Issue: 948

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
April 24, 2017

Top Stories

New CALS Website Tells the Story of Research Advances in Water Quality
CALS has launched a new website, Research Advances in Water Quality, to highlight water quality progress and improvement in Iowa made through scientific results and the efforts of ISU researchers, students and their partners. The website tells the stories of the people, projects and places that are part of the research. For example, the Iowa Nutrient Research Center has funded more than 30 research projects since 2013 conducted by scientists at Iowa State, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa. The stories help illustrate the ongoing research and innovation needed to improve Iowa’s water quality.

Xin Named Assistant Dean for Research
Hongwei Xin has been named the new assistant dean for research in CALS. Xin, a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor who holds the Iowa Egg Council Endowed Professorship in the agricultural and biosystems engineering and animal science departments, Xin was named to the newly created position effective April 1. He will focus on the promotion of animal-related research, facilitate linkages with the Agriculture Experiment Station research and economic development efforts, and promote international research partnerships. His five-year appointment includes continuing to direct the Egg Industry Center and conduct research. He also will serve as interim director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Student Helps Organize Iowa March for Science
Kaitlin Higgins, senior in genetics who earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy in 2015, helped organize the Iowa March for Science. The state version of the national event took place April 22 at the State of Iowa Capitol complex to draw attention to the importance of science and the need to make it more accessible. An estimated 3,000 people participated in a rally and education exhibits. Several ISU faculty, students and alumni spoke or led teach-in sessions. More

Students Raise Funds for March Wildfire Victims
A Block and Bridle Club t-shirt sale and a bake sale are two ways students have raised funds for wildfire victims in Colorado, Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma. In March seven people died because of the wildfires, which also killed cattle and burned more than 1 million acres. The club sold t-shirts last week and Javier Aguirre, freshman in animal science, held a bake sale on April 17. Aguirre sold more than $125 in baked goods, which he will combine with the Block and Bridle Club donations and t-shirt sales for wildfire victims.

New Generation Finds Diverse Careers in Ag Industry
Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services, told Iowa Farmer Today that despite growing enrollment, CALS continues to place nearly 98 percent of college graduates in jobs or graduate school. “Graduates from our college continue to be in high demand,” he said. The April 22 article addresses diverse careers in the agriculture industry and features CALS alum Claire Masker (’05 animal science, agriculture education).

Extension and Outreach

Videos Provide Training on Good Agricultural Practices
The ISU Extension and Outreach food safety team has produced a series of three videos to help fruit and vegetable growers understand and implement good agricultural practices. More

Rieck-Hinz and Schmitt Receive Honorary Iowa FFA Degrees
Extension field agronomists Angie Rieck-Hinz and Virgil Schmitt were awarded Honorary Iowa FFA Degrees at the 89th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference held in Ames on April 10. The award was for ISU leadership for high school soil judging and the Iowa FFA State Soil judging contest. 

Around the College

Gamma Sigma Delta,  Agriculture Honor Society, Presents Awards
The Iowa Chapter of the Honor Society of Agriculture, known as Gamma Sigma Delta, hosted an Initiation and Awards Ceremony on April 20. Sixty-six undergraduates, 56 graduate students and two faculty were initiated into the society. The following CALS alumni, faculty and students were presented awards at the ceremony. More

  • Distinguished Achievement in Agriculture Award – Max Rothschild, animal science.
  • Alumni Award of Merit – John Hallberg, Zoetis.
  • Teaching Mission Award – Jodi Sterle, animal science.
  • Research Mission Award – James Russell, animal science; Aaron Gassmann, entomology.
  • Extension Mission Award – Dan Morrical, animal science.
  • International Mission Award – Tom Baas, animal science.
  • Senior Scholarship – Sarah Myers, animal science.
  • Sophomore Scholarship – Zhitao Ming, biology.

Seed and Biosafety Symposium Video Available Online
More than 175 people attended the 2017 Seed and Biosafety Symposium on April 12 in Ames. The event explored the “Seed Industry Outlook: Challenges and Opportunities” and “Next Generation Innovations and Technologies in Agriculture.” Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, was the keynote speaker. Catherine Woteki, former chief scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, USDA, moderated the afternoon session. Mike Crum, ISU Economic Development and Business Engagement vice president, spoke at the luncheon. Video of the symposium is available online.

Newlin Receives Lifetime Achievement and Service Award from Seed Science Center
Owen Newlin was honored with a Seed Science Center Distinguished Lifetime Achievement and Service Award for Seed Science, Technology and Systems at the Seed and Biosafety Symposium in Ames on April 12. The award recognizes Newlin for his exemplary leadership and commitment to excellence as a tireless advocate for ISU and the seed industry around the world. Newlin is a retired senior vice president and director of Pioneer Hi-Bred International. He received a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and a master’s degree in crop production from ISU. More

Hertz Lecture with Alan Barkema Available Online
Alan Barkema (’73 farm operations, MS ‘85 economics, PhD ‘86), retired senior vice president and director of research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, presented the 2017 Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture on April 11. His presentation, “Pursuing Questions: Prospects for the Economy and Agriculture,” is available online.  


April 24: ISU United Way Food Drive
The ninth annual ISU LIVE UNITED Food Drive starts today, April 24. Non-perishable items will be collected through May 4 for Story County food pantries. Campus collection boxes can be found at Curtiss, Agronomy, Bessey, Science I, Science II, Beardshear, MacKay, Gerdin, Coover, Lagomarcino, Palmer, Town Engineering and Marston. Contact Carla Persaud with questions,, 4-1823.

April 25: Science With Practice Poster Session
This semester’s Science With Practice participants will host a poster presentation open house on Tuesday, April 25, 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Kildee Hall Atrium. More than 20 students are active in the program this spring. Science With Practice is a CALS experiential learning and work program for undergraduate students in agriculture.

April 28: Retirement Reception for Russ Mullen
A retirement reception for Russ Mullen, professor of agronomy, will be held April 28, 3 to 5:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room. A program will begin at 3:30. Mullen has taught for almost 40 years at ISU. More

Funding Opportunities

Limited Submission: USDA Women and Minorities in STEM Fields
The USDA Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fields Program supports research and extension projects that increase participation by women and underrepresented groups from rural areas in STEM. The FY 2017 program will support education/teaching, extension, research and integrated projects. Applications are limited to one per institution. Individuals should express interest in this funding opportunity at by May 3. More

Limited Submission: NIH Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health
The National Institutes of Health Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health (U54) will conduct high-quality research and help translate scientific discoveries into practical applications to improve worker safety and health in the areas of agriculture, forestry and fishing. Center structure will take advantage of diverse scientific resources and focus on local, regional and/or national worker safety and health issues. Centers will emphasize the creation and implementation of evidence-based solutions to important agricultural safety and health problems. Ten awards of up to $1.35 million each are anticipated. Applications are limited to one per institution. Individuals should express interest in this funding opportunity at by May 31. More

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

Varies by Program Area: USDA AFRI Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative.

June 2: Department of State - Mosquito Talk: Building and Expanding International Network of Public Health Communicators to Engage on Zika and Vector Borne Diseases; $480,000. More

June 6: DOD DARPA Broad Agency Announcement - Biological Robustness in Complex Settings Part 2 Forensic Microbial Systems. More

June 28: USDA AFRI Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts Challenge Area.

July 13: USDA AFRI Resilient Agroecosystems in a Changing Climate Challenge Area.

Sept. 1: NSF Plant Biotic Interactions. More

Sept. 1: NIH Director's Pioneer Award Program (DP1). More

Sept. 8: NIH Director's New Innovator Award Program (DP2). More

Sept. 15: NIH Director's Transformative Research Awards (R01). More

Nov. 15: NSF Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences: Investigator-Initiated Research Projects. More

Communications Kiosk

Using an Apostrophe with Joint Possession
Use a possessive form after only the last word if ownership is joint: Fred and Sylvia’s apartment, Fred and Sylvia’s stocks. Use a possessive form after both words if the objects are individually owned: Fred’s and Sylvia’s books. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2016 edition, pg. 222)


Pharmacology and Toxicology Minor Available Fall 2017
The new interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in pharmacology and toxicology will be available beginning fall 2017. The minor will be overseen by the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technology and is appropriate for students considering post-graduate professional programs such as human medicine or veterinary medicine. Courses will focus on the effects of drugs and toxins on both animal and environmental systems. More


CALS Student Participates in Creative Dance Program
The Department of Kinesiology offers many dance outreach programs, including Tuesday’s Creations creative dance class, directed by Janice Baker, assistant professor in kinesiology. Teagan DiSalvo, a CALS senior in environmental science with a minor in dance, has been involved with the program since her freshman year and credits Baker’s teaching style for the program’s success. “Her style of teaching makes dance and movement accessible to everyone,” DiSalvo said. “Students explore in their own way and no student moves the same. I have grown as a teacher, dancer and as a consumer of the art of dance by participating in activities such as Tuesday’s Creations.”

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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