Issue: 1282

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
February 5, 2024

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS – Pretty crazy weather these past few weeks, I think we’ll all agree. When we had that minus 20 blast from the far north in January, Steve Dinsmore and Julie Blanchong from NREM were with a group of students studying wildlife in Antarctica where they had temperatures into the 30s… Behind Curtiss Hall over toward the Gerdin Business Building side, there is a good-sized specimen of the flowering woody shrub, witchhazel, which bloomed last week following a few warm days. I confirmed the identity of this spring flowering plant with Jeff Iles to be Vernal witchhazel… I thought this poor plant was going to be in for a rough ride when temperatures go down again before spring really arrives, but Jeff assures me that they are not only “lovely plants,” but that “these witchhazels flower in early spring and are very resilient. The petals will curl up on very cold days and unfurl when temperatures moderate. They are not easily fooled…” More 

Top Stories

Increased job opportunities and higher median pay are among the highlights included in a newly released report on the economic impacts of the bioprocessing industry in Cedar Rapids.

Iowa State, Cedar Rapids Partnership Continues to Benefit Bioprocessing Industries
Increased job opportunities and higher median pay are among the highlights included in a newly released report on the economic impacts of the bioprocessing industry in Cedar Rapids. In 2015, a unique public-private partnership between Iowa State University and Cedar Rapids was established to understand and support further development of the bioprocessing and manufacturing industries in the eastern Iowa town. Together, the two entities strive to create a competitive advantage for bioprocessing companies. Chad Hart, economics and extension economist, said the partnership serves to connect the science being done at Iowa State to real life applications in Cedar Rapids. More 


INRC Focus on the Future Seminars Continue through Spring
A new Iowa Nutrient Research Center seminar series for spring 2024 continues its Focus on the Future with current and recent graduate students discussing their experiences as early career researchers. Each session will present two speakers and topics. The monthly hybrid presentations will take place Wednesdays, beginning Feb. 14, from 3:10-4 p.m. The hybrid seminar series will be presented online and in-person at 1306 Elings Hall. More 

Teaching and Students

Horticulture Club Valentine's Day Bouquet Sale Underway
The Horticulture Club is holding its annual bouquet sale consisting of roses, carnations and spider mums. Bouquets can be preordered online through Wednesday, Feb. 7, or while supplies last. Arrangements can also be purchased on Feb. 13-14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the commons of the Union Drive Community Center. Cash, check or credit cards are accepted. Proceeds support club and outreach events throughout the year. More 

Extension and Outreach

Iowa Pork Industry Center Welcomes New Extension Specialist
Lindsay Peters has joined the Iowa Pork Industry Center as an extension specialist. Her primary responsibilities include content development, website management and overall support for pork center programming efforts. More 

New Extension Specialist to Help Food Processors and Entrepreneurs
Penny Brown Huber has joined ISU Extension and Outreach as a food business specialist. She will be assisting Iowa food processing entrepreneurs as part of the Heartland Regional Food Business Center, a five-state cooperative project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. More 

Around the College

Nominations for Gamma Sigma Delta due March 22
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 22. More 


Feb. 8: ILF Virtual Field Day
Iowa Learning Farms and partners will host a virtual field day on “Woodchips and Water Quality: Exploring Species and Chipping Methods to Maximize Bioreactor Efficiency” on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 1 p.m. This virtual field day explores a new project led by Michelle Soupir, agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Billy Beck, natural resource ecology and management. More 

March 22: Baker Plant Breeding Symposium
Registration is now open for the 11th annual R.F. Baker Plant Breeding Symposium, scheduled for March 22 at the ISU Alumni Center. This year’s theme is “The Power of Multi-Omics: Plant Breeding in a New Era.” Registration is free for both in-person and virtual attendance. The Plant Breeding and Genetics Graduate Student Club organize the symposium, which is hosted by the Department of Agronomy. More 

March 27: Save the Date
The CALS Spring Awards Program, honoring faculty and staff achievements, is March 27 at 4:10 p.m. in Dolezal Auditorium, 127 Curtiss Hall. The program will include brief comments from Dean Robison and recognition of the 2024 CALS faculty and staff award recipients. A reception in Harl Commons will follow the program.

Communications Kiosk

Do Not Intensify Noncomparable Adjectives
An adjective that by definition describes an absolute state or condition – e.g., entire, impossible, pregnant, unique – is called noncomparable. It cannot take a comparative suffix and cannot be coupled with a comparative term (more, most, less, least). Nor can it be intensified by a word such as very, largely or quite. But on the rare occasion when a particular emphasis is needed, a good writer may depart from this rule and use a phrase such as more perfect, as the framers of the United States Constitution did in composing its preamble (We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union…). (The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, pg. 254)


Iowa State Engineers Report on Soybean-Based Pavement Technologies
Two Iowa State engineers will explain their soybean-based technology that extends the life of pavements, promotes pavement recycling and lowers emissions from pavement production and maintenance during a public briefing in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Feb. 6. More 

Suicide Prevention Training Available for Faculty, Staff
QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention is a one-hour educational program designed to teach lay and professional “gatekeepers” the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond. Student Counseling Services is offering a session for faculty and staff on Friday, Feb. 9, from 11 a.m. to noon in 1312 Gilman Hall. More 

Discover the Joy of Reading while Learning about Food, Agriculture
Since its launch in 2019, Read Across Iowa has helped kids discover the joy of books while learning about food and agriculture. The program offers educators free kits with four to five books, one of which is available in Spanish, and complimentary lesson plans and activities throughout March. More 


Dahlem: Could Deep Farm Mapping Be Useful?
In a Feb. 2 blog post, Jon Dahlem, postdoctoral research associate with Iowa Learning Farms, talks about extending farm mapping to deep farm mapping. “Fundamentally, deep mapping is about recollection, about uncovering and organizing collective memory to more fully describe a place,” Dahlem said. “Is there utility in collecting and assembling the stories and histories of relatives and neighbors, the memories of one’s own experiences on the farm, the historical records that mention the farm or town, and the quantitative data gathered by satellites and sensors, to create a deep farm map? If for no other reason, I wonder if it might be useful simply because deep mapping asks us to understand the present as coexisting with the past.” 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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