Issue: 1190

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
Jan. 31, 2022

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS Colleagues – I hope you had a good weekend and are finding ways to enjoy the snow… Last week saw the launch of two department chair searches. The search for chair of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, currently under the direction on Interim Chair Lorraine Lanningham-Foster, will be led on behalf of CALS and CHS by associate deans Carmen Bain and Deb Sellers (CHS). So, too, began the search for the chair of the Department of Animal Science, now led by Interim Chair John Lawrence. This search will be led by Lawrence and Associate Dean Ruth MacDonald… More

Top Stories

Madan Bhattacharyya, agronomy, and Aaron Gassmann, entomology, are among six faculty from Iowa State University named as 2021 fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

New AAAS Fellows at Iowa State include CALS Faculty 
Madan Bhattacharyya, agronomy, and Aaron Gassmann, entomology, are among six faculty from Iowa State University named as 2021 fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Bhattacharyya is being honored “for distinguished contributions to the field of plant-microbe interactions, particularly for understanding interactions between soybean and its fungal and oomycete pathogens.” Gassmann is being honored “for distinguished contributions to the field of entomology, particularly for advances in understanding the evolution of resistance by insect pests and approaches to delay pest resistance to transgenic crops.” More  


How Environment and Genomes Interact in Plant Development
A new study from Iowa State scientists, including Jianming Yu and postdoctoral research associate Qi Mu, agronomy, could help to breed more resilient crops as well as shed light on mechanisms that play a critical role in plant growth. The study focuses on how phenotypic plasticity, or the way a given trait can differ as a result of environmental conditions, influences the growth of sorghum. More  

Plant Sciences Institute Welcomes Four New Faculty Scholars
The Plant Sciences Institute recently completed its third Faculty Scholars cohort, welcoming four Iowa State researchers to its roster: Somak Dutta, Yumou Qiu and Xiongtao Dai, statistics; and Adarsh Krishnamurthy, mechanical engineering. The PSI Faculty Scholars program is intended to identify, support and empower university researchers who have the potential to significantly contribute to the rapidly emerging discipline of predictive plant phenomics. More  

Extension and Outreach

Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll Shows High Ratings of Community Vitality
The 2021 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll found the state’s farmers giving high marks to the vitality of their communities. Project director J. Arbuckle, sociology and criminal justice and extension sociologist, said the highest-rated statement was “this community would be a good place for future generations to raise their families.” More  

Virtual Field Day to Discuss Redefining the Field Edge
Redefining the field edge to improve profitability, wildlife habitat and water quality is the topic of a virtual field day on Thursday, Feb. 3, at 1 p.m. Adam Janke, natural resource ecology and management and extension wildlife specialist, and Mark Licht, agronomy and extension cropping systems specialist, will present. The event is hosted by Iowa Learning Farms in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, ISU Extension and Outreach and the Conservation Learning Group. More  

Nominations Open for New Voices in Water Quality Awards
The Conservation Learning Group is accepting nominations for the New Voices in Water Quality in Iowa awards program. Nominations are due April 15. More  

Around the College

Food and Fuel Required to Meet Global Challenges
Food and fuel -- not food versus fuel -- is the focus of a recent Nature Sustainability commentary authored by Lisa Schulte Moore, natural resource ecology and management, along with other thought leaders in agriculture from Iowa State University and around the world. The authors drew inspiration from innovative farm models, such as the eastern Iowa family farm of CALS alum Bryan Sievers. More  

Engineers Without Borders Returns from Ghana
Faculty and students in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering who are involved with Iowa State’s Engineers Without Borders chapter recently returned from a trip to Ullo, Ghana. While there, the group made progress on a number of projects, including working on a Rainwater Catchment and Micro Irrigation teaching and demonstration project, done in partnership with fellow Engineers Without Borders members from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology chapter in Kumasi, Ghana. This was the first time in two years the group has been able to travel to the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They hope to return to Ghana this spring for the groundbreaking of a community clinic. More  

Egg Industry Forum Moved to November
The Egg Industry Center announced that its national Egg Industry Issues Forum will be held Nov. 8-9. The change from the event’s traditional meeting time in April will better accommodate tours and workshops, including Iowa State’s nearly completed turkey research facility. More  

George Washington Carver LEGO Statue on Display in Sukup Atrium
The George Washington Carver LEGO statue, built by Chris Ihle (’98 exercise and sport science) as part of Iowa State’s exhibit at the 2021 Iowa State Fair, is now on display in the Sukup Atrium. The wooden platform on which the LEGO statue stands was constructed by Chad Arnold, agricultural specialist with Iowa State Research Farms. The statue was built in recognition of the 125th anniversary of Carver (1894 botany, 1896 MS) earning his master’s degree from Iowa State. Learn more about the statue and its artist in this ISU Alumni Association VISIONS article.

In Memoriam: Bill LaGrange, FSHN
Bill LaGrange, professor emeritus in food science and human nutrition and extension food scientist, passed away Jan. 22. He was 90. LaGrange (’53 dairy industry, Ph.D. ’59 food microbiology) spent 40 years at Iowa State offering extension programs to help with food safety, regulatory requirements, quality testing methods, product packaging and facility management. Private memorial services will be held at a later date. More LaGrange was featured in the fall 2011 issue of STORIES magazine.  


Feb. 2: Iowa Learning Farms Webinar
Chris Morris, graduate research assistant in sociology and criminal justice, will present “The Conservation Practitioner Poll: Giving Conservation Professionals a Voice,” at the Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 2, at noon. 

Feb. 9: Seed Sovereignty Lecture
Winona LaDuke will present “Seed Sovereignty: Who Owns the Seeds of the World, Bio-Piracy, Genetic Engineering and Indigenous Peoples” on Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. via WebEx. Co-sponsors of the lecture include the Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture, the CALS Diversity Committee, the Department of Horticulture and the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. More  

Feb. 28: Q&A Session with the Deans
Dean Robison and a panel of associate deans will host an information Q&A on Feb. 28 at 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in 2050 Agronomy Hall. College faculty and staff are encouraged to come with questions for administrators. Any topic is welcome. The session will not be recorded or live-streamed. 


Iowa First in Apples at 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair
In the Palace of Horticulture at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, Iowa exhibited 300 varieties of apples. From April 30 to Dec. 1, more than 60 countries and 43 of the then 45 American states maintained exhibition spaces at the fair, which nearly 19.7 million people attended. An article in the Dec. 15, 1904, edition of The Cedar Rapids Gazette states that Iowa apples are unexcelled. “No other state touched Iowa. New Yorkers offered Superintendent Wilson a dollar each for Iowa apples to take home with them as souvenirs of what can be done in the way of apple culture when people who know how devote soil that has no equal to growing the Edenite fruit.” 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 Thursday. 


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