Nerd Nite Winona #34: Drumlines, Housing & Carbon Credits

Coming to No Name Bar on Wednesday, February 28th is Nerd Nite #34. Join us at 7:30 PM to learn from our speakers:

Talk #1 – Little Warriors Drumline by Andre Bailey
Since 2019, Little Warriors Drumline has been a free activity in Winona that brings kids together with music. The group started out practicing on Menards buckets but has now grown to almost 100 members aged 6-17 who perform over 50 times per year at events like Steamboat Days, Midwest Music Fest, and Game Day Experience at Winona State. Come hear more about this amazing group from founder Andre Bailey!

Andre Bailey is one of the founders and instructors of Little Warriors Drumline. He and his wife, co-founder Tara Bailey, received the 2023 John A. Latsch award from Winona’s Human Rights Commission. The award honors organizations that have helped “reduce barriers to persons of protected classes and have fought discrimination…”.

Talk #2 – “It’s Not the Island’s Fault!” How to solve Winona’s Housing Crisis by Dan Wilson
Winona County just finished a comprehensive housing study outlining how bad our current housing market is and the steps we can take to fix it. In his talk, Dan Wilson will summarize the results of the housing study, national trends, and proven policy ideas that can transform Winona from an unaffordable hot mess to a vibrant, affordable community for everyone.

Dan Wilson works as a Policy Assistant at Engage Winona and has been researching Winona’s housing woes for the past year. He has provided emergency housing services in Winona and elsewhere. He enjoys Winona housing gossip and beer.

Talk #3 – Carbon, Capitalism, and Natural Climate Solutions by David Ruff
This talk will give a quick explanation of what carbon credits are and how they work, then explain some of the main issues that have caused them to be controversial as a strategy for fighting climate change. It will then look specifically at how forest management can be changed to store more carbon and generate carbon credits. In the end, it will look at how the controversial aspects of forest-based carbon credits can be addressed and what the debate around their use is really about.

David Ruff is a native Winonan, and a Conservation Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy. He gets to spend his days working to protect and restore habitat for nature and people in Minnesota’s corner of the Driftless Area, which still involves a surprising amount of time on Zoom. He also works on the Midwest region of the Family Forest Carbon Program, a partnership between TNC and the American Forest Foundation that brings the resources of the voluntary carbon market to family forest owners.

Events are free and RSVP is not required. More details on our Nerd Nite Winona event page.

Nerd Nite Winona #33: Astro-ganza! (3 Astronomy Talks)

Missed out on the “Astro-ganza”? Check out our live recording!

Come learn from three local astronomers at Nerd Nite Winona’s first event of 2024! Our “Astro-ganza” will be Wednesday, January 24th starting at 7:30p at No Name Bar. As always, there is no cover or tickets required for our events. Find out more on our Facebook event page.

Our speakers are:

Nerd Nite Winona #32: Morels, Engagement & Music!

Join us at No Name Bar on Wednesday, November 29 at 7:30pm for Winona’s Nerd Nite #32! Our speakers:

Talk # 1 – Morel Mushrooms: Sterol Composition and other Fun Facts by Tom Nalli

Morel mushrooms are highly valued for their utter deliciousness and, as an avid mycophile, I have a long-nurtured interest in them. All fungi have steroid alcohols (sterols) in their cell membranes that serve many of the same functions that cholesterol serves in animal cells. For most fungi, ergosterol is predominant; however, morels are more interesting. I and some of my research students at WSU have studied the sterol composition of morels using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and our results will be presented in this talk. I will also share some personal stories of my long history with them.

Dr. Tom Nalli is a Professor at Winona State University where he mainly teaches organic chemistry. His position has afforded him the great privilege of being able to work with a good number of talented undergrads over the years on a variety of research projects. In addition to his interests in chemistry, mushrooms, and adult beverages, he is an avid birder and plays trombone in a number of local bands.

Talk #2 – Engagement is for Everyone by Marcia Ratliff

Come learn about local nonprofit Engage Winona, with a deeper dive into the theory beneath its community engagement and capacity building work. From participatory research to appreciative inquiry to social capital to systems change, there are plenty of five-dollar words to describe what Engage Winona does, and we love an opportunity to unpack them a bit!

Marcia Ratliff (also known as Marcie) is the executive director of Engage Winona. She’s also a poet, runner, badass mama, and lifelong daydreamer.

Talk #3 – 21st Century Music Literacy

Music has changed a lot in a hundred years, approaches to music literacy have not. Communities in our culturally diverse, digitally connected world would be strengthened with an approach built around the music practiced in those communities. If music literacy were to borrow ideas from language and math literacy, we would have a population much more prepared to negotiate today’s musical landscape.

Aaron Lohmeyer teaches Music Education, Jazz, Music Tech, Global Music, and Guitar at Winona State University. His research focuses on creativity and diverse music literacies for a digitally connected world. He also takes the recorder way too seriously.

Events are free and RSVP is not required. More details on our Nerd Nite Winona event page.

Nerd Nite Winona #31: Infinity, Bacteriophages, Mystery Cults

TALK #1: “Infinity’s Grace Beyond Compare” by Joyati Debnath
Summary: Infinity is mindboggling! It is just NOT finite but a tremendously useful and inherently theoretical. And there are lots and lots of different infinities that corrupt our minds. Is there a Countable Infinity and an Uncountable Infinity? I will try to demonstrate and communicate what inspired great controversies and rage for centuries in 20 minutes or so to a slightly under the influence but reasonably merciful audience.
Bio: Dr. Joyati Debnath is a professor of Mathematics at Winona State University. She is an Applied Mathematician, and her research and teaching has taken her all over the world. She has devoted her career not only to make marks as an academician but also to make mathematics a fun learning experience with more understanding and approachable for everyone.

TALK #2: “How Sewage Could Save Your Life” by Darby Oldenburg
We collect and study bacteriophages in our lab at Gundersen Medical Foundation. Our mission is to have phage cocktails on hand to treat recalcitrant (aka antibiotic resistant) bacterial infections under the auspices of Personalized Medicine. We will discuss the history of Phage Therapy and how recent advances in biotechnology make this old-but-new approach viable as another tool against bacterial infection.
Bio: Dr. Darby Oldenburg PhD joined Gundersen Medical Foundation in 2010 to study Herpesviruses and how latent infections shape the host immune system. After a brief hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, she returned to the bench to continue her Herpesvirus work as well as begin a new research endeavor studying bacteriophages.

TALK #3: “Ancient Roman Mystery Cults: Bringing the Kegger to the Cave” by Kayla Olson
Did people in ancient Rome also gather in the thick of night to drink, laugh, and participate in strange rituals like a bunch of nerds? Yes! And few are more dedicated to all that is raucous, eccentric, and astrological than the initiates of “mystery cults.” We’ll look into the uniquities of a couple “mysteria,” whose secrets were known to few… kind of. Archaeologists are nosey and stubborn folk, after all.
Bio: Kayla Olson (MA, MLIS) is an academic librarian at Winona State University. She has the pleasure of working with faculty and students as the library liaison to History, Philosophy, Ethnic Studies, Women Gender & Sexuality Studies, Special Education, and Marketing. Before becoming a librarian, she trained as a classical archaeologist with research interests in the mid-and-late Roman Empire, spatial analysis, and cultural memory

More pictures from the event are on our Facebook events page.