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Wednesday, May 29, 2024


The Rocky Mountain National Park is one of over 400 national parks directed by Jonathan Jarvis. He has been the current director of the National Park Service since 2009.

NPS director talks centennial goals, sexual harassment claims

In a nearly packed Shannon Hall Monday night, Director of the National Parks Service Jonathan Jarvis took the stage as part of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies’ Jordahl Public Lands lecture to address the NPS centennial and recent sexual harassment allegations surrounding park employees.

Dr. Nadia Drake, a contributing writer for National Geographic, began her talk Friday with a chemistry experiment.

Nadia Drake advises aspiring science writers with personal insights

Friday afternoon’s conversation with Dr. Nadia Drake, the Fall 2016 UW-Madison Science Writer in Residence, began with an experiment in which a chemistry professor placed dry ice into six cylinders filled with colorful liquid. Waiting until the chemical reaction stopped, Drake went to the front and poured huge amounts of dry ice into a basin of hot water. Clouds of white fog came out of the container as condensed water vapor.

Aaron Satkoski used the UW-Madison Department of Geoscience's mass spectrometer to measure isotopes in samples collected from South Africa.

Chemical composition of oceans helps scientists understand ancient life

New research on the chemical composition of the ocean has shown that, 3.26 billion years ago, the continents were actually above water. This pieces together several other studies into a cohesive, big-picture idea of how the world once looked, according to Aaron Satkoski and his team of researchers who studied the chemical composition of erosion in the ocean back in 2013 in the Barite Valley, near Barberton, South Africa.

Post-doctoral fellow in the UW-Madison School of Nursing Dr. Traci Snedden, right, studies concussions. 

Study to connect concussions and academics

The stick hit the puck and the puck glided across the ice. As the blades on his skates did the same, Vaughn Kottler, a now junior at UW-Madison but an incoming high school junior at the time, scurried around the hockey rink at tryouts. Little did he know what was about to hit him. He was so fixated on the puck and his stick, doing his best to make the team, that he didn’t notice the other player and the side of the rink so close to him. Crash! His body—and head—hit the boards.

A regenerating Yellowstone forest, after the 1988 and 2000 fires. This demonstrates a loss of forest resilience.

Fires damage, help forests

Yellowstone National Park is the nation’s oldest national park, spanning one of the largest swathes of wilderness in America. It’s famed for its pristine landscape and iconic wildlife. As UW-Madison’s Eugene P. Odum professor of ecology Monica Turner states, Yellowstone is the “crown jewel” of American national parks. However, Yellowstone’s forests, along with forest ecosystems elsewhere, are in danger of climate change.

Asian jumping worms wiggle uniquely compared to other earthworms when touched or disturbed. 

Worms invade Wisconsin soils, potentially harm plants

While earthworms are generally welcomed in soils for their ability to break down dead leaves and other organic matter into nutrients the plants can absorb, the invasive Asian jumping worm does so at an astounding rate, potentially accelerating the losses of nutrients from soils and harming native plants.

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Urban heat island effect hits Madison

Urban heat island effect is a direct result of urbanization, through its conversion of pervious areas, or permeable surfaces that promise the growth of plants, into impervious areas, or hard surfaces like cement sidewalks or parking lots. The UHI effect means that the air in cities is warmer than the air in the countryside.

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Post-drought forest repair challenged

For more than a hundred years, Yellowstone has drawn millions to the American West. Each year, more than 3 million people visit the park, stopping for its 19,000-year-old geysers, its million-year-old mountains and its blankets of forests that look just as dense as they do in the hundred-year-old photos in the textbooks.

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