Issue: 968

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Sept. 5, 2017

Top Stories

Underwood Family Makes Million Dollar Gift to CALS
The Underwood Family Foundation of Ames has made a $1 million gift to support the agricultural business and agricultural entrepreneurship programs in CALS. “Changing students’ experiences and their lives is our plan,” said Roger Underwood, director of the Underwood Family Foundation. Steven Brockshus (above) created Terva, an online marketplace for farmland. He is a 2017 agricultural education and life sciences graduate who developed his entrepreneurial talent with the help of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative. More


GDCB Scientists Search Zebrafish Genome to Promote Human Health
A research team at Iowa State hopes advanced gene editing techniques will help them locate genes in zebrafish that may allow for the development of new treatments for disease in humans. Team members include Jeff Essner, Maura McGrail and Drena Dobbs, genetics, development and cell biology. The research is supported by a nearly $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. More

Teaching and Students

Canvas Training Opportunity for CALS Faculty and Staff
The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching is providing an exclusive training opportunity for CALS faculty and staff to learn Canvas, ISU’s new learning management system. Participants will learn how to use the Canvas gradebook, communication tools, collaboration tools and the quiz tool. The Lunch and Learn will be offered Oct. 11 and Nov. 8, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in Curtiss 013. There is a limit of 50 participants per training. RSVP to Tina Carter at

Women’s Leadership Workshop for CALS Graduate Students
A Women’s Leadership Workshop series has been planned to empower female graduate students and post-docs across CALS to achieve their career ambitions. From Dean Wintersteen speaking about the valued qualities of STEM professionals to gaining confidence and embracing risk from Rita Mumm of the University of Illinois, topics are designed with women in mind. Sessions are held once a month, beginning on Sept. 19, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Elings Hall. Food and beverages will be provided. Please register and indicate if you would be interested in childcare. The workshop series is organized by faculty and graduate students in the department of agronomy, with funding from the department, the CALS Advance program and the vice president of diversity and inclusion.

FSHN's Cyclone Scholar Summer Research Program a Success
Ten students gathered at ISU in June and July to conduct research and learn about Iowa's local food systems. The Cyclone Scholar Summer Research Program paired undergraduate students with professors in the department of food science and human nutrition to conduct research related to food safety, food security and childhood obesity.

Agronomy Student Receives Helena Outstanding Intern Award
Stephanie Shuler, senior in agronomy, received the 2017 Outstanding Intern Award for the west central division of the Helena Chemical Company. She worked as a summer sales and agronomy intern for the Hutchinson, Kan., wholesale location. More

Extension and Outreach

Researchers Provide Guidance for Micronutrients for Soybean Production
Research and general management guidelines on micronutrients in soybean fields are summarized in a new publication, “Micronutrients for Soybean Production in the North Central Region,” available through the ISU Extension Store. Antonio Mallarino, agronomy and extension specialist, led a team of researchers and fertility extension specialists from five universities across the Midwest who worked on the project. More

Horticulture Station Plants Peppers on Purpose for ISU Dining
CALS’ Horticulture Research Station devoted a small plot of land this summer to growing produce for ISU Dining – 3,000 pounds of bell peppers, to be precise. It’s the first time the research farm has planted crops with ISU Dining in mind, an initiative that may expand. More

Horticulture Research Station to Celebrate 50th Anniversary
The Horticulture Research Station will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Sept. 16 at 12:30 p.m. Alumni and friends are invited for farm tours, apple demonstrations, kids’ games, and a special program hosted by Jeff Iles, chair of the horticulture department. More

Family Labor Still Vital to Iowa Farm Businesses
Family labor remains a vital component of the Midwestern farm culture, said Paul Lasley, sociology, in an article for the Aug. 31 issue of Iowa Farmer Today. Lasley emphasized the intergenerational transmission of values. "Young people work next to their parents, and they learn the value of labor."

Overview of Monarch Conservation Field Day Available Online
CALS Dean Wendy Wintersteen welcomed nearly 40 attendees at the Monarch Conservation Field Day on July 24 and highlighted monarch conservation efforts happening statewide. A video providing an overview of the event is available online.

Around the College

Wintersteen on a Unified Way to Meet the Challenges of Agriculture
A commentary by Dean Wendy Wintersteen about the need to speak together on increasing federal agricultural research funding appeared in the Aug. 30 issue of the Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman. More

Wintersteen Signs MOU with Faculty of Agro-Industry
Dean Wendy Wintersteen signed a memorandum of understanding on Aug. 15 with the Faculty of Agro-Industry, Panyapiwat Institute of Management in Bangkok, Thailand. Sombat Thiratrakoolchai, senior advisor, signed the agreement for the institute. Thiratrakoolchai’s daughter, Gwow, is starting her freshman year at ISU in food science.

Cook Named Assistant Director of Alumni Relation for CALS
Haley Cook has been named assistant director of alumni relations for CALS. Cook joined the college communications office in May 2013 as an alumni relations and event coordinator. Cook designs, markets and implements events for college alumni and stakeholders and co-manages the college’s social media presence. In addition, she oversees the College's young alumni program — The Curtiss League. Prior to joining the college, Cook worked as the ISU sales and services manager for the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Sept. 7: Feeding the World Seminar Series
The Feeding the World seminar series will continue on Thursday, Sept. 7, 3:40 to 5 p.m. in 1204 Kildee Hall, Ensminger Room. Max Rothschild, animal science, will present “Role of Livestock in Alleviating Hunger in the Developing World.”

Sept. 12: CALS Fall Convocation
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Fall Convocation is Sept. 12 at 4:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The program will include brief comments from Dean Wendy Wintersteen; a medallion ceremony for Mike Weber, Harmon Family Professorship in Forestry; the awarding of the Dean Lee R. Kolmer Award for Excellence in Applied Research; and recognition of the College’s new faculty and staff since last fall. A reception will follow, featuring Dairy Science Club ice cream.

Sept. 13: “White Like Me” Author to Speak at ISU
Tim Wise, antiracist writer and educator, will speak at ISU on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. in Stephens Auditorium. Author of “White Like Me,” Wise will present “Understanding and Defeating Racism and Discrimination in America.” CALS is a co-sponsor of the lecture and will be hosting a workshop for student leaders in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room at 4 p.m. Also, Wise will be joining student members of MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences) for dinner following the lecture. More

Sept. 23: Neuroscience Research Day
CALS is a co-sponsor of the ninth annual Neuroscience Research Day, scheduled for Sept. 23, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in 1414 Molecular Biology Building. Keynote presentations will address “Reducing Age-Related Brain Inflammation with Food and Drugs” and “Aging: A Key Vulnerability Factor for Neuroinflammation and Cognitive Declines.” Additional co-sponsors include the department of animal science, the department of genetics, development and cell biology, and the Roy J. Carver department of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology.

Sept. 26: Women and Philanthropy Workshop
CALS is a co-sponsor of the Women and Philanthropy Workshop, scheduled for Sept. 26, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center. The keynote speaker is Debra Mesch, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. More

Research Development Announcements and Funding Opportunities

USDA National Needs Graduate Fellowship Program, Applications Due Oct. 31
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program. The NNF program provides funding to support students’ training and completion of master’s and/or doctoral degree programs in identified national need areas within food, agricultural, natural resources and human sciences. Post-doctoral fellowships will not be awarded in the FY 2017 competition. Applications are due by Oct. 31. More

Parag Chitnis, NIFA Deputy Director, to Present Seminar at ISU on Sept. 13
CALS will host Parag Chitnis, deputy director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, for the seminar presentation, “NIFA’s Portfolio and Priorities for Science,” on Sept. 13. The seminar will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. in Room 1951 Food Sciences (CCUR Theater). All ISU faculty, staff, post-docs, and graduate and undergraduate students are welcome to attend. There is no registration for this seminar.

Digital Agriculture Data Carpentry Workshop, Sept. 12-13
ISU and CALS will host a hands-on Data Carpentry Workshop covering basic research computing concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management and task automation. Data Carpentry aims to help researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain using these concepts. Mark Laufersweiler, research data specialist at University of Oklahoma Libraries will lead the workshop. Participants from all disciplines and all colleges are welcome to attend and do not need any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented. The workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 12 and 13 in Room 368A Heady Hall. A $25 registration fee covers a light breakfast, lunch and breaks on both days. Space is limited to 40 participants. More

Digital Agriculture UAS, Plant Sciences and Education All-Hands Meeting, Sept. 14
As part of the Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub, ISU and CALS will host an Unmanned Aerial Systems, Plant Sciences and Education All-Hands Meeting. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the UASPSE D project is devoted to building partnerships and resources to address emerging big data issues. Parag Chitnis, deputy director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will present the keynote address. Stakeholders from academia (faculty, post-docs, and graduate and undergraduate students), industry, government, nonprofits and other organizations are invited to attend. Participants are invited to display posters relevant to UASPSE big data topics. The meeting will be help on Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Scheman Building. The registration fee for the meeting is $25. More

FFAR Virtual Briefing Materials Available On-Line
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research has posted the slides from the Aug. 24 virtual briefing. The recording will be posted soon.

Contact: Roxanne Clemens, Additional information is posted at CALS Pre-Award Resources.

Communications Kiosk

When to Define Scientific Terms vs. When to Use Everyday Language
When scientists speak to a room of college freshmen the goal is to bring them, however incrementally, a bit closer to their level of understanding of a sprawling and complex body of knowledge. When speaking to a journalist, policymaker or other educated nonscientist, however, the goal is to make them understand a message in the context of why it matters. Be strategic in deciding which concepts and terms to define or explain in greater detail. Definitions you want others to learn can compete with your take-home message. (Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter, 2010, pg. 112.)


CBiRC Leaders Propose New Model for Use of Chemicals Made from Biomass
Leaders of the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals based at ISU are proposing a new model for creating, applying and commercializing chemicals made from corn stalks, wood chips and other sources of biomass. The model calls for identifying “bioprivileged molecules” that offer unique properties that could lead to new products. More

New Campus Gallery Invites Participation, Action
A new gallery is opening in the Christian Petersen Art Museum in Morrill Hall today, Sept. 5. The reACT Gallery is intended to be a safe and respectful place to express and explore reactions, opinions and perspectives of national current event issues that are relevant to the ISU community. An opening kickoff is planned for today, Sept. 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The gallery will be open to the public Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More

Disability Awareness Summit Scheduled for Oct. 19
ISU is hosting the state’s annual Disability Awareness Summit at Reiman Gardens on Oct. 19. The summit brings together disability resource providers in Iowa higher education for a day of discussion, education and collaboration related to working with people that have differing abilities. Additional information and event registration instructions will be forthcoming.

ISU to Hold Separate Graduate Commencement for Fall 2017
Due to the number of participants and the length of the ceremony, fall commencement has been divided into two ceremonies. The graduate college ceremony will be held Friday, December 15, at 7 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. The undergraduate ceremony will be held Saturday, December 16, at 1:30 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. More


Five Questions for P&S Council President Jessica Bell of NREM
Jessica Bell, administrative specialist with the department of natural resource ecology and management and the Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, is president of the P&S Council. In the Aug. 31 issue of Inside Iowa State, Bell answers five questions on the council and her tenure as president. 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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