Issue: 647

Ag and Life Sciences Online

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Newsletter
Iowa State University
April 18, 2011 No. 647

College News

Sixteen CALS Faculty, Staff to be Honored This Fall With University Awards
CALS faculty and staff will receive honors this fall at the University's Fall Convocation and Awards Ceremony. The event will be held Sept. 26 in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The honorees are:

  • Joel Coats, entomology, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor
  • Jay-lin Jane, food science and human nutrition, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor
  • Kenneth Moore, agronomy, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor
  • Mary Wiedenhoeft, agronomy, Award for Academic Advising Impact
  • Jesse Randall, natural resource ecology and management, Award for Early Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice
  • Nicholas Howell, research and demonstration farms, Carroll Ringgenberg Award
  • Mark Hoffmann, horticulture, P&S Excellence Award
  • Melea Reicks Licht, agriculture and life sciences communications, P&S Excellence Award
  • Michael Retallick, agricultural education and studies, Award for Early Achievement in Teaching
  • Lester Wilson, food science and human nutrition, James Huntington Ellis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Introductory Teaching
  • Martin Spalding, genetics, development and cell biology, Award for Departmental Leadership
  • Susan Carpenter, animal science, Regents Award for Faculty Excellence
  • John Downing, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, Regents Award for Faculty Excellence
  • Robert Martin, agricultural education and studies, Regents Award for Faculty Excellence
  • Michael Kaiser, animal science, Regents Award for Staff Excellence
  • Charles Sauer, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, Regents Award for Staff Excellence

Learn to Run a Biorefinery in a Virtual Control Room
ISU researchers, including David Grewell, agricultural and biosystems engineering, have developed a virtual biorefinery control room based on ethanol and biodiesel plants in Iowa. More

Faculty Part of Feed Efficiency Study of Beef Cattle
ISU animal scientists are on a team of researchers and extension specialists focusing on nutrition and genetics to improve cattle feeding efficiency. Dan Loy is leading the extension effort. Stephanie Hansen and Dorian Garrick are working on the research aspects.

Pest Monitoring Website Introduced
The Corn and Soybean Initiative has developed a new resource intended to simplify the management of crop pests. The North Central ipmPIPE website is an interactive collection of maps and related resources designed to help growers and agribusinesses more easily track and manage crop pests of regional importance.

High School Students Invited to Join Crop Scouting Competition
The Corn and Soybean Initiative seeks team applicants and adult leaders for a new program designed to give high school students a taste of what it takes to be a modern farmer.

Farmhouse Fraternity Named Chapter of Distinction
The ISU chapter of FarmHouse Fraternity has received the North American Interfraternity Conference Chapter Award of Distinction.

Symposium on Undergraduate Research, April 19
The 2011 Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression will be held Tuesday, April 19, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union. CALS students will be presenting on the following topics: soil sciences; water, weather and the environment; biology and bioinformatics; biology, microbiology and genetics; energy and the environment; science, food and health; biology, biochemistry and genetics; animal and plant sciences; and science, engineering and the environment. More

Webinar Offers Tips on Nitrogen and Water Quality
The Iowa Learning Farms' April webinar will feature Matt Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering, talking about in-field nitrogen management and drainage design and its impact downstream. The webinar is Wednesday, April 20, at noon through Adobe Connect.

Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture Symposium, April 20
The Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture will convene its seventh annual research symposium on Wednesday, April 20, at 2:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Nancy Creamer, distinguished professor of sustainable community-based food systems, director of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and professor of horticultural science at North Carolina State University, will present "Building a Local Food Economy in North Carolina." A poster display and discussion session will follow in the South Ballroom. More: Charles Sauer,

Gamma Sigma Delta Awards Ceremony, April 21
The Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture will hold its initiation and awards ceremony Thursday, April 21, at 5 p.m. in the Curtiss Hall Auditorium. Reception to follow.

Loomis Lecture and Plant Biology Mini-Symposium, April 21-22
The 2011 Walter and Helen Parke Loomis Distinguished Lecture in Plant Biology will be held Thursday, April 21, at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room. June Nasrallah, Cornell University, will present "To Self or Not To Self: Mating System Diversification in Flowering Plants." Nasrallah also will be one of the speakers at the Plant Biology Mini-Symposium on "Plant Peptide Hormones and the Receptors," Friday, April 22, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. in the Pioneer Room.

Science With Practice Poster Presentation, April 27
Spring semester Science with Practice participants will be presenting their research and development projects at a poster presentation on April 27, 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Kildee Hall Atrium. Science with Practice is a learning and work experience program in research and related laboratories, coordinated by the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies.

Conference Examines New Sodium Recommendations, April 28
Current Issues in Nutrition, a two-part online conference from ISU Extension and food science and human nutrition, will address the rationale behind the new lower sodium recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. Speakers also will examine the implications for the general public, health care professionals and the food industry.

Issues on Expiration of Biotech Crop Patents
Roger McEowen, director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation, has written about the upcoming expiration of patents on biotech crops and some issues it raises for farmers and the seed industry. "Expiring Biotech Patents: Implications for Farmers" is available on the CALT website.

CALS Peer Mentors and Supervisors Recognized
Forty exemplary mentors and 14 exemplary peer mentor supervisors were honored at the 10th annual Learning Communities Peer Mentor Recognition Ceremony held April 6. CALS students recognized as peer mentors were:

  • Robert Anderson, senior in biology
  • Winston Beck, senior in horticulture
  • Amber Broulik, senior in agricultural business
  • Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, senior in agricultural business
  • Carly Cummings, senior in agricultural business
  • Samantha Edster, junior in global resource systems
  • Valerie Gilles, senior in biology
  • Erich Hodges, junior in dairy science
  • Dana Jensen, junior in global resource systems
  • Vera Prisacari, junior in nutritional science
  • Darrin Rahn, senior in agricultural business
  • Courtney Steen, senior in biology

CALS faculty recognized as peer mentor supervisors were:

  • Sarah Bender Miller, food science and human nutrition
  • Desiree Gunning, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology
  • Denise Hix, ecology, evolution and organismal biology
  • Anne Oldham, food science and human nutrition

CALS Staff Earn Cytation Award
The Professional and Scientific Council Cytation award is given to staff for performing above and beyond the call of duty, and/or doing something extraordinarily well, or acting in such a way as to make a very real difference in the institution. CALS staff receiving the spring 2011 award are: Roxanne Clemens, program coordinator for the college, and Mark Hoffmann, system analyst in horticulture.

Top 10 Employers of CALS Undergraduates
According to Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services, the top 10 employers of CALS bachelor's degree recipients from 2009-2010 are: 1) Pioneer Hi-Bred International with 23 employed; 2) USDA (includes APHIS, ARS, FS, NCRPIS, NRCS) with 16 employed; 3) Iowa DNR and Monsanto Company tied with nine each; 5) ISU with eight; 6) AgReliant Genetics and John Deere tied with seven each; 8) Ag Leader Technology and FC Coop with six each; and 10) Cargill and Dow AgroSciences/Mycogen with five each.

DNA Dinner a Success
Approximately 50 students and faculty attended the DNA Dinner presented by the undergraduate Microbiology Club and Genetics Club on March 25. Ben Janson, a junior in microbiology and genetics and the Microbiology Club president, stated, "This was the first year we have held the DNA Dinner, and after the responses we received, it certainly will not be the last." More

Deadlines and Reminders
April 19-20: BIGMAP Symposium

May 9-11: Origins of Obesity Symposium

May 11: Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference

External Funding

Stay on Top of Your NIH Proposal After You Apply
The National Institutes of Health New Investigator Series suggests steps investigators can take after submitting a proposal to improve their chances of getting funded.

National Research Council Research Associateship Programs
The National Research Council of the National Academies provides awards for graduate, postdoctoral and senior researchers to do independent research in some of the best-equipped and -staffed laboratories in the U.S. The awards include stipends ranging from $42,000 to $75,000 per year. Applications for the first of four upcoming review cycles are due May 1. More

National Pork Board Call for Proposals
The National Pork Board has released its Spring Call for Proposals for 2011. NPB is soliciting proposals dealing with environment, swine health, pork safety, human nutrition, and nutritional efficiency and sow lifetime production. Contact Beverly Everitt,, (515) 223-2750.

Funding Information, Opportunities and Deadline Reminders
Dates listed are application deadlines. Contact: Roxanne Clemens,

April 29: Wildlife Conservation Society North America Program Climate Adaptation Fund; universities must be partners on projects, $50,000 to $250,000 for one to two years.

May 16: FishAmerica Foundation and NOAA Restoration Center Request for Proposals for Community-based Habitat Restoration Projects; $10,000 to $75,000, one year. More

May 31 (preapplications): USDA-DOE Biomass Research and Development Initiative; $3 million to $7 million per award, up to four years, cost share required.

June 1: Robert Woods Johnson Foundation Public Health Services Research Resources; Dissertation Grant and Junior Faculty Programs.

June 17: Predictive Multiscale Models for Biomedical, Biological, Behavioral, Environmental and Clinical Research (Interagency U01) Grant. More

Sept. 13: Pilot Studies to Develop and Test Novel, Low-Cost Methods for the Conduct of Clinical Trials (R01). More

Communications Kiosk

Ability vs. Capability vs. Capacity

  • Ability refers to a person's physical or mental skill or power to achieve something (the ability to ride a bike).
  • Capability refers more generally to power or ability (she has the capability to play soccer professional) or to the quality of being able to use or be used in a certain way (a jet with long-distance-flight capability).
  • Capacity refers especially to a vessel's ability to hold or contain something (a high-capacity fuel tank). Used figuratively, capacity refers to a person's physical or mental power to learn (an astounding capacity for mathematics).

The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., 2003.


Office for Responsible Research Compliance Training, April 20
The Office for Responsible Research is holding an informational session on Wednesday, April 20, at 3 p.m. in the Vet Med Wilcke Suites, Rooms 2401 and 2402. In "How to Perform Category D and E Searches," Mary Sauer, ISU's attending veterinarian, will address federal regulatory requirements regarding pain and distress, as well as helpful information for completing IACUC application forms. To register, contact Connie Regenold,

ISU ADVANCE Workshop Registration Deadline, April 20
Lunch reservations are due Wednesday, April 20, for the ISU ADVANCE workshop scheduled for April 29, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union Gallery. The topic is "On the Path to Transformation: Looking Back and Looking Forward." To make your reservation:

ISU, USDA to Jointly Operate Next-Generation DNA Sequencer
ISU's DNA Facility and the USDA's National Animal Disease Center have signed an agreement to jointly operate a new next-generation DNA sequencer that will yield more genetic data faster. This translates into quicker research results that could benefit human and animal health, agricultural production, industrial fermentation or dozens of other life science areas.

A Reminder on Office Records from University Archives
The University Archives of the ISU Library welcomes the transfer of records and papers from offices and faculty. The mission of the University Archives is to preserve historically valuable records and other materials that document the development of ISU.

Internal Voices

Hart on the Fate of the Iowa and U.S. Corn Crop
"We've never had a situation this tight right at the beginning of planting. Even if we get a really good crop this year, it will just meet the expected demand." Chad Hart, economics, in a story in the Des Moines Register on April 16. The amount of U.S. corn expected to be available by the end of the summer is the smallest surplus in 15 years and the second-smallest in 74 years.

External Voices

NSF Programs Receive Attention for Educational Efforts
"I think training the mind to think critically is important. Science works like that because enquiry, investigation and curiosity is very critical even in day-to-day life." Subra Suresh, director of the National Science Foundation, in a story in the Iowa State Daily on April 14. More


Television Show Features Trip to George Washington Carver National Monument
An episode of "19 Kids and Counting" features the Duggar family taking a trip to the George Washington Carver National Monument to learn about peanut cultivation.

Ag and Life Sciences Online

Julie Stewart,
Phone: (515) 294-5616

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