Issue: 1004

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
May 21, 2018

Top Stories

CALS Study Abroad Hosts Annual Scholarship Dinner
CALS Global Programs partnered with the ISU Foundation to host the 8th Annual CALS Study Abroad Scholarship Dinner. More than 60 students, donors and faculty and staff attended the event held at the home of CALS Study Abroad director, Shelley Taylor. Students shared their study abroad experiences with donors who help make the opportunities available through their financial contributions. (Photo by Bob Elbert)

Dekkers on Leading a Study Abroad Program
Jack Dekkers, animal science, has led two study abroad programs to the Netherlands. In the May/June issue of Global Update, published by the CALS Global Programs office, he answers questions about faculty-led study abroad programs and the benefits for both faculty and students. More

Study Abroad is Valuable Experience for Agricultural Education
Study abroad is valuable to rounding out an agricultural education, according to an article in a recent issue of Farm World. Two CALS students were featured in the article — Sonia Carrola, a junior in food science, and Connor Bollum, a junior in agricultural business. The CALS study abroad courses are grounded in the curriculum, said Shelley Taylor, director of CALS Study Abroad. More


EEOB Research Provides Clues to Dinosaur Genomics
Comparing how the chromosomes of modern-day birds and turtles are structured can help scientists figure out how dinosaur genomes might have looked. Nicole Valenzuela, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, contributed to an international research team that recently published its findings reaching back through 260 million years of genomics. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Crops Team Sweeps NACTA
The CALS Crops Team took home the Overall Sweepstakes Award for the fourth year in a row at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture contest held at Northeast Community College in Nebraska on April 21. Teams from across the college competed in seven competitions to take the sweepstakes award. The students took first place in the Ag Knowledge Bowl for the eighth consecutive year, and first place in the crops contest for the fifth time in the last six years. The team is coached by Erik Christian, agronomy. More

Extension and Outreach

Celebrate Dairy Month in June
June is dairy month and ISU Extension and Outreach is offering dairy open house opportunities across the state to learn about dairy production first-hand. The open house schedule includes face-to-face conversations with farmers and on-farm milking demonstrations. Depending on location, the open house may also include a meal or samples of dairy products, a kid-friendly area to meet calves and visit educational exhibits, and a guided farm tour allowing families to milk a cow and see robotic milking machines. More

Around the College

CALS Faculty and Staff Begin Move-In at New Biosciences Building
Plant pathology and microbiology faculty have started moving their offices and labs into their new home in the Advanced Teaching and Research Building, which also will house portions of the entomology department and the genetics, development and cell biology department. The new building is part of $88 million in bioscience facility improvements on campus, which included a $30.5 million addition to Bessey Hall that opened last fall. More

Dickson Appointed to National Microbiology Committee
Jim Dickson, animal science, has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Dickson will serve a two-year term on the 30-member advisory committee. More

Ag Entrepreneur Mooney: Mentors Offer Support, Push for New Startups
Clayton Mooney credits the success of startup company KinoSol in part to a piece of advice from a CYstarters mentor. Mooney, a 2012 alumnus who also works for the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative, says it pushed him and his partners to improve their product. CYstarters mentors provide guidance and a level of accountability to ensure the startups – all at different levels of development – progress and stay on track. More

CALS Exemplary Faculty Mentors Honored
Five faculty from CALS departments were honored May 2 for their service as mentors. The Exemplary Faculty Mentor Award recognizes faculty mentors who go above and beyond the formal expectations of Iowa State’s mentoring program. This year’s honorees included: Susan Lamont, animal science; Raj Raman, agricultural and biosystems engineering; Ann Marie VanDerZanden, provost’s office and horticulture; Hongwei Xin, dean’s office and agricultural and biosystems engineering; and Yanhai Yin, genetics, development and cell biology. More

Hoiberg Receives ISUAA Inspiration Award
Eric Hoiberg, retired CALS associate dean for academic and state programs and emeritus professor of sociology, was one of five recipients of the Faculty-Staff Inspiration Award by the ISU Alumni Association at its 2018 Inspiration Awards and Annual Reception on May 18. Hoiberg spent more than 40 years serving ISU and its students, and played a central role in creating, developing and leading the CALS public service and administration in agriculture degree. LeQuetia Ancar, a CALS alum with the College of Engineering student services, was also honored with an Inspiration Award. More


May 28: Monarch Butterflies Featured on National Geographic
The season one finale of the National Geographic series “One Strange Rock” will feature the monarch butterfly. The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium served as a resource for this episode, scheduled to air on Monday, May 28, at 9 p.m.

June 6-8: World Pork Expo
The World Pork Expo will be held June 6-8 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. On the agenda from CALS is Dan Andersen, agricultural and biosystems engineering. More

Research Development Announcements and Funding Opportunities

Webinar: AFRI Pre-doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
USDA NIFA will host an informational webinar about the Pre-doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program part of the AFRI Education and Workforce Development program. This Fellowship Program develops the next generation of research, education and extension professionals who will lead agriculture and food sciences into the future by solving current and future challenges facing our society. Attendance is limited to 250 participants and group viewing is encouraged. The webinar will be held on May 31 from 1 to 2 p.m. For information on joining the webinar, contact Ray Ali (, 202-720-2727).   

Professional Development Funds for ISU Term Faculty
Term faculty may apply to the office of the SVPP for up to $500 to participate at a professional conference, workshop or training. Lecturers, senior lecturers, clinicians, senior clinicians and clinical and adjunct faculty with at least a 50 percent appointment and who have been employed as ISU faculty for at least two semesters may apply. Applications are due June 1 for events taking place between July 1 and Dec. 31. More  

Reminder: FFAR Fellows Program Applications Due June 1
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and a consortium of food and agriculture companies and universities are accepting student applications and research proposals. This three-year program combines cutting edge food and agriculture-related research with innovative professional development programs designed to help students be career-ready upon graduation. The program will train interdisciplinary scientists capable of succeeding in any professional environment. More  

Limited Submission: Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust
The Office of the VPR is accepting expressions of interest to apply for a Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust grant. The Trust supports education and research in ornamental horticulture. Grants are limited to $25,000. Applications are limited to one per institution. Email the Office of the VPR at by June 11 to express interest in preparing an application. More  

FFAR Supports XPRIZE Visioneers 2018 Grand Challenge
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is supporting Feeding the Next Billion, one of five grand challenge areas with potential to become the next XPRIZE. The designers of the best concepts for addressing how to sustainably nourish the growing global population will work with experts to further refine their concepts and develop them into global competitions for the 2018 Visioneers Summit in October. Innovators must submit a high-level design concept and film a 90-second video introducing themselves and pitching their prize design by July 23. More  

FFAR Seeks Experts to Review Research Proposals
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is seeking reviewers to evaluate research proposals. Potential reviewers in any of the seven FFAR Challenge Areas. More  

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

Pre-announcement: DOD office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs – FY 2018 Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research Program. More

June 20: NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Scalable Cyberinfrastructure to Accelerate Data-Driven Science and Engineering Research. More


Sign Up for Training on Expense Reporting WorkCyte Workshop
An overview of the Workday expense report system’s functions and terminology is the focus of the next WorkCyte workshop. This one is especially relevant to faculty and staff who create, review or approve expense reports and employee reimbursements. The 90-minute introductory workshop lays the groundwork for hands-on training that will take place closer to the Workday go live date. The expense reports workshop will be offered May 23, June 14 and June 26 in 0198 Parks Library. Registration is required. More

Memorial Day Ceremony Scheduled for May 28
The annual ISU Memorial Day ceremony will be held in the Reiman Ballroom of the ISU Alumni Center. Sponsored by the ISU Retirees Association, the ceremony remembers the lives of retired and current faculty and/or staff members, or their spouses or partners, who have passed away since May 1, 2017. More

Cyclone Power Pullers Take Segmented Tractor to Engineering Competition
The 2018 Cyclone Power Pullers, a student organization that designs and builds a quarter-scale tractor from scratch, have made changes to the machine they’ll enter into a competition on May 31, organized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Changes to the competition’s rules allowed the team to build a segmented tractor that team members hope will allow for greater maneuverability. More

Article Features Iowa Efforts to Reduce Farm Runoff in U.S. Waters
Matt Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering, was quoted in a recent “Civil Eats” article on farm runoff in U.S. waters. In areas pursuing a watershed-level strategy, such as Iowa, he said, wetlands can be put in key hot spots to reduce nitrate inputs to downstream waters – and visualization tools will help set goals for their placement on a broader scale. The article references the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and also points to efforts involving CALS alumni Sarah Carlson (‘08 MS sustainable agriculture and crop production and physiology), Practical Farmers of Iowa, and Nathan Anderson (’10 agronomy), an Iowa farmer and early adopter of cover crops. More


A Collection of Rare Tractors to be Sold at Auction
After collecting and restoring unique and rare tractors for many years, Eric Ziel and wife Carol have decided it’s time to let go of their sizable collection. They aren’t retiring, just downsizing their farming operation and planning ahead. Ziel talks about his collection in the May issue of Wallaces Farmer. About 120 tractors will be sold at public auction June 30 at their farm near Boone. They’ll also auction off some stationary gas engines and other antique farm implements. 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