Issue: 889

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Feb. 22, 2016 – No. 889

Top Stories

Inaugural Soil Health Conference Exceeds Expectations
Researchers, faculty members, producers, students and policymakers from across the nation came together at ISU Feb. 2-3 to discuss the pressing issues surrounding soil health. The inaugural Soil Health Conference had 235 attendees. “The event really exceeded expectations,” said Mahdi Al-Kaisi, agronomy.


Leopold Center Awards 17 Research Grants
The Leopold Center has awarded 17 research grants for 2016 as part of its long-running competitive grants program. Topics include soil health in crops grown for biofuels, antibacterial seed treatments, work with regional food hubs, grasslands and cover crops.

Teaching and Students

Summer Jobs for Students at ISU Research and Demonstration Farms
Student summer jobs are available at ISU Research and Demonstration Farms across Iowa. Students are guaranteed 40 hours per week. Send a resume to Sally Medford,

Brenton Center Accepting Classroom Reservations
The Brenton Center is accepting classroom reservations for summer and fall 2016. Room technology has been upgraded to HD digital quality capture. Classrooms 8 and 9 seat 35 each; classroom 13 seats 56. First preference will be given to CALS Online courses that require a live capture for online delivery to distance students or faculty recording their lectures using the new format for distance delivery. Contact Gaylan Scofield,, with questions or requests by Feb. 25.

Brenton Center Seeking Online Course Proposals
The Brenton Center is seeking proposals for AgOnline courses, certificates and program development that will help build a nationally and internationally recognized online learning program. One-time funding of $50,000 is being provided for online courses. Submissions are due to Gaylan Scofield, director of the Brenton Center, by March 1.

Students Celebrate Five Years of Helping Peers Fight Hunger
Last week, students marked the five year anniversary of The SHOP (Students Helping Our Peers) with a campus-wide food drive, distributing promotional items and an open house. More than 290 items were donated. Tessa Anderson, a sophomore in culinary science and the SHOP secretary, said, “The SHOP is important because there are a lot of people who are food insecure, which makes it difficult to study or do well as a student. No one deserves to be hungry and the SHOP helps prevent that.” More information is available in an article by Maggie Jennett, CALS Communications Service student intern. 

Extension and Outreach

FSHN Offers Extension Training on Food Safety
ISU Extension and Outreach is offering a three-day training course on food safety on April 26-28 and June 13-15 at the Food Sciences Building on campus. The Food Safety Preventive Control Alliance course is a certification program that is recognized by the FDA, said Angela Shaw, extension specialist in food safety. The course is sponsored by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals.

Helmers on Keeping Nitrates on the Farm
Matthew Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering, spoke with members of the agriculture committee of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance outlining the challenges of farming’s impact on water quality and land management practices designed to keep nutrients in the field. The Feb. 15 issue of Farm News reports that Helmers said of all the practices available for keeping field nutrients from reaching surface waters, he favors wetlands.

Around the College

Technology Advancement Committee Call for Proposals
The CALS Technology Advancement Committee is accepting proposals from faculty, staff and students for improving technology that benefits student learning. Contact Gaylan Scofield, TAC chair, for proposal guidelines ( Proposals are due March 25.

Hayes Speaks with Young Professionals on the Current Condition of Agriculture
Dermot Hayes, Pioneer Chair in Agribusiness in the ISU economics department, spoke with young agriculture professionals on the current condition of agriculture and international and trade markets for 2016. He also spoke about his extensive work on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Having traveled to all but one country involved in the agreement, Hayes see the benefits of the agreement gaining traction.


Feb. 29: Cultural Competency Series Continues
Privilege and Power, Part II of the CALS Cultural Competency Series will be held Feb. 29, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the CCUR Theatre, 1951 Food Science Building. The session will focus on group discussions and exercises to help better understand the dynamics of power and privilege. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to Theressa Cooper by Feb. 24 (

March 9: Artwalk of The Dean’s Gallery 
An ArtWalk of The Dean’s Gallery in Agriculture and Life Sciences is scheduled for March 9 at 12 p.m. The tour will showcase the striking pastels of the four seasons by Ellen Wagener as well as the newly commissioned portrait of George Washington Carver and Henry A. Wallace by Rose Frantzen. Meet at the north entry to the Dean’s Gallery of the first floor of Curtiss Hall.

March 11: Early Registration Deadline for Iowa Water Conference
Early registration deadline for the Iowa Water Conference is March 11. ISU Extension and Outreach and the Leopold Center are co-sponsors of the conference, the largest outreach and collaboration effort of the Iowa Water Center. The conference is March 23-24 at the Scheman Building. More

April 19: Strategies for Obtaining Tenure
The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost is sponsoring a workshop on “Strategies for Obtaining Tenure,” on April 19, 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room. A panel of senior faculty and department chairs, including Suzanne Hendrich, food science and human nutrition, and Jo Anne Powell Coffman, genetics, development and cell biology, will share their recommendations on how to plan for and prepare for a successful promotion and tenure review.

April 29: Jay-Lin Jane Retirement Reception
Save the date for a retirement reception honoring Jay-Lin Jane, distinguished professor in food science and human nutrition, on April 29, 2 to 5 p.m. at the Brunnier Art Museum. There will be a program at 3 p.m.

Funding Opportunities

DOE RFI: Biofuels & Bioproducts Process Pilot Verification Capabilities
The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a Request for Information to identify existing pilot or process development scale facilities with the capability to perform process verifications for biomass conversion pathways to biofuels, bioproducts or intermediates that integrate multiple unit operations on a scale of approximately 0.5 or greater tons of dry biomass input per day. The DOE may issue a funding opportunity announcement in the future based on or related to the content and responses to this RFI. Responses are due Mar. 4. More

SBIR-STTR National Road Tour Conference, Aug. 16-17 in Ames
The Small Business Administration has announced the SBIR-STTR National Road Tour will include a stop in Ames. The Road Tour pre-conference and conference activities will convey information about funding opportunities provided through Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. Federal and state program managers from several agencies will make brief presentations and will be available for one-on-one meetings with participants. Events will be held on Aug. 16-17 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center. More

NIH - NIAID Concept List Signals Potential Funding Opportunities
The National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has posted a list of concepts that may lead to research opportunities. While not all concepts become initiatives, they highlight NIAID's research interests and are good topics for investigator-initiated applications. The Jan. 2016 list of concepts is now available. 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 (nominations): TED Prize; $1 million. More

Feb. 29 (internal pre-proposal): NSF Innovation Corps – Nodes Program (I-Corps Nodes); $3.45 million to $4.2 million over five years, one proposal per institution, contact Sue Shipitalo ( More

Mar. 14 (internal expression of interest): NSF Innovation Corps Sites Program (I-Corps Sites); one proposal per institution, email to express interest. More

Mar. 18 (letter of intent): NIH NLM Institutional Training Grants for Research Training in Biomedical Informatics and Data Science (T15); one application per institution, contact Sue Shipitalo ( with interest. More

Apr. 1 (letter of intent): NIH NARMS Cooperative Agreement Program to Enhance and Strengthen Antibiotic Resistance Surveillance in Retail Food Specimens (U01); $800,000 over five years. More

Apr. 5: DARPA Young Faculty Award; $500,000, untenured assistant or associate professor within five years of appointment to a tenure-track position. More

Apr. 7 (letter of intent): Joint Genome Institute FY2017 CSP Annual Call.

Apr. 13: USDA NIFA Special Research Grants Program Potato Breeding Research. More

Apr. 14: NCR-SARE 2016 Graduate Student Grant; $12,000. More

Apr. 18: USAID Rwandan Rural Sanitation Activity; $10.7 million, 10 percent cost share, one application per institution. Contact Sue Shipitalo ( with interest. More

May 1 (nominations): World Food Prize; Laureate Nomination, $250,000. More


Fulbright Award Competition Now Open
The Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is now accepting award applications for the 2017-2018 academic year. The program offers teaching, research and combination awards in more than 125 countries. Higher education faculty and administrators are encouraged to apply. The deadline for most awards in Aug. 1. More


Takle on New Memoir on Climate Change: Science with a Human Touch
“A Sugar Creek Chronicle: Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland,” will be published next month by the University of Iowa Press. Author Cornelia Mutel, a University of Iowa ecologist, writes from the perspective of scientist, nature lover and grandmother. ISU agronomy professor, climate scientist and Pioneer Hi-Bred Agronomy Professor Gene Takle, who read an advance copy of the book, said her approach is what sets her work apart from other writings on the subject. “She combines solid science with a human touch,” said Takle. 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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