Barak Lab seeks Research Specialist

Dr. Barak‘s laboratory is seeking a research specialist. Applications must be received by October 30, 2014. Please see UW Position Vacancy Listing #81106 for complete information.

Dr. Barak’s laboratory is working with a laboratory-scale electrodialysis stack to concentrate the ammonium cation (NH4+) in a synthetic wastewater stream. Under the direction of the laboratory manager, this position will work with real wastewater samples to test methods of ammonia recovery from the concentrated product stream.

A B.S. degree in environmental science, civil engineering, chemistry, soil science, or a similar field is preferred. One to two years of laboratory experience is required. The desired candidate will have familiarity with general laboratory techniques including solution preparation, weighing, pipetting, and following standard operating procedures. Experience using computer software packages for word processing and spreadsheets required. Candidates must have a valid WI driver’s license with the expectation of getting UW driver authorization upon hire or the ability to provide their own transportation to transport samples on the job. Work requires lifting 20 liter carboys of solution (40 lbs.). Samples are collected at a local wastewater treatment plant and/or manure digester. The individual must be willing to work with this type of sample.


Wisconsin Science Festival: Oct. 16-19

Come to campus this weekend for the Wisconsin Science Festival to learn about science and art through interactive exhibits, hands-on workshops, lectures, demonstrations, and conversations with leading researchers and creative thinkers. Free and open to the public, there are programs for all ages. Bill Bland will be a panelist for “Climate Change: Many Lines of Evidence, One Conclusion” at the Discovery Building on Saturday at 12:00-1:30 p.m. Alfred Hartemink will present “The Soils of Wisconsin” on Sunday at 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Discovery Building. For more information and a full program of events, visit

Prof. Long to Speak at Weston Roundtable Series

long_smProfessor Sharon Long will be presenting a lecture, “What’s in Your Water? Fecal Source Tracking for Drinking Water” on Thursday, Sept. 25, as part of the Weston Roundtable Lecture Series. The lecture will be at 1106 Mechanical Engineering, 1513 University Avenue at 4:15-5:15, and is free and open to the public. Visit the Weston Roundtable Series website for more information.

Professor Emeritus John T. Murdock Remembered

Murdock webProfessor Emeritus John T. Murdock died suddenly on August 29, 2014, at his home in Murray, Kentucky at the age of 86 years old. He earned his BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Kentucky in 1951 and 1952, and his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1955 under the guidance of Professor L. E. Englebert. He went on to direct the PhD programs of three future faculty members of the college: Leo M. Walsh, Ronald Doersch, and Wayne R. Kussow.

John was appointed as an assistant professor in 1955, promoted to associate in 1960, and to full professor in 1968, at which time he was also named assistant director of International Agricultural Programs of the college. From 1973 to 1975, he was the associate director of International Agricultural Programs, and from 1975 to 1980, the president and executive director of the Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities (MUCIA). John retired after serving as chair of the Department of Soil Science from 1988-1991. His institution-building efforts in Brazil and Indonesia had great impact on colleges of agriculture in those countries and led to his being awarded an honorary doctorate from Institut Pertanian Bogor, Bogor, Indonesia, in 1985, and Doutor Honoris Causa from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2014.

John visited the department regularly after retiring, updating us on his renovations to barns on the family farm, and his efforts at developing the catfish farming industry in his part of Kentucky. On one visit he paused at my office door, said hello, and observed, “Bill, I got out of here in the nick of time – every room I look in, there are folks just staring at computer screens.” –Bill Bland, chair of the Department of Soil Science