Issue: 486

College News

Curriculum Ideas Chosen for Development
A College of Agriculture and Life Sciences panel selected undergraduate certificates for development in response to a college-wide call for curriculum concepts that address emerging trends and needs in society. The panel composed of internal and external members chose an occupational safety concept proposed by Steven Freeman and Charles Schwab, agricultural and biosystems engineering, and an agroecology concept proposed by Mary Wiedenhoeft, Gretchen Zdorkowski and Matt Liebman, agronomy. Each proposal will receive $7,500 to develop the concept and launch the certificates. 

Misra Named Iowa Seed Association Honorary Member
Manjit Misra, Seed Science Center director, was named 2007 Honorary Member of the Iowa Seed Association during its 105th annual convention. Jim Groepper, association president, said Misra's "work at the Seed Science Center and throughout his career has been both comprehensive and influential. His passion for the industry is willingly shared, effectively inspiring leadership and proficiency in our industry. He is in good company among the distinguished men and women previously honored by ISA."

College Faculty, Staff Part of Solar Decathlon Team
The U.S. Department of Energy has selected Iowa State as one of 20 teams from 25 colleges and universities to compete in the fourth Solar Decathlon in the fall of 2009 in Washington, D.C. The Iowa State team includes Brian Steward and David Grewell, agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Darren Jarboe, Center for Crops Utilization Research. Solar Decathlon teams design, build and operate attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered homes. Each team is awarded $100,000 over two years to support the Solar Decathlon's research goal of reducing the cost of solar-powered homes and advancing solar technology.

Two Minutes with Jonathan Wendel
In a research facility atop Bessey Hall you'll find Iowa's largest cotton crop. It's also the home of the nation's leading research on cotton that is conducted by Jonathan Wendel, professor and chair of the department of ecology, evolution and organismal biology. The research was featured in a new National Science Foundation video, Secrets of Plant Genomes -- Revealed!. The video is being used to encourage high school and college students to consider careers in the plant sciences. For more on the "Two Minutes With" feature with Wendel, look online.

Make Me a World
Agricultural education and studies graduate student Marcus Glenn was among Iowa State students who made education presentations to high school and middle school students during the "I'll make me a world in Iowa" celebration in Des Moines Jan. 25-26. The event highlighted African-American arts, culture and contributions.

Dates Set for Promotion and Tenure Workshops Set
Promotion and tenure workshops have been set for April 4, 18 and 30. Each workshop will be held from 3:10 to 5 p.m. in the CCUR auditorium, 1951 Food Sciences building. The April 4 and 18 workshops will provide information for pre-tenured faculty. The April 4 workshop will focus on the definition of scholarship and the April 18 workshop will focus on portfolio development. The April 30 workshop will be organized for associate professors. If you have questions contact David Acker at 4-6614 or Jerry Miller at 4-4333.

Deadlines and Reminders
Jan. 28: Think Tank on Animal Agriculture, 6 p.m., Cardinal Room, Memorial Union Feb. 4: Entomology department chair candidate seminar, Tom Royer, associate professor, entomology and plant pathology department, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, 3:30 p.m., E164 Lagomarcino Hall Feb. 11: Entomology department chair candidate seminar, Leon Higley, professor, entomology department, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 3:30 p.m., E164 Lagomarcino Hall Feb. 12: Panel discussion, "The Future of Agriculture in Iowa," 7 p.m., Curtiss Hall Auditorium Feb. 14: Spring Ag Career Day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Great Hall and Sun Room, Memorial Union Feb. 15: College convocation, 4:15 p.m., Curtiss Hall Auditorium, 127 Curtiss

Communications Kiosk

You Can Submit a Dictionary Word
In the spirit of citizen journalism, Merriam-Webster Online invites anyone to submit new or coined words to Open Dictionary. Some favorite submissions include: alumnesia (noun): inability to recall the name of a former classmate, and destinesia (noun): a physical and mental condition that occurs when you arrive in a place but forget your purpose in traveling there. More: (Writing That Works, October 2007)


Institute for Food Safety and Security Listening Session Feb. 12
An Institute for Food Safety and Security will be held at 9 a.m., Feb. 12, at the Gateway Hotel & Conference Center. It will include a discussion of findings from three previous meetings with representatives from Iowa food processors, manufacturers and transporters. Attendance at one of the previous meetings is not required to attend this summit. There is no cost for registration, but registration is required by Feb. 4. To register call 4-4781 or e-mail Lunch will be provided.

Plant Sciences Institute Seeks Innovative Grant Proposals
The Plant Sciences Institute seeks applications by March 5 for its Innovative Grants Program for FY09-FY10. The program will support promising research that positions Iowa State investigators for future competitive funding. Priority will be given to proposals based on scientific quality, impact of proposed research and benefit to several investigators or research groups on campus. Submissions should propose new research and not a continuation of existing research programs. Proposals should align with one of the five research initiatives or focus on the new areas of plants and climate change. Contact: Deanne Brill, 4-5255. More:

Carbon Neutral Webcast Set for Jan. 30
The Iowa State chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students will present a web cast at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, on achieving a carbon neutral future by the year 2030. The web cast will take place in 101 Carver. The 2030 challenge is a nationwide organization created by architect Edward Mazria.

External Voices

Decision to Buy Farmland Now is a "Hard Game"
Rick Rohrich, a 26-year-old father of three of Steele, N.D., just bought his first farmstead at a time when crop and pasture land are fetching record prices. He didn't think he had a choice. Rural land prices are setting records across the country, and farmers, with a boost from high commodity prices, are in a buying mood. "The prices keep jacking up and I don't see it slowing down," Rohrich said. Rohrich, who will raise cattle on his newly purchased land, is hoping to buy some nearby property to expand his operation. But fertilizer and fuel have skyrocketed, and even twine for his hay bales has doubled in price over the past year, he said. "I've learned it's a hard game and not one of these get-rich quick deals," he said. (Associated Press, Jan. 28)

Internal Voices

Young Farmer Sees Livestock as Plus for Iowa
Chet Hollingshead, a freshman in agricultural studies from Ogden, wrote about the advantages of the livestock industry in Iowa for the Des Moines Register Opinion page on Jan. 26. Holingshead wrote that he's proud to live and work on a family livestock farm in Boone County along with his parents and older brothers. He outlined the economic advantages to the community and the care that goes into raising livestock. “There's a considerable amount of thought and planning that goes into raising livestock responsibly. This begins with following nearly 200 pages of regulations, covering everything from where new buildings can be located to properly using the manure. We are also confident that raising livestock indoors is best for our animals, providing them constant access to feed and water while sheltering them from 20-below-zero wind chills.


Hiding a Castle in a Haystack
A farmer near Redhill, England, built an entire mock castle behind a screen of hay bales and lived there concealed for four years to evade planning regulations, officials said. Robert Fidler hoped to take advantage of a provision of planning law that allows buildings without planning permission to be declared legal if no objections have been made after four years. But officials in Surrey are not impressed. "It does not count because the property was hidden behind hay bales," said a spokeswoman. "No one knew it was there." The local council wants the building demolished, along with an associated conservatory, marquee structure, wooden bridge, patio, decking and tarmac racecourse. "It looks like a mock-Tudor house from the front and it's got two turrets at the back," the spokeswoman said. "I understand there is also a cannon." (Rueters, Jan. 25)

Ag and Life Sciences Online

Ed Adcock,
Phone: (515) 294-5616

Ag and Life Sciences Online, the newsletter for faculty and staff in Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is e-mailed every Monday. To subscribe, send your name, e-mail address and the message "Ag and Life Sciences Online subscribe" to To unsubscribe, send "Ag and Life Sciences Online unsubscribe."

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