Three students standing in a field of wild flowers. Tall trees and a cloud-covered sky are in the background
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Hands-on with pollinators

Three undergraduate students took part in the Bee & Wasp Squad this past summer, assisting graduate student mentors with research projects and learning how to study pollinators.
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Michael Parker

Young Alum of the Month

Michael Parker ('18 forestry) fights fires for a living. As a smokejumper for the West Yellowstone Smokejumper Base through the United States Forest Service, Parker and his team specialize in rapid initial attack of wildfires in remote areas by parachuting from an airplane. "I love the excitement and adrenaline of loading up on the plane, jumping out over some of the most wild and remote areas in the country, and working hard with like-minded and passionate people," Parker says.

Innovation in Action

Chickens pictured inside an enclosed pen with waterers, feeders and nests. Virtual reality scenes are being shown on the walls of the enclosure.

Virtual reality could boost poultry health

Using virtual reality technology, Iowa State scientists simulated a free-range environment in laying hen housing. They found that showing hens VR scenes of chickens in more “natural” environments reduced indicators of stress in the hens’ blood and gut microbiota. The VR scenes also induced biochemical changes related to increased resistance to E. coli bacteria, which poses health risks to poultry and to humans who eat contaminated eggs.