Science for Everyone is a collaborative effort of Riveredge Nature Center, Lac Lawrann Conservancy and the UWM Field Station to engage, educate and increase public awareness regarding a wide variety of science, history and environment related topics.  The programs are for the curious of any age and are open to the public. We encourage presenters to give lectures that will both educate and entertain. Presentations held from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m, 3rd and 4th Tuesdays Jan-May and Sept-Nov. These programs are FREE and open to the public, a $5 donation is suggested.


The Milwaukee River and How Ozaukee Co. has Changed It for the Better

January 20, 2015 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Riveredge Nature Center)

Come, learn and enjoy words and photos about how Ozaukee County rose to the challenge of improving the Milwaukee River in 2001, and, with the help of many, removed dams and built a fish passage to improve the water quality and habitats for all the critters that use, and/or live in and near the river.  Join Jerry Kiesow, as he teaches us how even the smallest changes can affect the river and its vitality.

Floating Islands: Surrogate Fish Habitat in the Milwaukee River Estuary

January 27, 2015 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Lac Lawrann Conservancy)

An estimated 80% of native Great Lakes fish rely on wetlands for part of their lifecycle. Due to industrialization, large areas of the Milwaukee River Estuary no longer have the wetlands upon which the fish rely. An innovative technology called Floating Islands is a promising solution. As a blend of synthetic and natural floating media that bio-mimics wetlands, the Floating Islands provide protected shelter and food sources for fish. Mike Marek of Marek Landscaping, LLC will discuss the firm’s experience fabricating, installing, and maintaining Floating Islands at four sites within the Milwaukee River estuary, and the exciting results and potential of these applications.

Green Building Basics

February 17, 2015 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Riveredge Nature Center)

It seems that there’s a lot of talk about Green Building these days, but what does that really mean? Korinne Haeffel, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance will help attendees understand what a green building is, why it is important for building owners and occupants, and how you can start to green your built environment today.

How Telescopes Changed Our Understanding Of The Universe

February 24, 2015 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Lac Lawrann Conservancy)

400 years ago, before telescopes, our understanding of the universe was very different. We believed that we live on a spherical ball orbited by the rest of a finite, spherical universe. We believed that Earth does not move and is the center of the universe; the Sun orbits the Earth, as do all the other planets and the Moon, and the stars are distant objects, always perfect and unchanging.

How did telescopes unlock the secrets of the universe and help us toward the understanding we have today where Earth is no longer at the center of the universe? How did telescopes help us to know that ours is a small planet orbiting a star in the suburbs of a large galaxy filled with billions of other stars and planets, surrounded by billions of other galaxies becoming increasingly ever distant from each other by the expansion of space?

This is the story of how telescopes continuously changed our understanding of the universe and our place in it – transforming our view of our universe. And we still have much more to discover!

Regenerative Gardening: How to Make it Work for You

March 17, 2015 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Riveredge Nature Center)

Authors Bryce Ruddock and Daniel Halsey have created the first, and most comprehensive, book about plant guilds, covering in detail both what guilds are and how to design and construct them, in their book Integrated Forest Gardening: the Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems.  One of the essential practices of permaculture is to develop perennial agricultural systems that thrive over several decades without expensive and harmful inputs. These systems include perennial-plant guilds, food forests, agroforestry, and mixed animal-and woody-species polycultures.  Join us, as these experts discuss regenerative agriculture techniques that can be practiced by everyone on their own urban, suburban, or rural sites.   

What are Farmers Doing to Conserve and Protect Water, Soil, Air, and Wildlife Habitat?

March 24, 2015 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Lac Lawrann Conservancy)

There is a growing concern over the possible impacts of agriculture on natural resources. Across Wisconsin, farmers face the challenge of making their operation profitable, while conserving, protecting, and improving natural resources through sound farming practices. There are many conservation practices that farmers are adopting to successfully conserve and protect the quality of the water, soil, and  air, as well as to protect wildlife habitat. During this session participants will become familiar with some of these conservation practices such as crop rotation, residue management, contour farming, cover crop, field border, managed grazing, grassed waterway, nutrient management, and feed management and how these conservation efforts work to balance the environmental needs with the people needs.

Living with Nature & How to Deal with Pesky Critters

April 21, 2015 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Riveredge Nature Center)

Saukville and the surrounding area has an abundance of wildlife, including fox, coyote, deer, rabbits, and turkey, oftentimes in our back yard! However, these wild neighbors can prove problematic, with woodpeckers destroying cedar siding, geese and turkey causing a mess, and raccoons helping themselves to our garbage. We enjoy their antics and respect these animals, but it can be frustrating when we experience the negative aspects of human/wildlife interactions. Join Dianne Robinson, DNR Wildlife Specialist, as she discusses the benefits and detriments to living in close quarters with these wild critters, and the different ways we can live in harmony with them.

Native Flowers: Their 2014 Blooming Times and Fauna They Attract

April 28, 2015 @ 7:00-8:30 pm (Lac Lawrann Conservancy)

Gary Britton, retired UW-Washington County mathematics professor and past-president of Friends of Lac Lawrann, will show photos of flowers, birds and insects taken during 2014 in his prairie, woodland and rain gardens.  Weekly data collected in 2014 depicting the blooming period of over 200 flora species will be shown.  All of the pictures and data are from a five acre parcel in the town of Polk, Washington County.   Earlier pictures of the prairie garden and its flowers were included in the 2010 landscape book, Prairie-Style Gardens, by Lynn Steiner.

Prairies: Continuing the Legacy of a Wisconsin Ecosystem

May 19, 2015 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Riveredge Nature Center)

Join Riveredge’s Senior Naturalist, Mandie Zopp, as she discusses past, current, and future prairie management practices.   Her talk will include discussion on the creating of the Riveredge prairies, what Riveredge is currently doing to manage their prairies, and what the future of prairie management might look like in the years to come. 

Asian Carp: What are They and What’s Being Done About Them?

 May 26,2015 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Lac Lawrann Conservancy)

Asian carp have received much news coverage as they march up the Illinois River toward the Great Lakes. Join Wisconsin Sea Grant’s Fisheries Specialist, Titus Seilheimer, for an informative talk on this group of invasive species. You will learn how they got here, what they eat, and why we’re worried about them. Here’s a hint, we’re not just worried about the jumping! The presentation will also describe some of the research that is being done right now to slow and stop the spread of these species.

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