UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater, Monday 23 October 2023

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

Monday 23 October 2023

Hi Everyone,

Fall on the farm in my mind is foremost harvest time, the days of combining corn and beans, of picking apples and gathering pumpkins.  But for a few crops, fall is also planting season.  Winter wheat always struck me as an act of faith and of foresight, a crop sown starting in mid-September as the days cool and the daylength wanes.  It germinates and sprouts and gives a field a hint of spring green in late October and into November.  It hunkers down and defies the freezing of winter (especially in years when snow blankets the countryside) and it’s among the earliest of plants to fire back up in the spring. It surges in May & June and is ready for harvest starting in mid-July.

In a similar vein, this year’s Wisconsin Science Festival might be considered a metaphorical harvest time, the completion of a season of work culminating in a week of events around the state October 16-21.  But as with winter wheat, the Festival is also a time of planting seeds, of sowing opportunities, of preparing the ground for collaborations throughout the coming months.

In this view, the work this summer and fall of the Wisconsin Science Festival organizers, led by festival director Samantha Mulrooney, together with the work of the co-hosts of Wednesday’s Discovery Building Expo, including Val Blair and Dan Murphy, gives presenters such as my colleague Liz Jesse and myself a chance to make connections with learners that can grow throughout the year.  I look forward to the coming harvests, even those that will come in this winter and spring.


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 23 at 10:00 CT.

 The Zoom link for the 2023-2024 meetings of Science Alliance will continue to be: 

The draft agenda for October 23, 2023 at 10 am includes:

• Welcome

• Updates

• Wisconsin Science Festival, October 16-22

• Dane County 4-H Science Fright Night October 19 at UW Space Place & Wisconsin Science Museum

• 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 5-7, 2024, in concert with UW Science Expeditions

• Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers annual meeting April 18-20 in La Crosse.  https://www.wsst.org/2024-conference

• Other Business

• Meet next on Monday, October 30, 2023, 10 am, in person in Room 1120 Wisconsin Energy Institute

 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 25 Robert Striker of the Department of Medicine will speak on “Immune Memory & Regret…What Biomarkers Can Tell About the Health of the Immune System & Risk of Cancer.”

• “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.


3. Call for Proposals for Events for the 175th Anniversary of the University of Wisconsin-Madison


From July 2023 through May 2024, the University of Wisconsin–Madison is celebrating its 175th Anniversary. Focusing on the impact and reach of the Wisconsin Idea, UW will honor the accomplishments of those 175 years, with a particular emphasis on the past 25 years.

In addition to several larger events scheduled to mark the anniversary, Chancellor Mnookin and the 175th Anniversary Steering Committee encourage the entire campus community to participate with special events, programs, and initiatives. Accordingly, faculty, staff, and students are invited to submit proposals for funding to support activities that recognize and celebrate this anniversary.

Proposals might take the shape of events, initiatives, research projects, curriculum, academic efforts, artistic works, or community outreach that center around and/or recognize the 175th Anniversary and the Wisconsin Idea. There is no particular limit on the subject, size and scope of the proposals, although funded proposals will typically be granted an award no larger than $1,000.

Proposals should be submitted here and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until funding is depleted. Please submit your proposal at least 60 days in advance of your planned programing or need to allow for review, notification, and funding. Projects will be approved based on the appropriateness of the proposal to the 175th themes, relative uniqueness, and likelihood of impact.

To help guide proposals, the themes of the anniversary are:

  • Acknowledge 175 years of the university’s rich and complex history, including successes and challenges
  • Celebrate the reach and impact of the Wisconsin Idea, not only in Wisconsin but around the nation and the world, both in the past and in the future
  • Spark curiosity and pose questions about UW’s future, particularly the next 25 years leading to UW’s bicentennial in 2048
  • Learn from the past to inform the future

Proposals must include the following:

  • Project title
  • Name of UW–Madison unit or team submitting the grant proposal (can also be an individual student, faculty, or staff member)
  • School/college or division under which the unit is administratively housed (if applicable)
  • A description of the project
  • Detailed budget information including the requested grant amount and any other support that is anticipated from other sources of funding.

For your reference, here’s a list of past and upcoming activities planned by central campus for the 175th Anniversary:

Other 175th Anniversary resources:

For questions or more information, please email celebrate175@wisc.edu.


Charles Hoslet

Vice Chancellor for University Relations

Chair, 175th Anniversary Steering Committee


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. Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers annual meeting April 18-20 in La Crosse.  https://www.wsst.org/2024-conference 


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 Foundation


9.  Post & Promote Your Science Outreach Events at https://today.wisc.edu/events/tag/science

And check out what your colleagues are offering in the coming days and weeks, on campus and in communities around Wisconsin.


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 walks
Saturday 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! 

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