Issue: 872

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Oct. 19, 2015 – No. 872

Top Stories

Birt Named to National Academy of Medicine
Diane Birt, a distinguished professor of food science and human nutrition, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine for her achievements in human nutrition research. Birt’s induction into the academy, considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, recognizes her professional achievements in nutrition research and her commitment to service. Birt is the second ISU faculty member named to the National Academy of Medicine. Catherine Woteki, former dean of CALS, was inducted in 1998. Birt is the second CALS professor to be elected to the National Academies this year. Catherine Kling, economics, was elected in April to the National Academy of Science. More


Animal Scientists Identify Mutations that Cause Immune Deficiencies in Pigs
Animal science researchers at ISU, including Jack Dekkers and Christopher Tuggle, have identified a pair of genetic mutations that cause immune deficiencies in pigs that make them uniquely good models for testing potential medical therapies for people. The work advances previous research at ISU concerning pigs with severe combined immunodeficiency. More

Teaching and Students

ISU Students Build Better Future for Uganda
Des Moines Register reporter Timothy Meinch spent three days this summer documenting the work of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in the rural Kamuli District of Uganda. The center began in 2004 and since then, 80 ISU students have worked in Uganda through a service-learning program. More

Snow Blower Service Days, Oct. 23-24
The Agriculture Systems Technology Club will hold its annual snow blower service days Friday, Oct. 23 (1 to 6 p.m.), and Saturday, Oct. 24 (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.), at Sukup Hall on the west side of campus. The $25 cost includes oil, spark plug, grease and a half tank of gas. Pickup and delivery (Ames only) is available for $15; call (515) 708-8672 or send an email request to by 2 p.m. on Oct. 22 to request this service. More

Beeman Receives Best Oral Presentation Award at GMAP Symposium
Augustine Beeman, a PhD student in plant pathology and microbiology, received the best oral presentation award in the agricultural and biological sciences section at the ninth annual Graduate Minority Assistantship Program Research Symposium, held Oct. 10 in the Memorial Union. Beeman is advised by Greg Tylka. His presentation was titled “The Effect of Seed Treatments on the Soybean Cyst Nematode.” More

Extension and Outreach

Extension Receives USDA Grant to Support New and Beginning Farmers
ISU Extension and Outreach will develop and implement programs to support beginning and retiring farmers and military veterans interested in farming with a $698,393 grant received from USDA. The funds are part of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which is administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

New Turfgrass Publications Help Sports Field Managers
Two new publications on turf care are now available from ISU Extension and Outreach. Preventing Compaction on Athletic Fields and Tips for Athletic Field Seeding and Irrigation include tips for renovating natural grass fields, establishing turf from seed and keeping field areas safe for athletes.

Around the College

CALS ADVANCE Offering Assistance to Attend “Way Up” Conference
The CALS ADVANCE program is offering to reimburse the cost of early registration (prior to Oct. 24) and one night’s hotel room for CALS faculty to attend the Way Up conference, Nov. 5-6 in Des Moines. This year’s theme is Inspiring Excellence for Women in Higher Education. To attend the conference and receive reimbursement, email Susan Lamont (sjlamont@! before Tuesday, Oct. 20, for instructions. More   

CALS Cultural Competency Series on Oct. 19 Cancelled
The second Cultural Competency Lunch and Learn scheduled for Monday, Oct. 19, has been cancelled. The event will be rescheduled. Contact Theressa Cooper, assistant dean for diversity,, with questions.

Horticulture Station Apples for Sale
The ISU Horticulture Station has apples for sale: Golden Delicious, Fuji, Red Delicious and Chieftains. Visit the Station’s produce website for the full selection of seasonal produce available. Click on the name of the apple for a description of the apple flavor, tips on handling and storage, and recipes. Produce pickup is Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the east entrance to Curtiss Hall. More


Oct. 20: Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Day
The college’s Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Day is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 20, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center. This will be the largest career day to date, with 276 companies/organizations attending, including 40 new companies. More

Oct. 21: National Bioenergy Day at ISU
ISU is joining the celebration of National Bioenergy Day on Wednesday, Oct. 21, with an open house, 12 to 4 p.m. in the Sukup Atrium. The event seeks to educate students about the many research, educational, extracurricular and career opportunities related to bioenergy at ISU as well as in the state. The hosts are the Bioeconomy Institute, CenUSA Bioenergy and Iowa EPSCoR. CALS-related exhibitors include the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, the BioCentury Research Farm, the Center for Crops Utilization Research, the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals, and the Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie (STRIPS) research project.

Oct. 23: Feed Efficiency Symposium Speakers at ISU
Several researchers speaking at the Feed Efficiency Symposium in Omaha on Oct. 20-22 will continue on to ISU for a workshop on Oct. 23, 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Iowa Farm Bureau Pavilion in Kildee Hall. Speakers include Haja Kadarmideen, professor and group leader of animal breeding, quantitative genetics and systems biology at the University of Copehnagen in Denmark; Wendy Rauw, INIA in Spain; Susanne Hermesch University of New England in Australia; and Helene Gilbert, French National Institute for Agricultural Research.

Oct. 26: Iowa Energy Center Lunch and Learn
CALS will host a lunch and learn workshop on Oct. 26, 12 to 1 p.m. in 142 Curtiss Hall. Mark Petri, director of the Iowa Energy Center, will discuss the activities, programs and funding opportunities at the center and ways that CALS faculty can engage with the center. Lunch will be provided. Contact Carla Persaud ( by Tuesday, Oct. 20, to register.

Oct. 28: Retirement Reception for Laura Miller
A retirement reception for Laura Miller will be held on Oct. 28, 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Curtiss Hall Harl Commons. Miller has been at ISU for 25 years, including 17 as communications specialist for the Leopold Center.

Funding Opportunities

Multi-Agency Request for Information: Science Drivers Requiring Capable Exascale HPC
The National Strategic Computing Initiative is a whole-of-government effort designed to create a cohesive, multi-agency strategic vision and federal investment strategy, executed in collaboration with industry and academia, to maximize the benefits of high performance computing for the United States. One of the objectives of the initiative is to deliver “capable Exascale” computing capability that delivers 100 times today's application performance. As part of this initiative, the National Institutes of Health has issued a Request for Information for community input identifying scientific research that would benefit from a greatly enhanced new generation of HPC far beyond what can be done using current technologies and architectures. Responses are sought for applications in life (e.g., biological, social, health and biomedical) sciences, mathematical and physical sciences, geosciences, energy science and engineering research. All responses will be distributed to NIH, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. The deadline for responses has been extended to Nov. 13. More

Big 12 Faculty Fellowship Program 
ISU collaborates in the Big 12 Faculty Fellowship Program to stimulate scholarly initiatives among the Big 12 universities. The program awards funds of up to $2,500 each for faculty members to travel to member institutions to exchange ideas and research. Eligible faculty are those who are tenured, tenure-track, adjunct faculty who have been in their positions for at least six years, senior clinicians or senior lecturers. The remaining deadlines for FY 2015-16 are Jan. 15 and Apr. 1.

New NSF Proposal and Award Guidelines, Effective Jan. 25
The National Science Foundation has released the January 2016 version of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide and the Award and Administration Guide. Both will become effective on Jan. 25. 

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

Nov. 13 (pre-application): DOE Environmental System Science; $600,000. More

Nov. 16 (letter of intent): NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program. More

Nov. 16 (pre-application): DOE FY 2016 Research Opportunities in Accelerator Stewardship. More

Nov. 30: USDA NIFA Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program; universities as partners. More

Dec. 3: NSF, USDA, NASA, NIH, DOD/DARPA National Robotics Initiative - The Realization of Co-robots Acting In Direct Support of Individuals and Groups. More

Dec. 31: East-West Center, Honolulu – POSCO Visiting Fellowship Program; topics relating to South Korea.

Jan. 11: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Young Scientists Program; eligibility approximately two years prior to receiving a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. More

Jan. 15 (pre-proposal): NSF Division of Integrative Organismal Systems – Core Programs. More

Jan. 19: NSF Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future; $750,000 to $1.6 million. More

Feb. 1: USDA Rural Energy for America Program Energy Audit & Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants. More

Feb. 20 (letter of intent): NIH Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics Approaches for Nutrition Research (R01). More

Apr. 1: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. More

Communications Kiosk

Prepare to Communicate Research Using a Message Box
The message box is a simple tool that helps researchers sift through the mountain of information being dealt with and focus on the few key messages that will be most salient to a given audience. The message box consists of four quadrants arrayed around a central issue:

  • Problem – What is the specific problem or piece of the issue being addressed?
  • So What – Why does this matter to the audience?
  • Solutions – What are the potential solutions to the problem?
  • Benefits – What are the potential benefits of resolving the problem?

The message box is especially effective because it is nonlinear. There is no need to start with any particular component and work through step by step. It prepares the speaker to circle back to the main point no matter where you begin. (Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter, 2010, pgs. 108-109.)


Majority of Graduates Say Public Higher Education is Worth the Cost
The 2015 Gallup-Purdue Index found that 80 percent of public university alumni nationally agree or strongly agree that their college degree was worth the cost. Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, said, “College graduates overwhelmingly report that higher education is a worthwhile investment of one’s time, effort and resources… A college degree is a significant investment, but it’s also an investment that yields substantial dividends to both students and our society at large.” More


ISU T-Shirts for Sale to Students: “I’m the One”
In a conversation with the Board of Regents about the unique number of students enrolled at Iowa State this year – 36,001 – President Steven Leath was asked, who is the one? Leath replied that “every single student here could be the one…we really care about individual student success.” Teresa Albertson, an LAS development coordinator and the mom of an ISU student, approached Leath with a t-shirt idea based on this conversation. The T-shirts, which say, “36,001 students chose Iowa State University” on the front and “I’m the 1” on the back, are for sale at the University Bookstore for $7 while supplies last. The shirts can only be purchased in-store by registered ISU students with a student ID. All of the proceeds from the T-shirts will go to the President’s Moving Students Forward scholarship campaign.

Belmond Drive-in Wins Breaded Pork Tenderloin Contest
The Belmond Drive-in, owned by Joe and Jewel McFarland, is the 2015 winner of the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin contest. The McFarlands currently sell 20 to 30 breaded pork tenderloins a day. 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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