Claus Moberg, a founder and CEO of SnowShoe Stamp, has a message for students: You can start a technology company without a STEM major. How does he know? Because he did it. He began with absolutely zero knowledge of computer coding or 3D printing; instead, he had a big idea and some serendipitous pocket change. Now, he runs SnowShoe Stamp, a rapidly growing tech company that could very well change the consumer world.
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Shiela Reaves’ office is exactly what you’d imagine a professor’s office to look like: cozily collegiate with books everywhere. There is an entire wall made up of bookshelves and there are stacks of books on the two desks in the office. When I mentioned to Reaves that I was interested in neuroaesthetics, the science of the visual brain, she began to whirl about her office, plucking books from piles and from the shelves.
This article is dedicated to Charles Darwin and David Baum. To Charles Darwin because his birthday is this week, February 12th, and to David Baum who exemplifies the humility and cleverness that Darwin himself possessed.
When I walked into the WISCIENCE office on Henry Mall, I wasn’t surprised to see a giant glass aquarium filled with potted plants basking in the glow of a U.V. light. After all, WISCIENCE stands for Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement. Thus, I was both pleased and unsurprised to discover that it took its biological responsibility very seriously, as evidenced by the plants. As the door behind me closed on a frigid winters day, I refrained from throwing myself under the light and instead, made my way to the office of Janet Branchaw, the director of WISCIENCE.
One of the great mysteries of modern science has been how when bacteria congregate in small numbers, they are relatively innocuous. However, when the amount of bacteria grows, it is as if a switch goes on and they go from being a clump of innocuous bacteria to synchronized, lethal killers.
Caroline VanSickle’s office was exactly what I would expect the office of an anthropologist to look like with a handkerchief-sized cloth printed with hominid skulls laying draped over a bookshelf and a tiny replica of a pelvis resting on top of the cloth. VanSickle herself sat in front of a computer that flicked through pictures of animals in their natural habitats. When I sat down and we started to chat, it was like I had known her for years, even though this was only the second time we had conversed.
The word “organic” is a buzzword in the whole foods/go natural movement. Prior to my interview with Erin Silva, associate director for the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, I had a narrow definition of what “organic” meant. I thought it was just food grown without pesticides typically found at places like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and the farmer’s market.
When I decided to write about UW’s Housing sustainability projects, I didn’t expect to get a two for one during my interview, but indeed that is what I got. The program manager for sustainability is a brand new position in the housing department, acting as a testament to the importance of sustainability on this campus, and Laura Shere is the first person to hold this esteemed title.
Imagine an underwater army of crustaceous lumberjacks chopping down the kelp forests on the floor bed of lakes with their large pincers. This isn’t something out of a science-fiction movie. This is how the Rusty Crayfish, an invasive species from Ohio River Basin, essentially deforested Sparkling Lake in Vilas County, Wisconsin.