Issue: 880

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Dec. 14, 2015 – No. 880

Top Stories

Farmland Values Fall for Second Consecutive Year
Average Iowa farmland value is now estimated to be $7,633 per acre – having dropped in value for the second consecutive year. Land values were determined by the 2015 Iowa Land Value Survey, which was conducted in November by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development and ISU Extension and Outreach. More

College Convocation to Honor Graduates Saturday
CALS will hold its fall convocation for new graduates Saturday, Dec. 19, in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony will include individual recognition of graduates in attendance by the dean and department chairs. The doors to C.Y. Stephens will open at 8:30 a.m. for a reception for graduates, families, friends and faculty in the upper lobby with beverages provided. Students and guests are invited to use this opportunity to visit with friends, family, faculty and staff, as well as to take photographs. The CALS Student Council will present awards to:  Megan Talley, agricultural education and studies, for outstanding senior; Haley Banwart, agricultural education and studies, for leadership excellence; Katerina Herzberg, biology, for academic achievement; Brenton Rossman, animal science, for outstanding ambassador of agriculture; and Lauren Grant, culinary science, for distinguished service. Herzberg will be the commencement speaker and Shane Boeshart, agricultural systems technology, will be the CALS student marshal.


Nikolau on Working with Undergraduate Students
Basil Nikolau invites undergraduate students to participate in his research lab as part of his NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program. By witnessing the enthusiasm and curiosity of the undergraduate students, Nikolau is able to focus on his own curiosity and passion for continued research. Nikolau holds the Frances M. Craig Professorship and is a professor of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology. More

Teaching and Students

Accomplished Athlete Excited about his Work in Agronomy
Edward Kemboi is one of the most accomplished athletes in Iowa State track and field history. He was offered a scholarship to move from his native Kenya and run the 800 meters in Ames, and ended up becoming a national champion. As he gets ready to graduate with a degree in agronomy, Kemboi has his sights set on the 2016 Olympics. But it’s his work in the classroom that has him excited to go back to Kenya and help his community. More

Career Services Releases Summer Internship Survey
CALS Career Services has released results of its 2015 summer internship survey, with more than 1,100 student responses. Ninety-five percent of those with internships were paid experiences and approximately 25 percent of seniors received full-time offers as a result of the internship.

Extension and Outreach

Gates Grant to Expand Mission of Plant Breeding Outreach in Africa
A three-year, $750,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will allow ISU personnel to produce professional development materials for faculty at three African universities who teach plant breeding to master’s students. Michael Retallick, agricultural education and studies, and Walter Suza, agronomy, are members of the ISU project team. More

Nutrient Research Center Funds Third Year of Water Quality Projects
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center has funded 11 new projects related to water quality. The projects address critical needs or gaps in nitrogen and phosphorus research identified in the science assessment that was part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Around the College

Brumm Named Mary and Charles Sukup Global Professor in Food Security
On Dec. 10, President Leath presided over a medallion ceremony for Tom Brumm, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, who was named the inaugural holder of the Mary and Charles Sukup Global Professorship in Food Security. Dean Wintersteen introduced Brumm. The event, which was held in the Sukup Atrium of the Biorenewables Complex, also included remarks by the donors of the endowed position, Mary and Charles Sukup. The Mary and Charles Sukup Global Professor in Food Security was established to recognize outstanding faculty who are actively involved in global food security. Brumm has been active in research and educational programs in Uganda for the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, and last summer was named an associate director of the center.


Dec. 16: Biorenewables Poster Symposium in Sukup Atrium
The Biorenewables Poster Symposium will be held Dec. 16 at 2:15 to 4:15 p.m. in the Sukup Atrium of the Biorenewables Complex. The symposium will feature graduate and undergraduate student posters on research related to biorenewables. Refreshments will be available. More

Funding Opportunities

Limited Submission: Hazardous Substance Research and Training Program
The Office of the VPR is accepting expressions of interest for the NIH Superfund Hazardous Substance Research and Training Program. The scope of the program includes advanced techniques for the detection, assessment and evaluation of the effect on human health of hazardous substances; methods to assess the risks to human health presented by hazardous substances; methods and technologies to detect hazardous substances in the environment; and basic biological, chemical and physical methods to reduce the amount and toxicity of hazardous substances. Applications are limited to one per institution. Send expression of interest to Sue Shipitalo ( by Jan. 11. More

Sun Grant Program – North Central Region Accepting Pre-Proposals
The Sun Grant Program – North Central Region invites proposals that will further its mission of developing viable alternative biobased energy sources and products while enhancing economic opportunities in rural areas. Funded grants of up to $150,000 will support multi-institutional and multistate research, extension and education programs on technology development and integrated research, extension and education programs on technology implementation. Pre-proposals are due by Feb. 1.

NERCRD to Fund Data Access and Research in Rural Business Innovation and Economic Development
The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development is accepting research proposals that address drivers of rural innovation and implications for community and regional economic development. Funded projects will receive up to $30,000 plus a $5,200 fee for remote data access to the USDA’s Rural Establishment Innovation Survey. Preference will be given to research proposals that actively engage graduate research assistants in the proposed research project. Proposals are due Feb. 25.

OSPA Winter Break Schedule
OSPA will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 3. The main phone line (294-5225) and email ( and will be monitored periodically. Issues requiring action before Jan. 4 will be handled. More

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

Ongoing (inquiries): The Kresge Foundation Developing Healthy Places.

Jan. 12 (letter of inquiry): V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation Environmental Projects. More

Jan. 15: Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Program; $60,000 over three years for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows. More

Jan. 25, May 25: NIH Biomedical Technology Research Resource (P41). More

Mar. 1 (letter of intent): USDA NIFA International Wheat Yield Partnership Program; $1 million to $10 million.

Mar. 7: NSF, USDA, NASA, NIH, DOD, DARPA National Robotics Initiative; $100,000 to $1 million. More

Mar. 10: USDA NIFA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative; $50,000 to $2 million. More

May 16: NIH High-End Instrumentation Grant Program (S10); $600,000 to $2 million; each member of user group must be NIH-funded PI/PD. More

May 16: NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant Program (S10); $50,000 to $600,000, each member of user group must be NIH-funded PI/PD. More

Nov. 9: NSF Petascale Computing Resource Allocations; use of Blue Waters system and $40,000 associated travel support. More

Communications Kiosk

ISU Presentation and Poster Templates Available for Faculty, Staff
ISU-branded PowerPoint presentations or posters in several sizes are available to faculty and staff through Printing and Copy Services. The template site also makes it easy to create brochures, fliers and more. More


World Food Prize Hosts Holiday Open House
The World Food Prize Foundation invites CALS faculty, staff and students to a free Holiday Open House on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hall of Laureates building in downtown Des Moines. A live choir will perform Christmas music and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to great children and adults. There will be cookies and punch and tours of the building adorned in holiday décor. More

Forbes: Want a Job? Study Food and Agriculture
In the Dec. 4 issue of Forbes, Jeffrey Dorfman writes that there is a shortfall of college graduates with majors in agriculture. USDA forecasts that over the next five years the annual demand for college graduates in agriculture and food industries will be 57,900 jobs per year. Unfortunately, American agricultural colleges will only be producing about 35,400 graduates per year. More


CALS Trail Mix Packages Assembled for High School Visits
The CALS High School Visit Committee coordinates trips that students who serve as CALS Ambassadors make to high schools. This includes developing a new interactive presentation each year and putting together any materials that ambassadors will need. The current presentation is an analogy of the student experience using trail mix. As each topic is discussed (high school experiences, admissions process and majors; student resources; Cyclone community; and campus involvement), students are given another ingredient to put in their individual bag of trail mix. During Thanksgiving Break, the CALS Ambassadors reached 450 high school students and will visit 820 students over semester break.

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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