Issue: 963

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
July 31, 2017 – No. 963

Top Stories

Students Track Monarchs as Part of STEM Research
When people think of STEM research, butterflies aren’t typically what come to mind. Three women are working to change that perception. Kelsey Fisher, graduate student in entomology, Riley Nylin, junior in agricultural systems technology, and Signey Hilby, one of 19 students participating in the CALS George Washington Carver Summer Research Internship Program, are tracking monarch butterflies using automated radio telemetry. They are one of the first groups to use this technology on butterflies. More


Tylka Reports Problems with SCN Resistant Soybeans
Greg Tylka, plant pathology and microbiology, has found that soybean cyst nematode resistant soybean varieties are becoming less effective. “This is an alarming trend and sets the stage for even greater yield loss from SCN in the future,” Tylka said. Resistant varieties have helped farmers manage the nematodes for decades. But a recent study analyzing 25 years of data showed a breakdown of resistance in SCN-resistant varieties. More

Mellata Studies Link between Food and E. Coli Infections
Melha Mellata, food science and human nutrition, and her team of research post-docs and students sought out a link between food and extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli infections. The research findings are published in the journals of Zoonoses Public Health and PLOS ONE.

Schnable on the Emerging Field of Plant Phenomics
Understanding the genes that influence traits that will produce more resilient, productive crops is vital to feeding the growing population. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research has released a video about the emerging field of plant phenomics that aired on an American Farmer segment at RFD-TV. Patrick Schnable, agronomy and director of the Plant Sciences Institute and Center for Plant Genomics, contributed to the video. Schnable’s portion can be found at the 1:55 minute mark. More

ISU Researchers Tour Iowa Farms
A group studying plant diseases, pest and general agronomics from ISU recently took part in a two-farm tour organized by the Iowa Soybean Research Center. The first stop was a corn and soybean farm in Pella. “I owe ISU Extension a lot of praise for making me a successful soybean farmer,” said Cliff Mulder. The second stop on the tour took the group to Dave Struther’s corn, soybean and hog farm near Collins. A second tour is being planned for mid-September.

Teaching and Students

ISU Observes 10 Years of Online Seed Education
ISU is celebrating 10 years of service to the seed industry through its online graduate program in Seed Technology and Business. The program enrolled its first graduate students in fall 2007. Since that time, the program has grown with students from more than 22 states and 11 different countries. Lori Youngberg, Seed Science Center, is the program coordinator. More

Extension and Outreach

Extension Releases Aquaponics Video Series
Allen Pattillo, natural resource ecology and management and aquaponics and fisheries extension specialist, has released a series of videos on how to construct and use an aquaponics system. Videos cover the details of an integrated system of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants), whether producers are interested as hobbyists or in commercial production.

Drought Tough on Crops and Cattle
The lack of moisture is tough on crops, but it’s also tough on cattle. At the ISU McNay Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm near Chariton, the impact of severe drought is being felt, as reported by WHO-TV. USDA released an updated Iowa drought map on July 27. Also, the college’s Iowa Beef Center has a web page that lists several drought-related resources for cattle producers looking for some additional information and resources.

Around the College

Hayes on Cost of Potential Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak
An article in the July 26 issue of U.S. News and World Report addresses preparation for a potential foot and mouth disease disaster. Dermot Hayes, economics, said a U.S. outbreak could cause more than $2.16 million per day in lost producer and consumer profits, amounting to a loss of $200 billion and 154,000 jobs over a 10-year period, if export markets were to close. More

Animal Science Faculty and Staff Receive Awards at Annual Conference
The American Society of Animal Science and the Canadian Society of Animal Sciences held its joint annual meeting in Baltimore, July 8-12. Faculty and staff receiving awards were: Tom Baas, Fellow Award; John Patience, Extension Award; Curtis Youngs, Bouffault International Agriculture Award; Stephanie Hansen, ASAS Early Career Achievement Award; and Erin Deters, Joseph P. Fontenot Appreciation Club Travel Scholarship.

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Grad is July Young Alum of the Month
Karin Jokela (’15 MS ecology and evolutionary biology) is the CALS Young Alum of the Month for July. Jokela is a farm bill pollinator conservation planner for the Xerces Society. She encourages farmers to respect and promote beneficial insects on their farms. More

Grace Amemiya Dies at Age 96
Grace Obata Amemiya, who kept alive the story of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II (and wife of the late Min Amemiya, an ISU agronomy professor, extension agronomist and USDA soil scientist), died on July 22. She was 96. More… As part of the “Faces of Iowa State” project, CALS sponsored a painting of Amemiya in 2016 by Iowa artist Rose Frantzen. More Also, see item on Faces of Iowa State exhibit in Marginalia, below.

Funding Opportunities

Internal Competition: NSF CISE Institutional Research Infrastructure
The Office of the VPR is accepting pre-proposals for applications for the National Science Foundation’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering Research Infrastructure - Institutional Infrastructure program. Applications are limited to three per institution for the Institutional Infrastructure program only. There is no limit on the number of proposals for the Community Infrastructure program in the solicitation. Contact Sue Shipitalo ( for pre-proposal guidelines. Pre-proposals are due by Aug. 21. More

Internal Competition: Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists
Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists recognize the country’s most promising young faculty-rank scientists and engineers within the broad disciplinary categories of life sciences, physical sciences and engineering, and chemistry. One Blavatnik Laureate in each disciplinary category will receive $250,000 in unrestricted funds and an opportunity to publish in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Nominees must have been born in or after 1976. Internal preproposals are due by Sept. 13. For pre-proposal guidelines, contact Sue Shipitalo ( or Donna Van Pelt ( More

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

Sept. 22: NOAA FY18 Cooperative Research Program; fundamental fisheries information in support of management and regulatory options including socioeconomic studies; average grant $150,000. More

Oct. 1: Constellation E2 Energy to Educate Grants; $50,000. More

Nov. 15: NSF Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases. More

Dec. 4: NSF Discovery Research K-12. More

Communications Kiosk

Caster vs. Castor
Caster is a roller. Castor is the spelling for the oil and the bean from which it is derived. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2016 edition, pg. 45)


Henderson on Helping Farmers Avoid Another Economic Slump
American farmers are facing challenging times, wrote Jason Henderson in a recent blog post for The Hill. Henderson, associate dean in Purdue University’s College of Agriculture and director of Purdue Extension, said with the help of the Cooperative Extension Service and land-grant universities, agricultural producers can remain efficient, nimble and successful. “Wherever this downturn goes, producers’ agility, education and opportunities are keys to emerging from it favorably,” Henderson said. “That is what Cooperative Extension offers through premier research and proven resources.” More   

Federal Register Notices Added to NIFA’s Email Subscription Service
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture has added Federal Register Notices to its email subscription list. Subscribers will receive timely announcements and information relevant to proposed rules, final rules, regulations and notices published by NIFA on the official Federal Register site. To subscribe or update your email preferences, go to NIFA’s email updates site.


Faces of Iowa State Exhibit Opens Aug. 21 at Brunnier Museum
The Faces of Iowa State portrait exhibition will open at the Brunnier Art Museum on Aug. 21. Faculty and staff are invited to a welcome reception at 4:30 to 6 p.m. Iowa artist Rose Frantzen painted 19 portraits at the Iowa State Fair last August and 13 more portraits in March during a nine-day residency on campus. The portraits make up the Faces of Iowa State exhibition. 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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