Issue: 936

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Jan. 30, 2017

Top Stories

Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan Unveiled
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, CALS Associate Dean John Lawrence and Iowa farmer Larry Buss of Logan today announced the release of the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan. The Iowa-specific plan seeks to engage farmers on the issue of pest resistance management with the goal of keeping technology and tools such as pesticides, seed treatments, and biotechnology products and native traits available and effective. The full plan and additional information about pest resistance management efforts can be found online. More

CALS Researchers Improve Algae Technology to Treat Wastewater
Technology that improves the efficiency of wastewater reclamation using algae has gotten the attention of small Iowa communities and the largest wastewater treatment system in the world. “This reactor greatly improves the efficiency of carbon dioxide and sunlight absorption. We found that the biomass productivity is about 10 times higher than a conventional system,” said Zhiyou Wen, professor of food science and human nutrition, who developed the system with Martin Gross, a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Crops Utilization Research. More


CALS Economists Inform Policymakers with Research on Biofuels
Bruce Babcock, economics, was quoted in a Jan. 25 Reuters article on the 2017 biofuels requirements and Renewable Identification Numbers. A policy brief published by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development in December 2016 addresses the impact on merchant refiners and blenders from changing the Renewable Fuel Standard point of obligation. Written by Babcock, Gabriel Lade and Sebastien Pouliot, the CARD paper was included in a dossier provided to Scott Pruitt, the nominee for Environmental Protection Agency administrator, by senior EPA staff. More

CALS Research Farms Use Conservation Practices for Science, Stewardship
CALS’ 13 Research and Demonstration Farms around the state serve as models of agricultural and scientific progress for Iowa’s farmers and landowners. ISU agricultural researchers have used the farms to study and demonstrate the effects of conservation practices to preserve water quality, keep soils productive and improve the environment. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Spring Career Day Set for Wednesday, Feb. 1
The CALS spring career day is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. A list of the 101 organizations participating is available online. “The spring event is a great opportunity for our students still looking to secure summer and full-time employment,” said Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services. More

Beginning Farmers Network Holds Annual Conference Saturday, Feb. 4
The Beginning Farmers Network will hold its annual conference this Saturday, Feb. 4, 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Scheman Building in Ames. Ted Seifried with Zaner Ag Hedging Group will provide the keynote address. He will talk about the importance of a marketing strategy and risk management for beginning producers, as well as give his outlook for the year ahead. Breakout sessions will address livestock markets, precision agriculture, Van Wall renewable energy, and farm credit and loan information. Registration is $15. Contact Jamie Pudenz, or (712) 210-6609, with questions or to register. The Beginning Farmers Network is a CALS student-led organization supporting all beginning farmers. The goal of the organization is to keep beginning farmers informed on current events in agriculture. The student group is advised by David Baker of the Beginning Farmer Center in CALS.

CALS Students and Summer Internships – By the Numbers
Of the 1,001 sophomores, juniors and seniors surveyed in fall 2016 by the CALS Career Services on the experience of CALS students with summer 2016 internships, two-thirds had structured internships or work experiences.

  • 44 percent obtained the summer internship through the CALS Career Fair or Career Services
  • 96 percent of internships were paid an hourly wage or monthly stipend
  • 66 percent of sophomores and juniors received offers from employers to return next summer
  • 18 percent of graduating seniors’ internships resulted in full-time job offers
  • More than 90 percent of students surveyed would recommend summer internships to other students.

CALS Graduate Student Recruitment Weekend March 4-5
The CALS Graduate Education Advisory Committee is organizing a graduate student recruitment weekend for March 4-5. The program includes a discussion about housing and the Ames community by a local realtor, a panel discussion with current graduate students, a dinner with recent graduates to discuss how their studies propelled them in their career, and a bus tour of the campus and Ames community. All CALS graduate programs are invited to have their prospective students participate in the weekend recruitment event. Programs are responsible for arranging all of the travel and housing for their students. For questions contact

CALS Nutritional Science Student Selected for Community Service Scholarship
Mica Magtoto, junior in nutritional science, is one of 20 college students from Iowa and California to be selected for the first class of the new Principal Community Scholars Program. Magtoto said the scholarship interested her because it encourages students to complete projects that benefit the community. More

Extension and Outreach

Iowa Beef Center Offers Revised Ration and Nutrition Software
The Iowa Beef Center in CALS has updated the beef ration and nutrition decision software (BRaNDS) for beef producers. Garland Dahlke, assistant scientist, said the new version is more user friendly and reflects guidelines updated in the recently released “Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle.” More

Around the College

Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods 2016 Impact Report Now Online
The Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in CALS has released its 2016 Donor Impact Report. Quick facts for the year include 10 newly established piggeries, more than 1,100 clients served by eight Nutrition Education Centers, 5,000 school lunches served each week, participation by more than 40 service learning students, 90 youth active in entrepreneurship, and $52,000 raised via crowdfunding.

Tom Kaspar, David and Corrine Williams Named 2016 Spencer Award Recipients
Tom Kaspar, a USDA collaborating faculty member in agronomy, and David and Corrine Williams are the recipients of the 2016 Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture. Kaspar is a soil scientist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment. David and Corrine Williams own a six-generation heritage farm in Page County. Administered by the Leopold Center, the Spencer Award recognizes researchers, teachers and farmers who have contributed significantly to the environmental and economic stability of the Iowa farming community. More

Licht Quoted in Latest National Geographic Magazine
Mark Licht, assistant professor of agronomy and extension cropping systems agronomist, was recently mentioned in National Geographic Magazine in a news brief and photo illustration on “The United States of Corn.” Licht shared information with the writer on the origins of Iowa’s most famous crop and how, “thanks to its high adaptability and versatility" it’s now grown in every state from New Hampshire to Hawaii. 


March 27: Retirement Reception for Lois Wright Morton
A retirement reception will be held for Lois Wright Morton, sociology, on March 27, 5 p.m. in the Harl Commons, Curtiss Hall. A short program will begin at 5:15 p.m. Morton has been with the department since 1999.

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

April 13: CALS Sustainability Symposium
CALS faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend a day-long CALS Sustainability Symposium on April 13 in the Scheman Buildling. CALS will celebrate ways it encourages sustainability and propose new efforts in the area. Catherine Woteki, former undersecretary of USDA’s Research, Education and Economics mission area and a past CALS dean, will present on sustainability efforts at the federal level. A poster session will highlight how sustainability is being implemented in CALS teaching, research and extension activities. Also planned are panel discussions on future sustainability efforts. Information for registration and a call for posters will be available soon. More

Funding Opportunities

Limited Submission: FFAR New Innovator Award, Due Feb. 16
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is accepting nominations for its New Innovator Food and Agriculture Research program to fund new faculty and their teams of graduate students and post-doctoral scholars. The award aims to promote career advancement for scientists who intend to make a long-term career commitment to research in food and agriculture. Two nominations are allowed per institution. The program is open to tenure-track faculty in any department or discipline hired on or after Aug. 1, 2013, and within eight years of the terminal degree. The deadline for pre-proposals for ISU's internal competition is Feb. 16. Grants of up to $100,000 per year for three years will be awarded. A 1:1 match is required.

NASA Earth Science Applications, Due Feb.17
The NASA Earth Science Division is soliciting proposals to develop, implement and manage a program of activities for Earth science applications for food security and agriculture. This call for proposals has two elements: International Food Security and Domestic Agriculture. Multi-organizational, multi-sectoral and transdisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged. Awards up to $2.9 million per year for up to five years are anticipated. Notices of Intent to propose are due Feb. 17 and proposals are due April 7. More

NSF CAREER Proposals, Due July 19 - 21
The National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Program awards support for early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department and organization. Eligible tenure-track assistant professors are invited to apply. Awards are expected to total up to $400,000 or $500,000 each, depending on the awarding NSF Directorate. Proposals are due July 19, 20 or 21, depending on the Directorate. More

IARPA Detection of Genome Editing, Due March 3
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity has issued a Request for Information seeking information on potential tools and methods to detect organisms that have been modified using genome editing techniques in biological organisms, including viruses. IARPA requests ideas for use by the government in formulating a potential program. Responses should be submitted by March 3. More
NSF CAREER Awards - Best Practices and Mock Review, March 7
The Office of the VPR will host an NSF CAREER Awards - Best Practices and Mock Review workshop on March 7 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Memorial Union Campanile Room. Previous CAREER award winners will share their experiences from the review process and panelists will review the feedback from sample proposals. This session will be most beneficial for second- or third-year faculty who have begun to establish their research interests. Registration will open soon.

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

Continuous: G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation – Research Grants in the Earth Sciences. Contact ISU Foundation to express interest.

Feb. 28 (letter of intent): Egg Nutrition Center - Egg Nutrition Studies and Research Grants; $50,000 for pilot projects up to two years.

March 8: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - Interdisciplinary Research Leaders; $350,000 for three years. Contact the ISU Foundation to express interest.

March 31: US Poultry and Egg Association - Poultry Protein and Fat Council Research Program. More

Aug. 1: Dreyfus Foundation - Postdoctoral Program in Environmental Chemistry; $120,000 for two years. More

Communications Kiosk

Correct Use of Person and People
Use “person” when speaking of an individual: One person waited for the bus. The word “people” is preferred to persons in all plural uses. For example: Thousands of people attended the fair. “Persons” should be used only when it is in a direct quote or part of a title, as in Bureau of Missing Persons. “People” also is a collective noun that takes a plural verb when used to refer to a single race or nation. (Associated Press Style book, 2014 edition, pg. 199)


USDA-ARS Scientist to Receive First NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences
Edward Buckler, a USDA-ARS research geneticist focused on nutrition and food security, is the first recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences. The annual prize was established in 2016 through support from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to recognize research by a mid-career scientist at a U.S. institution who has made an extraordinary contribution to agriculture. Buckler is honored for his contribution to global food security and nutrition. More


ISU Archives: An “Ames Plant Introduction Garden” in 1915
In 1915, a horticulture student named John Hampden Allison wrote his thesis on efforts to bring plants from around the world to Ames. While cataloging this bachelor’s theses, Christopher Anderson, descriptive records project archivist at Parks Library, was intrigued to learn of the existence of the Ames Plant Introduction Garden. Receiving shipments of plants was just the beginning since the point was to grow and study them for a variety of reasons, Anderson wrote in a Cardinal Tales blog on Jan. 24. More (From CALS perspective, it should be noted that the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station was established on campus in 1948, a joint venture of USDA-ARS, 12 north-central agricultural experiment stations and the CALS Agriculture Experiment Station. Today, the dedicated staff of the Plant Introduction Station, headquartered in the agronomy department, is entrusted with the genetic material – mostly seeds – for 53,000 different plant populations representing more than 1,470 plant species.)

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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