Issue: 852

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
June 1, 2015 – No. 852

Top Stories

Stewart Featured for Work in Biotech at ISU
Charles Stewart (’00 ag biochemistry) came home to Iowa from San Diego to work as an associate scientist in the Office of Biotechnology. He manages the Macromolecular X-ray Crystallography Facility, which provides students, staff and faculty with the instrumentation and technology necessary to understand the 3D structure of proteins. Also, he conducts research on the structure and function of a set of enzymes used by plants to defend themselves against pathogens. Stewart was recently featured by the Alliance for Iowa State. More

Gaul Receives Faculty-Staff Inspiration Award
Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services, received a 2015 Faculty-Staff Inspiration Award from the ISU Alumni Association on May 29. The award was established for alumni to recognize current or former faculty or staff members who had a significant influence during their student experience. More


Faculty Bring New Approach to Studying Plant Disease
Wei Wang and Justin Walley, assistant professors who recently joined the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, were hired as part of the university’s Presidential High-Impact Hires Initiative. As system biologists studying plant-host interactions, they use huge volumes of research information and computer software to build mathematical and graphical models to understand the behavior of a system. More

Research Uncovers Surprising Genetic Diversity across Species
A new ISU study focusing on insulin signaling uncovered surprising genetic diversity across reptiles, birds and mammals. The research sets the stage for an improved understanding of metabolism, growth and aging and may have implications for medicine and human health, said Anne Bronikowski, ecology, evolution and organismal biology and lead author of the study. More

Leopold Center Seeks Research Ideas for 2016
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is looking for innovative ideas for research and projects as part of its long-running competitive grants program. Of particular interest this year is work that focuses on soil health, farming options to create a more diverse landscape, ways to increase adoption of conservation practices, challenges to beginning farmers and development of food hubs and food distribution businesses.

Teaching and Students

Graduating CALS Ambassadors Recognized by Cabinet
Graduating seniors of the CALS Ambassadors were recognized for their efforts in recruitment and other support for the college on May 8 at the college cabinet meeting. They were:

  • Cody Belknap, agricultural studies – campus visits committee
  • Lauren Borkowski, agricultural studies and international agriculture – secretary and chairperson positions
  • Megan Coady, animal science – junior visit day committee
  • Patrick Hepner, animal science – ambassador training committee
  • Chawn McGrath, animal science – junior visit day committee
  • Abbie Peterson, agronomy – alumni relations committee
  • Sarah Tweeten, agricultural and life sciences education – ambassador training committee
  • Logan Worden, agricultural and life sciences education – alumni relations committee

Extension and Outreach

Celebrate Iowa’s Dairy Industry with ISU Extension and Outreach
June is national dairy month and ISU Extension and Outreach and dairy partners are hosting open houses around the state to help Iowan’s learn about dairy farming first-hand. Leo Timms, Morrill Professor in animal science and Extension dairy specialist, said the June open houses include face-to-face conversations with dairy producers and on-farm milking demonstrations.


June 3-5: World Pork Expo
The World Pork Expo will be held June 3-5 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Dermot Hayes, economics, will be speaking on “U.S. Pork Exports: Situation and Outlook.”

June 5: Dairy Farm Open House
The ISU Dairy Farm will celebrate dairy month with its seventh annual open house on June 5 from 6 to 11 a.m. The event is open to the public and tours will be given every 30 minutes. Tour stops include the milking parlor, milk house and a trolley tour of the farm. Milk, cheese, ice cream and yogurt are a few of the samples available at the open house. More

June 20: Pollinator Fest at Reiman Gardens
Reiman Gardens will celebrate National Pollinator Week on June 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with activities hosted by the ISU Pollinator Working Group, the ISU Insect Zoo, the ISU Entomology Graduate Student Organization, and the ISU Graduates in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology.

June 25: Iowa Swine Day
ISU will host the fourth annual Iowa Swine Day on June 25, 9 a.m. to 4:35 p.m. at the Scheman Building. Regional, national and international leaders in swine research, economics, production and the marketplace will address key challenges facing the pork industry. More

Funding Opportunities

Internal Competition: Brain Research Foundation SIA
The Office of the Vice President for Research is soliciting pre-proposals for the Brain Research Foundation’s Scientific Innovation Award in Neuroscience. This funding mechanism is designed to support creative, cutting edge research under the direction of established investigators. This opportunity is for projects that may be too innovative and speculative for traditional funding sources but still have a high likelihood of producing important findings in a very short timeframe. One proposal per institution will be accepted. Pre-proposals are due by June 8. Contact: Chitra Rajan or Donna Van Pelt

Request for Expressions of Interest for Cochran Fellowship Program
The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service is seeking to identify U.S. universities willing to host mid-level agricultural managers from lower- and middle-income countries (Eastern Europe and Eurasia) under the Cochran Fellowship Program. Cochran fellows come to the United States for two to three weeks to receive hands-on training to enhance their technical knowledge and skills in areas related to agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy and marketing. Applications are due by June 19. Contact Eduarda Becerra ( with questions or for assistance in submitting an expression of interest.

Training E-Modules on How to Work with USAID
The U.S. Agency for International Development offers an on-line training series designed to answer some of the most frequently raised questions from organizations interested in partnering with USAID. The purpose of the training is to provide tools for competitively applying for USAID funding. Module topics include researching potential funding opportunities, preparing proposals and applications, budget, and monitoring and evaluation plans. More

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

July 2 (RFA questions due June 19): USAID Feed the Future Uganda Producer Organizations Activity; $3.3 million, 5 percent cost share, to strengthen producer organizations for coffee, maize and beans. More

July 12: EPA Pesticide Safety Resource Projects.

July 17 (questions due June 15): USAID Integrated Nutrition and WASH Activity Rwanda; $19 million over five years, 15 percent cost share, one application per organization, contact Sue Shipitalo ( with interest. More

Aug. 1: NSF Opportunities for Promoting Understanding through Synthesis; $125,000 to $200,000. More

Aug. 18: NSF International Research Experiences for Students; $250,000 over three years. More

Sept. 8 (letter of intent): NSF Partnerships for Innovation: Accelerating Innovation Research – Technology Translation; $200,000 for 18 months. More

Communications Kiosk

Use of Commas with Essential and Nonessential Clauses
Essential and nonessential clauses provide additional information about a word or phrase in a sentence. The difference is that the essential clause cannot be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence. The presence or absence of commas provides the reader with critical information about the writer’s intended meaning. An essential clause must not be set off from the rest of a sentence by commas. For example: “Reporters who do not read their stylebook should not criticize their editors.” The writer is saying that only one class of reporters should not criticize their editors. A nonessential clause must be set off by commas. For example: “Reporters, who do not read their stylebook, should not criticize their editors.” Here the writer is saying that all reporters should not criticize their editors. If the phrase within the commas were deleted, it would not change the meaning. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2014 edition, pg. 90)


Avian Flu Topic of Café Scientifique
“Avian Flu and the Path to Prevention” is the topic of this month’s Café Scientifique at the Science Center of Iowa on June 9, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jim Roth, professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine at ISU, will provide an introduction and background on the topic, followed by an open forum for questions and discussions.

Schescke is New Executive Vice President for CAST
Kent Schescke begins his role as executive vice president of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology today, June 1. He has spent the last 24 years with the National FFA Organization and Foundation. Schescke follows Linda Chimenti, who retired at the end of May after 15 successful years with CAST. More

Summer Meal Programs Feature Local Foods
USDA’s Farm to Summer website highlights the benefits of using local foods at summer feeding sites and provides resources to plan and implement the program. The Summer Food Service Program is a federally funded, state-administered program that reimburses providers who serve healthy meals to children and teens in low-income areas at no charge primarily during the summer months when school is not in session. More


Summer Festivals Benefit Small Farming Communities
There is no shortage of summer festivals celebrating agriculture and rural life throughout the state. Iowa Farmer Today ran an article in the May 28 edition about several small towns that host their own festivals and how local farmers and businesses play a major role in their success.

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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