Issue: 848

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
May 4, 2015 – No. 848

Top Stories

Kling Named to National Academy of Sciences
Catherine Kling, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences, professor of economics and director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at ISU, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences for her achievements in original research. Election to the academy is among the most prestigious honors given to U.S. scientists and engineers. Kling is the eleventh ISU faculty member, and the first woman at the university, to receive the honor. More 

ISU’s Ag and Vet Programs Ranked among Top in the World
ISU’s programs in agriculture and forestry and in veterinary science have been ranked among the world’s best by a British organization’s latest rating. For the third straight year, Iowa State was ranked in the top 10 for programs in agriculture and forestry by Quacquarelli Symonds. More


Faculty Named Distinguished Professor, University Professor
Stephen Howell, professor of genetics, development and cell biology, was named a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences. Daniel Nettleton, Laurence H. Baker Chair in Biological Statistics and professor of statistics, was named a Distinguished Professor in Liberal arts and Sciences. Drena Dobbs, professor of genetics, development and cell biology, was named a University Professor. They will be honored at the annual faculty and staff awards ceremony on Sept. 21. More

ISU Soil Productivity Rating System Updated
ISU researchers including Lee Burras, agronomy, have released the equation for calculating Iowa’s Corn Suitability Ratings, the updated soil productivity index for the state’s soils. In the mid-1970s, the State of Iowa established legislation that required agricultural land be assessed on the basis of productivity and the net earning capacity to ensure equitable assessment. Today, the CSR is used in many other ways, including to develop land-use plans, determine land values, predict yields and negotiate cash rents. More

ISU Studying Water Storage to Benefit Crops, Waterways
ISU is partnering with researchers at seven other land-grant universities to examine the economic and environmental benefits and costs of storing water from farm drainage systems for crops to use later and to reduce nitrate-nitrogen loss into waterways. The project, led by Purdue University, is funded by a $5 million grant from USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture. Matthew Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering, and many other researchers on the new water storage project, are wrapping up work on a five-year, $20 million, multi-university, USDA-NIFA Coordinated Agricultural Project led by ISU. More

Water Quality Pilot Project Launched on Lake LaVerne
Water quality in ISU’s Lake LaVerne may soon get a boost with the installation of vegetated floating islands designed by a team of faculty and graduate students, including John Downing, ecology, evolution and organismal biology. More

Teaching and Students

College Convocation to Honor Graduates Saturday
Faculty and staff are invited to recognize graduating seniors at the College convocation Saturday, May 9, in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium. Doors open at 8 a.m. for a reception. The convocation begins at 9 a.m. Chancelor Wiese, agricultural studies, is the convocation speaker. Morgan Bobb, genetics and global resource systems, is the college’s student marshal. The Ag and Life Sciences Student Council will present awards to the following graduates: Lauren Reagan, genetics, for academic achievement; Nicole Schubert, animal ecology, for distinguished service; Lauren Borkowski, agricultural studies and international agriculture, for outstanding ambassador of agriculture; Amanda Outhouse, animal science, for leadership excellence; and Matthew Romoser, animal science, for outstanding senior.

Awards Presented by ISU Agriculture Honor Society
The Iowa Chapter of the Honor Society of Agriculture, known as Gamma Sigma Delta, presented awards April 23 to CALS alumni, faculty and students. More

  • Distinguished Achievement in Agriculture Award – Maynard Hogberg, professor emeritus of animal science.
  • Alumni Award of Merit – Karl Dawson, vice president of Alltech Inc.
  • Teaching Mission Award – Leo Timms, animal science.
  • Research Mission Award – James Reecy, animal science.
  • International Mission Award – Susan Lamont, animal science.
  • Senior Scholarship – Daniel Schnadt, biology.
  • Sophomore Scholarship – Molly O’Brien, animal science.

Sample Innovative New Food Products, May 5 
Sample innovative new food products at the Annual Dyscovry Foods (FSHN 412) on Tuesday, May 5, 12:30 to 2 p.m. in MacKay Hall, second floor hallway outside room 210.

Plant Sale at Reiman Gardens, May 9-10
The Graduate Student Horticulture Society and the ISU Horticulture Club, along with Reiman Gardens and the Story County Master Gardener Association, will hold their Plant Sale Extravaganza on Saturday, May 9, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, May 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Reiman Gardens’ parking lot. Members can purchase plants before the public on Friday, May 8, 3 to 7 p.m.

Extension and Outreach

Milkweed Planting Encouraged on Iowa CRP Acres
The Iowa office of the USDA Farm Service Agency is encouraging farmers and landowners to consider planting milkweed, the habitat of monarch butterflies, on their land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program. Nearly 1.5 million acres in Iowa currently are enrolled in CRP. The Farm Service Agency’s action on milkweed supports the efforts of the recently announced Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium in increasing habitat for the monarch in the state. More

ANR at Noon Presentation Available Online
The ANR at Noon presentation on April 24 is available online. Ajay Nair, horticulture, presented on Sustainable Vegetable Production in Iowa. More Nair also provides a link to a book mentioned in his presentation, “Managing Cover Crops Profitably, Third Edition.” 


May 6: P&T Mirroring Session
A promotion and tenure mirroring session for pre-tenure assistant professors and tenured associate professors with an appointment in CALS will be held May 6, 12 to 1:30 p.m. in 142 Curtiss Hall. This is an opportunity to reflect on the P&T process, ask questions and engage in grass-root level discussions. This will be facilitated by David Acker, Joe Colletti, Gwen Beattie and Sue Lamont. 

Funding Opportunities

VPR Office Accepting Expressions of Interest for USDA WAMS Program
The VPR Office is accepting expressions of interest for the USDA NIFA Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS). This program aims to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in STEM fields that are relevant to USDA priorities. Applications are limited to two per institution: one as lead and one as part of a consortium. Please contact Sue Shipitalo,, with expressions interest by May 11.

Limited Submission Opportunity for NIH Nutrition Obesity Research Centers
The VPR Office is accepting expressions of interest for the NIH Nutrition Obesity Research Centers program (P30). This opportunity aims to establish core centers that are part of the existing program of nutrition and obesity research. The NORC program supports three primary research-related activities: research core services, a pilot and feasibility program and an enrichment program. Applications are limited to one per institution. Please email Sue Shipitalo,, with expressions of interest by May 11. More

Funding Information, Opportunities and Deadline Reminders
Dates listed are application deadlines. Contact: Roxanne Clemens, Additional information is posted at CALS Funding Resources.

Various dates (pre-applications): DOD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs; various programs, up to $10 million per award.

May 15: Ridge Center for Targeted Studies; $35,000, social sciences-based research on food and nutrition assistance challenges of rural people and places.

May 18 (expression of interest): NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (R25); one application per institution, if interested contact Sue Shipitalo, More

May 18 (internal expression of interest): NIH Developing and Improving Institutional Animal Resources (G20); $500,000 direct cost, one application per institution, if interested contact Sue Shipitalo, More

May 20: Ridge Center Doctoral Dissertation Research; $17,500. More

May 26: USDA NIFA Alfalfa and Forage Research Program; $210,000. More

May 27: USDA NIFA Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Program; $500,000. More

June 8: EPA Office of Pesticide Programs National Farmworker Training; one award, $2.5 million over five years, one application per organization.

June 15 (concept papers): USAID-El Salvador Regional and Bilateral Activities; two awards for expanding climate-resilient agriculture in Central America, $500,000 to $4 million. More

Aug. 24 (letter of intent): NIH Dual Purpose with Dual Benefit: Research in Biomedicine and Agriculture Using Agriculturally Important Domestic Animal Species (R01). More

Apr. 28, 2016 (rolling basis): DARPA Biological Technologies.

Communications Kiosk

Possessive of Nouns Plural in Form, Singular in Meaning
When the singular form of a noun ending in “s” is the same as the plural, the possessives of both are formed by the addition of an apostrophe only. If ambiguity threatens, use “of” to avoid the possessive. For example: politics’ true meaning, economics’ forerunners, this species’ first record or the first record of this species. The same rule applies when the name of a place, an organization or a publication is a plural form ending in “s,” even though the entity is singular. For example: the United States’ role in international law, Callaway Gardens’ former curator. (Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, 2010, pg. 355)


ISU United Way Food Drive Continues through May 6
The seventh annual ISU LIVE UNITED Food Drive continues. Non-perishable items will be collected through May 6 for Story County food pantries. Collection boxes can be found at the Harl Commons (near the elevator) and ground floor Rotunda in Curtiss Hall, 2312 Food Sciences Building, 251 and 351 Bessey Hall, 207 Science I, 2200 Gerdin Building and 117 Library. More: Carla Persaud,, 4-1823

P&S Council Hosts Meet, Greet and Eat on May 13
The Professional and Scientific Council and the CALS representatives are hosting a Meet, Greet and Eat reception on May 13, 3 to 5 p.m. in the Harl Commons, Curtiss Hall. Ice cream from the ISU Dairy Science Club will be served along with snacks from ISU Catering and door prizes. P&S Council representatives include Jessica Bell, natural resource ecology and management; Katrina Harden Williams, aerospace engineering; Michael White, ISU Extension and Outreach; and Wendy Stensland, veterinary diagnostic lab.


Iowa House Recognizes Importance of Iowa Soils (Thank You, Gerald Miller)
On April 30, during National Soil and Water Week, the Iowa House of Representatives approved a resolution on the importance of soils to Iowa's future prosperity and healthy environment. The resolution was made possible by the efforts of Gerald Miller, former CALS associate dean for extension and outreach, emeritus professor of agronomy and soil scientist. Representative John Wills of Spirit Lake provided leadership for the resolution, and he thanked Miller for his help and “for the ‘seeds’ that you planted to do this.”

CALS Graduate Student Helps Father Find Thesis, Attend Graduation Ceremony
Sally Mallowa, graduate student in plant pathology and microbiology, will receive her degree from ISU this weekend. When she invited her father over from Kenya for her graduation ceremony, she discovered that he also studied in America, but did not have the opportunity to graduate or receive his 1967 thesis. After nearly 8,000 miles and 48 years, Samuel Ochiel Obura received his degree from the University of Cincinnati on May 1.

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 Friday.


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