University of Wisconsin Offers Six MOOCs

University of Wisconsin-Madison is going global this winter with six new MOOCs, not a cow moo with a cough, but Massive Open Online Courses. These are free, non-credit courses taught by UW-Madison faculty. To access the courses or read more about them, go to moocs.wisc.edu. The course schedule is as follows:

  • January 26 to February 22, The Land Ethic Reclaimed: Perceptive Hunting, Aldo Leopold and Conservation
  • February 23 to March 31, Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region
  • April 26 to May 23, Shakespeare in Community
  • June 21 to July 18, Energy and the Earth
  • September 30 to December 28, Forests and Humans: From the Midwest to Madagascar
  • November 9 to December 4, Climate Change Policy and Public Health

On the Bookshelf: Desert Farming

The journal Science just reviewed a new book discussing farming methods used at the fringes of the Gobi desert. The book, “Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land: Lessons from Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty” by Gary Paul Nabhan details growing practices for those farmers that produce crops with less than 20 inches of rainfall per year. For reference, the average yearly rainfall in Madison, Wisconsin is 32 inches. In the drought years of 1988, 1989, and 2012, the precipitation totals were 25, 23, and 27 inches per year.