Issue: 649

Ag and Life Sciences Online

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Newsletter
Iowa State University
May 2, 2011 No. 649

College News

College Convocation to Honor Graduates Saturday
Faculty and staff are invited to recognize graduating seniors at the College convocation Saturday, May 7, in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium. Doors open at 8 a.m. for a reception. The convocation begins at 9 a.m. Lisa Tronchetti, who will receive two bachelor's degrees in agricultural business and economics, is the convocation speaker. Miriam Mettry, who will receive two bachelor's degrees in microbiology and genetics, is the college's student marshal. The Ag and Life Sciences Student Council will present awards to the following graduates: Lisa Tronchetti, agricultural business, for academic achievement; Kelsey Drey, animal ecology, for distinguished service; Jacob Hunter, agricultural and life sciences education, for outstanding ambassador of agriculture; Lindsey Crawford, agricultural and life sciences education, for leadership excellence; and Jennifer Blaser, microbiology, for outstanding senior.

Board of Regents Approve Name Change for Plant Pathology
The Iowa Board of Regents approved a name change for the Department of Plant Pathology, to the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, at its April 27 meeting. The name change, which is effective immediately, will help the department market more effectively its research in plant pathology and microbiology and its undergraduate and graduate teaching programs in microbiology.

Rothschild Named Jefferson Science Fellow
Max Rothschild, distinguished professor in animal science, has been selected for a Jefferson Science Fellowship with the U.S. Department of State. Each fellow spends one year at the Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development for an on-site assignment in Washington, D.C. More

Peyton Named Inaugural Recipient of Study Abroad Scholarship
Amy Peyton has been named the first recipient of the Jim and Connie Mohn Scholarship. Peyton is a senior with a triple major in agricultural business, economics and public service and administration in agriculture. The Sac City native will use the $2,000 scholarship to fund her study abroad experience to Rome on the Dean's Global Agriculture and Food Leadership program this summer.

Understanding How Crops Deal With Stress, Yield's Biggest Enemy
Stephen Howell, genetics, development and cell biology, and ISU researchers have discovered a new arm of the pathway by which plants activate a response to environmental stress caused by adverse environmental conditions, such as drought, flood and heat. More

Sustainable Landsape Design Easier Than You Think
Making your property more sustainable is a trend that seems to get more interest from homeowners every year. Ann Marie VanDerZanden, horticulture and co-author of the recently published book "Sustainable Landscape Management: Design, Construction and Maintenance," defines sustainability as minimizing inputs--such as water, fertilizer and time--on your landscape. More

ISU Students Place First in National Agriculture Contest
A team of ISU students finished first and second in North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture contests held in Modesto, Calif. April 14-16. The students won the Ag Knowledge Bowl and placed second overall in the Crops Contest.

CALS Team Takes Top Prize in Pappajohn Competition
Scout Pro -- a software application proposed by a team of CALS students to assist a grower in the identification of weeds, insects and diseases -- was chosen one of the three top prize winners during the finals of the statewide Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition. The team consisted of Michael Koenig, a junior from Pleasantville, Holden Nyhus, a junior from Forest City, and Stuart McCulloh, a sophomore from Camanche, all majoring in agricultural and life sciences education. More

Sample New Food Products at May 3 Showcase
Students in FSHN 412 will present the annual Dyscovry Foods New Product Showcase on Tuesday, May 3, 12:30 to 2 p.m. in MacKay Hall, on the second floor hallway outside room 210. Sample new food products including AnTeaOxidant delights, soup-er sandwich, pecan crinkle cookies, spuds in a snap, and cornbread-bacon scones with maple glaze and bacon crumbles. More: Ken Prusa, food science and human nutrition,, 4-4323.

CALS Alumni Reception Set for May 13
Iowa State University alumni who graduated in 1961 or earlier will visit campus as part of Alumni Days hosted by the ISU Alumni Association May 12-14. On May 13 at 9:30 a.m., CALS will host agriculture and life sciences alumni in Curtiss Hall for a reception to learn about the Curtiss planned renovation, hear from Dean Wintersteen and student service personnel, and share memories of college life. More

Murphy Retirement Celebration, May 26
The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition will celebrate Patricia Murphy's approximately 30 years at ISU at a retirement reception on May 26, 3 to 6 p.m. in the Food Sciences Building Courtyard. Remarks will be made at 4 p.m. You are invited to send best wishes, memories and photos to Breanna Wetzler at or 2312 Food Sciences Building by May 15.

Student Club Members Observed Arbor Day With Tree Planting
Animal ecology and forestry students helped plant trees at the southeast corner of Haber Road and University Boulevard on April 28 in observance of Arbor Day. Joe Colletti, CALS senior associate dean, and Steven Jungst, interim chair of entomology and natural resource ecology and management, also participated. NREM purchased the trees as part of a project to increase the diversity in ISU's tree inventory, particularly for teaching purposes.

Animal Science Faculty Receive Awards
Curt Youngs, animal science, received the 2010-2011 University Honors Program Award for Excellence in Honors Mentoring/Advising at the spring semester honors posters session on April 27. Howard Tyler, animal science, received the 2011 Wilbur Layton Faculty Recognition Award from the Division of Student Affairs.

Five New On-Farm Research Grants Announced
ISU faculty and staff will work with 11 Iowa producers as part of the 2011 ISU On-Farm Research and Demonstration Grant program. The program is a collaboration of CALS, the Leopold Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa. More

ABE Alumni Newsletter Available Online
A February visit to the department from Gov. Terry Branstad, an ABE presence in the new patent display at the ISU Alumni Center and a tribute to May 2010 honorary degree recipient Harold Brock are part of the latest issue of the agricultural and biosystems engineering department's spring 2011 alumni newsletter.

CCUR Newsletter Available Online
The Center for Crops Utilization Research newsletter for March/April 2011 is now available online. Highlights include a faculty spotlight on Zhiyou Wen, information on new fermentation equipment and updates on the BioCentury Research Farm and the CCUR pilot plant.

CALS Administration Begins Summer Hours on May 9
The Dean's office and the CALS administrative offices will be working shortened days during the summer months. The office will be staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning May 9 through Aug. 12.

Deadlines and Reminders
May 9: CALS workshop on preparing proposals for FY11 USDA-AFRI, 2:10 to 3:30 p.m., 13 Curtiss Hall. Roxy Clemens,
May 9-11: Origins of Obesity Symposium
May 11: Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference

External Funding

Reminder: CALS Workshop on Preparing Proposals, May 9
CALS will host a workshop on preparing proposals for the FY 2011 Requests for Applications for the USDA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative challenge areas. Ken Moore, Lois Wright Morton, John Patience and Alison Robertson will share their insights and lessons learned from leading or participating in large, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional proposals submitted for the previous round of AFRI funding. The informal workshop format will facilitate interactive discussion and Q&A. The workshop will be May 9, 2:10 to 3:30 p.m. in 13 Curtiss Hall (Brenton Center). More: Roxy Clemens,

How NIH Decides What to Fund
The NIH New Investigator Series discusses funding decisions and what you can expect.

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

May 9 (letter of intent): Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative -- Research Consortia.

May 15: Resource Enhancement & Protection Conservation Education Program. More

May 23: USAID Papua Agricultural Development Alliance III; one award, $10 million, 15% cost share required.

May 26: Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Type 1 Proposals from Iowa; 70 to 75 awards, $200,000 to $250,000 for up to three years. More

May 31: USDA Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive Grants Program (canola); $210,000.

June 6: Empowering New Generations to Improve Nutrition and Economic opportunities - An Integrated Nutrition Program (Ethiopia); one award, $50.9 million.

June 12: NIH Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01). More

June 15: Advancing Regulatory Science through Novel Biomarker Research and Science-Based Technologies (U01). More

June 16: Nutrition and Physical Activity Research to Promote Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Health (R21); $275,000 over two years. More

June 5: Adverse Outcomes of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (R01). More

June 16: Diet, Epigenetic Events and Cancer Prevention (R21); $275,000 over two years. More

June 30 (preproposals): 2011 Native Plant Conservation Initiative; $15,000 to $75,000, requires one-to-one matching funds.

Oct. 18: NASA NSPRES Interdisciplinary Research in Earth Science. More

Communications Kiosk

Practicable Vs. Possible Vs. Practical

  • What is "practicable" is capable of being done; it's feasible.
  • What is "possible" might be capable of happening or being done, but there is some doubt.
  • What is "practical" is fit for actual use.
    The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., 2003.


New Effort Reporting and Certification Policy
ISU is required to certify effort for direct salary charges for federally sourced projects. ISU has taken the process for this certification (the EASE forms), and developed a formal policy following a 2009 internal audit. The new "Effort Reporting and Certification" policy took effect Feb. 1. Training will be required for all PIs beginning mid-May.

Learning Communities Institute, May 9
The 13th annual Learning Communities Institute will be held May 9, 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in the Scheman Building. Registration and award information is online.

New Data Looks at Years of School Completed
In 2010, 30 percent of adults 25 and older, or 60 million people, had at least a bachelor's degree, compared with 26 percent in 2000, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The data come from tabulations on "Educational Attainment in the United States: 2010" and provide the most detailed information on years of school completed ever presented by the Census Bureau. More

Internal Voices

Pirog on Regional Food Systems
"From a purely transportation perspective, the regional system was by far the most efficient. We found that the regional food system was anywhere from eight to 17 times more fuel efficient than the national system, but also four times more efficient than the local system." Rich Pirog, associate director of the Leopold Center, in a story for USA Today on how energy is squandered in the food industry.

External Voices

Paid or Unpaid, Internships Have Value
"The whole point of an internship from a college's point of view is to provide students with experiences that are not like what students get in the classroom. Rather, internships should provide opportunities to confirm or confound what is found in textbooks and set forth in lectures, and in so doing help meet the institution's learning goals." Charles Westerberg, associate professor of sociology and associate dean at Beloit College, and Carol Wickersham, adjunct instructor of sociology and director of community-based learning at Beloit College, in a commentary for The Chronicle of Higher Education. More


Horticulture Station Supplies Campus With Mulch
Mulch from close to 400 trees taken down at the Horticulture Research Station is being used for landscaping across campus, including the new flowerbeds around Curtiss Hall planted last fall. Superintendent Nick Howell said that on the first day that trees were sent through the chipper, approximately 25 dump-truck loads of mulch were brought to campus for landscaping. The scotch pines and Austrian pines, which made up a windbreak at the Hort Station, were lost to disease and weather-related conditions. The windbreak will be replanted with spruce, fir and white pines.

Ag and Life Sciences Online

Julie Stewart,
Phone: (515) 294-5616

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