Issue: 954

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
May 30, 2017

Top Stories

Video: CALS Cyclone Aides Encourage Students to Attend Summer Orientation
Beginning this week, more than 770 incoming freshman will visit campus during seven sessions held this summer. CALS Cyclone Aides recently were filmed talking about the advantages of attending orientation and getting a head start on college. The video is available online.


Schnable Receives USDA NIFA Grant with Corn Growers’ Support
Pat Schnable, agronomy and director of the Plant Sciences Institute, received a $490,000 grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to improve yield prediction models for next generation breeders. The grant was funded jointly with a consortium of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, Nebraska Corn Board and Kentucky Corn Promotion Council.

FSHN Study Identifies Possible Missing Genetic Link for Alzheimer’s Risk
A new ISU study led by Auriel Willette, food science and human nutrition, may have identified the link that explains years of conflicting research over a mitochondrial gene and the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers found a dramatic difference in the gene’s impact on memory, general cognitive function and risk based on a family history of Alzheimer’s disease and the length of a specific section of the gene. More

Teaching and Students

AST Student Leads Cyclone Power Pullers Tractor Team
The 2017 Cyclone Power Pullers hope to build on the success of previous years by refining concepts and components that worked well in past competitions. The team designed and built their quarter-scale tractor, called the ExCYter, from scratch this academic year. This year’s team leader is Patrick Haight, junior in agricultural systems technology. More

FSHN Class Uses CCUR Facilities to Develop New Products
The Center for Crops Utilization Research provided staff assistance and equipment to three food science and human nutrition student teams to help them develop new food products, including a sweet potato pancake, a food thyme product and a breakfast smoothie name the Morning Motivator.

Poster Competition Highlights Research on Food, Feed and Biorenewables
The Center for Crops Utilization Research and the BioCentury Research Farm hosted a poster competition April 20 for ISU students engaged in food, feed and biorenewables research. Awards were given to the top three undergraduate student posters and the top three graduate student posters.

Extension and Outreach

Field Days to Help Participants Improve Profit and Water Quality
Farmers and their consultants can learn how to improve both farm profits and water quality at a series of field days hosted by ISU Extension and Outreach during Nitrogen and Water Week June 27-29. More

Video: Meet John Lawrence, Interim Vice President for Extension and Outreach
A video introducing John Lawrence, interim vice president for ISU Extension and Outreach, is available online. Lawrence talks about the impact of the organization and the professionals who serve it, his interim leadership plans and a successful three-year quest to visit all 100 county office on his motorcycle. Lawrence, CALS associate dean for extension programs and outreach and director of agriculture and natural resources extension, assumed the role of interim vice president of ISU Extension and Outreach on April 29.

Around the College

ISU Dairy Farm Open House Scheduled for June 9
To celebrate dairy month, the ISU Dairy Farm will host its ninth annual open house June 9, from 6 to 11 a.m. Tours will be given every 30 minutes beginning at 6:30 a.m. Stops include the milking parlor, milk house and dairy barns. Visitors also can sample free dairy products while learning about commodity groups activities in the Ag Discovery Center. More


June 1: Retirement Reception for Steve Mahoney
A retirement reception will be held for Steve Mahoney, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, on June 1, 2 to 4 p.m. (with a program at 2:30) in the Memorial Union Gallery Room. Mahoney, who manages the Bessey Hall rooftop greenhouse, is retiring after 37 years of service to the university.

June 29: Iowa Swine Day
The sixth annual Iowa Swine Day, scheduled for June 29 in the Scheman Building, will address current issues and opportunities facing pork producers. The event is planned and hosted by CALS, the Iowa Pork Industry Center and the Iowa Pork Producers Association. More

Funding Opportunities

NSF: Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students
The National Science Foundation has identified improvement of graduate student preparedness for the STEM workforce as one of its priorities. As part of this effort, supplemental funding is available in FY 2018 and FY 2019 to provide support for non-academic research internships for graduate students to support career opportunities in any sector of the U.S. economy. NSF will provide support for supplements to current grants awarded by the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Directorate for Engineering, and Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure within the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, to enhance professional development opportunities for graduate students. More

Funding Opportunities List at ISU Foundation
The ISU Foundation website provides a list of funding opportunities. Clearance to apply, including letters of intent, inquiry or interest, and applications or proposals, must be coordinated with the ISU Foundation. To view these opportunities and to obtain information about applying for funding from external foundations, log in with an ISU NET-ID. More

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

Rolling Basis: NIST Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grant Programs. More

July 1 (letter of interest): Woodard & Curran Foundation Grants for Clean Water Initiatives; $100,000 over three years.

July 15: U.S. Department of State Regional Environment, Science, Technology and Health Program for Select Pacific Island Countries; up to $24,999, food security, biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, changing environmental conditions and other topics. More

July 19 (pre-application): DoD Peer Reviewed Medical Discovery Award; includes antimicrobial resistance, emerging infectious disease, diabetes and others. More

July 25 (pre-application): DOD Tick-Borne Disease Research Program Idea Award; $250,000. More

Aug. 1, Nov. 1: Spencer Foundation Small Education Research Projects; $50,000, contact ISU Foundation ( to express interest. More

Aug. 2: FDA Food Safety Preventive Controls and Produce Safety Standards: Building Competency in Latin America in Support of the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act. More

Aug. 10 (letter of intent): NSF-Simons Research Centers for Mathematics of Complex Biological Systems (MathBioSys). More

Oct. 16: NIH Small Grants for Secondary Analyses of Existing Data Sets and Stored Biospecimens (R03); $100,000 direct costs over two years. More

Nov. 17: USAID-Lima - Brazil Environment Program - Territorial and Environmental Management of Indigenous Lands, Maranhao, Rondonia and Roraima. More

Communications Kiosk

Get Creative with Five-Minute Exercises
If you’ve hit a creative rut, try one of these scientifically proven exercises to boost your creativity, writes business designer Rohini Venkatraman in an article in Inc.

  • Doodle Storm
  • Pretend You’re Five Years Old
  • Go For a Walk
  • Project Your Project
  • Music
  • Read Something Absurd
  • Get Mad


New ISU App Allows Citizen Scientists to Survey Butterflies
People who want to survey butterflies can now use mobile devices with a new app developed by Reiman Gardens and ISU computer engineering students. The free Unified Butterfly Recorder app allows users to record butterfly sightings that use the built-in capabilities of their devices to include the time, GPS coordinates and local weather conditions. Participants can submit their data – generated by the app as an Excel spreadsheet – for inclusion in a database. "We run a statewide program where we train citizen scientists to go out in the field and survey butterflies. Most of that work had been done on paper. I really wanted a mobile way to do it, to speed up the process,” said Nathan Brockman, CALS alum and entomologist at Reiman Gardens. More

Looking for Carver’s Legacy in the Modern World
Many see George Washington Carver as working mostly on peanuts. An article in the spring 2017 issue of The Furrow, published by Deere and Company, detailed how he was much more than that. His fame as an agricultural scientist, starting with his education at Iowa State, was worldwide as he worked with crops ranging from peanuts to sweet potatoes, cowpeas to soybeans. Also, he was an artist, educator and humanitarian. 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.


University Nondiscrimination Statement