Issue: 1016

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
August 13, 2018

Top Stories

Students are the Workhorses of ISU’s Equine Facilities
If you ask Nicole Ferwerda, animal science, students are the workhorses of Iowa State’s equine facilities. Up to 15 students work at the Horse Barn on main campus and the Equine Learning Center south of campus on Mortensen Road. Iowa State maintains a herd of Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred broodmares used for teaching and demonstrations. As many as 80 horses are cared for by ISU, and the Department of Animal Science offers 10 undergraduate and graduate courses in equine science. More


CALS Researchers Receive NCR-SARE Grants
Mark Gleason, plant pathology and microbiology, and Mark Licht, agronomy, were awarded grants from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. The research and education competitive grant program funds projects that explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable and socially responsible food and fiber systems. Gleason was awarded $193,962 for the project “Optimizing Mesotunnel Systems for Sustainable Production of Cucurbit Crops.” Licht was awarded $199,351 for the project “Redefining the Field Edge.” More

CALS Graduate Students Receive NCR-SARE Grants
The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program awarded grants for 20 projects through its graduate student competitive grant program. CALS recipients include the following. More

  • Lydia English, with Matt Liebman, agronomy, was awarded $10,781 for the project, “Linking Agricultural Production and Conservation Through In-field Prairie Plantings.”
  • Sarah Kurtz, with Alison Robertson, plant pathology and microbiology, was awarded $11,817 for the project, “The Effects of Two Winter Rye Cover Crop Seeding Methods on Corn Disease, Growth and Development.”
  • Virginia Nichols, with Matt Liebman, agronomy, was awarded $11,543 for the project, “How Much Does Diversification Improve Soil Water Holding Capacity?”

Teaching and Students

Career Services Releases Report on Starting Salaries for Recent Graduates
CALS Career Services has released the annual entry-level salary summary for December 2017 and May 2018 graduates earning bachelor’s degrees. Twenty universities participated with more than 3,500 data points. According to Mike Gaul, career services director, the top earning majors included technology ($55,749), agricultural economics and business ($47,544), food science ($46,524), agronomy ($45,390) and agricultural education, communications and studies ($43,283). More

Work Continues After CYstarters
CYstarters may have ended, but the work continues for the 15 startup businesses founded by ISU students and recent alumni. This year’s cohort included Rebecca Lyons, senior in agricultural studies. Her startup, Lunchsox, was one of five awarded $1,000 from investors. Two CYstarters alumni, who started their businesses through ISU’s Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative, also received $1,500 awards: Steven Brochshus, founder of FarmlandFinder; and Clayton Mooney, co-founder of KinoSol and Nebullam. More

Extension and Outreach

Webinar Explores Decomposition of Tea as Soil Health Indicator
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar exploring the decomposition of tea as a low-cost, scientifically-robust soil health indicator on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 12 p.m. Current biological soil health tests are expensive, highly variable and difficult to interpret. Marshall McDaniel, agronomy, studies the relationship between soils and plants, and how this relationship is affected by management and the environment. More

ISU Carries Land-Grant Mission to Farm Progress Show
Representatives from CALS and ISU Extension and Outreach will be on hand at the ISU exhibit on the corner of Central Ave. and 7th St. during the 2018 Farm Progress Show, Aug. 28-30 in Boone. Visitors will discover ways ISU research, education and outreach extends across the landscape through innovation, technology and sound management practices to support agricultural sustainability. Demonstrations will take place in and around exhibit hall. More

Around the College

Water Rocks! Brings Home a Blue Ribbon
Water Rocks! received a Blue Ribbon Award in Educational Aids from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers at its annual international meeting in Detroit, Mich., July 29 to Aug. 1. “Rock Your Watershed!: A Game of Choice and Chance” is a browser-based game that engages players in applying various land uses, both agricultural and urban, conservation practices, and runoff mitigation techniques, then offers immediate feedback regarding the impacts of these choices. Matthew Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering, is faculty adviser to Water Rocks!. 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 Tuesday, 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

Tree Dedication Ceremony Honors Former Sociology Chair, Chet Britt
Members of the Department of Sociology joined together on Aug. 9 to honor the memory of former department chair, Chet Britt, at a tree dedication ceremony. Britt passed away on Aug. 30, 2016, following a severe anaphylactic reaction to a wasp sting. Susan Stewart, Ann Oberhauser and Britt's wife, Kelly Champion, each said a few words about the legacy Britt left at Iowa State despite his short time with the department. Please stop by and visit the Chet Britt memorial tree outside of East Hall. More


Aug. 22-24: USDA Pathways for Recent Graduates
CALS Career Services office will host a USDA Pathways for Recent Graduates event on Aug 22 in the Memorial Union Cardinal Room. Numerous recruiters from Farm Service Agency will be on campus for the event. The federal initiative targets recent graduates (less than two years out; six years for those with military experience) and Dec. 2018 graduates for Farm Loan Officer Trainee positions in Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Under this initiative, recruiters are able to conduct on-site interviews and offer direct hires, thus minimizing the potential lengthy application process often associated with these positions. If selected, interviews will be conducted on Aug. 24, in the Memorial Union, Room 3512. More

Aug. 24: Retirement Reception for Kenneth Koehler
A retirement reception for Kenneth Koehler, University Professor, statistics, will be held Aug. 24, 3 to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Cardinal Room. A program is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Koehler has been a member of the Iowa State faculty since 1977 and served as chair of the statistics department from 2003 to 2014.  

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.

Sept. 4: CALS Fall Convocation
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Fall Convocation is Sept. 4 at 4:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The program will include brief comments from Interim Dean Joe Colletti and recognition of the College’s new faculty and staff since last fall. A reception will follow.

Research Development Announcements and Funding Opportunities

NAS Award Nominations Due Oct. 1
The National Academy of Sciences is accepting nominations for the NAS Award in Food and Agricultural Sciences. The award honors a mid-career individual researcher at a U.S. institution who has made an extraordinary contribution to understanding the fundamental biology of an agriculturally important species and/or has had a major impact on agriculture. The recipient will be awarded a medal and a $100,000 prize. The prize is endowed through gifts from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. NAS membership is not required to nominate candidates or to be considered for an award. More

FY 2019 Bailey Career Development Award Applications Due Oct. 5
The Office of the Vice President for Research is accepting proposals for the FY 2019 Bailey Research Career Development Award competition. Sponsored by an estate gift from Carl A. and Grace A. Bailey, up to two awards are made annually to ISU faculty whose research is innovative, increases knowledge and has practical applications. The awards are $50,000 per year for two or three years. Full-time tenured associate professors and professors are eligible to apply. Applicants whose primary appointment is in CALS should email their application to Ruth MacDonald ( by Oct. 5. More

NSF DCL: Planning for New Signals in the Soils-Themed IUCRCs
The National Science Foundation has issued a Dear Colleague Letter to encourage planning of one or more Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers. The planning grant theme should integrate fundamental science and engineering knowledge in different disciplines with the aim of developing a next generation of sensor systems capable of in situ measurement of dynamic soil biological, physical and chemical variables over time and space in managed and unmanaged soils. Pre-proposals are due by Oct. 17 for the first round of consideration and by April 17, 2019, for the second round of consideration. More

NPB 2018 Special Call for Air Emission Study
The National Pork Board Pork Checkoff and the U.S. EPA combined resources on a National Air Emissions Monitoring Study from 2007 to 2009 at pork production facilities. Because technologies and management practices have changed since the initial data were submitted, the NPB Special Call for Air Emission Study solicits proposals to complete a data review and update through meta-analysis and modeling techniques. Proposals must be received in the NPB offices by Aug. 31. 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. 10 (pre-proposals for internal competition): NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning; limited submission, three per institution. More

Sept. 10: NOAA Climate Program Office; $50,000 to $300,000. More

Oct. 5: NIH NLM Research Grants in Biomedical Informatics and Data Science (R01). More

Oct. 12: NSF Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections; limited submission, one per institution, email to express interest. More

Communications Kiosk

Workday Absence Workshops Scheduled for August and September
Three Absence WorkCyte workshops will be offered in this fall – Aug. 22, Sept. 4 and Sept. 27. The hour-and-a-half workshop is an introductory course to terminology, business process and reporting features of the Absence functionality in Workday, where you will learn what the different types of absences are, how to request absences and how to approve absences. This course is open to all ISU faculty and staff. Those who regularly request and/or approve time off or leave are strongly encouraged to attend. Register by signing in to your Learn@ISU account.


I-Corps Informational Session Scheduled for Aug. 27
The Office of the Vice President for Research will be holding informational sessions about the fall 2018 I-Corps cohort. CALS faculty, postdocs and graduate students who wish to explore the commercial potential of their research are encouraged to attend the Aug. 27 session, at 1 to 2 p.m. in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room. More


Agricultural Machinery Advertising Literature to be Digitized
The Digital Initiatives Program at University Library has started the Agricultural Machinery Product Literature digital collection, which documents not only what are now antique tractors, plows, fertilizers, threshers and other machinery when they were new and leading-edge, but also the marketing, design and industry which produced and sold them. The literature documents crucial periods in the history of U.S. agriculture, covering more than 150 years of agricultural machinery from before the industrial revolution through the 20th century. 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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