Issue: 933

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Jan. 9, 2016

Top Stories

CB2 Funds Eight Projects for 2017
The Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites selected eight projects to fund for 2017 during its year-end advisory board meeting at ISU. Also discussed was the recently awarded three-year grant by the National Science Foundation to support a Research Experience for Undergraduates. This will allow students from across the U.S. to participate in CB2 projects during the summer semester. CB2 is a Center for Crops Utilization Research program. David Grewell, agricultural and biosystems engineering, directs the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites.


Recent Patents for CALS Researchers
Matt Darr and Robert McNaull, agricultural and biosystems engineering, were recently issued a patent titled “Artificial Intelligence for Detecting and Filling Void Areas of Agricultural Commodity Containers.” Basil Nikolau, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, and Marna Yandeau-Nelson, genetics, development and cell biology, were issued a patent titled “Materials and Methods For Using An Acyl-acyl Carrier Protein Thioesterase and Mutants and Chimeras Thereof In Fatty Acid Synthesis.”

Thermochemical Conversion Research Highlighted in Biofuels Journal
ISU’s thermochemical conversion research was featured in the fourth quarter edition of Biofuels Journal. The three thermochemical technologies – solvent processing, pyrolysis and gasification – are being pursued simultaneously at the BioCentury Research Farm. These technologies can produce biofuels, renewable chemicals and biochar. More

ISU to Manage Biorefinery Projects for New Manufacturing USA Institute
ISU will bring its expertise in biorenewable technologies and pilot plant operations to the country’s 10th Manufacturing USA Institute. The new institute will be known as RAPID, the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment Institute. ISU researchers are managing the project’s biorefinery efforts because they are “an extremely talented and well-known team that’s highly regarded in the industry,” said Karen Fletcher, RAPID’s chief executive officer, speaking during a recent tour of the BioCentury Research Farm. Robert Brown, director of ISU’s Bioeconomy Institute, will lead RAPID’s Distributed Biorefinery program. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Students Lead New ISU Eventing Team
CALS students Rachel Shelangoski, junior in biology, and Natasha Arritt, senior in animal science, are the president and treasurer, respectively, of the ISU Eventing Team, organized in 2016 and featured on the U.S. Eventing Association website in a Dec. 21 post. Eventing is an equestrian triathlon, including dressage, cross-country and show jumping. The ISU Eventing Team encourages competitive riders to continue competing while in college and after, offers social and education activities for members and the equestrian community, reduces the financial burden of competing through fundraising, and develops the local equestrian community through volunteerism. 

CALS Distinguished Service Awardee Featured in Ames Tribune
Alexander Paul, a December graduate in animal science who received the CALS Distinguished Service Award, was featured in the Dec. 28 issue of the Ames Tribune. Paul is a member of the Kelley volunteer fire department and a trained emergency medical technician.

Extension and Outreach

Eathington on Migration Out of Iowa
Liesl Eathington, economics, talked about migration out of Iowa on the Jan. 6 issue of Iowa Public Radio’s Morning Edition. She said thinking about solutions means framing the problem correctly. It is not just a matter of keeping Iowans in Iowa, but getting other people to move in. And that means offering the right jobs. More

Horticulture and Home Pest Newsletter Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Horticulture and Home Pest News is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017. The newsletter provides timely horticultural information to Iowa county extension offices, home gardeners and Google-searchers around the world. Articles are written by ISU extension specialists in the departments of entomology, horticulture and plant pathology. Donald Lewis, entomology, coordinates publication of the newsletter. More

Around the College

CALS Alumnus Creates Scholarship for Animal Science Students
Robert Walton Sr., retired CEO of American Breeder Service and an agribusiness leader known for his contributions to genetics research in the dairy, beef and plant breeding industries, has established an endowed undergraduate scholarship for students in animal science with an interest in genetics. More

Swenson on Opportunities and Risks in Agriculture
America’s agricultural economy has both opportunity and potential risks in the year ahead according to David Swenson, economics. Swenson appeared on the Dec. 30 edition of Iowa Public Television’s Market to Market. More

Kildee’s Desk Donated to Borlaug Learning Center
An oak desk used by Henry Herbert Kildee, the fourth dean of agriculture at ISU, in his office at Curtiss Hall, has been donated by Jerry DeWitt and will be placed at the Borlaug Learning Center on the Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua. Kildee earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State in 1908 and joined the college staff in 1909. He served as head of animal husbandry from 1918 to 1935 and dean of agriculture from 1933 to 1949. Kildee Hall bears his name. DeWitt spent more than 30 years at ISU in the entomology department, ISU Extension, SARE, CALS and the Leopold Center.


Feb. 16-17: Soil Health Conference
The second annual Soil Health Conference will be held Feb. 16-17 in Ames. More than 33 speakers from academia, USDA, agriculture industry, farmers, students and the private sector will present throughout the two-day conference. Mahdi Al-Kaisi, agronomy and conference chair, said the goal of this year’s conference “is to focus on management practices that influence soil health, sustain productivity and reduce agriculture’s footprint on the environment.”

April 12: Save the Date
The Leroy and Barbara Everson Seed and Biosafety Symposium will be held April 12 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames. Sessions will include recent technologies, trends, regulations and education platforms impacting the seed industry and food security. 

Funding Opportunities

Internal Competition: Advance Manufacturing Projects, Pre-proposals Due Jan. 15
The Office of the Vice President for Research is accepting pre-proposals for the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advance Manufacturing Projects for Emerging Research Exploration program. The program supports innovative technologies and solutions that could help meet EERE’s goals but are not represented in current portfolios. The three topic areas of interest are advance materials, advance processes and modeling, and analysis tools for materials and manufacturing. ISU may submit one concept paper and one full application for each of the three topic areas. Pre-proposals are due by Jan. 15. Contact Sue Shipitalo ( for pre-proposal guidelines. More

Multi-Agency Cyber-Physical Systems Program, Due Mar.6
Six federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, USDA and the National Institutes of Health, are funding the Cyber-Physical Systems competitive grant program. The program aims to balance theory with experimentation, seeks cross-disciplinary collaborative research, encourages empirical validation of new concepts through research prototypes, and targets innovations that have the potential of immediate practical applications. Proposals must be submitted via NSF by March 6. More

SUGI Food-Water-Energy Nexus, Proposals Due Mar.15
The Sustainable Urbanization Global Initiative/Food-Water-Energy Nexus is a call for proposals jointly established by the Belmont Forum and the Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe. U.S. support for this call is provided by the National Science Foundation. Projects are expected to find solutions for sustainable urbanization and establish a knowledge base, advance indicators and assessment tools for a comprehensive understanding of the FWE Nexus. All proposals must integrate across the natural sciences and social sciences and should include an interdisciplinary, multinational approach. Each proposal must be submitted by a consortium consisting of at least three eligible applicants from at least three participating countries. Pre-proposals are due by March 15. More

Webinar: Introducing the FFAR Pollinator Heath Fund, Jan. 23
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research will host a webinar on Jan. 23 from 11 a.m. to noon to discuss the Pollinator Health Fund, a new $10 million program that will advance research in this important field. Early registration is recommended as space is limited. More

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

Jan. 18 (notice of intent): NASA Remote Sensing of Water Quality. More

Jan. 18 (letter of intent): DOE EERE Innovative Pathways; $300,000 year one, $700,000 year two. More

Feb. 3: L’Oreal USA for Women in Science; $60,000, post-doc researchers in U.S. institutions.

Feb. 7 (letter of intent): NIH and NSF Centers for Oceans and Human Health 3: Impacts of Climate Change on Oceans and Great Lakes (PO1); $4.5 million direct costs. More

Feb. 15 (preliminary application): Heath Effects Institute Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award; health effects of air pollution, assistant professor or equivalent appointment, $450,000, contact ISU Foundation ( to express interest. More

Feb. 15 (preproposals): USGS National Institute for Water Resources Research – FY 2017 National Competitive Grants Program; must apply through the Iowa Water Center, 1:1 matching funds required.

Feb. 24: EPA FY17 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants; $200,000 for three years.

Feb. 28: USDA NIFA Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program WebNEERS. More

Mar. 10: RARE Solution Search: Farming for Biodiversity Award; $30,000 grand prize, contact ISU Foundation ( to express interest.

Mar. 15: NSF Building Community and Capacity in Data Intensive Research in Education; $500,000 for three years. More

Mar. 15, June 15, Sept. 15: NSF Innovation Corps Teams Program (I-Corps Teams). More

Mar. 22: NSF Critical Techniques, Technologies and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering; $600,000 for four years. More

Mar. 29: NSF STEM + Computing Partnerships. More

Communications Kiosk

Does ‘Farmers Market’ Have an Apostrophe?
In a Dec. 29 post on, Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty talks about whether or not to use an apostrophe in farmers market. The market is used by the farmers and populated by the farmers, but generally is not owned by the farmers. So it seems reasonable to conclude that it is acting like an adjective; it is there to identify the type of market. Associated Press typically recommends leaving out the apostrophe when a phrase is descriptive rather than showing possession – farmers market. The CALS Communications Service and the ISU Extension to Agriculture and Natural Resources communications office follow AP style and do not use an apostrophe in farmers market. More


Iowa Water Center Holds Water Essay Contest
The Iowa Water Center invites students from around the state to participate in the 2017 Spirit of the Water Essay Contest and share how water not only sustains us, but inspires us. There is a high school, undergraduate and graduate category. The contest closes on Feb. 1.

Iowa Water Conference Now Accepting Poster Presentations
The Iowa Water Conference planning committee invites researchers, students and water-related professionals from around the state to submit a poster to present information at the 2017 Iowa Water Conference, to be held March 22-23 in Ames. The deadline for submissions is March 13.


ISU the Most-Instagrammed Spot in Iowa
On Dec. 20, People magazine posted the most Instagrammed spot in every state in the nation. The most Instagrammed spot in Iowa is Iowa State University.

Prairie Farmer Celebrates 175 Year Anniversary
Prairie Farmer, which began in Chicago in 1841 to serve farmers on the prairie in Illinois, is celebrating 175 years of continuous publishing, making it the oldest magazine in America. “Our mission has never wavered,” said Holly Spangler, Prairie Farmer editor. “We exist for farmers.” 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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