Monday, September 28, 2009

Celebrate the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week 2009

Saturday September 26th marked the start of the national Banned Books Week 2009. Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.

This week AquaLog will be featuring posts related to this very important event.

To start, here is the offical Web site from the American Library Association that includes a list of the most frequently challenged books.

And read Dave Zweifel's recent column on intellectual freedom on Newspapers are another important player in the freedom to read and in support of our first amendment rights.

Look on AquaLog for more on intellectual freedom in the coming days.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Water found on the moon!

AquaLog doesn't typically highlight water stories in outer space but this looks fascinating. It also illustrates how science can still be surprised! Have a look a the photos and imagine life on the moon!


NPR story

Interview with USGS scientist about the finding

Thursday, September 24, 2009

An intersection of EATING, BOOKS, and SCIENCE

Tonight is Michael Pollan's big talk at the Kohl Center at UW Madison as part of the Go Big Read program. It's happening at 7pm. There has been much news, resources and information out about the common book reading but AquaLog just stumble across a new favorite:

Center for Integrated Agricultural Sciences Go Big Read site.

I like this site because it accomplishes a lot simply.

This AquaLog writer is looking forward to volunteering tonight at the Kohl Center - hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Migratory Birds of the Great Lakes

Here is a beautiful and interesting way to learn about the incredible birds that live this region of the country. The University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute created a Web site as a resource for people interested in birds and the Great Lakes.

Learn more about issues challenging Great Lakes migratory birds and related UW Sea Grant-funded activities. Funding provided by the National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the State of Wisconsin.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New climate change resource launched

The Water Research Foundation, a member-supported, international, nonprofit organization that sponsors research to enable water utilities, public health agencies, and other professionals to provide safe and affordable drinking water to consumers, has launched a new climate change clearinghouse for water professionals.

The Water Research Foundation has undertaken the Climate Change Strategic Initiative to establish a research program focused on impacts of climate change on water supplies. This clearinghouse is part of that initiative.

Link to site.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Adult fiction reading, from the Water Library

Wisconsin has been enjoying a lovely dry spell of late summer weather this month. That's not great for the farmers but outdoor enthusiasts like bikers and boaters, love it. There is a chance of rain this weekend, so why not pick up a water-related fiction book? We have a new reading list with some of our titles.

Any Wisconsin resident can borrow materials from the Water Library. Just ask!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

'People of the Sturgeon' book launch this Sunday

This Sunday, September 20th will mark the official launch of the new book, PEOPLE OF THE STURGEON, WISCONSIN'S LOVE AFFAIR WITH AN ANCIENT FISH. The event will begin at 4pm and will feature Sea Grant's very own Kathleen Schmitt Kline and Fred Binkowski, along with Ron Bruch from the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources. The coauthors will detail a few of the book’s topics in their presentation and recollect some of their personal favorite tales. Following the presentation, the authors will open the discussion and sign copies of the book.

If you are unable to attend the event on Sunday, you can order the book today, already signed by the coauthors. Visit the ASC Pubs store.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Robert McCloskey!

Today, September 15th, is the birthdate of the late, great children's book author and illustrator, Robert McCloskey. Though Mr. McCloskey authored and illustrated only eight of his own books and illustrated ten written by others, he received two Caldecott awards, three Caldecott honors, and countless accolades for his body of work.

His most famous books is MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS, about a family of mallard ducks living in Boston Public Garden. The Water Library has a copy for loan available. McCloskey's book, BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL, has a special place in the heart of the Water Library staff as it has been the favorite of both my daughters.

This quote attributed to McCLoskey sums up what might have been his appeal: "But I'm not a nut, really, as anybody can see. I have one foot resting on reality and the other foot planted firmly on a banana peel."

His biographical sketch in Wikipedia is here.

Brief biography here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Study Reveals Dynamic Wisconsin Climate, Past and Future

A very important study has just been released from the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that big changes are in store for Wisconsin’s weather during the next century. The future climate projections were developed through the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies in support of the Wisconsin Initiative for Climate Change Impacts (WICCI), a partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and others to assess the potential impacts of climate change on Wisconsin industry, natural resources and human health.

Read the full text of the press release.

Two authors will be speaking at a community forum tomorrow at the Nelson Institute. Information on that forum is found here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Water Library featured in ENVIRONMENT

A column just out in ENVIRONMENT magazine - BYES OF NOTE - is all about the microblogging Web site, Twitter, the latest rage in social media. Written by George Clark, a librarian at Harvard University, the article is an excellent summary of Twitter: how it works, what it's good for, and he introduces some great Twitter resources around the country with environmental themes.

Wisconsin's Water Library began a Twitter feed in June and now has 69 followers. Library staff sends tweets on water- and library-related events, news, resources. The article features the library's Twitter feed.

If you would like to follow the library on Twitter, create an account and use this account:

Read Clark's entire article here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Finding Solutions to a Mysterious Corrosion Harbor Problem

A recent article written by Kathleen Schmitt Kline and Gene Clark, both of Wisconsin Sea Grant, is featured in the 2009 Wisconsin Great Lakes Chronicle, a publication from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program. The article details studies of the corrosion issues found in the Duluth-Superior Harbor. The results of the studies will be beneficial for all facility managers around the Great Lakes as they consider
repair alternatives for prolonging the useful lives of their docks and supporting structures.

Read the full text of the article here.

For more information about the ongoing studies on corrosion, visit Wisconsin Sea Grant's Web site.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Today in Wisconsin History

From the Wisconsin Historical Society, "On this day in Wisconsin History" (a favorite site of the staff at the Water Library):

1860 - Sinking of the Lady Elgin
On this date the steamship Lady Elgin was lost on Lake Michigan and was one of the lake's most tragic maritime disasters. The ship had been chartered by Milwaukee's Irish Union Guards who had been in Chicago attending a fund raiser in order to purchase weapons to arm their unit. Their ship was struck by an unlit lumber schooner and sank. At least 300 lives were lost, many from Milwaukee's Irish Third Ward community. [Source: History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin's Historical Markers edited by Sarah Davis McBride, p. 17]

Study finds that half of the fish consumed globally is farmed

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 50% of all fish consumed today comes from fish grown on fish farms. The study found that demand is creating the push to produce more fish for human consumption.

The full text should be available online shortly, on the PNAS web site. Read more about the study at the Stanford University.

To read about Wisconsin Sea Grant's efforts in aquaculture, visit our aquaculture page.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Swimming in the Great Lakes? Look Out for Rip Currents

An important message from Wisconsin Sea Grant:

MILWAUKEE (09/03/09) -- Whether wading off a beach or training for a triathlon, Great Lakes swimmers need to beware of hazardous rip currents. These narrow, fast-moving channels of water can be just as dangerous as those at ocean beaches, overpowering even the strongest swimmers. Last summer, a Sheboygan teenager drowned while swimming in Lake Michigan when he was unable to return to shore.

“Rip currents are a significant concern for swimmers at Great Lakes beaches,” said University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Water Safety Specialist James Lubner. “They can occur in many places, when waves push water up on beaches. That water then flows back toward the lake, sometimes forming a strong current.”

Not even the strongest swimmers can successfully swim directly against the current, but escaping from the current is possible if one knows how, Lubner said.

“The key is to swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current, then swim at an angle away from the current and towards shore” he said. “The currents are relatively narrow streams of water moving straight away from shore. So swimming parallel to shore will get you out of the current quickly.”

“The important thing is not to panic,” Lubner emphasized. He also cautioned swimmers and boaters to remember that the cold waters of the Great Lakes can sap a person’s energy quickly through hypothermia.

The University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute annually provides Great Lakes public beaches with free informational posters and brochures about rip currents in both English and Spanish. The brochure in English is available online at or in Spanish at

From the Water Library: new books

Fall is slowing creeping into Madison and with it, the chilly air. As it becomes colder here, Water Library staff tend to sit down and get reading. We have many new books for you to try on a wide range of subjects relating to water: boathouses on the Mississippi, Great Lakes shipwrecks, GIS cartography, fish, hydrogeology.

Check it out!

And remember, Wisconsin's Water Library will lend to any Wisconsin resident as well as to students, staff and faculty in the UW system. For more information on how to borrow books, just Ask Water.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Film on water

The Water Library has noted there is an incredible new film out, addressing the important issues relating to our Great Lakes.

WATERLIFE A film by Kevin McMahon

WATERLIFE follows the epic cascade of the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. From the icy cliffs of Lake Superior to the ornate fountains of Chicago to the sewers of Windsor, this feature-length documentary tells the story of the last huge supply (20 per cent) of fresh water on Earth.

Web site
Watch the trailer here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Teacher training opportunities

Educator Workshop and Events from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are now listed online on the EEK Web site. There are events on climate chance, water, critters, and more.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Upcoming conference of note

The 6th biennial State of Lake Michigan and the 9th annual Great Lakes Beach Association Conference will be held jointly at the Hyatt Regency, located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. The agenda looks great and includes:

* Two plenary sessions
* Twenty-three topical sessions with 150 oral presentations
* A poster paper dinner reception
* An optional dinner reception with live music at Discovery World
* Your choice of five field trips
* A Virtual Beach-Model Builder Workshop
* Adjunct meetings of the Lake Michign LaMP Forum, the Lake Michigan Monitoring Coordination Council, the Lake Michigan Stakeholders, the Beach Health Interagency Coordination Team, and the U.S. Areas of Concern

Full details and registration information is available.