Issue: 940

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Feb. 27, 2016 

Top Stories

The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium today released a statewide strategy to support monarch butterfly recovery in Iowa and North America.


Iowa Partnership Unveils Strategy to Conserve Monarch Butterfly
The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium today released a statewide strategy to support monarch butterfly recovery in Iowa and North America. The science-based strategy fosters habitat improvements in rural landscapes that coincide with agricultural production, are sufficient in scale to support improved monarch breeding success, and complement other conservation programs. “Our research, extension and outreach programs, in coordination with regional and national efforts, ensures these conservation measures are based on the best available scientific knowledge,” said Dean Wendy Wintersteen. More


Powell-Coffman, VanDerZanden Lead AAU Grant to Improve STEM Education
ISU is one of 12 universities to receive a grant from the Association of American Universities to improve undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Jo Anne Powell-Coffman, chair of the Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology, is the project coordinator for the grant. Ann Marie VanDerZanden, director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and professor of horticulture, also plays a role in coordinating the grant. More

GDCB Research Could Lead to Better Performing Crop Varieties
New research outlines how the genetic pathways that govern growth and stress response in plants sometimes clash. The research could lead to better performing crop varieties. Yanhai Yin, a professor of genetics, development and cell biology and a Plant Sciences Institute Faculty Scholar, is the corresponding author of a study published Feb. 24 in the journal “Nature Communications.” More

Teaching and Students

Genetics Student Studies Maize on Mars with Space Grant
Raegan Hoefler, a junior in genetics, is testing the effects of radiation on corn seedlings. The experiment involves exposing the seedlings to ultraviolet and x-ray irradiation levels similar to what would be found on Mars. Hoefler received $7,000 from the Iowa Space Grant Consortium; $5,000 was awarded as a scholarship, $2,000 was for a research grant to conduct an experiment inspired by the movie “The Martian.” Her advisor is Thomas Peterson, genetics, development and cell biology and Pioneer Chair in Maize Molecular Genetics. More

Around the College

John Deere Opens Strategic Technology Office at ISU
Deere & Company has opened a strategic technology office in the ISU Research Park, growing its on-campus presence in recognition of the world-class research, education and talent development capabilities at Iowa State. Teams working at the Deere ISU location will focus on developing integrated solutions for John Deere’s Agriculture and Turf, and Construction and Forestry Divisions. One key area will be in precision agriculture technology. In 2015, technology related to harvesting equipment developed at ISU and licensed to John Deere received a trio of innovation awards at an international ag expo. The Deere ISU location is designed to foster similar collaborations.

To Diversify the Landscape, Diversify Who Works It
People working on farms and elsewhere in agriculture often don’t reflect the nation’s demographics. Changing that is becoming a priority, in hopes new people will bring fresh ideas to meet some of our food system’s greatest challenges. In an interview with Iowa Public Radio on Feb. 23, Kendall Lamkey, agronomy, said “The way to re-diversify the landscape is to re-diversify the people in agriculture.” Liz Hada, senior in global resource systems, and Melissa Garcia Rodriguez, junior in animal science, shared some of their experiences with racial tension, despite feeling generally welcomed by most students and faculty. More

New Assistant Professor Joins Animal Science
Ranga Appuhamy has joined the animal science department as an assistant professor. His primary research goal is improving current understanding of protein metabolism in cattle, particularly related to climate change.

Former Chair of Horticulture Charles Hall Dies at 93
Funeral services for Charles Hall were held Feb. 25 in Hardy, Ark. Hall, chair of the Department of Horticulture from 1974 to 1990, died Feb. 18 at age 93. His obituary can be found on the Tri-County Funeral Home website. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Charles V. Hall Endowed Scholarship at ISU’s Horticulture Department (established in 1990) or the Children’s Homes in Arkansas. 


Feb. 28: CALS Cultural Competency Lunch and Learn Series
The next CALS Cultural Competency lunch and learn workshop will be on Feb. 28, 11:30 to 1 p.m. in the CCUR Theatre, 1951 Food Sciences Building. The topic is recognizing and responding to racism and discrimination’s impact on mental and physical health. RSVP by noon on Feb. 27 to Theressa Cooper, CALS assistant dean for diversity,

March 1: Greg Miller Presents CALS Sustainability Lecture
Greg Miller, National Dairy Council, will present the next lecture in the CALS Sustainability Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 1, at 4:10 p.m. in 2343 Food Science Building. He will speak on “Dairy in Sustainable Food Systems.” Miller joined the National Dairy Council in 1992 and serves as its chief science officer, executive vice president of Research, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs for Dairy Management Inc. and Global Dairy sector lead for Nutritional Security for Global Dairy Platform. The lecture series is organized by the CALS Sustainability Task Force, which explores how the college could become more engaged in sustainable agriculture efforts. The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is co-sponsoring Miller’s lecture. More

March 9: CALS Spring Awards Program
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Spring Awards Program, honoring faculty and staff achievements, is scheduled for March 9 at 4:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room.

March 31: CALS ADVANCE Faculty Workshops
Two CALS ADVANCE faculty workshops are scheduled for March 31 in the Memorial Union Gallery. The sessions will be facilitated by Nancy Wayne, professor of physiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and associate vice chancellor for research. Wayne also is founding president of Women Advancing Together that brings practical, goal-oriented and problem-solving workshops to professionals, students and administrators to help overcome barriers in their careers. The morning workshop, 9 to 11 a.m., is on the need for self-promotion. The afternoon workshop, 1 to 3 p.m., is on work-life balance. Register for one or both workshops by March 21 by emailing Carla Persaud,

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 Building. 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: 2018 Beckman Scholars Program, Due March 22
The Beckman Scholars Program supports research activities by full-time undergraduate students who are studying chemistry, biochemistry, the biological and medical sciences, or some interdisciplinary combination of these subjects. Research can be performed part time or full time under the guidance of a full-time faculty member. Students should be in their freshman through junior years. Submissions are limited to one per institution. Letters of Interest for ISU internal competition are due by March 22. More

2017 Barilla YES! Research Grant Competition, Due June 28
The Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Young Earth Solutions international competition invites young Ph.D. and Postdoc researchers to submit research proposals to improve the sustainability of the food system. The 13 areas of particular interest include sustainable and healthy diets; urban food systems and policies; resilient agriculture, land use change and agro-ecology; the nexus between climate change, energy and food; sustainable water management; and others. Participants must have a Ph.D. or be enrolled in a Ph.D. program, and be a maximum of 35 years old as of Dec. 31, 2017. Three awards of €20,000 each are anticipated. Proposals are due by June 28.

2017 NASA ROSES Research Announcement
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has announced the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences funding for 2017. Awards range from under $100,000 per year for focused limited efforts, to more than $ 1 million per year for extensive activities. Fifty programs cover a range of basic and applied research and technology in space and Earth. The List of Open Program Elements links to topic descriptions and due dates. More

Webinars: USDA NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program
The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is hosting two webinars to discuss the application process and requirements for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Each webinar will introduce participants to the NRCS and its programs, discuss the RCPP and application requirements, and offer best practices for project applications. The webinars will take place on March 22 and April 5 from 3 to 4.30 p.m. Preproposals for the RCPP program are due April 21.

FFAR Seeks Expert Reviewers to Evaluate Research Proposals
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is seeking reviewers from academia, federal and state governments, industry, commodity groups, professional organizations and other stakeholder groups to evaluate research proposals. To be considered, applicants should have expertise in at least one of the following topic areas: agricultural water management, soil health, farm animal productivity and health, plant sciences, nutrition, food production systems, biotechnology and socioeconomics. Reviewers will be offered honoraria. The call for experts is open without deadline. Applicants must submit a curriculum vitae, conflict of interest form, and a signed confidentiality/nondisclosure agreement. More

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

March 27: ISU/CELT 2017-18 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program; $1,850. More

March 28 (letter of intent): NOAA Sea Grant 2017 Aquaculture Initiative: Integrated Projects to Increase Aquaculture Production; $100,000 to $1 million, 50 percent match required. More

May 24: 2018 U.S. Forest Service National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-Share Grant Program; 1:1 match required.

June 5: NIH Advancing Translational and Clinical Probiotic/Prebiotic and Human Microbiome Research (R01). More

Oct. 20: NSF Environmental Sustainability.

Oct. 20: NSF Engineering of Biomedical Systems. 

Oct. 20: NSF Nano-Biosensing.

Oct 20: NSF Environmental Engineering.

Rolling basis: NSF Biological and Environmental Interactions of Nanoscale Materials.

Communications Kiosk

Building Trust with Concerned Consumers
Kevin Folta, chair of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida, conducts research, educates students and communicates important concepts about science and the public. He offers the following six ways to build trust with concerned consumers in the February 2017 issue of Successful Farming. More Folta was the 2016 recipient of the Borlaug CAST Communication Award. More

  • Know your audience.
  • Listen and understand any concerns.
  • Talk about your values and your motivation.
  • Discuss ag innovations that can satisfy your common values.
  • Participate in social media discussions.
  • Be nice.


Help Shape Grand Challenge Research Areas at ISU Faculty Research Day
ISU Faculty Research Day will be March 21, 1 to 5:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Participants will have the opportunity to celebrate the university’s research accomplishments, exchange ideas, discover connections and help create the future of Iowa State’s interdisciplinary grand challenge research areas. Also, faculty are invited to present their research, scholarship or creative activity in timed lightening talks, poster sessions and displays and exhibits. Registration is available online. 

World’s Future Food Security in Jeopardy, Warns FAO
Humanity’s future ability to feed itself is in jeopardy due to intensifying pressures on natural resources, mounting inequality and the fallout from a changing climate, according to a report released Feb. 22 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The core question raised by “The Future of Food and Agriculture: Trends and Challenges,” is whether the world’s agriculture and food systems are capable of sustainably meeting the needs of a burgeoning global population. The short answer is yes, but it will require major transformations. 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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