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Articles by Denise

Recent Publications

Surprise, It's Not Just About Food!
in Isthmus, September 2011

Surprise, It's Not Just About Food!

Cutting the Forest to Save It

Staying Sharp as a Fencing Champion

Now I Lay Me Down To...

Can You Buy Happiness?

Tera Johnson's Big Idea

Spreading the Love

The Ant Man

The Author: Illinois School District 21 Winter Newsletter

Global Warming Hits Madison!

The Godmother of Goat Cheese

Climate change: What Experts Expect for the Upper Midwest

Denise is a freelance journalist, writing for a variety of publications. Denise has been published in the Wisconsin State Journal and the University of Wisconsin's On Wisconsin magazine among others. Check back to see Denise's most recent articles.

 

Vincent Smith has been studying urban agriculture in Madison

When Vincent Smith came to Madison to study urban agriculture, he picked fertile ground. Gardening is a growth industry here. One in three Madison-area households grows some of its own food. There is a waiting list for plots in many of the area's 50 community gardens, and there are more than 40 organizations involved in local food production, with some of that produce going to food pantries.

Smith is the first person to systematically study how much area gardeners are producing and why. According to his findings, Madison-area gardeners cultivated 48,184 food-producing gardens on 6.5 million square feet of ground to produce $9.4 million of food in 2010, but whittling their grocery bill had little to do with why most seeded, weeded and watered. Read more.

Cutting the Forest to Save It
in Odyssey, April 2011

For a preview of this article click here. For the full article see Volume 20, Issue 4, pages 32-35 of Odyssey.

Madelon Rosenfeld ’71: Staying Sharp as a Fencing Champion
in On Wisconsin, Spring 2011

During her workday, Madelon Rosenfeld ’71 alternates between hearing cases that come before the New York City Environmental Control Board and arbitrating for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. When she hangs up her judge’s robes, the sixty-one-year-old puts on a white fencing jacket and assumes the mantle of a national fencing champion.

Rosenfeld has always been competitive, but her early focus was on academics and social justice. “In Madison, the only exercise I got was during anti-war marches,” she says. “I’ve gotten more physically active in the second half of my life.” Read more.

Now I Lay Me Down To...
in Isthmus, Winter 2010

By any measure, Donna Pahuski takes her health seriously. At 51, she exercises at least 45 minutes each day and makes good eating choices. So when she gained 20 pounds and her sleep became increasingly restless, at first she blamed it on menopause.

"But I thought it was interesting that after the hot flashes were gone, I was still such a poor sleeper," she remembers. "So when I saw my doctor two years ago, I mentioned possible sleep apnea. He suggested that the easiest way to check was for my husband to watch me sleep, but he falls asleep before I do. The other option was to come in for an overnight sleep test, but I wasn't eager to take the time, so I let it go." Read more.

Can You Buy Happiness?
in On Wisconsin, Fall 2010

How much cash do you need to be content? The answer may not be based on how you count it, but rather on how you spend it.

Thomas DeLeire, an associate professor of public affairs and population health sciences, decided to sidestep the somewhat abstract controversy over how much income it takes to be happy. “We wanted to drill down a bit and learn what people do with their money that leads to greater happiness,” he says. Read more.

Tera Johnson's Big Idea
in Isthmus, Summer 2010

Tera Johnson

Tera Johnson begins the tour of her one-of-a-kind organic whey processing plant at its back entrance, in front of a double-wide delivery bay. Here, on busy days, 20 tanker trucks roll in to deliver up to a million pounds of the sloshy cheese byproduct.

Wisconsin Specialty Protein, which opened early last year, occupies an eight-acre section of the Reedsburg industrial park, strategically located in the middle of exceptionally productive dairy country and a carefully protected network of Baraboo River Valley wetlands. Read more.

Spreading the Love
in On Wisconsin, Spring 2010

Since giving up the practice of law to found the National Mustard Museum, Barry Levenson makes a compelling case for his chosen condiment.

On October 28, 1986, at 2:30 a.m., Barry Levenson MA’73, JD’74, streaming tears, pushed an empty shopping cart through the deserted aisles of Woodman’s grocery store on the east side of Madison. He was mourning a close call and ultimate World Series loss by his beloved Boston Red Sox. Read more.

The Ant Man
in Isthmus, Spring 2010

The long, windowless room is uncomfortably warm and humid. The counters and shelves are filled with Tupperware boxes, like the ones people use to store sweaters under their beds. But these boxes are filled with gray mold and crawling with leaf-cutter ants.

Don't run for a can of Raid. Instead, cross your fingers and hope that the keeper of these ants, UW-Madison associate professor of bacteriology Cameron Currie, can tease secret recipes for cheap biofuel out of these teeming ant tunnels. Read more.

The Author: Illinois School Distrcit 21 Winter Newsletter

The Children of District 21

Here’s a writing assignment Denise looks forward to every quarter, The Author, newsletter for School District 21, one of the finest in greater Chicago. It encompasses 13 schools from preschool to 8th grade. Working with a large percentage of English language learners in their classrooms, this district lays the groundwork for real life-long learning. Denise love to shine a light on their hard work and achievement and let their community know they have a school system they can count on. To read the winter edition of tne newsletter click here.

Global Warming Hits Madison!
in Isthmus, Winter 2010

Remember June 2008?

Madison recorded almost 11 inches of rain that month, easily breaking the previous June record set way back in 1869. Flood damage to homes, businesses, roads, bridges and water treatment plants in southern Wisconsin totaled $766 million, making it the most costly natural disaster in Wisconsin history.

This drenching came as no surprise to Steve Vavrus, a senior scientist at the UW-Madison Center for Climatic Research and a member of the WICCI Climate Working Group. "That was not a rogue thunderstorm," he says confidently. "We will be seeing more of these in the future." Read more.

Also check out the Isthmus's introduction welcoming Denise to their writing team.

Anne Topham

The Godmother of Goat Cheese
in On Wisconsin magazine, Summer 2009

When Anne Topham gave up academia to make the perfect chèvre, she had no idea that a herd of other artisans would follow in her footsteps.

Anne Topham ’63, MA’65 did not set out to become the Midwest’s godmother of goat cheese, but she has earned the title. Hailed by the New York Times as Wisconsin’s grande dame of chèvre, a soft goat cheese originating in France, she is acclaimed by foodies far and wide for helping launch the area’s artisanal cheese upsurge. Read more.

 

Climate change: What Experts Expect for the Upper Midwest
in The Organic Broadcaster, July/August 2009

We’ve all read the headlines trumpeting the destructive potential of global warming, filled with phrases like melting ice caps, rising sea levels, and devastating tropical storms. But what is this going to mean to those of us farming in the Midwest over the coming decades, and what can we do now to meet these challenges?

The Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI), completed a 9-part seminar series in June 2009 titled “Bracing for Impact.” The University of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and other state agencies and institutions have pooled resources to present cutting-edge climate predictions. Their goal: to develop practical information that can guide all decision makers from government organizations to individuals. Read more.

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