Yahara Watershed Videos

Wisconsin’s Yahara Watershed encompasses lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Wingra, and Kegonsa, and also includes the Lakeshore Nature Preserve.The UW-Madison Water Sustainability and Climate project created the Water Walk video series to provide a virtual tour of this beautiful area as well as to show how human activities impact the quality of water in the watershed.

Help fight invasive species with the Wisconsin First Detector Network

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University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Mark Renz and Tony Summers will be offering online training to the public on invasive species identification. For more information about the Wisconsin First Detector Network, please read their press release below.

Invasive species are expanding throughout the state of Wisconsin each year. While these species are often overlooked, they are impacting our state’s economy, environment, and even human health. Wisconsin’s First Detector Network (WIFDN) was established in 2014 to train citizen scientists help prevent these impacts by looking for and reporting invasive species. In the inaugural year we trained over 100 people that contributed over 700 hours towards this effort.
In 2015 we are seeking additional members to train (existing members can participate for free). What does it take to become a WIFDN volunteer?
1. Passion for protecting Wisconsin from invasive species

2. Register for training videos/webinars ($30 registration fee, see below)

3. Volunteer 24 hours of service towards invasive species monitoring or education

Participants will receive detailed training on invasive species biology, impacts, and identification as well as the opportunity to participate in projects specifically designed for WIFDN members.
It all begins March 13th with the first of 5 biweekly webinars.
Click here to register for the 2015 WIFDN training. Registration is $30 and open until March 26, 2015. If you cannot afford the registration limited scholarships are available please contact us!
See our website for more details about WIFDN and the training session: fyi.uwex.edu/wifdn
Tony Summers, WIFDN Coordinator; PHONE: 608 262-9570; asummers2@wisc.edu

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.

NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Renewals Due Soon

If your Conservation Stewardship Program contract is about to expire, then it is time to renew before September 12, 2014. Contact your local National Resources Conservation office. For more information, see the NRCS website.

The Interseeder: Adding flexibility to cover crop seeding

In Wisconsin, it is not easy to get your cover crop seeded after corn silage, corn grain, or soybean harvests. From Penn State, researchers have been working on equipment modifications to seed a cover crop while side-dressing a corn crop with nitrogen and applying a POST herbicide.

Rolling and Crimping Cover Crops

Under Cover Farmers is a video featuring farmers discussing how they use cover crops and specifically rolling-crimping for termination in a conventional system. The video is 28 minutes in length and was produced by the USDA-NRCS.

It’s worth taking a long coffee break and hearing what these farmers have to say.

Choose your own adventure cover crop symposium

If you haven’t heard enough about cover crops, then check out University of Missouri’s Cover Crop Symposium. The symposium was held on January 14, 2014. All of the talks have been posted in PDF and video formats. For a complete listing, go here.

To hear some Missouri farmers discuss how they use cover crops on their farms and what questions they would like addressed by researchers, check out their discussion panel.