These experts from the UW-Madison faculty and staff have agreed to comment on breaking news, ongoing developments and trends in their areas of expertise. If you need help arranging interviews, email University Communications.
Experts on today’s news…
Cliff Robb on: Budgeting for holiday spending
Cliff A. Robb, faculty director of the Consumer Finance & Financial Planning, can discuss strategies to stick to a budget.
"The holidays and New Years are great areas for consumer financial behavior," Robb says. "We can certainly consider the stressors of managing our expectations and how this can put a strain on budgets. Consumers should have a well-articulated plan for how much they can afford to spend on gifts and work within that framework. For the coming new year, making the decision to improve one's financial fitness is always a good resolution, as we can take stock of where we are financially and think about starting new, positive habits."
Barbara Ingham on: Talking turkey
Barbara Ingham, a professor of food science, can talk about food safety during the holidays, particularly how to thaw and cook your turkey safely as well as making sure your leftovers are still safe and delicious. Tips can be found at https://fyi.uwex.edu/safepreserving/.
Angela Pakes Ahlman on: Keystone Pipeline oil spill.
More than 200,000 gallons of oil leaked Thursday from the Keystone Pipeline in northeastern South Dakota. Geological engineer Angela Pakes of UW–Madison's Grainger Institute for Engineering is available to discuss the management and cleanup of spills, as well as how plans are developed to prevent and contain the release of oil and other environmental contaminants.
Liam Gumley on: open access to JPSS-1 polar satellite data
On November 15, 2017, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA plans to launch the JPSS-1 satellite, the first in a new generation of polar-orbiting satellites. Once in orbit, JPSS-1 will circle the planet 14 times a day and increase the timeliness and accuracy of weather forecasts within 3-to-7 days of severe weather events. It will also support a broad range of environmental monitoring applications including weather analysis and forecasting, climate research and prediction, volcanic eruption monitoring, forest fire detection, global sea surface temperature measurements, and more. Gumley works to direct-broadcast satellite data like that which will come from JPSS-1. He can discuss why the data are free, who can access it, what open access has meant for other countries, the product development it has supported and more.
Natalia de Leon on: Less adaptable corn
UW–Madison Professor of Agronomy Natalia de Leon can speak about a new study showing that artificial selection by crop breeders has constricted the pool of possibilities for North American corn varieties. De Leon and her fellow researchers conclude that the existing corn varieties are strong and stable, but are less flexible in their ability to respond to various stresses. At the same time, these corn populations might have a reduced ability to contribute to breeding programs that seek to create new varieties adapted to novel environments.
R. Chris Williamson on: Fighting emerald ash borer
R. Chris Williamson, an expert on invasive insect species, can discuss how the UW-Madison Department of Entomology is fighting to protect Wisconsin's 700 million ash trees from a deadly beetle, the emerald ash borer. The larvae of this organism are infecting and killing trees across the Northeast and throughout the Midwest. Watch a video at https://youtu.be/Ywm_-5JaX1s.