Issue: 1242

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
March 20, 2023 

Dean’s Message

Hi CALS Colleagues – …This week will bring our students back for the final push toward the end of the semester, and we'll all gather up our determination to move toward commencement and the many things in research and extension that'll pick up speed as spring arrives and we move toward summer. Remind yourselves, everyone, to enjoy the annual rhythm of the academic year and the seasons… Last week, I was in Washington, D.C. for the annual CARET meetings and Capitol Hill visits with our Iowa Congressional delegation… More

Top Stories

A research team led by Brian Hornbuckle, agronomy, is studying how to use satellite-based sensors to remotely detect daily changes in water content and temperature of plants in fields across the Corn Belt, a system that could act as an early warning system for crop stress.

Agronomist Seeking to Spot Crop Stress from Space
A research team led by Brian Hornbuckle, agronomy, is studying how to use satellite-based sensors to remotely detect daily changes in water content and temperature of plants in fields across the Corn Belt, a system that could act as an early warning system for crop stress. The three-year project, funded by a NASA grant, will combine data from two of NASA’s orbiting observatories. More  


Understanding What Makes Senior Towns in Iowa “Smart”
Researchers are looking to small towns in Iowa to understand how some support aging in place better than others. Their findings, published in the Journal of Rural Studies, could help communities plan for the future and preserve a high quality of life for all residents. David Peters, sociology and criminal justice, and Ilona Matysiak, a visiting scholar from Maria Grzegorzewska University in Warsaw, Poland, co-authored the paper. More  

Peschel Launches New Technology in Ag Hotspots
Josh Peschel, agricultural and biosystems engineering, is linking agriculture and technology in a nationwide research project funded by the National Science Foundation. The team, led by Hongwei Zhang, electrical and computer engineering, is launching a test bed for experimentation to develop new, wireless networking tools that would serve remote areas – especially ones in Iowa. More  

Teaching and Students

Exploring Student Perceptions, Behaviors on Sustainability
A recently published research project explores student perceptions about sustainability at Iowa State. Students, faculty and staff affiliated with the Consortium for Cultivating Human And Naturally reGenerative Enterprises (C-CHANGE) completed the research last spring. "One of the findings that jumped out right away is that students do feel that they are getting problem solving skills and feel empowered by their education and extracurricular experiences here at ISU," J. Arbuckle, sociology and C-CHANGE team member, said of the results. "However, many do not feel adequately prepared to engage with sustainability challenges post-graduation. They don't necessarily want more courses that are specifically about sustainability -- they want sustainability thinking to be integrated into most, if not all, of their courses." More  

Nominations for Senior Awards Due April 3
The CALS Student Council is seeking nominations for spring 2023 senior awards. Every fall and spring semester, CALS Council recognizes graduating seniors through six different awards: outstanding senior, leadership excellence, academic achievement, distinguished service, outstanding ambassador of agriculture and life sciences, and commitment to diversity. Nominations are due April 3. More  

Success Story for Iowa State’s ACE Project
Iowa State’s ACE Project partners with Midlands Humane Society to bring opportunities for students to work with foster dogs with behaviors that aren’t suited to life in the shelter. Last semester, Danielle Pape, senior in animal science, had an opportunity to work with Baron, a 2-year-old yellow lab. When Cheryl Morris, animal science and ACE Project director, approached Pape and Baron with the opportunity to do some scent work, Pape knew it would be a great fit. In November 2022, Baron went to train with Iowa K9 Detection, where he excelled in the program. Baron is now employed with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio to do scent work, specifically bomb detection. More  

ABE Student Shows Creative Side in Vocation and Videography
Creativity is an essential element for anyone wanting to become a successful engineer. Ian Stravers, a sophomore double majoring in industrial technology and agricultural systems technology, takes a unique approach with creativity in videography to enhance his engineering skills. More  

Extension and Outreach

Publication Highlights Changing Landscape of Iowa Agriculture
A recent ISU Extension and Outreach publication discusses changing farm trends between 2011 and 2021, including farm sizes, production values, net incomes and debt. In “Rural Iowa at a Glance, Farm Trends (2022 Edition),” David Peters, sociology and criminal justice and extension rural sociologist, shares data that shows the way agriculture in the state is shifting. More  

ANR Extension Spotlight: Jennifer Harrington
Jennifer Harrington is a staff attorney with the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation. She works with farm families and farm businesses on estate planning and tax considerations, an area of the law fundamental to the long-term viability of family farms and agribusinesses. In addition to speaking at conferences and CALT-sponsored events, Harrington helps provide analysis about legal issues and recent court cases that impact Iowa producers and their industries. More  

Around the College

Coats Receives Award for Innovation in Chemistry of Agriculture
Joel Coats, plant pathology, entomology and microbiology, received the AGRO Award for Innovation in Chemistry of Agriculture by the American Chemical Society Agrochemicals Division. The award is given to an active researcher working in North America for a chemical innovation that significantly enhances agricultural or veterinary pest management and productivity. More  

Nominations for Gamma Sigma Delta due March 24
The Iowa chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the honor society of agriculture, is accepting nominations for membership and awards. Nomination forms for faculty, staff and alumni membership and awards are available online and are due Friday, March 24. More  


March 21: National Ag Day
To celebrate National Ag Day, the CALS Student Council is hosting a free lunch on Tuesday, March 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Harl Commons, Curtiss Hall. Lunch will include burgers, chips, a cookie and water. A vegetarian option is available. 

March 22: John Lawrence Retirement Reception
A come-and-go retirement reception for John Lawrence, vice president for ISU Extension and Outreach, is Wednesday, March 22, from 3-5:30 p.m. in the Iowa Farm Bureau Pavilion, Kildee Hall. A program will begin at 4 p.m. 

March 23: CALS Staff Council Coffee Talk
The CALS Staff Council Coffee Talk on “Career Development Conversations with your Manager” is Thursday, March 23, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in 1330 ATRB. University Human Resources and CALS Human Resources will present. More  

March 24: Baker Plant Breeding Symposium
The Plant Breeding and Genetics Graduate Student Club are holding the 10th annual R.F. Baker Plant Breeding Symposium on Friday, March 24, at the Iowa State Alumni Center. More  

March 24: CALS Collegial Coffee and Cookies Circle
The next CALS Collegial Coffee and Cookies Circle will be March 24 from 10-11 a.m. in 229 Curtiss Hall. Spend time with colleagues and share ideas to enhance the faculty experience within the college. Coffee, tea and cookies will be provided.


Turkish Food Fair Scheduled for March 31
After a six-year hiatus, the Turkish Student Association is once again active on campus, fueled by a motivation to come together as a community after the disastrous and fatal earthquakes in Turkey. The organization plans to meet monthly in the Student Innovation Center, and its first goal is to organize events to help out earthquake victims. A Turkish food fair will take place March 31, and all proceeds will be donated to victims of the earthquakes in Turkey. 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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