Agriculture as a Liberal Art

Please join us next Friday, May 5 at 1:15 PM in 351 Moore Hall, where Dr. Mary Saunders Bulan from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC, will present on “Agriculture as a Liberal Art: Teaching Undergraduates on a Campus Farm”. Attendance is encouraged for all persons interested in this topic.
This is the fourth and final seminar in our Women in Plant Science Talk Series, which is supported by the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI), as well as the departments of Agronomy, Botany, Horticulture, Plant Breeding, and Plant Pathology.

We will also be hosting a Q&A pizza lunch with Dr. Saunders Bulan prior to her talk on Friday, May 5 at 12 PM, also in 351 Moore Hall. This will be an opportunity for students to learn more about her experiences, advice to young scientists, and perspectives on the advancement of women in plant science.

To help us estimate attendance and pizza needs, please click here to sign up for the Q&A session

Dr. Saunders Bulan is also available to meet with faculty, staff, and students one-on-one on Thursday the 4th and Friday the 5th. If you’d like to meet with her, please sign up on the following sheet

Categories: Uncategorized

Two interesting public lectures

A World Without Soil
Jo Handelsman, director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, discusses whether we can preserve this precious resource.

Thursday, February 16, at 7:30 p.m.
Discovery Building
330 North Orchard Street

Register for this event

The Life Beneath Our Feet: Respecting and Protecting a Critical Resource
Steve Ventura, Gaylord Nelson Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Soil Science; Director of the Land Tenure Center

Monday, February 27, at 7pm
H.F. DeLuca Forum
Discovery Building
330 North Orchard Street

Categories: Announcements Events

Microbiome meta-lab meeting 2Feb, 9-10:30a, 1205 MSB

We will have our first soil microbiology meta-lab meeting next Thursday, Feb. 2, from 9-10:30 in MSB room 1205.

Meetings will be weekly now, as we are going to target the UW Microbiome initiative proposal, due March 15. The proposed schedule is below:

2 Feb – Introductions / Overview of microbiotron idea and lab goals/visions for the system / Assignments
9 Feb – Assignment 1 – What apparatus is already out there?
16 Feb – Assignment 2 – What’s state of the art for characterizing microbes?
23 Feb – Develop proposed project outline / Assign initial sections to write, and budgeting
2 Mar – Review draft budget / Review first draft of text / Assign remaining sections to write
9 Mar – Review full draft of text and budget / Assign tasks for polishing
14 Mar – Proposal submitted

Categories: Lab Only

Jackson Lab members on the radio

Bioenergy crops and nitrogen fertilizer-concerns and solutions 11.28.16
Bioenergy crops and soil nutrition 7.27.15
Moving from corn to perennial grasses biofuels 3.30.15
Exploring perennial crops biofuels 1.25.15
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center 1.30.13
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center crop trials 11.28.12
How do you judge a sustainable biofuel 4.28.09

Categories: agriculture ecosystems Announcements cropping Events grasses

Wisconsin Ecology (9.12.16)

CPEP Seminars: Regional Climate Modeling of Vegetation Feedbacks on the Asian-Australian Monsoon Systems details

Date: Tues, Sept 13, 2016 @ 1:00pm
Speaker: Michael Notaro, UW-Madison
Location: AOSS Room 1039, 1225 W. Dayton St.

JF Crow Institution Evolution Seminars: The genetic causes of the evolution of Drosophila courtship song details

Date: Thurs, Sept 15, 2016 @ 12:00pm
Speaker: David Stern, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Location: 1360 Genetics/Biotech, 425 Henry Mall

Weston Roundtable Series: Hurricanes and Climate: What we know and how well we know it details

Date: Thurs, Sept 15, 2016 @ 4:15pm
Speaker: James Kossin, NOAA Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, UW-Madison
Location: 1163 Mechanical Engineering, 1513 University Ave.

Entomology Seminars: Zika virus details

Date: Fri, Sept 16, 2016 @ 12:00pm
Speaker: Matt Aliota, UW-Madison
Location: 150 Russell Labs, 1630 Linden Dr.

Biology Colloquium: Spontaneous green biodiversity in modern society – evolution and taxonomy of weeds in parking lots, fields, and news media details

Date: Fri, Sept 16, 2016 @ 3:30pm
Speaker: Lena Struwe, Rutgers
Location: B302 Birge Hall, 430 Lincoln Dr.

Categories: Announcements

More for less in pastures

https://www.agronomy.org/story/more-less-pastures

Getting more for less is an attractive concept. But it isn’t that easy when it comes to producing more food on less land with fewer resources.

Cattle grazing in pasture

Cattle grazing multi-species pasture mixtures. Photo credit Lou Saporito, ARS.

R. Howard Skinner has been researching this idea of more for less in agriculture. Skinner is a physiological plant ecologist and member of the USDA-ARS-Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit. He’s been looking into how to increase the amount of forage (grasses and plants that animals eat) pastures can grow. If a piece of land can produce more forage, it can feed more cows. More cows mean more beef and milk.Previous studies suggest incorporating multiple types of plants in pastures is an effective way to increase the amount of forage. However, these studies varied in length. It hasn’t been possible to say for sure what long-term effect using multiple types of plants has on forage production. To learn more, Skinner spent nine years tracking the progress of multispecies pastures.

Skinner and his team at Pennsylvania State University Hawbecker Farm planted eight experimental paddocks. They planted four paddocks with orchard grass and white clover. Another four paddocks had a combination of chicory, orchardgrass, tall fescue, white clover, and alfalfa. When the plants reached a certain height, cows grazed in the paddocks.

ThMeasuring pasture grass

ARS technician Steve LaMar measures canopy height in early spring to determine when to put cattle on the pasture. Photo credit Lou Saporito, ARS.

e researchers collected samples of the forage before and after the cows grazed. This helped them estimate the amount of forage produced and determine what types of plants were present in the paddocks. Additionally, researchers collected soil samples to check on the plant roots and determine how much carbon was being stored in the soil.Skinner tracked changes in the amounts of each plant species over the course of the nine years. “We expected some of the species from the more complex mixture to disappear over time,” he explains. What he didn’t expect was the continued superior performance of the five-species mixture even after some of the species disappeared. “Initially I would have thought the loss of species from the more complex mixture was a negative, but this research suggests that by improving soil conditions, specifically soil organic matter, the initial inclusion of multiple species had a long-lasting positive effect even after species differences had disappeared.”

The five-species mixture produced, on average over the nine years, 31% more forage than the two-species mixture. This could be because the five-species mixtures were also storing more carbon in the soil than the two-species mixtures.

Grazing cattle in multi-species forage

Cattle grazing multi-species pasture mixtures. Photo credit Steve LaMar.

These results are encouraging, and reach beyond mere number of forage plants. Increased forage production means more beef and milk. And increased amounts of carbon stored in the soil also means the soil can hold more water.“The greatest challenge from climate change in the northeast probably has more to do with water availability (both too much and too little) than heat,” says Skinner. Incorporating multiple species into pastures may be able to help protect against runoff after heavy storms and against droughts during dry years.

Overall, this nine-year study supports previous findings that multispecies pastures can produce more forage, but there are still many more decade-long studies that need to be done. In the meantime, Skinner recommends researchers and land managers “select a few species with specific goals in mind,” but understand that many factors, including how the land was previously managed, will have a bearing on results.

Skinner’s research is published in Crop Science.

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Greta Landis has Grad Student SARE proposal funded!

Congratulations for having your proposal selected for funding!

2016 NCR SARE Review Proposal #:GSP16-023
Project Title: Facilitating grazing partnerships on Wisconsin’s public grasslands: Assessing plant communities and developing best practices
Project Coordinator: Greta Landis
Coordinator Organization: University of Wisconsin-Madison
SARE request: $9,607
Approved Amount: $9,607

Categories: Uncategorized

15-level colorblind-friendly palette

If, like me, you occasionally struggle with the tyranny of the 7-level colorblind friendly palette, you might be interested in this 15-level palette. For people with deuteranopia or protanopia, it resolves into shading series of black, yellow, and blue, which is pretty neat.

The palette came from this blog post, which references this site. There are two cases where the listed RGB numbers didn’t match the color; the code below matches the image instead. If you run both lines in R, you should get a pie chart that shows you all of the colors.

With overly-hyphenated image-describing alt-text...

15-level colorblind-friendly color wheel

Enjoy!

pal <- c("#000000","#004949","#009292","#ff6db6","#ffb6db",
 "#490092","#006ddb","#b66dff","#6db6ff","#b6dbff",
 "#920000","#924900","#db6d00","#24ff24","#ffff6d")

pie(rep(1,15), col=pal)
Categories: Resources
Tags: , ,

R

We now have links to 1) R for Fledglings, and 2) R for Ecologists on the lab website Resources page.

Categories: Announcements

Wisconsin Ecology (4.25.16)

UPDATE FOR April 25, 2016

Upcoming Events

Limnology & Marine Science Seminars: Title TBA details

Date: Wed, Apr. 27, 2016 @ 12:00pm
Speaker: Colin Smith, UW-Madison
Location: 102 Water Science and Engr. Lab, 660 N. Park St.

JF Crow Institution Evolution Seminars
David Baum Lecture: Exploring the origin of multicellularity through experimental evolution details

Date: Thurs, Apr. 28, 2016 @ 12:00pm
Speaker: Will Ratcliff, Georgia Tech
Location: 1360 Genetics/Biotech, 425 Henry Mall

Biology Colloquium: A developmental perspective on radical changes in body plan organization details

Date: Thurs, Apr. 28, 2016 @ 3:30pm
Speaker: Mark Martindale, University of Florida
Location: 168 Noland Hall, 250 N. Mills St.

Weston Roundtable Series: Flatness, Farming and Flooding — Linking Land Use and Hydrology in the South American Plains details

Date: Thurs, Apr. 28, 2016 @ 4:15pm
Speaker: Esteban Jobbágy, Grupo de Estudios Ambientales, Universidad Nacional de San Luis and CONICET, Argentina
Location: 1153 Mechanical Engineering, 1513 University Ave.

Entomology Seminars: The artifice of flowers: Linking pollination behaviour and floral evolution details

Date: Fri, Apr. 29, 2016 @ 12:00pm
Speaker:Michael Whitehead, Melbourne University, Austrailia and UW-Milwaukee
Location: 150 Russell Labs, 1630 Linden Dr.

CPEP Seminars: Scientific and mechanistic processes models applied to Bayesian hierarchical paleoclimate reconstructions details

Date: Fri, Apr. 29, 2016 @ 1:30pm
Speaker: Gabriel Bromley and Ankur Desai, UW-Madison
Location: AOSS Room 811 1225 W. Dayton St.

19th Annual Aldo Leopold Lecture: Weaving the tapestry of ecology, public engagement, and social justice details

Date: Fri, Apr. 29, 2016 @ 3:00pm
Speaker: Nalini Nadkarni, University of Utah
Location: 125 Agriculture Hall, 1450 Linden Dr.

Yi-Fu Lecture Series: Over Vietnam: A History and Politics of Aerial Perspective details

Date: Fri, Apr. 29, 2016 @ 3:30pm
Speaker: David Biggs University of California – Riverside
Location: 180 Science Hall, 550 N. Park St.

Categories: Announcements

Wisconsin Ecology (4.18.16)

UPDATE FOR April 18, 2016

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER FOR THE
Tenth annual Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference:
Everyone’s Earth: Sharing Experiences on a Restless Planet
April 25th @ the Monona Terrace Convention Center
REGISTER NOW

Upcoming Events

Earth Day: How We Got Here and What Challenges Remain details

Date: Tues, Apr. 19, 2016 @ 7:00pm
Speaker: Tia Nelson – Managing Director for Climate, Outrider Foundation
Location: H.F. Deluca Forum, WID, 330 N Orchard St.

Limnology & Marine Science Seminars: Recent changes in lake nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations: where are we now? details

Date: Wed, Apr. 20, 2016 @ 12:00pm
Speaker: Samantha Oliver, UW-Madison
Location: 102 Water Science and Engr. Lab, 660 N. Park St.

JF Crow Institution Evolution Seminars: Demography and the evolution of recombination hotspots details

Date: Thurs, Apr. 21, 2016 @ 12:00pm
Speaker: Amy Dapper, UW-Madison
Location: 1360 Genetics/Biotech, 425 Henry Mall

Biology Colloquium: Bioactive small molecules made by symbiotic bacterial communities associated with marine invertebrates details

Date: Thurs, Apr. 21, 2016 @ 3:30pm
Speaker: Jason Kwan, UW–Pharmacy
Location: 168 Noland Hall, 250 N. Mills St.

Weston Roundtable Series: Vulnerability of Groundwater Resources in Bangladesh: The Interplay Between Dense Populations, Geologic Complexity, and Large-Scale Arsenic Contamination details

Date: Thurs, Apr. 21, 2016 @ 4:15pm
Speaker: Holly Michael, University of Delaware
Location: 1153 Mechanical Engineering, 1513 University Ave.

Entomology Seminars: Scientific and mechanistic processes models applied to Bayesian hierarchical paleoclimate reconstructions details

Date: Fri, Apr. 22, 2016 @ 12:00pm
Speaker:John Tipton, Colorado State University
Location: 150 Russell Labs, 1630 Linden Dr.

Forest & Wildlife Ecology Seminars: Welcome to Subirdia details

Date: Fri, Apr. 22, 2016 @ 3:00pm
Speaker: John Marzulff, University of Washington
Location: 104 Russell Labs, 1630 Linden Dr.

Yi-Fu Lecture Series: Assessing States, Differentiating Citizens: Perspectives on water services and evolving state-society relations in Accra, Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa details

Date: Fri, Apr. 22, 2016 @ 3:30pm
Speaker: Leila Harris, University of British Columbia
Location: 180 Science Hall, 550 N. Park St.

10TH ANNUAL NELSON INSTITUTE EARTH DAY CONFERENCE – EVERYONE’S EARTH: SHARING EXPERIENCES ON A RESTLESS PLANET register here

Date: Mon, Apr. 25, 2016 @ 7:30am
Featured Speakers: David Quammen, award winning science journalist; Carolyn Finney, leading scholar on diversity and the environment; and more.
Location: Monona Terrace Convention Center, 1 John Nolen Dr.

19th Annual Aldo Leopold Lecture: Weaving the tapestry of ecology, public engagement, and social justice details

Date: Fri, Apr. 29, 2016 @ 3:00pm
Speaker: Nalini Nadkarni, University of Utah
Location: 125 Agriculture Hall, 1450 Linden Dr.

Categories: Announcements

Biology Colloquim

This week’s Biology Colloquium will be given by Serita Frey, University of New Hampshire.

Title: “Soil microbes and global change: fungi in a warmer, fertilized earth.”

When: 3:30pm Thursday, April 14 (cookies & coffee from 3:15pm)

Where: Noland Hall room 168

Categories: Announcements

Wisconsin Ecology (4.11.16)

UPDATE FOR April 11, 2016

SAVE THE DATE: 19th Annual Aldo Leopold Lecture
Featuring Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, University of Utah
April 29th @ 3:00PM – 125 Ag Hall, 1450 Linden Dr.
See the flyer for more information.

Upcoming Events

Limnology & Marine Science Seminars: Title TBA details

Date: Wed, Apr. 13, 2016 @ 12:00pm
Speaker: Martin Perales & Luke Loken, UW-Madison
Location: 102 Water Science and Engr. Lab, 660 N. Park St.

Yahara Lakes 101: Managing increasing flood risk on the Yahara Lakes details

Date: Thurs, Apr. 14, 2016 @ 8:00am
Speaker: Ken Potter, UW-Madison
Location: Ballroom B The Edgewater, 1001 Wisconsin Place

JF Crow Institution Evolution Seminars: Chelicerate genomes, chelate appendages, and the conquest of land details

Date: Thurs, Apr. 14, 2016 @ 12:00pm
Speaker: Prashant Sharma, UW-Madison
Location: 1360 Genetics/Biotech, 425 Henry Mall

Biology Colloquium: Soil microbes and global change: fungi in a warmer, fertilized Earth details

Date: Thurs, Apr. 14, 2016 @ 3:30pm
Speaker: Serita Frey, UNH
Location: 168 Noland Hall, 250 N. Mills St.

Weston Roundtable Series: Can Engineering Be Sustainable? details

Date: Thurs, Apr. 14, 2016 @ 4:15pm
Speaker: Giri Venkataramanan, UW–Madison
Location: 1153 Mechanical Engineering, 1513 University Ave.

Entomology Seminars: The Japanese Beetle: spatial and microbial dimensions of an invasive soil insect details

Date: Fri, Apr. 15, 2016 @ 12:00pm
Speaker:Doug Richmond, Purdue University
Location: 150 Russell Labs, 1630 Linden Dr.

Forest & Wildlife Ecology Seminars: Grassland birds in Wisconsin: life (and death) in a fragmented landscape details

Date: Fri, Apr. 15, 2016 @ 3:00pm
Speaker: Chris Ribic, UW-Madison
Location: 104 Russell Labs, 1630 Linden Dr.

Yi-Fu Lecture Series: Title TBA details

Date: Fri, Apr. 15, 2016 @ 3:30pm
Speaker: Laura Pulido, University of Southern California
Location: 180 Science Hall, 550 N. Park St.

10TH ANNUAL NELSON INSTITUTE EARTH DAY CONFERENCE – EVERYONE’S EARTH: SHARING EXPERIENCES ON A RESTLESS PLANET register here

Date: Mon, Apr. 25, 2016 @ 7:30am
Featured Speakers: David Quammen, award winning science journalist; Carolyn Finney, leading scholar on diversity and the environment; and more.
Location: Monona Terrace and Convention Center, 1 John Nolen Dr.

19th Annual Aldo Leopold Lecture: Weaving the tapestry of ecology, public engagement, and social justice details

Date: Fri, Apr. 29, 2016 @ 3:00pm
Speaker: Nalini Nadkarni, University of Utah
Location: 125 Agriculture Hall, 1450 Linden Dr.

Ecological Restoration Work Party details

Date: Sat, Apr. 16, 2016
Location: Grady Tract parking lot

Categories: Announcements