Story Time Comes to the UWSP Museum

Preschoolers can hear stories about animals, Earth Day, stars and trees this semester at the UWSP Museum of Natural History.

The program allows young children and their parents to experience natural history while learning about it. The program is free and open to the public, and books are read by a UWSP student. An adult must accompany children.

Story Time at the Museum will be held biweekly on Fridays from 10:30 am to 11:30 am beginning January 30 and running through May 8. Each session will have a different natural history theme with an activity or art project following the story.

Programs and book titles include:
January 30: Over and Under the Snow: Celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day with a tale about animals who stay warm in the winter by hibernating.

February 13: One Cool Friend: A boy secretly tries to keep a pet penguin in his New England home.

February 27: Over There: Mark National Wildlife Week with a story about a lonely shrew who becomes friends with a mole.

March 27: Stars: You don’t have to look at the sky to see stars.

April 10: Frog Song: April is National Frog Month and a great time to learn more about amphibians.

April 24: Ants in Your Pants, Worms in Your Plants: Learn how to help the planet for Earth Day.

May 8: Have You Seen Trees?: Plants and trees are budding again. Hear how trees change with the seasons.

Call 715-346-2858 to register, then meet at the museum on the first floor of the University Library at 900 Reserve Street.

Ghost Particle Program Comes to Planetarium
Discover how tiny and elusive particles found in Antarctica are uncovering the secrets of the cosmos in a new show at the Allen F. Blocher Planetarium.

“Chasing the Ghost Particle” will be offered at 2:00 pm on various Sundays through the winter. The dates for this show are January 25; February 1, 8, 15 and 22; and March 1, 8 and 29. (No shows will be held March 15 and 22.) The program is open to the public and free of charge.

The show explores how these tiny particles, called neutrinos, give scientists a look into exploding stars and black holes. Viewers will travel from the galaxies surrounding Earth to some of the most remote locations on the planet.

The planetarium doors open at 1:30 pm before each program. Designed for a general audience, planetarium programs appeal to all age groups. Seating is first come, first served for up to 60 people. Groups of 15 or more may schedule a special showing of any planetarium program by calling 715-346-2208. There is a cost of $25 per group for these special presentations.

On Monday evenings, the “Night Sky” planetarium program is held at 8:00 pm, offering a look at the current objects in the sky. An optional visit to the Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory for sky viewing through the telescope may follow if skies are clear.

The planetarium is located on the second floor of the UWSP Science Building at the corner of Reserve Street and Fourth Avenue.

Parking is available in Lot X near the building entrance, and is free in all university lots after 7:00 pm and on weekends.

For more information, log on to

Get Your Tickets for Taste of Wisconsin
Sample products from some of the state’s finest producers of potatoes, wine, cheese, beer, cranberries, meats and more at the annual Taste of Wisconsin.

The event will be held Friday, February 27 at 7:00 pm in the Laird Room of the Dreyfus University Center on campus. Participants must be 21 or older. Advance tickets are $25 for the general public and $20 for UWSP students. Tickets will increase by $5 on the day of the event, if any are available.

Past participants have included the Stevens Point Brewery, Three Lakes Winery, Portesi Pizza, Mullins Cheese, Capital Brewery and Nueske’s Meats and may vary each year. The event is sponsored by the UWSP Basement Brewhaus.

For tickets, contact University Information and Tickets in the Dreyfus University Center concourse, at 800-838-3378 or at

Professor Honored with Regent Scholar Award
UWSP professor Christopher Hartleb is among five people to receive new Regent Scholar awards from the UW System.

Hartleb, who teaches biology, will receive a $50,000 grant for an aquaponics research project with two private-sector partners. Aquaponics integrates fish and soil-less plant production.

“The project will provide research experience for undergraduate students while preparing a high-quality workforce for the growing aquaponics industry, focused on food safety, locally grown products and sustainable harvesting practices,” Hartleb said.

The UW System Regent Scholar program was introduced to recognize and reward innovative faculty-student research and to provide support for collaborative UW project initiatives with Wisconsin business and industry. It includes summer funding support for faculty to engage in research and other scholarly activities while stimulating innovation and industry outreach.

“These grants recognize and honor outside-the-box thinking by UW faculty and undergraduates across Wisconsin,” said UW System President Ray Cross. “The awards provide recognition at the highest level for work done by our dedicated and talented faculty to prepare a high-quality workforce for the 21st century economy and ultimately to accelerate business and community development statewide.”

The UWSP project will test the feasibility of producing hybrid walleye while also investigating plant crop choices that complement hybrid walleye culture in integrated aquaponics systems, Hartleb explained.

UWSP is working with two private-sector partners on this project. Northside Enterprises, a Black Creek commercial walleye producer, has developed a fast-growing hybrid walleye for Wisconsin’s aquaponics industry. Undergraduate researchers will assist with and learn the process for creating the hybrid walleye through cross-mating.

Once the fish are feed-trained, they will be transferred to UWSP’s new Aquaponics Innovation Center, being built at the expanded site of Nelson and Pade Inc., a national leader in aquaponics located in Montello. Students will complete two production cycles of hybrid walleye at the Aquaponics Innovation Center while investigating plant crop growth, compatibility and production.

UWSP’s Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility near Bayfield, which Hartleb directs, works closely with Northside Enterprises.

With aquaponics, fish provide nutrients for greens and other vegetables, which filter water so fish thrive without chemical additives.

“This is a transformational business opportunity for small- and large-scale food production globally,” Hartleb said, “[which is] an industry ripe for job growth.”

Hartleb and faculty members from UWs in Eau Claire, La Crosse, Milwaukee and River Falls will be honored by the Research, Economic Development and Innovation (REDI) Committee at the UW Board of Regents’ February 5 meeting in Madison.

“The Regent Scholar program was developed and designed to encourage cutting-edge undergraduate research projects that have the potential to lead to job creation and foster entrepreneurship,” said Regent Tim Higgins, chair of the REDI Committee. “These first recipients are shining examples of the innovative and exciting work that is being done on our UW campuses.”

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