Issue: 1048

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
April 1, 2019

Top Stories

CALS Featured in New Report Identifying How to Supercharge Ag Science
CALS is featured in a new report that shows how U.S. farmers– facing a surge of weather events and disease outbreaks – can increase production and revenues with innovations produced by federally funded agricultural research. Jack Dekkers (right), animal science, outlines research he is conducting with his team, including colleague Chris Tuggle, to use the swine genome to determine the genetic basis of differences in disease resilience among pigs. “Retaking the Field: Science Breakthroughs for Thriving Farms and a Healthier Nation” was issued by the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation and 20 FedByScience research institutions. More

CALS Town Hall Meeting for Faculty, Staff on Friday, April 5
CALS will hold a town hall meeting for all college faculty and staff on Friday, April 5, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Dolezal Auditorium in Curtiss Hall. Refreshments will be served. Endowed Dean Dan Robison will provide a welcome and remarks, including updates on budget and other issues, and then review the current status of Improved Service Delivery in CALS. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.

ISU Extension and Outreach Offers Resources to Deal with Flooding
Floods are one of the most common, and most costly, natural disasters. ISU Extension and Outreach offers educational resources to help prepare for and recover from flooding situations, working in partnership with local, state and federal agencies. The disaster recovery website includes information specific to farms and businesses. There are hotline numbers and weather maps and reports. Resources are also available for cleaning up after a flood and dealing with mold. More Also, the college is prepared to assist CALS students impacted by flooding. “If the recent and continuing floods are affecting your ability to attend school, complete assignments or deal with stress, please know that your college is prepared to help you,” wrote Dean Daniel Robison in a message to CALS students. Impacted students are encouraged to stop in 20 Curtiss Hall to visit with Howard Tyler, assistant dean of student services (, 4-6434), or to contact the Dean directly (, 4-3830).

Five (At Least) Reasons to Attend This Week’s Last Two WorkCyte Faculty Forums, April 2-3
Two WorkCyte Faculty Forums remain: Tuesday, April 2, 10 a.m. to noon in the Memorial Union Sun Room, and Wednesday, April 3, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Faculty, department chairs, center directors and other academic administrators should take advantage to learn how Workday and Improved Service Delivery will affect their day-to-day work. The forums provide an overview of the WorkCyte initiative, with a focus on how faculty will use Workday to complete hiring processes, manage people and grants, and process travel and expense reimbursements. Participants will also be able to view the Workday system, and specialized staff will be on hand to address specific questions. Sign-up for these sessions is available through the Learn@ISU website. What are the benefits of attending? See five comments below provided by CALS faculty who attended one of the earlier forums:

  • Elisabeth Lonergan, professor, Department of Animal Science — “The Workday faculty forum was very useful to help ‘de-mystify’ what the interface would look like and how we would interact with it. I was also particularly pleased to learn about the options for travel reimbursements. The ability to directly upload images of our receipts to the system is one example of a huge improvement over the current system.”
  • Erin Hodgson, associate professor, Department of Entomology — “I enjoyed the forum. I tend to be an early adopter of technology and was curious to see if they could provide demonstrations of new Workday features. After introductory remarks, we were allowed to roam among different stations of interest. I was able to see how a person would navigate through reimbursements, procurements and post-awards grant management. Every station had a handout with more details and contact information.”
  • Joe Morris, professor, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, director, North Central Regional Aquaculture Center — “The training activity in Grants Management illustrated the ability to track sub-awards progress. Also, Kristen Constant, Interim Vice President and Chief Information Officer, was an effective leader in describing the process to date and future activities from a faculty viewpoint.”
  • Angela Shaw, associate professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition — “The WorkCyte training allowed me to determine what new roles I will need to take on, such as P-card and travel card and undergraduate student tracking, and additional trainings I need to take to be ready for the roll-out. All my questions were answered by experts and there were tons of handouts.”
  • Sue Blodgett, chair, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, and Department of Entomology — “I particularly appreciated the opportunity to ask questions and hear the discussion during the session I attended. The several areas of expertise and the chance to test drive the Workday platform were valuable, and the ‘faculty as managers’ area was of particular interest.”


Pork Producers Collaborate with Iowa Researchers to Benefit Monarchs
Since 2015, farmers from the Iowa Pork Producers Association have collaborated with researchers from ISU and the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium to plant and survey monarch habitat plots on their land. Findings from the research collaboration are helping refine practical recommendations for establishing monarch habitat across Iowa’s landscape. Ben Crawford, pork producer and environmental services director for Prestage Farms of Iowa, is featured in a new video about the project. More

INRC Invites Proposals for Water Quality Research
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center is accepting proposals for water quality research that can help landowners reduce nitrate and phosphorus in the state’s waterways, one of Iowa’s most pressing concerns. The five topics identified as priorities for funding are: new technologies or strategies, implementation methods and barriers, relationships between best management practices and water quality, cover crops, and soil health and water quality. More

Keating Receives Mid-Career Research Award
Aileen Keating received the Stephen B. Harris Mid-Career Scientist Award from the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology at its annual meeting on March 10-14 in Baltimore. Keating and her research group investigate the impacts of environmental stressors – including toxicant exposure and heat stress on ovarian function using rodent and large animal models. The long term goal is to improve fertility outcomes in production animals and humans.

EEOB Research on Climate and Turtles Featured in NSF Video
Fluctuations in temperature driven by climate change could devastate a range of species for which gender is determined by temperature during critical stages of development, according to recently published research led by Nicole Valenzuela, ecology, evolution and organismal biology. Her research on the painted turtle is featured in a National Science Foundation funded video released on March 22. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Undergraduates Showcase Research at Annual Capitol Event
ISU undergraduates will present their research to legislators and others during the annual Research in the Capitol event today, April 1, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the rotunda of the State Capitol building in Des Moines. Below are the CALS students that will be presenting. More

  • Scarlett Eagle, genetics – “Examining the Functional Role of microRNAs Implicated in Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in Maintaining Connective Tissue Morphology”
  • Lucas Goodman, animal ecology and environmental studies – “Balancing Conservation and Economics to Improve Water Quality in Iowa and Beyond”
  • Christina Meadows, environmental science and geology – “Investigation of Discrepancies between Methods of Quantifying Soil Nitrogen in Agricultural Fields”
  • Ellen Meis, biology and environmental science – “Optimizing CRISPR interference for Conditional Gene Regulation in Malaria Parasites”
  • Delaney Ridgway, animal science – “The Effects of Glyphosate Exposure on Liver Protein Abundance”

Feature: Alpha Gamma Rho Members Teach Des Moines Kids about Agriculture
CALS students in Alpha Gamma Rho, the agriculture fraternity, visit King Elementary in Des Moines once a month to teach kindergartners about agriculture through lessons and activities as part of the ISU 4U Promise program. AGR has planned a field trip for the kindergartners on April 22 to visit the ISU Dairy Teaching Farm. More

Feature: CALS Graduate Proud to be Alum after 22 Years
Education is important to Mike Schrum, that’s why he came back to Iowa State University to finish his degree 22 years after he left. Schrum, who graduated in December with a degree in agricultural education and studies, says he returned to school to show his daughters and his co-workers the importance of education. Schrum lives in Denison and works at The Andersons Ethanol Plant. More

CALS Student Selected as World Food Prize Intern
Emma Harper, junior in agricultural and life sciences education, is one of 11 students selected for the spring 2019 class of George Washington Carver interns through the World Food Prize. The interns learn first-hand both the public and private side of operating an international nonprofit organization and increase their understanding of the international fight against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. More 

Block and Bridle Club to Host Cake Auction on April 3
The ISU Block and Bridle Club will hold a Cake Auction on Wednesday, April 3, in the Iowa Farm Bureau Pavilion in Kildee Hall. Cakes donated by clubs and organizations around campus arrive at 3:15 p.m. Judging and open house starts at 4 p.m. Live auction to businesses starts at 5 p.m. Proceeds will go towards animal science scholarships.

Block and Bridle Club to Host Animal Learning Day on April 6
The ISU Block and Bridle Club will hold its annual Animal Learning Day on Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. The event is free and provides an opportunity for the public to learn about animals in agriculture. There will be activities for all ages, including a Taste of Iowa segment. More

Students Lead Book Drive to Help Young Readers in Uganda
CALS students in the 2019 Uganda Service Learning Program are collecting books for activities to enhance the reading achievement of pupils in primary schools in the Kamuli District of Uganda. The students will take donated books with them to Uganda this summer. Consider donating children’s books (beginning readers through 7th grade) before May 1. Collection boxes are located in 119 Kildee, the Horticulture Hall Atrium and 1320 Elings Hall (ABE Student Services). For more information contact Ashley Harvey (, senior in global resource systems. More

Extension and Outreach

New Video Series Covers Rural Angel Investing
A new video series and website, Strategies for Rural Angel Investing, guides stakeholders interested in Iowa’s emerging rural investor networks for agricultural technology startups and strategic rural ventures. These ISU Extension and Outreach resources are available as part of a grant-sponsored project called the Iowa Rural Equity Project. Mark Edelman, ISU Extension and Outreach ag economist and project coordinator, conducted interviews with managers from a dozen Iowa-based venture capital funds and angel investor networks interested in rural projects. Videos of the interviews give insight into legal requirements, due diligence, types of investments and deal flow. More

National Aquaculture Conference Presentations Available Online     
The fourth annual Aquaculture Conference was held in Ames on March 22-23 and more than 150 people attended. Joe Morris, director of the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center, said the conference outlined challenges, management practices, regulations and markets for entrepreneurs interested in entering aquaculture. The region includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The conference was sponsored by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, Iowa State University, The Ohio State University and the University of Minnesota. Video presentations are available online. Conference proceedings (PowerPoint), and the previous meetings also can be viewed online.  

Around the College

Robison on College’s Investment in the Food Processing Industry
On the March 25 issue of the U.S. Farm Report, Tyne Morgan broadcasts from Cedar Rapids, the largest food processing city in the country with more than 1,000 trucks of grain going through the city each day. The grain and oilseed processing businesses have strong roots in Iowa, roots that will continue to plant more jobs in the future. Dean Daniel Robison talks with Morgan about investments being made in the field, including the college’s grain science and feed mill science programs (3:38 min).

CALS P&T Workshops Scheduled for Associate and Assistant Professors
A promotion and tenure workshop for associate professors will be held April 30 at 12:10 to 1:30 p.m. in 142 Curtiss Hall. RSVP to Carla Persaud ( by April 22 to register. The workshop will include expectations, comments from department chairs, and time for questions and open discussion. A P&T workshop for assistant professors will be held May 2 at 12:10 to 1:30 p.m. in 142 Curtiss Hall. RSVP to Carla Persaud ( by April 26 to register. The workshop will include expectations, definition of scholarship, portfolio preparation and development, and time for questions and open discussion.


April 8: Deadline to Register for ADVANCE Workshop
A 90-minute ISU ADVANCE workshop will be held April 16 in the Memorial Union Campanile Room. , 9:30 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Nancy Barcelo, special assistant for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to the Chancellor of the University of Illinois, will discuss “Faculty with Multiple Identities as Strategic Agents to Institutional Change.” The interactive workshop will focus on how diversity transforms how we teach, learn and know. Practical strategies will be identified to take back to the departments. Participants may choose from a morning or afternoon session. Registration deadline is April 8. To register, go to Learn@ISU, select course catalogue and scroll to SVPP events. CALS is a co-sponsor of this event.

April 9: Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture
The Carl and Marjory Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture is scheduled for April 9 at 7 p.m. in 127 Curtiss Hall, Dolezal Auditorium. Ken Isley, head of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, will present “The Role of the U.S. in the Global Food and Agriculture Marketplace. More

Communications Kiosk

Consider “Spring Cleaning” Your Digital Workspace
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education posted an article by Alyse Kalish, editor for The Muse, providing three ways to clean your work computer for better productivity. More

  • Clean up your desktop. Delete unneeded items from your home screen. Remove apps or programs and empty your trash or recycling bin. Sort and arrange remaining files.
  • Declutter your browser. Consider bookmarking tabs or adding the links to a digital to-do list. Organize bookmarks and remove links that are no longer relevant. Make sure your browser is up to date.
  • Get organized. Create a filing system for your files. Start by organizing things by year and then add subfolders for projects, people or programs – whatever makes sense for your work. Update all your software and apps.


Nominations Open for Norman Borlaug Field Award
Nominations are being accepted for the 2019 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application. Endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation, it is a $10,000 award presented annual to a young extension worker, research scientist, development professional or other individual who has shown Borlaug-like determination, dedication and intellectual innovation in the fight to eliminate global hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Nominations will be accepted through June 15. More

USDA Launches Youth and Agriculture Website
USDA has launched a new Youth and Agriculture website to connect young people an d youth-serving organizations with department-wide resources that engage, empower and educate the next generation of agricultural leaders. The website features three components of agriculture-focused youth engagement – classroom studies, experiential learning and leadership training. More


World Food Prize President Announces Retirement
Kenneth Quin, an Iowa native and former U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, is retiring as president of the World Food Prize at the end of the year. Quinn, 76, has led the organization since 1999. “Leading the World Food Prize…has been an extraordinary privilege,” Quinn said in a March 25 article in the Des Moines Register. “What at first seemed an impossible quest, to have the World Food Prize come to be seen as the ‘Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture,’ has over the last 20 years become a dream come true.” More

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online

Julie Stewart, Editor, (515) 294-5616

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online, the newsletter for faculty and staff in Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is published by email every Monday. The deadline for submitting content is 12 p.m. on Friday.


University Nondiscrimination Statement