Issue: 867

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Sept. 14, 2015 – No. 867

Top Stories

CALS Sets New Enrollment Record; Women Undergrads Now Outnumber Men
For the fourth consecutive year, CALS has set a new enrollment record. The college’s fall-semester enrollment (both undergraduate and graduate) is 5,375, which is 170 students more than fall 2014. The total includes 4,612 undergraduates, an increase of 137 students from last fall, and 763 graduate students, which is up 33 from last year. Over the past decade, CALS has seen an 88.4 percent increase in undergraduate students and a 12.4 percent increase in graduate students. For the first time in college history, women make up the majority of CALS undergraduate students — 50.7 percent female and 49.3 percent male. Graduate enrollment is 56 percent male, 44 percent female. Overall, ISU’s fall 2015 enrollment is 36,001, the largest in school history. More. Registrar enrollment statistics. Also, see Marginalia item in this issue.

ISU Second in Nation for Biological/Agricultural Engineering
ISU and its Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering rank second in biological and agricultural engineering among national universities and also second among public universities in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 “America’s Best Colleges.” More


Lie Tang Featured as ISU Change Agent
Lie Tang, agricultural and biosystems engineering, has devoted his career to designing cutting-edge equipment that automates agricultural work. His research has contributed to innovations such as tractors that drive themselves and robots that hunt down weeds. Tang is the latest entry in a series of articles telling the story of ISU faculty whose work is changing the world for the better. More

Teaching and Students

Block & Bridle Hunger Fight, Oct. 7
The Block & Bridle club’s annual Hunger Fight, sponsored by Elanco, will be held Oct. 7 at 9 a.m. in the Iowa Farm Bureau Pavilion, Kildee Hall. This year’s goal is to package 100,000 meals. Each meal costs 20 cents to prepare. The club’s philanthropy committee is raising funds and recruiting volunteers to package the meals. Volunteers can sign up for a time slot at Google Docs; walk-ins also are welcome. Last year, more than 370 volunteers packaged more than 60,000 meals (see ISU Students Fight Hunger). Contact Brooke Dooley,, with questions.    

Block & Bridle Invites Alumni Back for Showmanship Competition      
The annual Block & Bridle Little North American Showmanship competition will include a special event for alumni. Block & Bridle is inviting animal science alumni back to the show ring on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. to exhibit sheep, beef cattle, swine, horses and dairy cattle provided by the University. An alumni reception will follow the event. Email Brooke Dooley,, for entries and additional information.

Extension and Outreach

Local Food Festival Planned for Sept. 18
ISU Extension and Outreach, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Live Green and ISU Dining are sponsoring the first annual Local Food Festival: An Adventure in Eating on Friday, Sept. 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on central campus. The event will feature educational displays, food samples, recipes using local foods developed by ISU Dining chefs, and locally grown and produced products for sale by vendors and ISU clubs.

C6 BioFarm App Debuts on iTunes
The C6 BioFarm game suite for iPad became available for free download on Sept. 9. The application, designed by a team of ISU students, will teach middle and high school students about agricultural production, bioenergy, STEM careers and more. Lesson plans, career videos and an iBook are available to supplement the Android and Apple tablet apps.

2016 Extension Garden Calendar Welcomes Guests
ISU Extension and Outreach’s 2016 Garden Calendar features guests of the garden. “For many, hosting birds, butterflies, bees and other creatures is one of the most rewarding aspects of gardening,” said Richard Jauron, horticulture. “Desirable guests can be enticed to our gardens by providing food, water and shelter.”

Students Learn the Importance of Technology in Agriculture
ISU Extension and Outreach hosted Animal Science and Precision Ag Field Days at the Northwest Iowa Research Farm in Sutherland, providing 350 high school students from northwest Iowa with information on all aspects of agriculture, especially the importance of new technology.

Around the College

CALS Goal of $68,000 in 2015 United Way Campaign
ISU’s 2015 campaign to support the United Way of Story County begins today, Sept. 14. ISU’s goal is $415,000 and CALS’ goal is $68,000. Donation envelopes can be routed directly in campus mail to be collected by United Way. The return deadline is Oct. 15. There is a push for early completion given the significant increase in the number of children and adults in need. For more information contact Carla Persaud, 4-1823,

CALS United Way Book Sale
The CALS annual United Way book sale will take place on Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at two locations: in the ground floor rotunda of Curtiss Hall and the atrium of the Molecular Biology building. All proceeds go to the 2015 ISU United Way Campaign. Donated items will be accepted up to the day of the sale at each location. Contact Carla Persaud at or 4-1823 with questions.

Donate Items For CALS United Way Online Auction
CALS is collecting items for the sixth annual United Way online auction. Contact Carla Persaud at or 4-1823 with a description of your item(s) to donate. Website and details coming soon.

CALS Volunteers Participate in ‘Day of Caring’ United Way Kick Off
United Way of Story County kicked off the 2015 Live United annual campaign on Sept. 11. The kick off started with a Day of Caring, which is supported by Story County companies who encourage staff to work on community service projects at United Way’s partner agencies. Projects such as landscaping, painting, cleaning and organizing storage areas, serving meals, reading, making blankets and winterizing gardens were completed. Seven volunteers from CALS served lunch, cleaned and participated in activities at the Heartland Senior Services Center. They included Peggy Best, Janet Brodie, Sharon Colletti, Theressa Cooper, Tamara Martin, Carla Persaud and Michele Rogers. This year more than 600 volunteers tackled 55 projects submitted by 33 agencies. The efforts totaled more than 2,300 volunteer hours. This year’s campaign goal is $2,100,000 and 34 percent of that total has been raised. For more information: or (515) 268-5142. 

Surplus Machinery and Equipment Auction, Sept. 16
A surplus machinery and equipment auction for all ISU Research and Demonstration Farms will be held Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 10 a.m. at the Curtiss Farm, 2219 State Ave., Ames. Contact Tim Goode ( with questions. View the sale bill online. 

College Accepting Nominations for Pomerantz Award
CALS is accepting nominations for the Marvin A. Pomerantz Award, which recognizes a faculty member for outstanding achievement in teaching, research and/or outreach. The Provost administers the award and it rotates among the colleges. The FY16 award will be made to a faculty member in CALS. The recipient receives a one-time award of approximately $3,500 to be used to support scholarly activities. Nominations should be submitted via email to Trina Zimmer,, by Sept. 21.

Historical Display Highlights 25th Anniversary of Wallace Foundation at Armstrong Research Farm
The Wallace Foundation for Rural Research and Development will celebrate its 25th anniversary during a Garden Field Day on Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the ISU Armstrong Research Farm near Lewis. The Wallace Foundation owns the Armstrong Research Farm and Wallace Learning Center at Lewis and the Neely-Kinyon Research Farm, Greenfield. These facilities are operated by the ISU Research Farms under a long-term agreement. At the request of the Wallace Foundation, CALS communications service with input from the Wallace Centers of Iowa developed a display highlighting the history of the Wallace family. The center and the Wallace Foundation are named for Henry A. Wallace, an alumnus of the college in 1910. Wallace was a U.S. vice president, secretary of agriculture and secretary of commerce and was born on a farm near Orient in Adair County, Iowa. He was a member of a leading Iowa agricultural family, which started Wallace’s Farmer magazine. He also was a scientist, developer of hybrid seed corn and founder of the Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. More


Sept. 17: National Academy of Sciences Member Speaks at Agronomy Seminar
Ronald Phillips, a trailblazer in agricultural biotechnology, plant genetics and molecular biology, will present an agronomy seminar on Thursday, Sept. 17. Phillips will speak on “The Path to Discovery” at 4:10 p.m. in 1001 Troxel Hall. Phillips is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is Regents Professor Emeritus and former McKnight Presidential Chair in Genomics at the University of Minnesota. The seminar is cosponsored by the Department of Agronomy, the Presidential Distinguished Seminar Series and the Committee on Lectures.

Sept. 22: CALS Fall Convocation
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Fall Convocation is scheduled for Sept. 22 at 4:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The program will include brief comments from Dean Wendy Wintersteen; two medallion ceremonies for Gene Takle, Pioneer Hi-Bred Agronomy Professor, and Jianming Yu, Pioneer Hi-Bred Distinguished Chair in Maize Breeding; the awarding of the Dean Lee R. Kolmer Award for Excellence in Applied Research; recognition of Cathy Kling, economics, ISU’s newest member of The National Academy of Sciences; and recognition for the College’s new faculty and staff since last fall. A reception will follow.

Oct. 7: Roasterie Coffee Founder to Present Leadership Lecture
Danny O’Neill, owner and founder of The Roasterie Coffee, Inc., will present the 2015 William K. Deal Endowed Leadership Lecture on Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Leonard and Evelyn Dolezal Auditorium, 127 Curtiss Hall. O’Neill will present, “How Baling Hay Prepared Me to Become the Coffee ‘Bean Baron’.” The event is free and open to the public. More

Oct. 10: Tickets Available for 2015 Bacon Expo
Tickets are available for the 2015 Bacon Expo, scheduled for Oct. 10, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. A student-led event, the Bacon Expo is dedicated to expanding the horizons of bacon lovers and educating the public about pork production. More

Funding Opportunities

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Opens Grand Challenges Explorations Round 16
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is accepting applications for Round 16 of the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative. The initiative supports early-stage research projects and scientists from a wide range of disciplines and regions and funds innovative ideas that could lead to new vaccines, diagnostics, drugs and other technologies targeting diseases, as well as improvements and innovations in agriculture development and other priority areas. Phase I project awardees receive $100,000 for 18 months and have an opportunity to apply for follow-on Phase II funding up to $1 million. Application materials are due Nov. 5. More

Applications for ISU Publication Subvention Grants Due Oct. 5
The Office of the VPR is accepting applications for the Publication Subvention Grants program. The grants support the publication of the scholarly writings and other worthy productions of the faculty and staff of Iowa State University, as well as selected manuscripts by others that deal with topics related to the state of Iowa and the surrounding region. All full-time faculty or P&S staff member at the P37 level or above may apply. Applications are due Oct. 5.

Internal Competition: 2016 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists
The Office of the VPR has announced an internal competition for the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. The award recognizes the country’s most promising young faculty. Eligible nominees must be born in or after 1974; hold a doctoral degree; and conduct research as a PI in life sciences, physical sciences and engineering or chemistry. Pre-proposals are due by Oct. 8. Contact: Sue Shipitalo, More

DOE Request for Information: Algal Feedstocks
The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking input regarding supply systems and services for the cultivation, logistics and preprocessing of algal feedstocks. This RFI provides algae stakeholders with an opportunity to contribute their views of any requirements necessary to develop reliable and readily-available supplies of algal biomass, algal intermediates and metabolites. Multiple types of algae, including microalgae, cyanobacteria and macroalgae are of interest. Responses are due Sept. 30. More

Limited Submission: National Clean Plant Network
FY 2016 funding for USDA National Clean Plant Network Cooperative Agreements Program projects is anticipated to be $5 million. Priority will be given to applications that focus on specialty crops, with plans for developing and maintaining a comprehensive and efficient network. Cost share is encouraged. An applicant may submit only one application and/or be a third party in an application submitted by another entity. Send expressions of interest to Joe Colletti ( by Sept. 23. More 
Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research Opportunity to Open in Oct.
The USAID Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research program will open a call for pre-proposals in October. The PEER program invites scientists in developing countries to apply for competitive grants to support research and capacity-building activities. PEER applicants are required to partner with a U.S.-based researcher supported by NASA, NIH, NSF, USDA, USFS, USGS or the Smithsonian Institution. The role of the U.S. partner is to provide complementary expertise and skills to the PEER project. The program is implemented by the National Academy of Sciences.
Brown Bag Lunch on Grant-writing Tips Scheduled for Sept. 23
The Office of the VPR/Grants Hub will hold a brown-bag lunch focusing on optimally communicating proposal content. Topics will include tips on how to organize paragraphs and proposal sections, use transitions to improve writing flow, and improve clarity and avoid jargon. This session is part of a series of professional development workshops to help faculty build strong research programs and write successful grant proposals. The workshop will be held Sept. 23 at 11:30 a.m. in the Memorial Union Gallery. Register

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

Ongoing: Iowa Space Grant Consortium Opportunities for Hands-on Experiences for students; $1,000 per request. More

Ongoing: NSF Research Coordination Networks General Track; $500,000 over five years. More

Nov. 18: NSF Dear Colleague: Self-Monitoring and Self-Assessing Intelligent Systems Research for the CISE/IIS Robust Intelligence Core Program: Small Projects; up to $500,000. More

Dec. 18: NSF Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies–Exploration Projects. More


Students Invited to Join National Conversation on Future of Agriculture Sept. 15
FarmNext is a new national conversation to help elevate the voices of young farmers and agriculture researchers on the critical role they will play in the future of food production. The conversation begins with a series of listening tours at land-grant universities to hear from students and farmers. A session will be held at ISU on Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 12 to 2 p.m. in E0165 Lagomorcino Hall. The ISU Beginning Farmer Network, a student organization led this year by Ryan Reimers, agronomy, has helped organize and promote the campus event. FarmNext is an initiative of YI Advisors, a consulting firm, and Global Prairie, a digital marketing and advertising agency.

Fall Blood Drive Competition, Oct. 13-16
A Fall Blood Drive Academic Competition will be held Oct. 13-16 in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The most staff participation and the most student participation will be tracked. The winning college will receive a commemorative plaque. The ISU blood drive team has a goal to reach 5 percent of the university population to donate or volunteer at the drive.

Applications for Jefferson Science Fellowship Program due Nov. 2
Applications are being accepted for the 2016-2017 Jefferson Science Fellowship program. It is open to U.S. citizens who hold tenure, or a similarly ranked academic appointment in science, engineering, medicine or technology. The program brings scientific and technical knowledge to bear on decision-making at the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Applications are due Nov. 2. More


By the Numbers: Top 10 CALS College Majors for Fall 2015
CALS has record enrollment for the fourth straight year. For the fall 2015 semester, the top 10 CALS undergraduate majors with the most students enrolled are:
          Animal science: 977
          Agricultural business: 512
          Agricultural studies: 397
          Animal ecology: 372
          Agronomy: 324
          Biology: 291
          Industrial technology: 260
          Agricultural systems technology: 213
          Agricultural and life sciences education: 174
          Microbiology: 126.

Blank Park Zoo Holds Monarch Festival
Blank Park Zoo’s “Plant.Grow.Fly” program, which creates awareness for butterfly and pollinator habitat in Iowa, is hosting a Monarch Festival on Sunday, Sept. 20, to celebrate the annual migration of the monarch to Mexico. The festival will include monarch tagging and free seeds to start a butterfly garden. The Leopold Center is among more than 30 partners in the effort. More

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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