- Nearly 800 attend MANRRS conference
- Funds available for college computer needs
- International perspectives on ISU at April 7 meeting
- Food for thought: Iowa menus at Iowa institutions
- New address for AAEA business office
- Gamma Sigma Delta banquet tickets still available
- Portfolios topic of annual college in-service
- Water cycle software available on the Net
- Critical thinking: Next Ag Comm workshop
- Travel to the North Central Teaching Workshop
- Aldo Leopold to be honored in April
- Tenth Science in Agriculture Day on April 21
- Ninety attend Animal Agriculture Career Day
- Deadlines & Reminders
- USDA Agriculture Fact Book on the Web
- Deadline April 15 for ISU Bioethics Institute
- The reunification of learning
- Plastic flamingos draw birds to Everglades
C O L L E G E N E W S
NEARLY 800 ATTEND MANRRS CONFERENCE
The 13th annual Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and
Related Sciences national conference underway in Des Moines may
end up attracting more than 800 participants. Students from around
the country were still registering this morning, according to
Mary de Baca, conference coordinator. On Thursday, 425 conferees
attended George Washington Carver Day activities on campus, which
consisted of a program, panel discussion and tours of departments.
Today there will be workshops and a career fair, with more workshops
and competitions planned for Saturday. USDA officials Jim Lyons,
Miley Gonzalez and Pearlie Reed are scheduled to speak.
FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR COLLEGE COMPUTER NEEDS
The college's technology advancement committee is seeking proposals
that address needs for computer hardware, software, upgrading
costs and security that directly benefit computer-based instruction.
The college has approximately $25,000 from student computer fees
for the program. Proposal deadline is April 17. For more information:
Gaylan Scofield, 4-0045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON ISU AT APRIL
The Phi Beta Delta spring meeting will examine
ISU through the eyes of international students and scholars. The
panel discussion will be held Tuesday, April 7, 3:30-5 p.m. in
the Oak Room, Memorial Union. The panel, which will include Ebby
Luvago, ag business advisor, and Erda Wang, agricultural economist,
will talk about their experiences at ISU and their perceptions
of the university's commitment to internationalization. For more
information: Norma Wolff, email@example.com.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: IOWA MENUS AT IOWA INSTITUTIONS
Does it make economic sense for Iowa institutions to buy, prepare
and serve Iowa-grown and processed foods? If so, how do they develop
a local food supply system? Those topics will be discussed Wednesday,
April 8, at a 1:30 p.m. meeting in 260 Scheman, sponsored by the
Leopold Center. Speaking will be Gary Valen, who created a project
that provided locally grown food for a college cafeteria in Conway,
Ark. The program, which is open to the public, grew out of the
Leopold Center's all-Iowa meals at its conference last summer.
Food-service personnel from colleges, hospitals and conference
centers, as well as producers, are expected to attend. For more
information: Rich Pirog, 4-3711.
NEW ADDRESS FOR AAEA BUSINESS OFFICE
The American Agricultural Economics Association's business office
has a new address: 415 South Duff, Suite C. All phone and fax
numbers remain the same. Mail will continue to be delivered via
the campus mail system.
GAMMA SIGMA DELTA BANQUET TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE
Tickets are still available for the Gamma Sigma Delta banquet,
April 15, Sun Room, Memorial Union. Contact your department liaison
or Sande McNabb, 4-3120, or Robert Martin, 4-0896. Signe Betsinger,
professor emeritus, University of Minnesota, will speak on sustainable
PORTFOLIOS TOPIC OF ANNUAL COLLEGE IN-SERVICE
The use of portfolios as an assessment tool will be the topic
of the annual College of Agriculture spring in-service on May
5, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The featured speaker will be Leverne Barrett,
University of Nebraska, who is a national leader in developing
strategies for the effective use of portfolios for assessment
purposes. Note that the date of the in-service is during final
exams. This is in response to faculty suggestions from last year.
More details on the program will be provided later. For more information:
Jim Dyer, 4-8363 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WATER CYCLE SOFTWARE AVAILABLE ON THE NET
A self-contained animated software program illustrating the water
cycle is available on the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture's
web page (http://www.leopold.iastate.edu). The free downloadable
software is available in both PC and Macintosh formats. The software
was created for the College of Agriculture's water quality display
at the 1997 Iowa State Fair. The Leopold Center funded additional
work to make the program available via the Internet to educators,
youth groups and anyone interested in information about water.
For more information: 4-3711 or email@example.com.
CRITICAL THINKING: NEXT AG COMM WORKSHOP
The next Ag Comm workshop will address "Using Critical Thinking:
Acknowledging the Role of Argument in Technical Text." Rebecca
Burnett, English, and Robert Martin, agriculture education and
studies, will be the presenters. It will be held at noon, April
21, in 8 Curtiss. If you plan to attend, contact Norma Hensley,
4-6614 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRAVEL TO THE NORTH CENTRAL TEACHING WORKSHOP
An ISU van will take interested college faculty to the annual
North Central Teaching Symposium, May 19-21, at the University
of Illinois. Contact Norma Hensley, 4-6614 or email@example.com
to reserve a spot. ISU will host the conference next year.
ALDO LEOPOLD TO BE HONORED IN APRIL
The 50th anniversary of the death of ecologist and Iowa native
Aldo Leopold will be commemorated April 21-22 at ISU. The Leopold
Center is organizing several free activities that are open to
the public. Curt Meine, a Leopold biographer, will present a program
at 7:30 p.m., April 21, at the Scheman Building. On April 22,
an oak tree will be planted in Leopold's honor at an 11 a.m. ceremony
near Curtiss Hall. At noon, Meine will present a second program
in the Sun Room, Memorial Union. For more information: 4-3711
TENTH SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURE DAY ON APRIL 21
The 10th ISU's "Science in Agriculture Day" will be
held April 21. The event gives high school students a chance to
learn how science interacts with agriculture. Students choose
to attend three of about 20 sessions offered. Some session titles
include: "Plant-eating Fungi," "Agronomy Private
Eye," "Soil--Take a Look, It's Alive!," Insect
Sex Pheromones," "Farming for Fun and Profit" and
"Little Things Mean a Lot: Microscopy and You." For
more information: Sherry Pogranichniy, 4-3273.
NINETY ATTEND ANIMAL AGRICULTURE CAREER DAY
Ninety students attended the Animal Agriculture Career Day on
The event was sponsored by the Block & Bridle Club in conjunction
with the "Experience Iowa State" program.
DEADLINES & REMINDERS
April 2-4: MANRRS National Conference, Des Moines
April 6: Extension Commodity Leaders Forum, Scheman, 4-7801.
April 8: Institutional Buying of Locally Produced Foods, 260 Scheman,
1:30 p.m., 4-3711.
April 13: Deadline, ISU Council on International Programs grant
April 15: Deadline, ISU Bioethics Institute applications, 4-0054.
April 17: Preregistration deadline, "Is It Ethical to Increase
World Food Production," Earth Week ISU Bioethics Symposium,
April 25, 4-0343.
April 21: Science in Agriculture Day, 4-3273.
C O M M U N I C A T I O N S K I O S K
USDA AGRICULTURE FACT BOOK AVAILABLE ON THE
The USDA's latest version of its "Agriculture
Fact Book" is available in Adobe Acrobat "pdf"
format on the Web. The book is a compendium of facts presented
in thumbnail essays, charts, tables and maps that discuss various
aspects of U.S. agriculture. The 265-page book can be found online.
I N F O G R A Z I N G
DEADLINE APRIL 15 FOR ISU BIOETHICS INSTITUTE
April 15 is the deadline for applications to the ISU Bioethics
Institute, May 10-14, Gateway Holiday Inn. All participants receive
a $500 faculty development award. For more information: Gary Comstock,
4-0054 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
E X T E R N A L V O I C E S
THE REUNIFICATION OF LEARNING
Harvard scientist Edward O. Wilson sees a
return to "consilience" or the unity of knowledge. He
says consilience, the ideal of the Renaissance and Enlightenment,
has been largely abandoned. "American colleges and universities
have dissolved their curricula into a slurry of minor disciplines
and specialized courses. While the average number of undergraduate
courses per institution has doubled, the percentage of mandatory
courses in general education has dropped by more than half."
Wilson wants every college student, and every public official,
to be able to answer this question: What is the relation between
science and the humanities, and how is it important for human
welfare? "The vast majority of our political leaders are
trained primarily or exclusively in the social sciences and the
humanities, and have little or no knowledge of the natural sciences.
The same is true of public intellectuals, columnists, media interrogators
and think-tank gurus. The best of their analyses are careful and
responsible . . . but the substantive base of their wisdom is
fragmented and lopsided." And what exactly is "consilience"?
It is literally a "jumping together" of knowledge as
a result of the linking of facts and fact-based theory across
disciplines to create a common groundwork of explanation. (Atlantic
M A R G I N A L I A
PLASTIC FLAMINGOS DRAW BIRDS TO EVERGLADES
Researchers in Florida enlisted an army of 150 plastic pink flamingos,
painting the birds white to better approximate the species they're
studying, and then planted them in ponds adjacent to the Everglades.
By varying the number of dummy birds, researchers are testing
how important having company is in making a pond attractive to
species like wood storks and white ibises, both now in decline.
They've found that having a lawn flamingo nearby is for some birds
as attractive and comforting as it is to humans who plant them
in their front yards. (New York Times, Feb. 24)