CALS Editorial Style Guide
The goal of this Editorial Style Guide is to provide a handy reference for points of style specific to CALS: to detail items that CALS communicators use frequently, and to ensure that CALS titles, locations, departments, and the like are used in a consistent manner.
This style guide is intended to supplement the UW–Madison Editorial Style Guide where that guide does not provide entries specific to CALS. Some entries from the UW–Madison guide, such as degrees, have been included if they align with CALS usage.
The list of rules included here is not intended to be a substitute for or re-creation of the rules of usage and spelling found in the preferred references for campus use, which should still be the primary style guides:
- the Associated Press Stylebook, 2014 (for news communications and institutional websites at University Communications, although University Marketing and the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association use the Chicago style for all communications)
- Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition
not Agriculture Hall. Located at 1450 Linden Drive.
Agricultural Research Station
facilities and support for faculty- and academic staff-led research programs and associated education and outreach programs of CALS, with the goal of making significant impact and leading in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge involving agriculture, food systems, bioenergy and bioproducts, healthy ecosystems, changing climate, health and wellness, and economic and community development. Headquarters are located at the Arlington Ag Research Station. Upon second reference, ARS may be used in conjunction with the facility name. Ag Research Station may be used for second and subsequent references, in more informal circumstances.
There are 11 agricultural research stations and facilities located around the state:
- Arlington Agricultural Research Station
- Dairy Forage Research Center Field Facility
- Hancock Agricultural Research Station
- Kemp Natural Resources Station
- Lancaster Agricultural Research Station
- Marshfield Agricultural Research Station
- O.J. Noer Turfgrass Research and Education Facility
- Peninsular Agricultural Research Station
- Rhinelander Agricultural Station
- Spooner Agricultural Research Station
- West Madison Agricultural Research Station
NOTE: The Agricultural Research Station network includes 11 research stations around the state, as well as the Walnut Street Greenhouses on the UW–Madison campus. For this reason, the Walnut Street Greenhouses are sometimes referred to as the college’s 12th agricultural research station. The Walnut Street Greenhouses are under the same director as the agricultural research stations and operate under the CALS Centralized Greenhouse Management System.
Applied Population Lab (APL)
conducts applied demographic research and outreach, translating social and economic data into information for Wisconsin citizens, policy makers, government agencies, community-based organizations and others. Housed within the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology.
the facility located at 1605 Linden Drive that houses the Department of Food Science, Babcock Hall Dairy Plant, Babcock Hall Dairy Store, and the Center for Dairy Research. The Babcock Hall Dairy Plant produces Babcock Hall ice cream (or, informally, Babcock ice cream) among other products that are sold at the Babcock Hall Dairy Store and other locations.
Board of Visitors (BOV)
serves as an advisory group to the college’s dean in determining how best to lead and advance CALS. Comprised of 25 members who help the college by providing an external perspective and link to the wide range of CALS stakeholder communities, building an advocacy network, and participating in the college’s development efforts.
Bucky’s Varsity Meats
a retail store located in the Meat Science and Animal Biologics Discovery Building selling student-processed meat products and other provisions. Formerly known as Bucky’s Butchery, it is operated by a team of 10-15 undergraduate employees, under the direction of a staff manager.
formed in 1992. A group of current students who help prospective students and their families learn more about the opportunities associated with an education at CALS.
annual recognition of faculty and staff. The event also honors faculty awarded professorships during the past year.
CALS Career Services
provides resources and advising for students as they explore career interests and develop skills to seek employment or admission to graduate or professional programs.
e-newsletter distributed monthly to CALS alumni.
facilitates and expands international activities – including research, education, and outreach – among CALS faculty, staff, and students.
CALS Study Abroad
offers international academic experiences for students, including short-term faculty-led field studies, international research experiences, and semester-long exchange programs at universities around the world.
CALS Research Division
facilitates research within CALS and has administrative responsibility for all aspects of extramural research support.
Center for Cooperatives
provides assistance to existing cooperatives, to groups interested in pursuing cooperative business activities, and to businesses considering conversion to cooperative ownership.
Center for Dairy Profitability
develops and delivers interdisciplinary education and applied research to dairy farms and dairy industry service providers.
Center for Dairy Research (CDR)
provides scientific expertise in dairy research, as well as technical support and education to dairy processors in Wisconsin—and those around the nation and globe. The center co-administers the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® Program along with the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. Housed within Babcock Hall.
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS)
researches how particular integrated farming systems can contribute to environmental, economic, social and intergenerational sustainability.
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS)
established in 1889 and the third-largest college in UW–Madison based on enrollment. CALS is acceptable on second reference for external publications. Possessive is CALS’ but avoid this usage when possible.
in running text, use bachelor’s degree, bachelor of arts degree, bachelor of science in agronomy, master’s degree, doctorate, and the like in place of degree abbreviations because they are more readable; use abbreviations only when necessary to distinguish the specific type of degree or when using full terms would prove cumbersome, such as when there are multiple degrees; do not use periods; form the plural by adding an s; the word degree should not follow a degree abbreviation.
Do not list certificates (nursing, law, education, and the like) as degrees, but an exception is made to include the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) following an individual’s name because the program has a long and proud history at the UW.
Here are many of the degree abbreviations in use at the university:
- BA – bachelor of arts, bachelor’s degree
- BS – bachelor of science, bachelor’s degree
- DVM – doctor of veterinary medicine
- MA – master of arts, master’s degree
- MD – doctor of medicine
- MPA – master of public affairs
- MPH – master of public health
- MS – master of science, master’s degree
- PhD – doctor of philosophy
capitalize when used as part of a complete, formal, and official name: Department of Animal Sciences. Lowercase when used as an informal name, generically, or casually as a descriptor: the genetics department, the biochemistry department, the department, department guidelines, department chair. Words such as department can be omitted on second reference: horticulture, soil science. Do not capitalize department names when they are used to indicate the subject a professor teaches: Kevin Shinners of biological systems engineering.
There are currently 16 academic departments within CALS:
- Agricultural and Applied Economics
- Animal and Dairy Sciences
- Biological Systems Engineering
- Community and Environmental Sociology
- Food Science
- Forestry and Wildlife Ecology
- Life Sciences Communication
- Nutritional Sciences
- Plant Pathology
- Soil Science
located at 330 N. Orchard Street, the Discovery Building houses the private Morgridge Institute for Research (MIR), the public Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID), and the programming staff of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). The building’s Town Center, located on the first floor, welcomes campus and community to enjoy hands-on learning, vibrant study spaces and more. The two institutes housed in the building are sometimes collectively referred to as the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, but this should be avoided to prevent confusion with the public side of the operation.
Division of Extension
connects the people of Wisconsin with local leaders, lawmakers, families, scientists and communities to address the needs of Wisconsin’s people, plants and animals, in both urban and rural areas of the state, with the goal of improving lives and communities. The Division of Extension became a part of UW–Madison on July 1, 2018.
e-newsletter distributed weekly to CALS faculty and staff.
Environmental Resources Center (ERC)
provides science-based information and education to help empower individuals and communities to make well-informed decisions about their environments and the social processes involved in caring for them, including issues related to food, water and energy.
See the Division of Extension entry.
Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC)
16-week certificate program that offers an alternative option to a four-year degree, focusing on hands-on application in farm operations and agribusiness.
Food Research Institute (FRI)
conducts multidisciplinary and collaborative research on microbial foodborne pathogens and toxins and provides training, outreach, and service to enhance the safety of the food supply. Housed within the Microbial Sciences Building.
official alumni magazine printed three times each year by the college. Reports on the most significant aspects of CALS research, teaching, and outreach in the areas of food systems, bioenergy and bioproducts, healthy ecosystems, health and wellness, changing climate, and economic and community development.
annual awards given to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to their communities, their chosen career fields, and the citizens of the state and the nation. There are three awards: the Honorary Recognition Award, the Distinguished Service Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Insect Diagnostic Lab
provides identification of insects and insect damage for Wisconsin citizens and commercial businesses. Housed within the Department of Entomology.
majors and certificates
do not capitalize majors, programs, specializations, or concentrations of study when they are not part of an official department name or title, but proper nouns are capitalized: She received a bachelor’s degree in biological systems engineering; he majored in dairy science.
there are currently 24 undergraduate majors within CALS:
- agricultural & applied economics
- agricultural business management
- animal sciences
- biological systems engineering
- community & environmental sociology
- dairy science
- environmental sciences*
- food science
- forest science
- genetics and genomics
- global health
- life sciences communication
- nutritional sciences
- nutrition and dietetics
- plant pathology
- soil science
- wildlife ecology
* Majors shared with College of Letters & Sciences
there are currently 5 undergraduate certificates within CALS:
- business management for agricultural & life sciences
- development economics
- food systems
- global health
- science of fermented food and beverages
Meat Science and Animal Biologics Discovery Building
name of the building that houses the college’s meat science and animal biologics discovery program and Bucky’s Varsity Meats. The building opened in 2020. Previously, the meat science program occupied the Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory (MBL) building.
Office of Academic Affairs
is a key resource in helping students navigate the possibilities and opportunities in CALS and offers learning opportunities, professional development, advising and connections to campus that will enhance students’ overall experience at UW-Madison.
Office of Dean and Director
provides leadership and support for CALS and the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station.
Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic
provides assistance in identification of plant diseases and educational information on their control. Services include tests for bacterial, fungal and viral plant pathogens. Housed in the Department of Plant Pathology.
address grand challenges among 21st-century societal issues where CALS has the potential to make a significant impact and to lead in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge. CALS’ priority themes include:
- basic sciences
- bioenergy and bioproducts
- changing climate
- economic and community development
- food systems
- health and wellness
- healthy ecosystems
Soil and Forage Analysis Lab
provides soil, forage, manure, and plant tissue analysis diagnostic services to campus researchers and the general public. Housed at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station.
Transitional Advising & Outreach Services (TAOS)
supports prospective students and their families as well as new and current undergraduates inside or outside CALS.
Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab (TDL)
provides diagnostic information and management recommendations for all turf health issues concerning both commercial turfgrass managers and homeowners. Housed at the O.J. Noer Turfgrass Research and Education Facility.
dean and director of CALS. She prefers Kate to Kathryn.
Wednesday Nite @ the Lab (WN@TL)
use Nite and @.
Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA)
501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the connection of students, faculty, and alumni to CALS.
Wisconsin Crop Innovation Center (WCIC)
a public crop biotechnology service and research center. Enables the exploration of plant gene function to help address global challenges such as population growth, world hunger, climate instability and sustainability concerns.
Guidance on the usage of hyphens, en dashes and em dashes:
Use a hyphen in these cases:
(Note: Do not put a space before or after a hyphen)
- In UW News releases, to connect years: 1980-1986.
- To avoid ambiguity: He re-covered the leaky roof.
- To form a single idea from two or more words.
- Compound modifiers, when they precede the noun or come after a form of “to be”: He is a well-known man. The man is well-known.
- Compound proper nouns or adjectives: Italian-American, Mexican-American.
Use an en dash in these cases:
(Note: Do not put a space before or after an en dash, En dash is created by hitting the Option key and the hyphen key simultaneously on the keyboard.)
- To connect numbers and sometimes words: 2010–14, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., UW–Madison.
- To show range in numbers and words: 20–25 people, Monday–Friday.
- Note: When connecting years with from, also use the word to, not an en dash: from 1908 to 1986.
Use an em dash in these cases:
(Note: Do put a space before and after an em dash. Em dash is created by hitting the Shift key, the Option key and the hyphen key simultaneously on the keyboard. Alternately, in Word, if you put two hyphens in a row between two words as you type (with no spaces), it autocorrects to an em dash.)
- To set off an amplifying/explanatory statement: He listed the qualities — intelligence, humor, dependability — that he liked in an executive.
- To separate a subject or series of subjects.
- To indicate a sudden break in thought or sentence structure: We will fly to Paris — if I get a raise.