Photos: UW-Green Bay joins Door County ‘BioBlitz’ event

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin held a 12-hour “BioBlitz” in late June at the Europe Bay Woods State Natural Area in Newport State Park, Door County. The Cofrin Center of Biodiversity contributed the participation of several scientists to the effort, which also attracted help from UW-Madison, DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife personnel along with about 50 citizen volunteers. They estimate as many as 350 species, or more, were documented. The group’s website has many nice snapshots, including pics of Profs. Bob Howe and Dan Meinhardt and staff member Gary Fewless in action. See more here.

Go Green! Edible landscaping is tasty success at heart of campus

There were buyers standing in line on July 2 for the first harvest from the campus garden planted in the formerly overgrown landscape planters on the plaza atop the Student Services Building. A warm spring and a wet June led to the bumper harvest. The fledgling student organization SLO Food Alliance — SLO stands for Sustainable Local Organic — plans occasional on-campus “farmers’ markets” on a self-serve basis near the Dean of Students Office. The first sale of early-season crops included lettuce, peas, beets, zucchini, red and yellow onions, and Swiss chard. Click here for a full Campus Garden photo gallery.

For a quick sampling of images, click thumbnails below to enter slideshow view.

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Wildenberg brings language expertise to UW-Green Bay faculty

Jeremy WildenbergJeremy Wildenberg is a first-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, who serves as a reminder that non-traditional students often bring a knowledge that adds to the academic experience.

In his case, he’s teaching Arabic to UW-Green Bay educators.

Wildenberg, age 35, a Little Chute native, spent 14 years in the U.S. Army as a linguistics expert — studying Russian and then Arabic at the Defensive Language Institute in Monterey, Calif.

After returning to the area, Wildenberg began teaching a non-credit course in Arabic at St. Norbert College. Among his students were members of the UW-Green Bay faculty and staff who are involved with the establishment of the Center for Middle East Studies and Partnerships.

“I love working with language and learning about other cultures,” Wildenberg said. “And once you’re exposed to another culture, it shatters the stereotypes.”

Wildenberg joined the Army Reserves while still in high school and when he signed up for active duty, he was set to become a mechanic. However, an aptitude test showed that he has a remarkable proficiency for language.

He was assigned to the program in California, which he calls one of the most prestigious language programs. Not only do students learn to write and speak a language, they learn the history and culture of other nations. Wildenberg’s specialty was Russian.

However, it’s a changing world and as U.S. interests expanded to other parts of the globe, he was asked to switch to another language. Five days before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he chose to learn Arabic, which is especially difficult because not only does it flow right to left, it doesn’t have a familiar alphabet. He served out the rest of his enlistment putting his language skills to use on behalf of his country.

Because there isn’t yet a great call here for Arabic and Russian linguists, Wildenberg decided to pursue a degree in education. He has chosen to add Spanish to his linguistic palette.

“It dawned on me that I can make an impact by promoting cultural awareness through language,” Wildenberg said. “I believe that a Middle Eastern studies department is critical and it is essential to learn other languages.”

Activist/Author Loeb to visit in Fall on ‘Leadership’

In conjunction with the 2010-11 Common Theme, “The Leadership Question,” author Paul Loeb will visit the UW-Green Bay campus next fall to discuss how each of us can act upon our deepest beliefs and make a difference. Loeb, who has been writing about citizen activism for almost four decades, has recently revised his Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in Challenging Times. He will offer a public presentation in the Phoenix Room on Sept. 30, conduct a staff and faculty workshop on Oct. 1, and meet with First-Year Seminar students on both days. He’ll also be the featured speaker at Maximum U. Day, UW-Green Bay’s annual student leadership conference, on Oct. 2. There will be more information in late summer.

UW-Green Bay seniors signing ‘Green graduation pledge’

The Public and Environmental Affairs program is helping promote the Green Ribbon graduation pledge among May 2010 grads. Departing seniors are invited to stop at the PEA office on the third floor of MAC Hall to sign the pledge statement (located on Pam Schoen’s counter in the reception area) any time Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They’ll get green ribbons to wear on their robes in return, signifying their support of the following statement: “I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.”

UW-Green Bay students prepare for global summit

More than 200 University of Wisconsin-Green Bay students will participate Monday, April 19, in the annual UN Global Summit.

The summit will take place 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Phoenix Room and the 1965 Room. The public is welcome and invited to watch as students address some of the most pressing issues facing the planet.

In keeping with UW-Green Bay’s Common Theme — “Realizing our Sustainable Future” — the focus of this summit is global sustainability in areas such as the economy, environment and equity.

Students divided into teams of six will represent 38 nations — some large, some small — some that are already superpowers and some that are emerging nations. All confront issues that require alliances with other nations.

The students come from the classes of political science professors Katia Levintova and Sara Rinfret. When they begin preparing for this assignment most students have limited knowledge of the nations they’ll represent. But as they prepare for the summit they begin to understand the issues that are important to “their” nation.

“There are very few political science majors (among the students), so the learning curve is quite steep,” Levintova says. “But it’s great to see how they begin to care about their country and how they want to create alliances to address major issues.”

Both say it’s satisfying to see students come to understand that the issues confronting one nation may be shared by another, or legitimately conflict with the needs of a third country. They begin to understand that global issues aren’t simple headlines, but complex stories.

And just like the real United Nations, these disputes can become emotional. A nearby room is reserved as a quiet room where delegates can meet and yelling is not permitted.

In a related matter, teaching assistants who have helped Rinfret and Levintova prepare for Monday’s summit, will be raising funds to aid the victims of the Haitian earthquake.

When the summit concludes, students will write papers about the experience and demonstrate what they’ve learned about global issues and politics.

“I’m sometimes amazed at the level of sophistication that develops,” Rinfret said. “Our goal is to help them understand the importance and process of forming global alliances.”


Annual Baird Creek clean-up is this Saturday

It’s a community tradition, one which a fair number of UW-Green Bay employees and students have typically supported. It’s the 12th annual Baird Creek parkway clean-up, part of Earth Week 2010, scheduled for Saturday (April 17) from 9 a.m. to noon. Home base is Triangle Hill (500 Beverly Road, just off Baird Creek Road) hosted by the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation. Bring gloves; garbage bags will be provided. Questions about the clean-up or the foundation may be directed to Maureen Meinhardt at (920) 328-3505 or

Here comes the judge: Social Work panel

Social Work class panel discussion

Brown County Judge Mark Warpinski, Green Bay Police Detective Rod Dubois and Brown County Human Services Supervisor Frances Bass spent a class period with UW-Green Bay Social Work majors (Social Work Method III) last week. Lecturer Gail Trimberger served as a moderator for the panel discussion arranged by Prof. Doreen Higgins. The program’s 39 graduating May 2010 seniors were able to gather a better understanding of what their working relationship with local agencies might entail once they enter the field.

‘Affluenza’ co-author visits UW-Green Bay on Earth Day

David Wann, co-author of the best-selling book Affluenza, and author of Simple Prosperity, will kick off the Green Innovations 2010 symposium, “Realizing Our Sustainable Future,” on April 22 and 23.

Wann’s presentation, “The New Normal: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle,” will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, in the Phoenix Room of the University Union at UW-Green Bay. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Green Innovations 2010 is hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI) during Earth Week. The sustainability symposium is a campus Common Theme event.

Affluenza, the book and public television show of the same name, raises questions about America’s overload of debt, stress, and waste resulting from pursuit of more at any cost. Wann shares provocative exploration of the social and environmental cost of materialism and over-consumption and what can be done about it.

Wann is the author of nine books, including Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle, a sequel to Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic, which is now printed in nine languages. In his new book, The New Normal: Tools for an Affordable Civilization, Wann suggests that accomplishing little things won’t be enough to save the planet.

“We need to be political, culture-shifting, on the lookout for how our way of life can be more closely aligned with ‘the real wealth’ and the core values that should be guiding us, if our culture wasn’t broken,” Wann says.

Wann is the co-designer of the co-housing neighborhood of Harmony Village in Golden, Col., where he lives. He has been a college lecturer, and worked more than a decade as a policy analyst for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Green Innovations 2010 symposium continues on Friday, April 23, at the Meadows Conference Center, 850 Kepler Drive, Green Bay, with a full day’s events and breakout sessions on sustainability in transportation, wind energy, regional health, regional sustainability and water management.

It will bring together many regional and state leaders who are behind the “green economy.” Among the symposium features:

• Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank is scheduled to offer introductory remarks.

• Keynote presentations: “Embracing the Triple Bottom Line” panel discussion by local business leaders; “Building a Regional Sustainability Vision” by Jeff Rafn, president of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College; “Water Management” by Doug McLaughlin, principal research scientist, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement.

• Networking opportunities with investors, community leaders, business leaders, educators and students.

• Awarding of the new “UW-Green Bay Alumni Earth Caretaker Award.”

Registration deadline for Green Innovations 2010 is Monday, April 19, 2010. A $99 fee includes materials, lunch, breaks and parking. Payment is due at time of registration or online registration is available at or by calling 920-496-2117.


Feature story: Hoops star Hoewisch helps special fan win by losing

Zach Heugel is one of Phoenix basketball’s biggest fans, standing and cheering from his family’s seats at nearly every home game. The son of UW-Green Bay alumnus and Founders Association president John Heugel, Zach also struggles with a cognitive disability. Social interaction, motivation and physical fitness can be difficult. But, with the help of a current member of the NCAA-bound women’s team who is studying exercise science, Zach is feeling (and looking) great. It’s a wonderful story, in rotation this week in our front-page feature section, click here.