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May 2013
Nominate Alums for Honors
Support CALS in "Birdathon"
Students Create Better Burgers
CALS Fun at Science Expeditions
Now Hiring - FISC Director
Book Award for Alum
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Inviting Your Comments on CALS' Future
new Dean Kathryn VandenBosch

What is CALS' mission, vision and priorities for the coming years? Last fall a committee led by Dean Kate VandenBosch consisting of administrative leadership, faculty, staff, students and stakeholders began a strategic planning process. The goal is to map a plan by which we at CALS can best harness our resources to fulfill our mission and address the grand challenges we all face as part of our statewide, national and global community.


Their work has resulted in a draft plan that we are publicizing for an open comment period running through Friday, May 3.


Dean VandenBosch invites you to review the plan and offer your comments online or by writing an email to

Nominate Alums for Service and Leadership Awards: Deadline May 24
Nominations are open for the 2013 CALS Honorary Recognition Award, Distinguished Service Award and Distinguished Alumni Award.

Information for each award and a listing of past honorees is available at (including those honored at least year's ceremony, posing with Dean Kate VandenBosch and Interim Chancellor David Ward, photo left). Nominations are due May 24. As you consider possible nominees, think about those individuals who have demonstrated leadership and been an inspiration to others in agriculture, natural resources and/or the life sciences.

Nomination forms can be found here. Contact for additional information.

Support CALS Teams in Wisconsin "Birdathon"     

WI Birdathon Logo
Two CALS teams will participate in the Great Wisconsin Birdathon, a joint effort between the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI) that supports bird conservation activities.

The first weekend in May, the student chapter of the Wildlife Society at UW-Madison will observe as many bird species in 24 hours as possible in the campus area. You can help the "Badger Birders" reach their fundraising goal of $750 for bird conservation here.

And on Friday, May 24, a group of CALS professors and UW Extension specialists, along with 20 undergrads in forest and wildlife ecology, will attempt to observe 100 bird species in 24 hours. The Northern Highlands Team of Scott Craven, Jamie Nack and David Drake will base their observation at Kemp Natural Resources Station in Woodruff. Their goal is to raise $3,000 for the event. You can support them on their team's website.


Students Help Gilly's Create A Tastier Burger    

The burger formulations were judged on overall beef flavor, bite/texture and juiciness.
Who appreciates burgers more than a college student? (The question is rhetorical.) Given the supply of student meat scientists being taught by renowned meat experts at CALS, it's no surprise that Gilly's Frozen Custard, a Wisconsin restaurant chain, asked CALS for help in developing a burger as delicious as their celebrated frozen custard.

Animal sciences professor and UW-Extension meat specialist Jeff Sindelar, food science lecturer Monica Theis and UW executive chef Jeff Orr led 18 students and one staff member as they created a "new and improved" burger for Gilly's.

The teams presented their formulations to members of the Gilly's leadership team, which ultimately chose "Burger E." The winning patty was created by Seth Schulz, an outreach specialist in the CALS Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory; food science undergrad Abbey Thiel; and food science graduate student Cherry Lam Wing Yu.


Great Fun at Science Expeditions     

CIAS Sciecne Expeditions
Members of the community enjoyed the 11th annual UW Science Expeditions April 5-7. CALS was out in full force with a candy-making demonstration, a lesson on cows turning grass into milk (from the Center for Integrated Ag Systems, photo left), an interactive station about soil and more.

You can watch a video from the event featuring two CALS students on the CALS YouTube channel.


CALS Participates in 24-Hour Campus Multimedia Blitz 

Our campus is a place of discovery, surprise, engagement and growing--every single day. What if everyone were asked to convey all those experiences, right as they happen, using their smartphones and other devices? That's what UW-Madison introduced last year with #UWRightNow--a multimedia effort to capture the breadth, depth and spirit of the UW via social media during 24 hours. The project was a great success, so this year, on April 17, we did it again. 


This year's theme was "Face to Face"--sharing the people, interactions, connections and faces that make UW-Madison an incredible place. CALS alumni, faculty, staff and students participated by tweeting images and sharing videos with the hashtag #UWRightNow. Take a look at these CALS-specific posts.   

Job Op: Director, Farm and Industry Short Course

CALS is seeking a new director to oversee the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC), a 16-week, credit-based academic program offering continuing ed and other instruction for a wide array of agricultural professionals and beginners. The curriculum covers crops, dairy, meat animals, soils, farm equipment, finance, management and marketing, along with activities accompanying residence in the program's dormitories. 

Experience in managing budgets, supervising staff and building partnerships with stakeholders will be essential to success in this position. More information about FISC can be found online

The full job posting is on the UW's Office of Human Resources website. The deadline for preferred consideration is May 1.

Alum Receives National Honor for Organic Seed Book  

We love to celebrate the accomplishments of our alumni. Recent we learned that  John Navazio PhD'94 (Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics) received the American Horticultural Society's annual Book Award for The Organic Seed Grower.

Food crop biodiversity--the book's core issue--is a critical topic for a broad audience, the award selection committee noted upon conferring the honor. Congratulations, Dr. Navazio!


Please share your own accomplishments and those of your fellow CALS alumni by emailing

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