Issue: 1229

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
November 28, 2022

Dean’s Message

Welcome Back CALS Colleagues - I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Whether you stayed local and got caught up on things, or not, or braved the holiday travel near-or-far, I hope you had a chance to unwind, and rewind, and contemplate all the wonderful opportunities we have to be thankful for – here at ISU and beyond. Personally, I was a road warrior all the way to Atlanta and back, to enjoy family and a huge variety of wide open spaces to see all along the way… Don't forget about our searches for the Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture and the CALS associate dean for facilities and operations… More

Top Stories

The Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering hosted a dedication ceremony on Nov. 17 to celebrate the completion of a new research lab that is one of only a few facilities in the nation equipped to test power control and transmission capabilities of large agricultural and construction machinery.

Dedication Held for Dynamometer Laboratory
The Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering hosted a dedication ceremony on Nov. 17 to celebrate the completion of a new research lab that is one of only a few facilities in the nation equipped to test power control and transmission capabilities of large agricultural and construction machinery. Based at Iowa State's BioCentury Research Farm, the $2.9 million Off-Highway Vehicle Chassis Dynamometer Laboratory will enable students to dive into sophisticated traction, power train and vehicle chassis performance testing, while researchers in this area can advance their understanding of sensing and control systems for off-road and agricultural vehicles as well as power train performance more generally. Danfoss Power Solutions provided the lead gift of $1.8 million to develop the Dyno Lab. More  


Helping Policymakers Make Informed Decisions about Agriculture
Researchers in agricultural and biosystems engineering received a $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to provide a broad-scope framework presenting how food, energy and water systems work together. The team is designing a series of maps that describe the food, energy and water data elements within Iowa and housing the maps in one user-friendly webpage. More  

Honey Bee Research Part of Climate Change Summary
In honor of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, BioOne selected research relating to the impacts of climate change and global warming. A manuscript by former Ph.D. student Ge Zhang, Amy Toth and Matthew O'Neal, plant pathology, entomology and microbiology, originally published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, is featured in the summary of more than 200 articles on climate change. More  

Teaching and Students

Club Finds Success in Growing Poinsettias
The Horticulture Club grew more than 450 poinsettias for their annual fundraiser. Hannah Kramer, senior in horticulture and executive director of this year’s poinsettia sale, and other members of the committee are in the end stages of measuring and fertilizing the plants to send out to Iowa State’s students, faculty and staff. Kramer is specializing in the greenhouse plant production option within the horticulture major. More  

Poinsettia Sales Begin Wednesday, Nov. 30
The Horticulture Club is selling poinsettias on a first come, first served basis at these campus locations: Nov. 30 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), Curtiss Hall; Dec. 1 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), Beardshear Hall; Dec. 2 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), Horticulture Hall; and Dec. 3 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Reiman Gardens. Pot sizes are 4.5, 6 and 10 inches; prices vary from $10 to $40. Club members grow the poinsettias in the Horticulture Hall greenhouses. Funds raised are used for club activities, traveling expenses and student enrichment.

Forestry Club’s Christmas Tree Sale Continues Dec. 2
The Forestry Club’s annual Christmas tree fundraiser at the Reiman Gardens parking lot continues Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11. Hours are Fridays, 3-6 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The club will have Korean fir, balsam fir, Canaan fir and white pine, as well as wreaths. Cash or checks only. Proceeds go toward club activities and student development.

Extension and Outreach

New Water Quality Publication Provides Information for Pork Producers
A new publication from the Iowa Pork Industry Center, “Water Quality in Swine Barns – How Do We Define It?”, highlights the parameters pork producers should focus on when testing drinking water in pig barns. The three-page publication can be downloaded from the ISU Extension Store free of charge. More  

Virtual Field Days to Focus on Improving Water Quality
Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Conservation Learning Group, will hold two upcoming virtual field days focusing on improving water quality. The Dec. 8 and Dec. 15 virtual field days will begin at 1 p.m. More  

Produce Safety Alliance Classes Offered through March
ISU Extension and Outreach will offer five produce safety classes designed to help growers and handlers meet the requirements of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act. Classes start Dec. 15 and continue through March 9. More  

Around the College

Workshop Looks at Building Research Collaborations with MSIs
CALS is holding professional development training on Building a Strong Research Agenda and Collaboration with Minority Serving Institutions on Friday, Dec. 2, from 2-5 p.m. in the National Swine Research and Information Center, room 1131. Fred Bonner, professor and endowed chair in educational leadership and counseling and founding executive director of the Minority Achievement, Creativity and High-Ability Center at Prairie View A&M University, will lead the workshop. Registration required by Wednesday, Nov. 30.  

Virtual Option Available for this Week’s Riley Memorial Lecture 
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, in partnership with the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation and the World Food Prize Foundation, is holding its annual Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 4-5:30 p.m. Douglas Landis, Department of Entomology at Michigan State University, will present “Designing Pest Suppressive Agricultural Landscapes for a Changing World.” His remarks will be followed by a Q&A session and a panel discussion, including Steven Bradbury, natural resource ecology and management and plant pathology, entomology and microbiology. A virtual option for the lecture is offered free of charge. Registration is available online.  

Nominees Sought for Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture
A call for nominations has been issued for the Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture. The position will be a 3-5 year term with an option for extension. Tenure-eligible faculty with academic appointments in CALS (including those with Extension appointments) are eligible for nomination. Interested faculty should discuss their qualifications with their department chair. Nominations will be accepted only from department chairs. (See email sent Oct. 31 to the CALS faculty list and CALS DEO list for criteria.) Department chairs may nominate qualified faculty by submitting a one-page summary of the nominees’ experiences relative to the criteria to Associate Dean MacDonald by Dec. 15 ( Selected nominees will be invited by the Dean for an interview in early spring semester. The Chair appointment is expected to be decided by March 2023.

Applications Being Accepted for CALS Associate Dean Opening
Applications are being accepted through Dec. 11 for an associate dean for facilities and operations in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The position provides oversight of the college’s on and off campus facilities, equipment, research and demonstration farms, and affiliated infrastructure operations. The position is open to internal candidates. More (Click on “Jobs for Internal Applicants.”)


Dec. 7: Science with Practice Poster Session
This semester’s Science with Practice poster session is Dec. 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Curtiss Hall first floor rotunda. Science with Practice is a CALS experiential learning and work program for undergraduate students in agriculture. 

Communications Kiosk

Navigating Science in the Media
While the abundance of science news presents seemingly endless opportunities for learning, the abundance of potential sources also presents a unique set of challenges. With every trending scientific topic and the social media conversation that follows, it’s increasingly difficult to sift fact from fiction. An Oct. 27 post on Food Insight, published by the International Food Information Council, offers tips on how to successfully navigate today’s science news. More  

  • Be Careful with Clickbait
  • Study the Studies
  • Know the Lingo
  • Take a Deeper Dive
  • Beware of Bias


Presentation Proposals for ISCORE due Dec. 2
Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to submit presentation proposals for the 2023 Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity. The faculty-staff preconference is March 1 and the full-day, all-Iowa State conference is March 3. Proposals for 50-minute presentations about a topic in race and ethnicity should be submitted online by Dec. 2. Notification of presentation status will occur on Dec. 16. More  

Volunteers Needed to Keep Food Pantry Open during Exam, Break Weeks
The SHOP student food pantry invites university employees to volunteer during prep week, finals week and over winter break to help keep the pantry open for students who remain in Ames. The food pantry, located in 1306 Beyer, will not be open on university holidays. Volunteers may sign-up for shifts online. More information is sent automatically in an email. Questions may be directed to SHOP advisor Breanna Wetzler (, 4-4875). 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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