Issue: 1278

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
January 8, 2024

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS and Happy 2024 – I hope everyone had wonderful holidays, wherever they took you – nearby or far and wide. And I wish you and yours all good things all through this new year! We’ve had many student and faculty trips over break, from Antarctica to India, Uganda to Panama, and more. Several of our faculty are teaching intense winter term courses that wrap up this week, and our farm crews everywhere in the state kept their appointed rounds throughout the break. Thanks to each of you for all you do… More 

Top Stories

Catarina Bittencourt, a junior in genetics, came to Iowa State from her home country of Brazil.

Persistence Reaps Rewards for CALS Student
Catarina Bittencourt, a junior in genetics, came to Iowa State from her home country of Brazil. She quickly became involved in research as an undergraduate student on campus, finding her home in the lab of Marian Kohut, kinesiology, testing for antibodies against COVID-19. After many hours in the lab, she finally began seeing the results she was hoping for. Bittencourt presented her research at the American Association of Immunologists fall conference in November, where she received the AAI Young Investigator Award. More  


ISU Researchers Discover Crucial Step in Creating Blood Stem Cells
A microbial sensor that helps identify and fight bacterial infections also plays a key role in the development of blood stem cells, valuable new insight in the effort to create patient-derived blood stem cells that could eliminate the need for bone marrow transplants. The discovery by a research team led by Raquel Espin Palazon, genetics, development and cell biology, was published last month in Nature Communications. More 

Can Farming and Solar Energy Coexist?
Solar power may be the answer to the world’s future energy needs. But its benefit is limited if it hampers the ability to produce food. A Jan. 4 article in Modern Farmer details a study underway at Iowa State that seeks to answer the question of whether or not the two can coexist. More 

Teaching and Students

For Some, Class is in Session
Lorraine Lanningham-Foster, department chair, food science and human nutrition, is one of dozens of faculty members teaching this winter session. The four-week term concludes Friday, Jan. 12. Her course, Obesity and Health (FSHN 365), is required for students in two of the department's six undergraduate majors, and is a popular elective among other majors. She has 11 students this winter, and the spring section is full. More 

Extension and Outreach

CropsTV Returns for Fourth Season
CropsTV, by ISU Extension and Outreach, returns for a fourth season in 2024. The online educational program delivers crop production information directly to farmers and agricultural service providers in the convenience of their home, office or anywhere with an internet connection. All episodes will be available for on-demand viewing. More 

Application Window Opening for Spring Master Gardener Training 
Master Gardener training is available in 29 counties across Iowa this spring. The application window is from Jan. 15 to Feb. 12. Iowa State has offered Master Gardener training for more than 40 years, engaging more than 15,000 people in learning about gardening best practices. More 

More than 100 Field Days Held in 2023
Iowa State held more than 100 field days at its 15 research and demonstration farms in 2023, with programs led by ISU Extension and Outreach specialists. The farms are located across the state, giving farmers and the public the opportunity to interact with researchers and view the latest in agriculture. New facilities and youth outreach were also a highlight of the 2023 field days. More 

Around the College

Singh to Co-Direct Iowa Soybean Research Center
Asheesh “Danny” Singh, agronomy, has joined the Iowa Soybean Research Center as a co-director. As the ISRC prepares to observe its 10th anniversary in July, Singh will work closely with founding director Greg Tylka to expand the research and educational activities of the center while maintaining a focus on soybean production research. More 

Iles Receives Ames Chamber of Commerce Award
The Ames Chamber of Commerce and affiliate organizations annually recognize individuals and businesses that have shown exemplary service and commitment in their profession or in the community. Jeff Iles, horticulture, is recipient of the 2023 Ames Foundation Volunteer Business of the Year. More 


Jan. 17: Women Impacting ISU Calendar Reception
The 2024 Women Impacting ISU calendar will be unveiled during a reception recognizing the honorees on Jan. 17 from 3:30-5 p.m. (program at 4 p.m.) in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Erica Beirman, food science and human nutrition, and Jodi Sterle, animal science, are two of the five faculty selected for this year’s calendar, which is published by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. More 

Feb. 2: CALS Chat with the Dean
Dean Robison will host a CALS Chat on Feb. 2 from 2-3 p.m. in Agronomy Hall’s second floor commons. The informal, drop-in event will be an opportunity for casual conversation.

Feb. 8-9: Farm Transitions Conference
The 2024 Farm Transitions Conference is Feb. 8-9 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center. More than 15 presenters including attorneys, farm management experts and farmers will offer two full days of presentations on a wide variety of topics related to farm transitions and estate planning. The event is hosted by the Beginning Farmer Center at Iowa State. More 

Communications Kiosk

Continual vs. Continuous
What is continual may go on for a long time, but always there are brief interruptions, so that it can be characterized as intermittent or frequently repeated (continual nagging). What is continuous never stops – it remains constant or uninterrupted (continuous flow of water). A line that is continuous has no gaps or holes in it. (The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, pg. 322)


USAID Webinar Looks at Localizing AI for Agriculture
The U.S. Agency for International Development is hosting a webinar on “Localizing AI for Agriculture: Success and Challenges” on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 8:30 a.m. Participants will hear from organizations working to strengthen the availability and functionality of underrepresented languages and leveraging generative AI to benefit the agriculture sector in low- and middle-income countries. More 


Spend the Winter Planning a Spring Garden
“Gardening isn’t usually the first thing that springs to mind when the calendar page turns to January,” writes Jessica Damiano for Associated Press. “But with the holidays behind us, there’s no better time to start planning and preparing our 2024 gardens.” 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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