Issue: 1256

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
July 10, 2023

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS – This week there are a number of activities to note. Today there is a group visit to a manure biodigester facility… to explore if such a facility would be a good fit for our Ames-area farms… Later this week I’ll attend the board meeting of the Cultivation Corridor, an organization that is a key mechanism to grow the agriculture economy in the state… We’ll also have an evening “lighting ceremony” to throw the switch on the signage at the new Iowa State University Kent Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex… More 

Top Stories

Three undergraduate students – (l-r) Madison Lenaerts, senior in global resource systems; Sophia Parker, junior in global resource systems; and Maclane Murrell, junior in nutritional science – spent the spring semester on the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands participating in the EARTH Program, which provides Iowa State students with hands-on and service-learning opportunities.

CALS Students Experience Service Learning in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Three undergraduate students – (l-r) Madison Lenaerts, senior in global resource systems; Sophia Parker, junior in global resource systems; and Maclane Murrell, junior in nutritional science – spent the spring semester on the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands participating in the EARTH Program, which provides Iowa State students with hands-on and service-learning opportunities. The students’ experience began last January with attending a dedication ceremony for the Fork in the Road Station, a residential facility operated by CALS. Dana Robes, an Iowa State dairy science alumnus, and his wife Martha, gifted the facility to the university, ensuring it is available for participants in the EARTH Program for many years to come. More 


Schulte Moore Receives Funding for Strategic Plan Project
Lisa Schulte Moore, natural resource ecology and management, leads one of 19 projects sharing a $3.9 million investment this year in Iowa State's 2022-2031 strategic plan. In coordination with the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Carbon Value Initiative will enhance Iowa State’s position as a leader in reducing greenhouse gases and increasing carbon dioxide removal through agricultural processes and products. More  
Researchers to Investigate Evolutionary Legacy of Maize
Iowa State researchers in genetics and archaeology have received a 2023 Bridging the Divide seed grant to tackle unanswered questions about the evolution of maize and the ancient societies that farmed it. The team consists of Matthew Hufford and doctoral student Heather Chamberlain-Irwin, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, and Andrew Somerville, anthropology. More 

Iowa State to Lead Pork Board Consortium
The National Pork Board has partnered with five universities, including Iowa State, to establish The Real Pork Trust Consortium to address consumers’ questions relating to the pork industry. Nick Gabler, animal science, will serve as lead investigator. More 

Teaching and Students

A Sweet Opportunity for Hands-On Experience
The ISU Creamery provides hands-on learning for students, many of whom are interested in careers in dairy science and product development. Business administrator Sarah Canova said the Creamery annually produces around 5,000 gallons of ice cream, along with 600 pounds of cheddar cheese and cheese curds. Most of it is sold in the Creamery’s retail store in the Food Sciences Building. More 

Visiting Scholar Works on Soybean Breeding and AI Research
Crislene Vieira Dos Santos, a doctoral student at the Federal University of Vicosa in Brazil, is a visiting scholar working with Asheesh Singh, agronomy, on breeding and artificial intelligence focused research activities in soybeans. Since her arrival, she has been working with members of Singh’s lab to experience the entire breeding and research pipeline, including project planning, protocol development, preparation of field experiments, planting and data collection. More 

Extension and Outreach

Reflecting on 10 Years with the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy was launched in 2013 to address water quality issues related to nutrient runoff in the state's rivers and streams, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus. The strategy was a collaborative effort between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and ISU Extension and Outreach. With the 10th anniversary of the strategy, it is important to recognize the progress made in reducing nutrient pollution and the successful implementation of manure management practices. But just as important is a chance to reflect on areas where improvement is still needed. More 

Around the College

Youngs and Lyle Receive Awards at NACTA Conference
Curt Youngs, animal science, received the Distinguished Career in Global Engagement Award from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture at its annual conference on June 23 at New Mexico State University. Samantha Lyle, a master’s student in horticulture with Cindy Haynes, received a NACTA graduate student teaching award.

College Alumni BBQ Sept. 2 – Call for Volunteers and Invitation to Attend
Faculty and staff volunteers are needed for the annual CALS BBQ, to be held Sept. 2 at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. Approximately 400 CALS alumni and friends are expected to attend this year’s event, which will run from 9-11:30 a.m., prior to the ISU vs. UNI football game (kick-off is 1 p.m.). Complimentary breakfast, parking and shuttle to the stadium will be provided. Volunteers who register will receive a CALS BBQ T-shirt in appreciation for their service. Register to volunteer online by Aug. 4. For questions, contact Angie Weeks ( Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Registration/Greeter (8:30-10 a.m., 10-11:30 a.m.)
  • Beverage service (8:30-10 a.m., 10-11:30 a.m.)
  • Tear down (11:30 a.m. to noon)

CALS faculty, staff and guests are also invited to attend the event as guests. Details are available on the CALS BBQ webpage. Registration required by Aug. 23.

Misra Honored by Seed Industry
Manjit Misra, former director of the Seed Science Center at Iowa State, was presented the Excellence in Science Award by the Seed Science Foundation in ceremonies held during the Leadership Summit of the American Seed Trade Association in Sacramento, California, on June 12. Misra was recently appointed director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. More 

Alumni Perspective on Everyday Entrepreneurship
In the summer 2023 issue of The Iowa Stater, Roger Underwood (’80 agricultural business) shared his perspective on everyday entrepreneurship. “As an Iowa State student in the 1970s, I had professors who were teaching me continual collaboration, market efficiency and cost analysis. What they were really teaching me was entrepreneurship,” Underwood said. More 

First Grain Delivery Received
The Iowa State University Kent Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex has received its first delivery of grain to flush out the receiving, conveying and load-out system and confirm motors, gates, valves and sensors are operating properly. Tony Ewing, associate director and operations manager, dropped the first load of corn into the ingredient receiving pit on June 14.


July 12: Northwest Farm Field Day
The Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm Field Day is Wednesday, July 12, from 9:30 a.m. to noon. An optional Corn Rootworm Field Day will follow lunch at 1 p.m. The event, offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, will focus on updated phosphorus and potassium guidelines, weather forecasts, Mesonet tools and how drought impacts northwest Iowa soils. More 

Aug. 1: Wine Grape Field Day
The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is hosting the 2023 Wine Grape Field Day on Aug. 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The morning session will be in the vineyard at the Horticulture Research Station. The afternoon session will be in the Food Sciences Building. Participation is limited to 30. Attendance is free, but registration is required. More 

Aug. 18: CALS Faculty and Staff Ice Cream Social
Dean Robison is hosting an ice cream social on Aug. 18 from 11:30 a.m. to noon on the patio behind Curtiss Hall. CALS faculty and staff are invited to celebrate the new school year. In the event of inclement weather, the gathering will take place inside Harl Commons.

Communications Kiosk

Amount vs. Number
“Amount” is used with mass nouns (a decrease in the amount of pollution). “Number” is used with count nouns (the number of coins in your pocket). (The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, pg. 310)


Iowa State Named Entrepreneurial University of the Year
Iowa State was awarded the Entrepreneurial University of the Year for the Americas – a 33-country region – in an international competition in Barcelona, Spain. This latest recognition for the university’s entrepreneurship program is the third national or international award in as many years. More 

Learn@ISU to Shut Down Aug. 1
Learn@ISU will end operations on Aug. 1, with the transition of employee learning to Workday Learning. Departments and units are encouraged to review their training materials and replace references to Learn@ISU with Workday Learning. Employees can print a transcript of their completed training in Learn@ISU before the shutdown. More 

World Food Prize Hall Open for RAGBRAI Riders
On July 26, the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for RAGBRAI cyclists coming through downtown Des Moines. Riders can cool off in the building while learning more about the impact of the World Food Prize Foundation and how Iowans are working to end hunger. More 


The Science of S’mores
Alisha McDarris, a contributor at Popular Science, describes how to make the perfect s’mores with science. “To make the perfectly roasted marshmallow you’ve got to be patient,” said long-time s’mores connoisseur Courtney Gaine, president and CEO of The Sugar Association. As McDarris writes, “Similarly to cooking meat, you want to make sure the inside gets warm before the outside burns… First, the relatively low heat (90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit) breaks down the gelatin in the marshmallow almost immediately. The temperature also expands the air pockets within the sugary treat, making it larger and softer as it warms, turning the center into a sweet goo. Lastly, heat breaks the bounds linking fructose and glucose molecules to sugar, allowing the marshmallow to expand further and develop more nuanced flavors…” 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.


University Nondiscrimination Statement