July 20, 2008

On Campus: New Web Site All About Geology

By Deborah Ziff, The Wisconsin State Journal

Jul. 20--A new Web site is under construction to be a Wisconsin geologic Wikipedia of sorts, with user-generated content about rock exposures, fossils, sinkholes and more across the state.

Called the Wisconsin Geologic Record, the site is being created by geologists at UW-Richland, UW-Madison and the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey.

"It 's the first of its kind anywhere as far as we know, in that it 's a community-based geologic Web site that really tries to foster collaboration between professionals, students and the public," said Patrick McLaughlin, a UW-Extension geologist with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey.

The project is funded by a $30,000 grant from the

UW-Extension and UW

Colleges Program Innovation Fund.

The site, which is expected to be launched next spring or early summer, will use a Google Earth/Google Maps screen to allow people to look up geologic information about places in Wisconsin.

Like Wikipedia or Facebook, users will be able to add information, including digital images.

For instance, a "citizen geologist " who drives past a rock cut along the highway could add details about it to the site, or post a photo and ask other users for information, McLaughlin said.

"It will not only be a great resource for the community to learn about the rocks around them, but also a powerful research tool for geologists, " McLaughlin said.

Engineering transfer agreement to be signed

A new transfer agreement guarantees qualified Madison Area Technical College students admission to UW-Madison 's College of Engineering. Administrators from the two schools will sign the agreement Monday.

Qualified students could be admitted to chemical, civil, computer, electrical, industrial, mechanical and nuclear engineering programs.

MATC and UW-Madison also have a liberal arts transfer contract.

$1.6 million grant for

biomedical instrument

UW-Madison received a grant of $1.6 million to buy a high-end instrument that will be used to look at the structures of molecules in fine

detail and could help in the search for new antibiotics and drugs.

UW-Madison was one of 20 U.S. universities to get a grant from the National Center for Research Resources, a branch of the National Institutes of Health.

The instrument will be housed at the university 's National Magnetic Resonance Facility. The new instrument contains three technologies: a mass spectrometer, a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer and a liquid-chromatography system.

New UW-Extension

provost/vice chancellor

Christine J. Quinn has been named as the new provost/vice chancellor of UW-Extension. Quinn will replace interim provost Robin Shepard.

Since 2000, Quinn has been associate vice president for academic affairs at Winona State University.

She got her doctorate in education from the University of Minnesota.

-- Deborah Ziff


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