Issue: 1049

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
April 8, 2019

Top Stories

Kemp Receives LEADing Change Agent Award
Megan Kemp received the U.S. Forest Service LEADing Change Agent award during the 2019 Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences 34th Annual Career Fair and Training Conference April 6 in Overland Park, Kansas. Kemp is a senior in agronomy and global resource systems and was one of five students nationwide to receive the award. The award winners receive a $500 scholarship and the local MANRRS chapter also receives a $1,500 grant. More

Priorities and Ideas Discussed at CALS Town Hall Meeting April 5
More than 130 faculty and staff attended a CALS Townhall Meeting led by Dean’s Endowed Chair Daniel J. Robison on Friday, April 5. Dean Robison thanked Joe Colletti and Ruth MacDonald for their service as interim endowed dean and interim senior associate dean, respectively. He outlined several CALS priorities and ideas, including:

  • Build on CALS strengths in research, education and extension, and worldwide reputation for excellence.
  • Strongly focus on undergraduate recruitment and student success.
  • Keep diversity and inclusion as a high priority for all CALS faculty, staff and students.
  • Build out all revenue streams — be innovative.
  • Charge up our research powerhouse.
  • Do more to serve Iowans through Extension and Outreach.

Dean Robison led an exercise for input on college priorities, collecting numerous index cards with ideas from the assembled audience. (If you weren’t able to attend April 5, send your ideas on CALS priorities to He also provided a Workday and Improved Service Delivery update in the college, and expressed the college’s commitment to work with departments and units on staff transitions, which will take creativity and flexibility. “CALS staff are highly valued, the best on campus,” Dean Robison said. “We’re in this together.” Another CALS town hall meeting will be scheduled during the fall semester.


INRC-Funded Research Helps Farmers Succeed with Prairie
More landowners are interested in planting strips of deep-rooted prairie within crop fields or on marginal land as an effective soil conservation and water quality practice. But they need reliable answers about the costs and benefits, the best seed mixes to use and how to establish a prairie that resists weedy invasion. Answers to practical questions like these are coming out of projects led by University of Northern Iowa researchers, funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at ISU. More The Roadman family in northeast Iowa depends on diverse partners to realize goals for their farm that include income and conservation. Those partners include researchers at ISU and the University of Northern Iowa's Tallgrass Prairie Center. More

New FFAR Grant: Agronomy to Study Prairie Strips’ Effect on Soil Health
A new grant will help researchers including Richard Cruse, agronomy, find answers to how quickly environmental benefits emerge after the installation of prairie strips among row crops and how long those benefits last after the strips are removed. The project also will involve computer modeling of topsoil depth and an economic analysis. More

Research Center Marks Anniversary of Forensic Science Report
The Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence based at ISU and the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal organization, are working with Significance Magazine to report on the latest in forensics science. The magazine’s special issue marks the 10th anniversary of the landmark report that identified serious problems in the U.S. forensic science system. Alicia Carriquiry, Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences and President’s Chair in Statistics, is director of CSAFE. More

Teaching and Students

Newly Formed CALS Club Takes Home State, National Awards
Members of the newly-formed Professional Agricultural Student Organization competed at the state competition in February and the national competition in mid-March. The students not only ranked well in both competitions, but club members also were selected as state and national officers. “Iowa State has been attending PAS competitions for several years, but we have only been a recognized club for two years,” said Nate Dobbels, an advisor in agricultural and life sciences education. More

Extension and Outreach

Celebrate ISU Extension and Outreach Week April 8-13
ISU Extension and Outreach Week is April 8-13. Iowa’s 100 county extension offices will host activities throughout the week focused on celebrating extension’s presence across the state. “This statewide celebration is one way we say thank you to the many volunteers, community leaders, organizations, agencies and other partners who support ISU Extension and Outreach work in Iowa,” said John Lawrence, ISU Vice President for Extension and Outreach. More

Webinar Looks at Why Improving the Soil Pays Dividends
The Iowa Learning Farms webinar scheduled for April 17 at 12 p.m. will discuss the importance of soil quality for agriculture production. Jerry Hatfield, laboratory director and supervisory plant physiologist at the USDA National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, will explain how the quality of the soil impacts productivity of crops and how weather changes contribute to yield variation among years and within fields. More

Conservation Station Accepting Requests Online
The Conservation Station fleet is available to travel to single-day events from April to October, and accepts requests online. Full staffing is provided – a combination of ISU faculty, staff and/or student interns. Each trailer in the Conservation Station fleet includes a rainfall simulator, which demonstrates the impacts of land management choices, both urban and agricultural, on water quality and the connections between our soil and water. More

Around the College

2019 Curtiss League Kick-Off Brings Young Alums to Campus
Members of the 2019 class of the college’s young alumni initiative, Curtiss League, were on campus March 30 for their annual kick-off event. Members spent the afternoon learning about programs and research in the departments of natural resource ecology and management and entomology and opportunities to raise awareness, advocate and recruit on behalf of the college. Curtiss League involves 283 young alumni from across the nation and represents 21 CALS majors. More

McGrail Honored by Women in STEM Initiative
Maura McGrail, genetics, development and cell biology, was honored by the ISU Student Government Women in STEM Initiative through a banner displayed in Parks Library in conjunction with International Women’s Day in March. McGrail’s research focuses on using genome engineering and gene editing approaches in zebrafish to study stem cell nuclear mechanisms.


April 8: Deadline to Register for ADVANCE Workshop
A 90-minute ISU ADVANCE workshop will be held April 16 in the Memorial Union Campanile Room., 9:30 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Nancy Barcelo, special assistant for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to the Chancellor of the University of Illinois, will discuss “Faculty with Multiple Identities as Strategic Agents to Institutional Change.” The interactive workshop will focus on how diversity transforms how we teach, learn and know. Practical strategies will be identified to take back to the departments. Participants may choose from a morning or afternoon session. Registration deadline is today, April 8. To register, go to Learn@ISU, select course catalogue and scroll to SVPP events. CALS is a co-sponsor of this event.

April 9: Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture
The Carl and Marjory Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture is scheduled for April 9 at 7 p.m. in 127 Curtiss Hall, Dolezal Auditorium. Ken Isley, head of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, will present “The Role of the U.S. in the Global Food and Agriculture Marketplace. More

April 17: Iowa International Outreach Symposium
The 2019 Iowa International Outreach Symposium and Networking Forum will be held April 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Ames. The morning speakers will share their experiences and perspectives with international outreach programs in Sub-Saharan Africa and provide information for Iowa institutions, organizations and individuals to continue or expand their involvement in this region of the world. The afternoon will include display and poster discussions, followed by facilitated round table networking. This year’s symposium is organized by Dirk Maier, agricultural and biosystems engineering. More

May 6: Loomis Lecture and Plant Biology Mini-Symposium
The 2019 Walter E. and Helen Parke Loomis Lecture and Plant Biology Mini Symposium will be held May 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. This year’s topic is plant hormone signaling dynamics. Keiko Torii, Endowed Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Washington, will present the Loomis Lecture, “Harnessing Synthetic Chemistry to Understand and Manipulate Plant Development.” CALS is a co-sponsor of the event, which is organized through the interdepartmental plant biology program. More

Communications Kiosk

Associated Press Revises Guidelines on Prefixes
The Associated Press Stylebook has revised its general rule that a hyphen is used if a prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel: pre-election, pre-exist. In recognition of common usage and dictionary preferences, AP has updated its guidelines and states do not hyphenate double-e combinations with pre- and re-: preeminent, preempt, preestablished, preexisting. (Associated Press Stylebook April 2019 Updates)


ISU Celebrates Forever True Week, April 8-12
The ISU Foundation is celebrating its historic $1.5 billion fundraising campaign, Forever True, For Iowa State, on campus April 8-12.  The week will celebrate the impact the university’s generous alumni and friends have made on campus. Booths with snacks, games and giveaways will be stationed throughout campus during the week and outside Parks Library every day from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. More

ISU Encourages Review of Authorship Policy
A key expectation of faculty, staff and students in a research university is the generation of knowledge, and dissemination of knowledge, as evidenced by publications and other scholarly products and creative work. Recognizing that authorship issues can often be complicated, ISU encourages its faculty, staff and students to proactively discuss authorship in their creative pursuits to identify and navigate potential conflicts that may impede wide and open dissemination. The Vice President for Research’s authorship policy is available online for review.

USDA to Release Census Data April 11
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will release the 2017 Census of Agriculture results on Thursday, April 11. The report, along with a number of related publications, video presentation and searchable data query interfaces, will be available on the NASS website. Available now in preparation for data release are three videos featuring NASS subject matter experts explaining the importance of the Census, what’s new in this Census and how to find census data. To address questions about the 2017 Census of Agriculture data, NASS will host a live Twitter chat on Friday, April 12, at noon. More

USDA Releases Food and Nutrient Data System for Researchers
USDA’s Agricultural Research Service has released an integrated food and nutrient data system that provides online access to nutrient profile information about a wide variety of foods and food products. FoodData Central is designed to strengthen the capacity for rigorous research and policy applications through its search capabilities, downloadable datasets and detailed documentation. More


Tiptoe through the Tulips
Tulip time in Holland is famous for beauty (and tourism). Speaking of tulips, you can now "Talk to a Tulip Translator." A respected university in Europe offers this April 1st video that includes aspects of artificial intelligence, geeky humor and viewer gullibility.

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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