Issue: 1284

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
February 19, 2024

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS – Last Monday evening, there was a wonderful event in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union for the ISU President and Provost’s celebration of individuals who received national honors and awards during the past year. Of the 96 people recognized university-wide, nearly one-third have a CALS affiliation, and we are so proud of them all!... More 

Top Stories

Sotirios Archontoulis, agronomy, is the co-leader of a new, five-year, $16 million project with Kansas State University and others to explore big, interconnected questions impacting agriculture across the Corn Belt.

Archontoulis Co-Leads Seven-State Corn Belt Project
Sotirios Archontoulis, agronomy, is the co-leader of a new, five-year, $16 million project with Kansas State University and others to explore big, interconnected questions impacting agriculture across the Corn Belt. Researchers will study how combinations of crops (corn, soybean, wheat and rye), agronomic management (tillage and fertilizer), diverse soils and water (rainfed, irrigated and subsurface drainage) affect productivity and environmental performance of cropping systems. The project will use data from sites in seven states (Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska and Ohio) and use simulation modeling to expand the knowledge gained across time and space. More 

Teaching and Students

Study Abroad Day Celebration Set for Feb. 26
The CALS Study Abroad program is celebrating International Study Abroad Day with an open house on Feb. 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in 18 Curtiss Hall. There will be pizza and activities for students, the opportunity to win a $250 study abroad scholarship and a T-shirt drawing. More 

Extension and Outreach

Woodland Restoration Webpage Updated
Resources for incorporating native plants into a shady yard or woodland are available on the updated Native Iowa Woodland Understory Restoration webpage. Guidance on best performing plant species, restoration techniques and more are available. More 

Beer Sensory Workshop Available March 11
The Brewing Science Program, along with the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute, is offering a Beer Sensory Evaluation Workshop on March 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the ISU Brewery, 1598 Food Sciences Building. The cost is $75, which includes lunch and a reception from 4-5 p.m. The program is for professional brewers and experienced home brewers. More 

Small Meat Processor Workshop Available April 25
ISU Extension and Outreach is holding a Small Meat Processor Workshop on April 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. Speakers will cover business planning, budgets, marketing strategies and more. More 

Around the College

Ramirez Named Interim Director of Egg Industry Center
Brett Ramirez, agricultural and biosystems engineering, has been appointed interim director of the Egg Industry Center. He has served as the center’s assistant director since April 2023, leading alongside former EIC director Richard Gates, who passed away in November 2023. More 

Chung Joins ABE Department
Hanwook Chung has joined Iowa State as an assistant professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering. His research focus is on improving the indoor production microenvironment for agricultural commodities like livestock and plants, resiliency in indoor production and sustainability. More 

ISU Day at the Capitol to Feature CALS Programs
“Innovation with Impact” is the theme for ISU Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Eighteen programs will demonstrate to legislators, statehouse staff and visitors how the university is meeting state priorities, preparing students for the workforce and contributing to the state's economy and quality of life. Featured programs include the following. More  

  • Alliant Energy Solar Farm at ISU.
  • ISU Creamery, with ice cream and cheese samples.
  • ISU Kent Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex.
  • ISU Research Park, featuring Alliant Energy Agriculture Innovation Lab, the soon-to-be home of the ISU Digital Agriculture Innovation team. 
  • STEM Workforce, featuring CALS Career Services director Mike Gaul and undergraduate researcher Catarina Bittencourt, junior in genetics.

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. 20: Soil Seminar
Michael Thompson, agronomy, will present “Soil Science at ISU and Beyond – A discussion about our profession’s past and its future,” at a seminar on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 8 a.m. in 3022 Agronomy Hall. The seminar is also available via Microsoft Teams. 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 organizes the symposium, which is hosted by the Department of Agronomy. More 

March 27: CALS Spring Awards Program
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

How to Run a Good Meeting
In higher education, meetings are more than meetings, Allison Vaillancourt said in a Jan. 3 article for the Chronicle of Higher Education. “It’s through meetings…that we learn how our organization is functioning, clarify our roles and expectations, and receive clues about our standing.” Vaillancourt offers five questions to explore to make meetings effective, inclusive and maybe – just maybe – even a little bit fun. More 


NSF Funds New Research Administration Internship Program
The National Science Foundation has awarded Iowa State $3.7 million over 4.5 years to spearhead a cross-institutional program designed to build a more robust regional research administration workforce for the future. The National Academies has identified a lack of dedicated and trained research administration staff as a major factor that limits the ability of faculty at emerging research institutions to contribute to the national research enterprise. More  

Iowa State Selected as Spoke for Investor Catalyst Hub
Iowa State University has been selected as a spoke for the Investor Catalyst Hub, a regional hub of ARPANET-H, a nationwide health innovation network launched by the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health. The Investor Catalyst Hub seeks to accelerate the commercialization of groundbreaking and accessible biomedical solutions. “Among academic members, Iowa State is one of the few university spokes that does not have a medical school. Our selection is a recognition of the innovative and transformative health-related work that is taking place not only here, but at other land-grant research institutions," Vice President for Research Peter Dorhout said. More  

USDA Releases 2022 Census of Agriculture Data
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released results of the 2022 Census of Agriculture, spanning more than 6 million data points about America’s farms and ranches and the people who operate them down to the county level. The information collected directly from producers shows a continued decline in the total number of U.S. farms. However, the data also show a rise in the number of new, beginning and young producers. More 


Weaving Art into STEM
Meteorology students may not expect to spend a class session in an art museum — or that the rolling clouds in a painting would spark a rich discussion about their field of study — but that’s just what happened at Iowa State thanks to some creative thinking and collaboration by a professor and staff in University Museums. Bill Gallus, geological and atmospheric sciences, and Adrienne Gennett, University Museums, will present Visual Literacy Tools for Curriculum in STEM Fields on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 10-11 a.m. in 2030 Morrill Hall. 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.

X (formerly Twitter)  

University Nondiscrimination Statement