Issue: 1015

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
August 6, 2018

Top Stories

Crop Pests Exhibit Inconsistent Responses to Surrounding Landscape
Matthew O’Neal, entomology, and former graduate student Nick Schmidt, now with Dupont Pioneer/Corteva, were part of a project recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States. Their experiments on the impact of land use around soybean fields on the abundance of the soybean aphid and its natural enemies were added to the largest data set of insect pest studies to date. They participated with an international team of authors led by the University of California, Davis, which analyzed the impact of natural habitat on insect pest management. They found many studies revealed natural habitat can help farmers increase the abundance of natural enemies that feed on insect pests, but just as many showed negative effects on natural enemies. Although natural areas of a farm landscape can help in conserving natural enemies of pests, few studies revealed a positive impact on crop yields. The study challenges the prevalent assumption that non-crop habitat facilitates better pest suppression by providing shelter and food resources to the predators and parasitoids of crop pests. These findings suggest that there is no single recommendation for farmers and landowners that want to prevent pest outbreaks through the management of natural habitat. More (Photo courtesy of USDA Agricultural Research Service)

Nearly $62 Million in External Funding Received by CALS/AES
Nearly $62 million in external funding was received by CALS/Agricultural Experiment Station-supported faculty and staff in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018. More than 50 percent of the funding came from federal agencies. Over the past four years, CALS has brought in $221 million in external funding, averaging more than $55 million per year.


Food Scientists Receive Patent for Technology Using Soybean Oil
Tong Wang and postdoc Tao Fei, food science and human nutrition, have received a patent for developing a technology to make paraffin-like materials from soybean oil for coating applications – “Fatty Acid Ester-Based Wax Compositions and Methods of Making Thereof.” Papers and paperboards coated with the material can become recyclable and repulpable, addressing environmental and landfill problems. They are exploring other applications as well. Their research was funded by the United Soybean Board.

VanLoocke to Study Perennial Grass as Option for Flood-Prone Land
Andy VanLoocke, agronomy, has received a $475,000 grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study how well the perennial grass miscanthus performs in low-lying areas of agricultural fields that are prone to flooding. The research has the potential to identify more efficient uses of such land while also providing environmental benefits. More

Teaching and Students

Summer School Reveals How Big Data Can Advance Research Efforts
The Midwest Big Data Summer School, held May 14-17 at ISU, helped nearly 140 academic and industry researchers, graduate students and post-docs from nine states broaden their understanding of big data and its ability to advance their research interests. Asheesh (Danny) Singh and Arti Singh, agronomy, were part of the conference organizing team. More

Horticulture Research Station Expands Produce Sales to New Clients
Teaching and research have always been a part of the ISU Horticulture Research Station’s mission. Now that mission includes helping students market produce. The have provided ISU Dining with produce throughout the years. Most recently, the Horticulture Station has partnered with the Knoll and Green Hills Retirement Community to provide them with produce on a weekly basis. More

GWC Summer Research Intern Finds New Way to Help People
As a George Washington Carver summer research intern, Keith Fennell was able to use his passion for science to help others. Fennell, a junior at North Carolina A&T State University studying food industry management, spent the summer researching E. Coli contamination during the washing and rinsing of romaine lettuce and strawberries. More

Extension and Outreach

Christensen Joins Extension as Farm Management Specialist
Tim Christensen has joined ISU Extension and Outreach as a farm management specialist. He joins a team of eight farm management specialists located throughout Iowa who deliver the latest in research-based information on farm financial and risk management, instructions on government programs, guidance on strategic and business planning, and information on agricultural marketing tools and supply chains to farm owners and operators. More

Monarch and Pollinator Field Day Scheduled for Aug. 21
ISU Extension and Outreach will host a monarch and pollinator field day on Aug. 21 at the Prairie Ridge Care Center in Orange City. Seth Appelgate, entomology, will speak about establishing monarch and pollinator habitat. The program includes a field tour of the planted at Prairie Ridge Care Center. More

Around the College

Animal Scientists Presented National Awards
Anna Johnson and Kenneth Stalder, animal science, were honored with national awards from the American Society of Animal Science at its annual meeting in Vancouver, July 8-12. Johnson was presented with the Animal Industry Service Award in recognition of her work in animal welfare. Stalder was named an ASAS Fellow in the extension category. He has helped the U.S. swine industry focus on sow longevity. More

CALS-Sponsored Lecture: Shedding Light on World’s Most Mysterious Book
Clues to the riddle of a centuries-old manuscript known as “the most mysterious book in the world” will be unveiled by a renowned horticulture expert in an ISU lecture on Aug. 14. Jules Janick, the James Troop Distinguished Professor of horticulture at Purdue University, will present “Unraveling the Voynich Codex:  A 16th Century Mexican Manuscript Mystery” at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The lecture, free and open to the public, is sponsored by CALS. Janick’s lecture kicks off an Aug. 15-16 meeting of the NC7 North Central Region Technical Advisory Committee hosted by Iowa State. NC7 is a 71-year-old multistate research project focused on conservation, management, enhancement and use of plant genetic resources. The project involves 33 scientists at universities in 18 states. Joe Colletti, CALS interim endowed dean, is the administrative adviser to the project. More

Agricultural Education and Studies Department in Temporary Office Space
Much of second floor Curtiss Hall will be renovated during the fall 2018 semester. Effective Aug. 1, several faculty and staff in the Agricultural Education and Studies Department will be in new office locations. The main office will be located in 318 Curtiss Hall. Refer to the departmental website for the office locations of specific faculty and staff. Email addresses and phone numbers remain the same.

FundISU: Support Sought for Entomology’s Monarch Tracking Project
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched in support of a monarch butterfly tracking project with Kelsey Fisher, a doctorate student in entomology. Contributions on FundISU, the crowdfunding site on the ISU Foundation website, will be used to support monarch tracking efforts in the field using radio telemetry. The data will provide insight regarding how far away a monarch can recognize milkweed and nectar plants. The project is part of a collaborative effort in Iowa to address conservation efforts for the monarch butterfly. The goal is $3,000 and the campaign runs through Aug. 20. More


Sept. 1: CALS Annual BBQ
CALS faculty and staff are invited to the college’s annual BBQ on Sept. 1 at the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center, prior to the Iowa State vs. South Dakota State football game. Hickory park BBQ and Dairy Science Club ice cream will be served from 3 to 5:30 p.m. A short program will begin at 4:30 p.m. with remarks by Interim Endowed Dean Joe Colletti and Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service. There will be hands-on activities with CALS student organizations, balloon animals, and live music from the CALS student-led band Tyler Richton and the High Bank Boys. Registration is requested by Aug. 20. A free will donation (suggested $5 per person) to help defray meal costs will be accepted at the door. Check out photos from last year’s event which drew more than 500 alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students. Register online, via e-mail to or call 4-0705.

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.

Aug. 20 (letter of interest): Sea Pact Sustainable Aquaculture Projects; awards up to $30,000. More

Proposals reviewed monthly on a rolling basis: Waitt Foundation Rapid Ocean Conservation Small Grants; $10,000 for up to six months, no IDC. More

Sept. 16: (letter of intent): NIH Genomic Innovator Award (R35). More

May 21: Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship State Soil Conservation and Water Quality Committee Research and Demonstration Grant Program; $50,000 over three years. More

Communications Kiosk

Join the 3,700 Strong: Enable Multifactor Authentication in ISU’s Okta
More than 3,700 ISU users now are enrolled in Okta multifactor authentication, with more than 180 apps protected. Okta, part of the campus suite of Workday systems, is the new identity and access security platform that strengthens protection university information and provides a bulwark against cybercrime. Multifactor authentication adds one additional step to the login process. Okta offers five options to deliver a single-use security code; for example, a text message or call delivered to your campus or cell phone. Choose all five or as many as you prefer. Users can enable multifactor authentication and set up a personalized dashboard at Look for the "activate multifactor authentication" icon at top of the page. Multifactor authentication will be required for everyone in the near future, so make it a goal to enable it before classes resume Aug. 20. Videos on Okta and multifactor authentication are available online.

Video: Workday: Looking to the Future
Watch a new, two-minute Workday video, “Past.Present.Future,” on Iowa State’s journey to become a technology leader in higher education.


Revised Guidelines for ISU Trademark Use by Student, Campus Organizations
Guidelines for use of the university trademark by student and campus organizations have been revised, effective Aug. 1. The updates are to streamline use of the university’s trademarks by student organizations, to ensure consistency in use among organizations, to better identify recognized student and campus organizations’ relationship to the university, and to remove subjectivity from the Trademark Licensing Office’s review process. The “Guidelines for University Trademark Use by Student and Campus Organizations” are available online.

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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