UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – Week of December 11th, 2023

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

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For the week of December 11th, 2023

  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, December 11, 2023

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 December 11, 2023 at 10 am includes:

  • Welcome
  • Updates
  • Planning for the 22nd Annual UW Science Expeditions April 5, 6 & 7, 2024.
  • Other Business
  • Meet next on Monday, December 18, 2023, 10 am, virtually or 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/.

  • UW Madison Science Expeditions 2024 Planning Working Groups

The Science Alliance is creating five working groups that will help distribute Science Expeditions planning “heavy lifting”. These planning subgroups are (1) publicity; (2) communication; (3) presenters; (4) logistics; and (5) community center engagement. The smaller working groups would come together at the Monday Science Alliance planning meetings and report to the larger group. Please fill out the Science Expeditions 2024 Planning Working Groups form when you have the chance – before December the December 11th Science Alliance Meeting.

  • WISCIENCE is Hiring!

The title of the position is Assistant Program Director of STEM Student Engagement, and the job description can be found here: https://jobs.wisc.edu/jobs/assistant-program-director-of-stem-student-engagement-madison-wisconsin-united-states

  • The Necedah Virtual Cardinal After-School Program

The after school program is currently meeting via Google Meet on Tuesday afternoons (2x a month) this year. The 4:00-4:30 session is for middle/high school students and the 4:30-5:00 session is for 3rd-5th graders. Feel free to claim an entire hour and adapt your activity for the two different age groups. The Necedah students LOVE engineering/design challenges, so we have dedicated one session a month to that type of workshop. Here is a list of websites to get your creativity flowing: Paper EngineeringDesign Challenges using Recyclables50+ Engineering Projects. Linda Lowery has created a STEM activity planning guide to help you design and implement your activity. The program coordinator, Linda Lowery (llowery@necedahschools.org), can help provide required materials. Sign up using the spreadsheet here.

  • Environmental DNA (eDNA) Project at Upham Woods this Summer

Freshwater@UW is a mentored summer research program offering a range of research opportunities, including one at Upham Woods! The program’s central aim is to support the growth of our freshwater research enterprise and freshwater workforce through collaborative, cross-system programming designed to train, recruit, retain and diversify the next generation of freshwater professionals.

    • Work closely with research faculty and staff
    • Develop research skills, knowledge and abilities
    • Focus on science communication
    • Present your work at a capstone symposium
    • Learn about applying to graduate school from current graduate students
    • Gain exposure to diverse career paths and other post-graduate opportunities

The project at Upham Woods will focus on Monitoring Aquatic Species Using Environmental DNA (eDNA) in the Wisconsin River!

Apply by Feb 15th for this exciting opportunity! More details including application instructions: https://water.wisc.edu/wateruw-madison-undergraduate-research/

  • Come serve with Wisconsin 4-H AmeriCorps!

Are you looking for an opportunity to make a difference in a community, build your resume, earn a living allowance and an educational award, or know someone who is?  Wisconsin 4-H AmeriCorps is currently recruiting candidates to serve as a half time member – serving 900 hours between January and August, in communities across Wisconsin, to expand the 4-H program.  Members will receive a living allowance of ($10,000, pre-tax – deposited every two weeks) and an education award (almost $3,500 at the end of service)!  We have positions all around Wisconsin – one close to you!  You can go to school and have outside employment while in service as well! More information, service locations and application information can be found here.  Help us get things done in communities, and make a difference in Wisconsin! https://4h.extension.wisc.edu/wisconsin-4-h-and-americorps/. For more information, contact Melinda Pollen at melinda.pollen@wisc.edu or MaryBeth Wohlrabe at marybeth.wohlrabe@wisc.edu

  • 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.

  • 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.

Workshops and sessions for the WSST conference are due by December 15th: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeBUw7EztZQFwiGBm2DfsqlfqcVVSDAdlizBK54qy6dskovTg/viewform?pli=1. Registration will open for the conference a few days later.

  • Wisconsin Science Festival – Save the date!

WSF dates are set for next year – October 14-20th, 2024.

  • 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.

  • 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.

See Arboretum events calendar for details and registration: https://arboretum.wisc.edu/visit/events/

  • “Madison FUN/Friends of Urban Nature” Announcements


Wed Dec 20 1:30 “Gifts for the Wild” Senior Adventure at WPCRC/Warner Park with Kathlean Wolf

Sat Dec 16 10am “Winter Tree ID” at Goodman/Starkweather Creek with Eva Roos

Sun Dec 17 1:30 “Winter Solstice Walk” at Warner Park with Kathlean Wolf

Sat Dec 23 10am “Natures Gifts” at ALNC/Edna Taylor with Paul Noeldner

Sat Dec 23 1:30 “Winter Solstice Walk” at Pheasant Branch Prairie with Kathlean Wolf

Sun Dec 24 1:30 “Favorite Places” at Lakeshore Nature Preserve with Preserve Friends

Sun Dec 31 6:30 “New Year’s Eve Family Walk” at ALNC/Edna Taylor with Joanne Riecke


Weekly Outdoor Adventure Reports are aired on WORT 8:30 Monday mornings and posted at http://facebook.com/groups/MadisonFUN with updates about the upcoming week including Bird and Nature Adventures and other outings and activities hosted by partner groups.  If you have something you would like to have highlighted or would like to be copied on the weekly reports email paul_noeldner@hotmail.com.


Current copies of the full year Bird and Nature Adventure calendar and monthly details and flyers including any updates can be accessed any time at http://tinyurl.com/MadisonFUNAdventures. This shared cloud folder also has historical copies and more information about Madison FUN events and activities.


Sunday April 28, 2024 12-4pm is the 11th Annual Madison FUN Bird and Nature Festival at Warner Park featuring an ongoing Live Raptor Show and exhibits and activities.

This is a lot like Science Expeditions with free table space. Bring info about your group, show your educational exhibits, and provide fun hands-on kids science and nature activities!  Share your enthusiasm  and network with other groups!

Contact paul_noeldner@hotmail.com for more info and a table space.


Weekly Outdoor Adventure Reports are posted at http://facebook.com/groups/MadisonFUN with reminders about the upcoming week Bird and Nature Adventures and other outings and activities hosted by partner groups.  If you would like to be copied on the weekly Outdoor Adventure Reports email: paul_noeldner@hotmail.com.


Please send upcoming science outreach events and activities to Liz Jesse: ejesse2@wisc.edu.