Eco-municipalities expert Lahti to present lecture, discussion April 28

An award-winning author and international leader in sustainable community planning and development will share his knowledge with a presentation and discussion from 9-10:30 a.m. Monday, April 28 in Alumni Rooms A and B of the University Union at UW-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

Torbjörn Lahti is trained as an urban planner, and during the past 30 years he has provided education and consulting in the “eco-municipality” systems approach to sustainable development — including with a number of communities across Wisconsin. The initiator of Sweden’s national association of eco-municipalities, Sekom, Lahti is the author of several books on the subject, and is co-director of the Institute for Eco-municipality Education and Assistance.

Lahti’s presentation is supported by UW-Green Bay’s Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI), the Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance (NEW ERA) and the University of Wisconsin-Extension. It is free and open to the public.

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Bedrock work uncovers new info, ancient faults

Geoscience Prof. John Luczaj is the man responsible for the first comprehensive map of Brown County’s bedrock, part of a statewide project commissioned by the State of Wisconsin and the U.S. Geologic Survey.

The resultant map should be of value to citizens concerned about bacterial contamination in shallow wells; to those who mine crushed stone; and to land-use planners considering aquifer issues, groundwater recharge, and the potential for water and pollutants to travel comparatively quickly through fractured bedrock.

“There are a number of people who need to know about the subsurface: People who are putting in utilities like water pipelines or gas pipelines, they need to know how deep it is to bedrock. People who are operating quarries, they want to know where resources are. People who are trying to figure our groundwater resources and how groundwater contaminates might move. If you don’t understand the subsurface geology you’re not going to have a handle on what those groundwater characteristics look like, how the groundwater is going to move,” Luczaj says.

Luczaj (pronounced LOOCH-eye) and his team inspected outcrops and quarries, core samples from drilling, and well-construction reports. His grant also allowed for a visit by a heavy-duty, earth-shaking “vibra” truck — perhaps the first seismic testing of its kind in Wisconsin, Luczaj says.

The in-ground sonogram helped confirm the existence of long-suspected faults — no longer active and likely millions of years old — in the sedimentary rock that underlies much of Brown County.

Despite roughly 100 feet of vertical displacement, the plates are entirely stable and of direct interest only to groundwater researchers… and, indirectly, to Packers fans, as a curiosity. One of the faults, several hundred feet deep, is believed to run in the general vicinity of Lambeau Field.

Luczaj’s research team included geologists and GIS/database specialists, as well as UW-Green Bay students. The project, more than two years in the making, was supported by $250,000 in grants from the US. Geologic Survey and the UW-Extension state survey, known as the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey.

Luczaj joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 2005. He was previously a senior scientist and data manager with American Hydrogeology Corp. He holds a Ph.D. and master’s in geology from Johns Hopkins University in addition to a master’s from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s from UW-Oshkosh.

His mapping project began in the eastern half of Brown County, where relatively less was known about the stratigraphy of sedimentary rocks that are up to nearly 1,500 feet thick in places, and where few wells are deep enough to approach the pre-Cambrian “basement.” The second-year investigation centered mainly on western parts of the county.

A simple version of Luczaj’s Brown County map can be found online.

UW Extension targets resources, info on drought

The northern two-thirds of Wisconsin has received significant rainfall in recent weeks, but southern sections are hard hit by continuing drought. Chancellor Ray Cross at UW Colleges and UW-Extension is advertising Extension as a clearinghouse for drought-related services and info. He points interested Wisconsin citizens to the following websites:

http://ready.wi.gov/ — This is the Wisconsin Emergency Management’s one-stop place for information related to all aspects of the drought.

http://farmertofarmer.uwex.edu/ — At this online marketplace, farmers in short supply of hay, forage and corn supplies can get help. There’s also a new feature on that site, which Cooperative Extension just created, to help drought-stricken farmers move their livestock to literally greener pastures.

http://fyi.uwex.edu/drought2012/ — The UW-Extension Drought 2012 website.

UW-Green Bay among campuses offering new online health information degree

UW-Green Bay is one of four System campuses working with the UW-Extension to offer a new online degree. Applications are being accepted now for the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Technology degree, which offers two tracks to prepare students for careers in health information management and health information technology. It’s one of the fastest growing professions, officials say, and trained professionals are in demand. Students can receive their degrees through UW-Green Bay, UW-Parkside and UW-Stevens Point. UW-La Crosse also will contribute courses. Visit http://himt.wisconsin.edu or click here below to learn more.

Cooperative Extension has new regional director

UW System’s Cooperative Extension has a new regional director. Gerald Correthers assumes his new duties Friday, March 16. Correthers comes to Green Bay from the University of Illinois Extension, where he served as the Northwest Regional director since 1993. Prior to that, he worked for Michigan State University Extension as the associate regional director in the Upper Peninsula. The Cooperative Extension East-Metro Regional Office is located on the 7th floor of the Cofrin Library.

March 16 also marks the official formation of the 17-county East-Metro region, which combines the counties of the former Eastern District and Quad Counties, bordering Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan corridor.