad Team at Velma Hamilton Middle School

 We are looking for some volunteers to coach our students in a few specific areas, including forestry, engineering, physics, wind power, and optics/detector building (electrical engineering). 

Any ideas that would help us find the right people to connect with would be greatly appreciated!  Interested folks can email me. 


Lori Vogel

Hamilton MS Science Olympiad Team


 10. Waunakee Prairie Elementary Science Night on Thursday November 9

Help us fill the school with science at the 2nd Annual Waunakee Prairie Elementary Science Night! We are looking for groups to present science-related activities on Thursday, Nov. 9 from 5:30-7 pm at the school in an open-house format. All topics and formats (hands on, presentations, demos, etc) welcome! 

If interested, please fill out the form here: https://forms.gle/7wu4wN7AH1uYSrrp8 or contact Jen Grosh at jenlee30@hotmail.com.


11. 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/


12. “Madison FUN/Friends of Urban Nature” Announcements 


We are happy this week to welcome our latest class of Madison FUN Wisconsin Master Naturalist Volunteers who will be helping lead walks and activities with our groups, a picture is attached.  Thank you everyone who helped facilitate this class and shared your love of nature, expertise and enthusiasm!

Oct 2023 FREE Bird and Nature Adventures 

Enjoy Weekly Inclusive Educational Nature Outings in Local Parks and Natural Areas! 

Wed Oct 18, 1:30 “Who’s Still Here?” Senior Adventure Warner Park with Nancy Fonzen

Sat Oct 21, 10am “Native Plant Workshop” at Starkweather Creek with Jeff SteeleSun Oct 22, 1:30 “Poetry in the Preserve” at Lakeshore Nature Preserve with Will Vuyk

Sat Oct 28, 10am “Fall Comings and Goings “ at ALNC/Edna Taylor with Doug Davis 

Sat Oct 28, 1:30 “Walk Like a Crane” at Pheasant Branch with Stephanie Schmidt/ICF 

Details http://CityofMadison.com/Parks  & Madison FUN on FB Contact 608-698-0104 


See http://facebook.com/groups/MadisonFUN for weekly outing updates and feel free to share and help publicize those too!  Current copies of the outing calendar and upcoming outing details and flyers can also be accessed any time at http://tinyurl.com/MadisonFUNAdventures.


Thanks Everybody for helping connect Madison area communities and kids with nearby nature year-round and with each of our partner groups and more great activities supporting Nature Recreation, Nature Education, Nature Citizen Science Research, Nature Stewardship and Natural Health for People and Nature right where we live!

Paul Noeldner


13.  Check out the Nelson Institute’s audio walkabout of the UW-Madison campus, presented as an aural destination for environmental exploration: