Issue: 1279

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
January 16, 2024 

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS – As I write this on Tuesday morning, it's already 1 degree Fahrenheit outside, which feels pretty good these days! I hope you and yours managed the cold, snow and wind without too much stress these past few days and can manage these challenging winter conditions a little longer. Pretty brutal weather. I want to give a shout-out to our farm crews and managers all across the state who were on-site, on the job through all of it, night and day – especially those working with livestock to keep them fed and watered, barns cleaned, and the environmental conditions well monitored inside our facilities. These folks really put it out there during the worst of it, from student workers navigating the roads to reach work sites, to farm crews pulling people from the ditch, to great care to make sure our animals were sustained… More 

Top Stories

An Iowa State research team led by Walter Moss, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, will collaborate with AstraZeneca scientists to identify segments of RNA structures that could be targets for drug compounds.
Moss Wins Innovation Challenge to Seek RNA Drug Targets
An Iowa State research team led by Walter Moss, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, will collaborate with AstraZeneca scientists to identify segments of RNA structures that could be targets for drug compounds. The Moss lab won an innovation challenge held by the global drugmaker – a 16-month grant to work with AstraZeneca scientists. The project launched Jan. 12. This is the second time Moss has collaborated with a pharmaceutical company, following a two-year partnership with Eli Lilly that began in 2020. More 

Teaching and Students

CALS Study Abroad – 2023 in Review
The CALS Study Abroad office has wrapped up another successful year as students return from winter break programs to Panama, India, Ghana and Antarctica. In 2023, 381 students participated in 63 Iowa State programs, including seven new programs in CALS. Forty countries were visited overall. The office held two CALS study abroad fairs, awarded 41 free passports and provided $283,519 in scholarships. More 

Extension and Outreach

Updated Plant Zone Hardiness Map Available
A newly updated version of the Plant Zone Hardiness Map, a key resource that informs the planting decisions of gardeners and growers across the country, was recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The new map provides a more precise picture of the average annual minimum temperature conditions across the state. According to Aaron Steil, consumer horticulture specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, it shows an average temperature shift of about one-quarter zone (about 2.5 F), placing more of the state in zone 5. More 

Iowa Learning Farms Updates Field Day Toolkit
Iowa Learning Farms has updated its Field Day Toolkit for those looking to plan a field day or workshop in 2024. The kit walks users through the planning, hosting and evaluation process. It also includes examples of promotional materials, agendas and evaluations. More 

Around the College

CALS Global Programs Office Renamed
The CALS Global Programs office has been renamed the Office for Global Engagement. The name change reflects its commitment to fostering meaningful international collaborations and its dedication to effectively engaging with partners worldwide. More 


Jan. 17: Women Impacting ISU Calendar Reception
The 2024 Women Impacting ISU calendar will be unveiled during a reception recognizing the honorees on Wednesday, 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 

Jan 19: Animal Science Medallions Celebration
A celebration for the holders of the Morrison Chair in Meat Science (Jim Dickson), Jay L. Lush Chair in Animal Breeding and Genetics (Juan Steibel) and Dr. John Patience Professorship in Applied Animal Nutrition (Nick Gabler) will be held on Friday, Jan. 19 from 3-4 p.m. in the Ensminger Room, 1204 Kildee Hall. Light refreshments will be provided.

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.


University Museums Opens Two Christian Petersen Exhibits
University Museums is opening two new exhibits running Jan. 17 to July 26 – Christian Petersen: A Sense of Place in Campus Life, and Sculpting an Icon: Christian Petersen and the “Fountain of the Four Seasons.” While many of Petersen’s sculptures are place specific around campus, this first exhibition will rely on sketches, models and concept drawings from the vast collections housed at the University Museums to figuratively bring these works of art into the Campbell Gallery at the Christian Petersen Art Museum. More The second exhibition will present the original clay models of the Fountain of the Four Seasons and will be divided into four segments. More 

Carillon Concert to Honor Martin Luther King Jr.
A campanile carillon concert, titled “Let Free Ring,” will honor Martin Luther King Jr. on Thursday, Jan. 18, at 11:50 a.m. Carillonneur Tin-Shi Tam will play hymns, spirituals and music inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.

Health and Wellness Symposium Returns for Second Year
The 2024 Health and Wellness Symposium is Feb. 2 from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union. “The focus this year is welcoming, belonging and well-being, which highlights the importance of encouraging students, faculty and staff to incorporate self-care practices into their personal and professional lives,” said Melanie Reed, student wellness, mental health promotion and suicide prevention strategy specialist. More 

Hill Honored with Farm Bureau Founders Award
Craig Hill, former president of Iowa Farm Bureau, will be recognized with the Farm Bureau Founders Award this week during the 2024 American Farm Bureau Convention in Salt Lake City. Hill is the longest-serving member of the Iowa Farm Bureau board of directors, serving for 32 years before retiring as president in December 2021. During his tenure, he traveled throughout Iowa, the U.S. and internationally, visiting 23 countries on trade and diplomacy missions. His experience included sharing information about agriculture with government officials, including six U.S. presidents, and farmers on many continents. More Hill presented the Carl and Marjory Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture at Iowa State in April 2022. More 


Photographer Captures Majestic Portraits of Hens and Roosters
Dutch photographer Alex ten Napel has created a series of portraits featuring chickens. After 25 years, he grew tired of photographing people and switched to taking studio portraits of chickens. ten Napel told PetaPixel that he is “captivated” by them. 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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