Faculty note: Prof. Patrick Forsythe assists Australian research in publication involving amphibian breeding

Associate Prof. Patrick Forsythe (Biology) teamed-up with researchers from the University of Wollongong (School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences) in Australia to better understand the reproductive behavior of male and female red-backed toadlets. The research was published in the most recent issue of Behaviour. The site includes the abstract. The relative influence of climatic and

Patrick Forsythe and students tagging a northern pike.
Environmental Science and Biology students had a field day monitoring fish at a restored wetland on the west shore of Green Bay under the direction of Prof. Patrick Forsythe.

social factors on sex-specific variation in reproductive behavior remains poorly understood. Here, we examine the influence of multiple climatic cues in combination with a social cue on the reproductive behaviors of males and females in a terrestrial breeding toadlet (Pseudophryne coriacea). Over a 115-day breeding season, arrival patterns of each sex, and male calling activity, were recorded daily, while climatic variables were logged continuously. Multivariate analysis showed that arrival of males at the breeding site, as well as male nightly calling activity, were most strongly influenced by a climatic variable (rainfall). By contrast, female arrival was strongly correlated with a social variable (male calling activity), with abiotic conditions having no influence, other than a moderate influence of lunar phase (lunar illumination). These results suggest that cues used for breeding are sex-specific and provide new evidence that combinations of climatic and social cues can be integrated into breeding decisions.

STEAM Engine speaker series moves to the Weidner Center

STEAM Engine is a speaker series showcasing presentations on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. The series moves to the Weidner Center for Spring 2021. Previously, the series was held at Neville Public Museum. This Event is streaming Live from the Weidner Center Youtube Channel on March 11, 2021, at 7 p.m.

UW-Green Bay student awarded honorable mention for research collected for the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program

At this week’s Wisconsin Wetlands Association Conference (Feb. 16-19), Cofrin Center for Biodiversity student, Britney Hirsch (’20), presented a poster entitled “Anuran occurrences in high and low water within the Lower Green Bay and Fox River AOC.” Her research poster won the Honorable Mention Award in the Student Poster Presentation competition at the conference. She presented results on anuran (frog/toad) data collected for the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program, a project that Cofrin Center’s Robert Howe and Erin Giese have co-led with other institutions for the past decade. Hirsch was one of four students from the Cofrin Center who conducted anuran and bird surveys during the spring and summer of 2020.

Britney Hirsch
Britney Hirsch

Texas energy woes thrust state to center of climate policy debate | KTVL

“When you have an emergency situation, it causes people to rethink a lot of fundamentals about energy generation,” said Michael Kraft, a professor emeritus of political science and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and author of several books on environmental policy.

Source: Texas energy woes thrust state to center of climate policy debate | KTVL

‘Virtual Field Trip’ gives Green Bay high schoolers the chance to explore college options | WFRV

“Actual face-to-face tours haven’t necessarily been possible for large groups of students,” Vice President of College Advancement Dr. Aliesha Crowe explained, “we’re in the tech hall where we actually have students in the lab.”

UW-Green Bay also participated in the day’s virtual tours.

Source: “Virtual Field Trip” gives Green Bay high schoolers the chance to explore college options | WFRV

Wombat Wocketry adds video as it looks for more student members

The Sheboygan Campus rocket team (Wombat Wocketry) is looking for new members to join for this year’s launch competition. No previous experience or course of study is required. The team is simply looking for enthusiasm and willingness to work together. They recently completed a small scale test launch.

See more at the post, including a video of a rocket launch.

Erin Weimann

An Engineer Breaking the Mold

Sometimes you have to first take a well-worn path before embarking on the road less traveled.

For Erin Weimann, that path was a career in education. “My original interest was in teaching math.” So she began with a semester in Cardinal Stritch (in Milwaukee) and another semester in Lakeland. And came to a realization. “Then I realized I really didn’t want to teach math. So I decided to take some time and see what I really want to do.”

Erin Weimann
Erin Weimann

That “time” stretched to eight years. But she was neither wandering or lost. Weimann was hired at an international manufacturer of automotive components, with a factory in Sheboygan. What started out as “just a job” evolved into “maybe a career” in mechanical engineering. “I got promoted really quick to an assistant supervisor and moved up the ladder to an engineering specialist role.”

And it was a role that not a lot of women aspired. Even as she progressed in the company, Weimann had to constantly prove her worth to her peers. “The guy who was training me, I passed him up pretty quick. He ended up being told he could learn a lot from me.”

Weimann started working more with maintenance and engineering. And discovered she not only had a talent but a passion for engineering. But this was a career that demanded credentials to progress—specifically a bachelor’s degree. “There was one engineer I was working with and he had earned his degree as an adult. So I decided this is what I want to do.”

At that time, in 2018,  the mechanical engineering program at the UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus, was a collaborative degree with Platteville. She had meetings with an advisor and developed a plan of action based on what classes were offered when and where. Not easy, but doable.

But it was the merger of UW-Green Bay and the Sheboygan Campus that really made the program more viable.

“I could just stay in Sheboygan and that was extremely exciting for me. The fact that it’s all local and I don’t have to drive down to Platteville is awesome.”

Plus no need to prove herself all over again. “My advisors and professors have been super supportive. They’ve worked with me if I wasn’t able to attend a class I was able to work on my own.”

While designing is one of the main attractions to pursuing a mechanical engineer degree. Weimann’s approach has always been more hands-on. “More like let’s design it, build it and test it. Let’s do everything.”

Add to that Weimann’s “everything” also includes as raising a young daughter and working full time as a Supplier Engineer at Vollrath—a commercial food-service equipment fabricator with a 150-year history in Sheboygan—all while earning her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

“My hope is, because I go very part-time, to graduate by 2024.” Her plan continues— now designed, built and tested.

Video: ‘Wombat Wocketry’ looks for more student members for this year’s launch competition

The Sheboygan Campus rocket team (Wombat Wocketry) is looking for new members to join for this year’s launch competition. No previous experience or course of study is required. The team is simply looking for enthusiasm and willingness to work together. They recently completed a small scale test launch.

Watch the video.

Students in or near Sheboygan can be involved at what level of time investment that is comfortable for them. The Sheboygan team and a team based in the main campus each design and build a semi-custom high-powered rocket every year for the Collegiate Rocket Launch competition through the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium. T

The rockets go hundreds of feet in the air and have different mission objectives each year. Participation can lead to scholarships, NASA internships, and working on our other rocket team to build payloads for real NASA flights. The Sheboygan team currently meets Tuesdays and Fridays at 2 p.m. in the Mechanical Engineering Lab (times subject to change). Ask us how you can still participate virtually or if you cannot make the meetings. Send questions about the Sheboygan team to Prof. Dirienzo at dirienzw@uwgb.edu or the main campus team to Prof. Welsch at welschb@uwgb.edu.

The Farmory celebrates graduates of first aquaculture tech cohort

UW-Green Bay partner, The Farmory, will celebrate the graduation of the first cohort of its FarmoryWorks Aquaculture Technician Certification Program. The 12-week certification program began on November 1, combining virtual lessons with in-person training and skill building. The program covered topics such as biosecurity, water quality monitoring, aquaculture systems, fish health and husbandry practices, and fingerling production. Program participants have built professional and technical skills, learned about various aspects of aquaculture and aquaponics, and gained experience working in a commercial hatchery.

Recruitment is currently under way for the second cohort of aspiring Aquaculture Technicians. Interested individuals can learn more about the program and participation requirements, as well as apply for program participation, on The Farmory’s website: www.farmory.org.

Recruitment is also under way for the new FarmoryWorks Aquaculture Entrepreneur program, where participants will gain the valuable information and insight to start or expand their own sustainable aquaculture businesses. The FarmoryWorks programs are available thanks to generous funding from local donors including donations made by The Brown County United Way and Associated Bank, and a grant from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, which includes the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs, the J. J. Keller Foundation and donors of the Community Foundation.