One thing Ryan Bushong noticed about winter in Madison was the silence.  An enthusiastic birder, he hadn’t seen or heard any birds in months. “So when I looked out my dorm window …  and saw a large, white bird race past, I was shocked,” Bushong says. He rushed out of […]

Anyone can get involved in scientific discovery – and you ...

There’s a bike ride that still sticks with Edgar Spalding. “I stopped because there was an ovenbird, which is a six-inch to five-and-a-half-inch bird … that spends its summers in our forests and … goes to Central America and South America to spend the winter. It was dead on the […]

Staying green while going outside – and why it’s more ...

Legos - building blocks
“Criss-cross applesauce.” “If you hear me, clap once.” “Quiet time.” These may be familiar terms for those who went to school in the U.S. In between absorbing new topics and concepts, we are often told to be orderly, to wait, and to pay attention. It turns out that these waiting […]

Study shows that low-income kindergartners spend more time waiting

This post was written by student science writer Rachael Lee. A singer or a violinist’s performance produces sound waves that echo across a concert hall. A painter may mix different paint colors to create a new hue. Dancers use forces like gravity and inertia to produce stunning displays. At first […]

Blending the rules: how physics helps paint a new picture ...

Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continued to update its guidance following the publication of this post. The most up-to-date guidance can be found here.)  On December 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidance for some people who test positive for COVID-19. Instead […]

What should we make of the new CDC guidance for ...

From high-profile wildfires in the American West over the last several years, to visibly cleaner air during pandemic lock-downs, air quality is returning to the forefront of environmental concern. The air we breathe has direct impacts on human health and quality of life. Especially for people with respiratory concerns, sufficient […]

Air quality: from cities to space

researcher in protective clothing in flu lab 4
This post is by student science writer Rachael Lee. When Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers announced he’d tested positive for COVID-19, the news shocked football fans everywhere, in part because Rodgers had told the public he was “immunized.” Most people took that to mean he’d been “vaccinated.” However, Rodgers […]

“Immunized” or “Vaccinated”: What’s the difference?

This is the first post written by student science writer Emma Roberts. While Madison’s residents soaked up the above-average October temperatures, the heat has given some plants mixed signals. Instead of entering dormancy for the winter, some species have begun to rebloom. The lilac plants that bring many to the University […]

Mid-October’s high temperatures come with a consequence for lilacs and ...