Tag: natural and applied sciences

UW-Green Bay 50th Anniversary presents ‘Last Lecture Series’

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has announced its lineup for a “Last Lecture Series” during the 2015-16 academic year in celebration of the University’s 50th anniversary.

Each month, a UW-Green Bay faculty member will give a public presentation on a topic of his or her choice. Presenters were asked to convey what lecture they would give, if it was to be their last. The monthly lectures will take place Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the University Union’s Christie Theatre, on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay. The lectures are free and open to the public.

UW-Green Bay Humanistic Studies Prof. Derek Jeffreys, who specializes in the study of philosophy, ethics and religion, will deliver the first lecture, “The Mystery of the Person: Teaching Philosophy and Religion in a Maximum-Security Prison,” on Sept. 23. A professor at UW-Green Bay for 15 years, Jeffreys is the author of books offering information and insight on religion, ethics and torture.

Jeffreys said he became interested in torture in American prisons, particularly the effects of shelter and confinement. To gain further understanding, he visited and spent time in prisons and now volunteers teaching philosophy and religion with the Green Bay Correctional Institution and the Brown County Jail.

“I am passionate about the subject of my Last Lecture because I find teaching prison inmates deeply rewarding,” Jeffreys says. “Inmates have few educational opportunities, and are hungry for knowledge. They are eager to engage in philosophical and religious discussions. I am enriched by these conversations, and in my lecture I will share with the University community what I’ve experienced in the Green Bay Correctional Institution. By teaching in this prison, I’ve gained insights into the nature of the person. Prison inmates live in a difficult and often brutal environment, yet they can make remarkable personal changes. Their example can lead us to reflect on the mystery of the person.”

The following is the list of Last Lecture participants and topics:
Sept. 23 — Derek Jeffreys, Professor, Humanistic Studies, “The Mystery of the Person: Teaching Philosophy and Religion in a Maximum-Security Prison”
Oct. 28 — Jeff Entwistle, Professor, Theatre and Dance, “We All Need Theatre in Our Lives and in Our Future”
Nov. 18 — Susan Gallagher-Lepak, Associate Professor, Nursing, “E-Learning: The Train has Left the Station”
Feb. 17 — Lucy Arendt, Associate Dean, College of Professional Studies, “Made to Serve: The Tragic Corruption of America’s Founding Values”
March 23 — Steve Meyer, Associate Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences, “Forget the Three T’s: Focus on the Six C’s”
April 13 — Phil Clampitt, Professor, Information and Computing Science, “The Magical Connection between Uncertainty, Innovation, and the Human Spirit.”

More information on 50th Anniversary activities can be found at 50.uwgb.edu.


Panama partnership: Smithsonian official will lead seminar here Sept 18

What began in 1923 as a small field station on Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal Zone is now one of the world’s leading research collaboratives, used annually by some 1,400 visiting scientists. The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution employs 45 research scientists not just in Panama’s tropics but around the world in studies of forest dynamics, coral reefs, climate change and more. Since 2006, UW-Green Bay has developed close ties with STRI, including an annual student trip to Panama and establishment of a long-term forest research plot in northern Wisconsin. These activities, funded largely through the generosity of Dr. David and Mary Ann Cofrin, have provided hands-on research opportunities for 10 to 25 UW-Green Bay students every year. On Friday (Sept. 18) at 11:40 a.m., Matthew Larsen, director of the STRI for the Smithsonian, will lead a seminar informing the UW-Green Bay community and the general public on the history and scope of STRI research. Titled “A Century of Smithsonian Science in Panamá,” the program will take place in Room 103 of the University Union. Larsen is a hydrologist/geologist who has published widely on topics ranging from landslides to global climate change, and he served previously as chair of the U.S. committee to UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme. His Sept. 18 presentation is free and open to all. For further information about Dr. Larsen’s visit contact Dr. Amy Wolf or Dr. Robert Howe.

Update on Prof. Fencl’s participation in AAC&U’s ‘Faculty Collaboratives’

We reported here in April about the appointment of UW-Green Bay Prof. Heidi Fencl of NAS as one of five Wisconsin faculty members taking part in the Faculty Collaboratives project under the auspices of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Supported by a grant from the Lumina Foundation, Fencl and her UW System colleagues will create a state-based, faculty-led “innovation hub” focused on advancing curricular reforms that lead to deeper student engagement, and higher retention and graduation rates. We recently came across the AAC&U news post about these Faculty Fellows, and the nature of their collaboration with state systems and faculty in California, Indiana, Texas and Utah, in addition to Wisconsin. There’s a strong tie-in to the LEAP initiative promoting liberal education, as well.

Friday’s NAS seminar: Changes in Wisconsin’s forests

The first Natural and Applied Sciences Seminar of the fall arrives in Environmental Sciences Room 301 at 3:30 p.m. Friday (Sept. 11) with a presentation by UW-Madison Prof. Don Waller. He’ll discuss the increasing appreciation that Wisconsin’s temperate forests, long thought to be adaptable to change and at low risk to various environmental stressors, are in fact being impacted in significant ways… by climate change, ecological succession, habitat fragmentation, invasive species, overabundant deer and atmospheric nitrogen deposition. Waller’s research revisits 1950s baseline research on Wisconsin forests by ecologist John Curtis and his students to see which habitats and species are experiencing the most change. Admission is free and open to the public.

Another semester, another series of NAS Seminars, starting Friday

The Natural and Applied Sciences Seminar Committee has unveiled the Fall 2015 Seminar Series. The every-other-Friday programs will be held in Environmental Sciences Room 301 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., with an informal social with the speaker in the half hour preceding each program. The lineup:

• Sept. 11 — Don Waller: Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Drivers of long-term ecological change in temperate forest plant communities”
• Sept. 25 — Antxon Olabe Egana, a guest speaker through the International Visiting Scholars Program, “Homo sapiens and Biosphere. Building up hope, redressing the climate-environment crisis”

• Oct. 9 — John Hartig, refuge Manager, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, “Bringing Conservation to Cities: Lessons from Building the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge”

• Oct. 23 — Matt Allender: College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, “Another Emerging Fungal Disease: Snake Fungal Disease Threatens Conservation Efforts”
• Nov. 6 — Mike Machesky, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois, “Often too much but sometimes too little: Phosphorus and dissolved oxygen in Illinois streams and rivers”
• Dec. 4 — Sarah Yang, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, “Water Quality in Northeast Wisconsin”

Presentation abstracts may be found on the NAS seminar web site. Questions regarding the seminars should be addressed to the NAS Seminar Committee Chair, Assistant Prof. Lisa Grubisha.

Faculty note: Engineering Technology’s Holzem earns grants

Assistant Prof. Ryan Holzem of NAS, a specialist in environmental engineering technology, was awarded two grants this summer. He will receive $9,664 to provide a third-party evaluation of a private pro-biotic product that is added to manure lagoons to reduce organics and solids and improve nutrient values, with testing on two Wisconsin-based farms. He was also awarded $4,685 through EMBI (UWGB’s Environmental Management and Business Institute) to evaluate several chloride reduction options for a local food processing company that uses salt in product processing and wants to reduce the amount of salt leaving the facility via used water.

Faculty note: Luczaj article

Geoscience Prof. John Luczaj (Natural and Applied Sciences) is a co-author on an article published recently in the journal Resources. The article evaluates the changes to groundwater quality in Northeastern Wisconsin that resulted from the 2007 Karst Task Force report and subsequent regulatory changes in certain counties. Lead author Kevin Erb is a graduate of UWGB’s Environmental Science and Policy graduate program.

Faculty note: Grubisha publication

Lisa Grubisha, Assistant Professor of Biology in the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, has published the paper “Genetic Analysis of the Aspergillus flavus Vegetative Compatibility Group to Which a Biological Control Agent That Limits Aflatoxin Contamination in U.S. Crops Belongs” in the September issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 81(17): 5889-5899 (http://aem.asm.org/content/81/17/5889.full ).

Faculty note: Dalke and Hunt presentation on mustangs vs domestics

Karen Dalke, lecturer in Public and Environmental Affairs recently presented a co-authored article with Megan Olson Hunt, assistant professor of Natural and Applied Sciences, titled “Mustangs and Domestic Horses: Examining What We Think We Know About Differences.” The presentation was made at the International Society for Anthro-zoology in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Using the United States Geographical Survey (USGS) ethogram for Free-Roaming Feral Horses, this study examines behaviors of Bureau of Land Management mustangs and domestic horses. Over 26,000 behavioral images were analyzed and sorted into 15 categories. Continuous focal sampling at one-minute intervals captured behaviors for six equids over a one-month period. Results suggest that over time, mustangs behave similarly to fully domesticated horses, indicating that adoption is a feasible option for America’s thousands of wild mustangs.

Faculty note: Currier publication on magmatic mechanics

Assistant Prof. Ryan Currier of Natural and Applied Sciences has received word his paper will be published in the September 2015 issue of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. The paper “Mapping real time growth of experimental laccoliths: The effect of solidification on the mechanics of magmatic intrusion” is the first publication based on experiments performed at UWGB, some with students. The main driver of this research is that magma chambers form inside the crust, and are not typically directly observed. Even the old, cold magma chambers that are now exposed at the surface are difficult to study in full. In Currier’s experiments, he created scaled-down magmatic intrusions (using molten wax as magma and gelatin as crust) to observe how magma chambers grow through time. The results could be helpful in developing new field studies of ancient magma chambers.