Issue: 1010

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
July 2, 2018

Top Stories

STORIES of Teaching Excellence
Teaching excellence is featured in the most recent issue of Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumni magazine STORIES. This issue highlights national award-winning teachers (including Lee Burras, agronomy, shown above), caring and helpful advisers and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Articles introduce you to a number of remarkable students, distinguished faculty and staff and outstanding alumni. View STORIES, access extra content and download a PDF online. To be added to the print mailing list or request additional copies e-mail


New ABE Facility Aims to Improve Farm and Construction Machinery
Construction is expected to begin this fall on a $2.9 million facility that will give researchers a rare tool for studying off-highway equipment and provide students valuable experience. That could mean extending to off-road machinery some concepts already familiar in on-road passenger vehicles, said Brian Steward, agricultural and biosystems engineering. More  

Iowa Water Center Awards Grants to CALS Scientists
The Iowa Water Center has awarded its 2018 seed grant funding to Yau-Huo Shr, Chuan Tang, Catherine Kling and Wendong Zhang, economics, for “The Economic Benefits of Mitigating Harmful Algal Blooms in Iowa.” The project will seek to understand how people make trade-offs between several aspects of water quality as well as provide decision-makers with scientific and quantitative data to inform the direction of conservation programs in Iowa. The graduate student supplemental research competition awardee is agronomy graduate student Daniel Linton with adviser Bradley Miller, agronomy, for “Spatial Potential for Enhanced In-field Denitrification from Perennial Vegetative Filter Strips.” More

Teaching and Students

CALS Student Selected as Cargill Global Scholar
Genevieve VanWye, a junior in animal science, was selected as a 2018 Cargill Global Scholar. VanWye is the ninth Cargill Global Scholar finalist to come from Iowa State since the program began. More

FSHN Post-doc Accepted into AAAS Policy Fellowship
Angelica Van Goor, a postdoc research associate in Melha Mellata’s lab, food science and human nutrition, has been accepted into a Science and Technology Policy Fellowship through the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She will be hosted by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. More

CALS Student in New Program for Vet School Hopefuls
Ariana Sanchez, sophomore in animal ecology, is participating in the Food Animal Summer Experience Program through the College of Veterinary Medicine. The new 10-week program provides the opportunity to care for food animals and job shadow veterinarians, a background that’s needed for vet school admission but often difficult to acquire. More

Funding from Alumni Allows CALS Communications Student to Gain Hands-on Experience
Madelyn Main, sophomore in agricultural and life sciences education with a communications option, works for the CALS Communications Service as an alumni relations intern. Her internship is funded by CALS alumni in support of agricultural communications. Main assisted with the ISU Alumni Association event, Stars Over Sunrise Acres, held May 31 as a fundraising effort to help with scholarships and support for students to attend meetings and conferences within the industry. More

Ag Entrepreneur Students Travel to California to Investigate Gene-Editing Technology
A course project investigating a pioneer gene-editing technique at ISU and elsewhere included a student trip to labs in California where it originated and a 26 minute video to document the learning process. The spring semester class, offered by the economics department and the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative, focused on the technology known as CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), which has the potential of increasing the precision of gene editing. Scientists are using it to research the prevention and treatment of diseases, increase the productivity of crops and livestock, and improve food nutrition among other possibilities. David Krog, entrepreneur in residence with the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative, led the course. More

Extension and Outreach

Medical Entomology Lab Monitoring Brisk Start to Mosquito Season
The Medical Entomology Laboratory in CALS has tracked mosquito populations in the state since 1968. Lab personnel, including Ryan Smith, entomology, employ a range of traps to collect and catalog as many as 200,000 mosquitoes every year. Heavy rain events and heat in mid-May led to an explosive start to mosquito season this year. More

Agronomy’s Crop Tissue Testing Recommendations Available
The practice of conducting tissue testing for phosphorus and potassium in corn and soybeans is a relatively new tool in Iowa crop production. A new Extension publication by Antonio Mallarino and John Sawyer, agronomy, “Phosphorus and Potassium Tissue Testing in Corn and Soybean,” discusses the results of tissue testing research and interpretation. More

Around the College

Survey: Iowa’s Farmland Owners Continue to Age
A CALS study shows that the age of Iowa’s farmland owners continues to rise, with a record high 35 percent aged 75 years or older in 2017. Wendong Zhang and Alejandro Plastina, economics, released results of the 2017 Farmland Ownership and Tenure survey at a press conference on June 28. Aging farmland owners is one of several notable trends found in the latest survey, which is completed every five years. More

Wine Chemistry Workshop Held in FSHN
The Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute hosted a two-day wine chemistry workshop in the Food Sciences Building on June 27-28. Eleven participants attended from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The morning sessions focused on presenting chemistry concepts relevant to juice and wine, while the afternoon portions were devoted to hands-on lab activities in the Kemin Food Science Laboratory.


July 9: Metagenomics Mondays Seminar Series Continues
The Metagenomics Mondays summer seminar series will continue July 9, at 12 to 1 p.m. in 0013 Curtiss Hall, with a presentation by Stephen Schmitz-Esser, animal science, on the contribution of beef cattle gastrointestinal tract microbiota to tolerance to fescue toxicosis. The weekly seminar series will run through July 30 and include speakers from veterinary sciences, plant sciences, microbiology, statistics, data science, engineering and more. More

July 13: Iowa Monarch Conservation Summit and Field Day
The 2018 Iowa Monarch Conservation Summit and Field Day is scheduled for July 13 at the ISU Field Extension Education Lab in Boone, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will learn about the ongoing ISU field demonstrations and collaborations statewide. Registration is available online. More

Aug. 6: Ames Fruit and Vegetable Field Day
ISU Extension and Outreach’s annual Fruit and Vegetable Field Day will be Aug. 6, 2 to 6:30 p.m. at the Horticulture Research Station. It will feature research and demonstration projects on fruit and vegetable production for commercial growers, extension personnel, nonprofit organizations and Master Gardeners. More

Research Development Announcements and Funding Opportunities

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

Applications accepted on rolling basis: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Evidence for Action: Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health (E4A). More

July 23: Iowa Space Consortium Curriculum Development Plan. More

Aug. 2: USFWS Fiscal Year 2018 Candidate Conservation Action Funds. More

Aug. 30: USDA NIFA FY 2018 Tribal College Research Area of Expertise; partnerships required and can include 1862 land-grant universities. More

Oct. 1: The Garden Club of America and the Royal Horticultural Society Interchange Fellowships. More

Nov. 16: NIH Investigator Initiated Research in Computational Genomics and Data Science (R01). More

Nov. 16: NIH Investigator Initiated Research in Computational Genomics and Data Science (R21). More

Communications Kiosk

Use of Commas with Equal Adjectives
Use commas to separate a series of adjectives equal in rank. If the commas could be replaced by the word “and” without changing the sense, the adjectives are equal: a thoughtful, precise manner; a dark, dangerous street. Use no comma when the last adjective before a noun outranks its predecessors because it is an integral element of a noun phrase, which is the equivalent of a single noun: a cheap fur coat (the noun phrase is fur coat); the old oaken bucket; a new, blue spring bonnet. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2017 edition, pg. 430)


CAST to Release Issue Paper on Genome Editing in Agriculture
The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology is hosting three presentations on Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications and Governance on July 9 in Washington, D.C. The corresponding issue paper will be released as a free download from the CAST website. Adam Bogdanove of Cornell University and a former CALS plant pathology faculty member, will present. A video will be available on the CAST website post event. More


Earthworm Counting: Every Little Bit of Information Counts
Donavan Wildman, a sophomore in agricultural engineering and water resources intern with Iowa Learning Farms, explains about earthworm counting in a recent blog post. “When this project was presented to us, I was more than a bit skeptical about how this could help us,” wrote Wildman. “So far, through the two weeks of earthworm counting that we have completed, that skepticism I originally had has faded away…[this project] has shown me that every little bit of information counts.” 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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