Wednesday Nite @ the Lab
Joan Houston Hall, chief editor of The Dictionary of American Regional English at UW-Madison, explores whether American English is becoming “homogenized” by the media and the mobility of the American population. Based on fieldwork and a collection of written materials, DARE includes terms that we use that are “normal” to us but that may not be understood by people in other places.
Eric Carson, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at UW-Extension, shares his research of the Driftless Area of southwest Wisconsin--known for its unique lack of glacial deposits. The landscape of the Driftless Area owes its form to long-term erosion by stream systems that have incised into the Paleozoic bedrock.
Danielle Benden, academic curator in the Department of Anthropology at UW-Madison, explores the mystery behind a 1000-year-old mission site in the Village of Trempealeau, Wisconsin. Colonists, called Mississippian peoples by archaeologists, arrived from America’s first city, Cahokia, near modern day St. Louis, Missouri, 750 miles away, in dugout canoes.
Harold Tobin, a professor in the Department of Geoscience at UW-Madison, discusses the March 11, 2011 earthquake and trans-Pacific tsunami, the causes and history of these mega-earthquakes, and what took place beneath the waves. Tobin explores how the tsunami warning system worked and how this event triggered a reassessment of the hazard presented by such undersea faults around the world.
Dave Nelson, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry at UW-Madison, and Lauren Kroiz, an assistant professor in the Department of Art History at UW-Madison, discuss the John Steuart Curry mural “The Social Benefits of Research in Biochemistry” which depicts discoveries by researchers Stephen Babcock, E.B. Hart, Harry Steenbock, and E.V. McCollum.
Tamara Thomsen, a maritime archaeologist at the Wisconsin Historical Society, dives into the wreck of the largest wooden bulk carrier ever built, the Appomattox. The ship, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, lies on the bottom of Lake Michigan less than 200 feet off shore at Atwater Beach in the village of Shorewood, north of Milwaukee.
Dave Hart, a hydrogeologist with the Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey, takes us on a tour of the geothermal resources in Wisconsin.
Chris Hittinger, an assistant professor in the Department of Genetics at UW-Madison, discusses a recently discovered yeast in the Andean forests of Patagonia, Argentina. The yeast, Saccharomyces eubayanus, fused with a S. cerevisiae ale yeast and evolved into the modern lager yeast that brewers use around the world.
Ken Cameron, an associate professor in the Botany Department at UW-Madison and the director of the Wisconsin State Herbarium, presents an overview of the evolution, relationships, identity, and natural history of Vanilla orchids and other related orchids.
Nancy Keller, a professor of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at UW-Madison, introduces Aspergillus, a genus of fungi, well known to human kind due to the inclusion of harmful pathogens, industrial workhorses, food and beverage microbes and genetic models. This genus of fungus is known for its production of biologically active natural products that are either harmful or helpful to humankind.