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Wisconsin Biology Experience Project

The beyond-the-classroom experiences that make UW–Madison so unique can sometimes be difficult to find, because they are offered through many different colleges and units across campus. To address the challenge of connecting bioscience undergraduates with these high-impact learning experiences, WISCIENCE initiated the Wisconsin Biology Experience Project. The goal of the project was to establish a "one-stop shop" where students could find the resources and navigation tools they needed to engage in learning experiences that go beyond the traditional classroom. The compiled resources at the BioCommons at Steenbock Library and grew out of this project. 

A series of Town Hall meetings was held in the spring of 2011, in which faculty, staff, and students from all over campus were invited to work together to identify current opportunities, define learning outcomes for subsets of beyond-the-classroom experiences, and identify gaps in opportunities that might be filled in the future. Additional resources were compiled and created in 2012 by four working groups of faculty, staff, and students that focused on research, careers/internships, service, and international experiences. The working groups compiled additional information, discussed collaborative programming, and created content for the BioCommons website.

You can download the report from the Town Hall meetings below. 

PDF icon 2011WiscBioExpTownHallSummary_FINAL1-1.pdf

Janet Branchaw

Director of WISCIENCE, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
Contact Info

(608) 262-1182


Room 109

445 Henry Mall

Madison, WI 53706-1577

Ph.D., 1996, Physiology, University of Wisconsin - Madison
M.S., 1993, Physiology, University of Wisconsin - Madison
B.S., 1990, Zoology, Iowa State University

Past Programs, Projects, and Classes
  • Integrated Biological Sciences Summer Research Program (IBS-SRP)
  • Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research and Mentoring (URM) Program
  • Entering Research course series
  • Entering Mentoring seminar
  • 2009 - 10 Biology Scholars Research Residency Fellow
  • Biocore 323, Organismal Biology
  • Mentor Training Adaptation for STEM Disciplines
  • Ways of Knowing Biology course
  • Creating a Collaborative Learning Environment
  • CALS 388 - Honors in Research Seminar
  • Physiology 335 - Human Physiology
  • Physiology 720 - Medical Physiology
  • Anatomy 437 - Human Anatomy - Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy
Committees, Collaborations, Affiliations
  • UW-Madison Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP)
  • Wisconsin Alliance for Minority Participation (WiscAMP)
  • CIRTL/Delta
  • College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Honors in Research Committee
Invited Workshops / Selected Publications
  • 2008 – Mentor & Mentee Training Workshop, University of Texas – El Paso
  • 2008 - Entering Mentoring Presentation, National Academies Summer Institutes
  • 2008 – Entering Mentoring Presentation, UW-Madison Symposium on Teaching & Learning
  • 2006, 2007, 2008 – Mentoring Training Workshop, Arizona State University
  • Pfund, C., Maidl Pribbenow, C., Branchaw, J.L., Miller Lauffer, S., and Handelsman, J. (2005) The Merits of Mentor Training, Science 311:473-474.
About Me

When not teaching animal physiology or working to improve undergraduate biology education, I enjoy spending time with my family, swimming, and reading.