Issue: 1053

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
May 6, 2019

Top Stories

One Major + Eight Students = Four Sets of Twins
Four sets of twins majoring in agricultural business are graduating this week. The students come from agricultural backgrounds and have strong bonds with their twin siblings. The students took time to reflect on their experiences in CALS and share their future plans. More

CALS Convocation to Honor Graduating Seniors Friday, May 10
Faculty and staff are invited to recognize graduating seniors at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences convocation on Friday, May 10, at 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Hilton Coliseum. Abrah Meyer, agricultural business, is the convocation speaker. The Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council will present awards to the following graduates: Brandon Hanson, agricultural business, for outstanding senior; Aimee Schulz, genetics and agronomy, for academic achievement; Alex Brand, agricultural business, for leadership excellence; Amanda Crow, agricultural and life sciences education (communications option), for outstanding ambassador of agriculture and life sciences; Megan Kemp, agronomy and global resource systems, for commitment to diversity; and Payton Wise, animal science, for distinguished service. More

Garzon is CALS Student Marshal at Undergraduate Commencement
The undergraduate commencement ceremony for CALS, the Ivy College of Business and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will take place on Saturday, May 11, at 9:30 a.m. in Hilton Coliseum. The college’s student marshal is Elizabeth Garzon, global resource systems and environmental science. She will be escorted by her mentor Richard Schultz, University Professor of Natural Resource Ecology and Management. Attendees are encouraged to download the free “Iowa State Alumni” app from the iTunes Store or Google Play before the commencement ceremony. This is the only place family and guests will be able to view the commencement ceremony program. More

Graduating CALS Ambassadors Recognized by College
Graduating seniors who served as CALS Ambassadors will meet with Dean Robison this week in recognition of their efforts in recruitment and other support for the college. They are: Keely Acheson, agricultural business; Katie Arndt, animal science; Brandon Hanson, agricultural business; Macy Marek, agriculture and life sciences education (teacher certification option); Rebekah Sletten, agricultural business; Kayla Toennies, agronomy; Megyn Walston, agriculture and life sciences education (communications option); Payton Wise, animal science; and Nathan Yeager, agricultural business.


Study Reveals Insights on Transmission of West Nile Virus
A study recently published in Scientific Reports found transmission of West Nile virus most often occurs in Iowa's western counties. The study drew on 15 years of data collected by mosquito surveillance efforts led by the ISU Medical Entomology Laboratory. Ryan Smith, entomology and director of the laboratory, said these findings correlate with human cases of West Nile virus, which also occur at higher rates in western Iowa. More 

INRC-Funded Study Shows Road Ditches Help with Nutrient Reduction
New research suggests that road ditches play a role in nutrient reduction. Researchers were not surprised to find soil and groundwater conditions within the ditches favorable for denitrification. They were surprised, though, to see the extent of the ditches' processing capacity. The study was funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center. More 

INRC Launches Updated Website
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center launched an updated website on May 1 with a new look and greater functionality. The new platform allows users to search INRC-funded projects based on relevant terms, and better highlights INRC-related news, events, resources and research findings. Its design reflects the nutrient center’s identity as a Regents entity headquartered at Iowa State and with research collaborations with the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa. The INRC team welcomes comments or questions on future web improvements (send to Ann Robinson, More

Teaching and Students

Video: Dean’s Rome Program Marks 10 Years of Success with UN
For the past 10 years, the Dean’s Global Agriculture and Food Leadership Program has taken a team of students to Rome to work with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The students have worked on projects ranging from the analysis of seed security in India, Brazil and the Ivory Coast, to contributing to a global livestock biodiversity database, to an analysis of bee health in southern Europe. The teams address globally challenging and important issues and each year the projects are implemented by the FAO. More

Extension and Outreach

CALS, Iowa Soybean Association Offer New Way to View On-Farm Research Data
ISU and the Iowa Soybean Association have developed a web-based resource as an easy-to-use portal where producers can find the results of hundreds of on-farm research trials conducted by the association’s On-Farm Network. The Interactive Summaries of On-Farm Strip Trials, or ISOFAST, makes data mining easy for farmers, researchers and others. Fernando Miguez, agronomy, and graduate student Anabelle Laurent, worked on ISOFAST. More

Iowans Asked to Maintain Monarch Breeding Habitat
Steven Bradbury, natural resource ecology and management, is urging Iowans to maintain summer breeding habitat for monarch butterflies. After years of decline, this can help put the species on a more sustainable footing. More 

Videos: Simple Steps to Rearing Monarchs
Laura Jesse Iles, entomologist and director of the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic at ISU, has recorded a series of five videos where she walks viewers through the steps of rearing and releasing monarchs. She describes the roughly two-week life cycle of the monarch, shares tips on types and care of cages, and tells how to release the butterflies in three- to four-minute videos produced by ISU Extension and Outreach. More 

Licht Featured in Iowa Learning Farms Profile
Iowa Learning Farms is celebrating 15 years of service in 2019. Mark Licht, assistant professor in agronomy and extension cropping systems specialist, has been involved with ILF from its inception in 2004. Read more about Licht’s work to aid in the mission of ILF to increase awareness and promote conservation practices in the April 26 issue of Wallaces Farmer. More  

Around the College

CPM Donates $2.6 Million to Feed Mill Project
California Pellet Mill, a supplier of animal feed processing equipment, is donating nearly $2.6 million in equipment to a new educational and research facility for feed milling and grain science at ISU. The gift is the latest contribution to the $21.2 million feed mill and grain science complex. More

Leopold Center Seeks Nominations for Spencer Award
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is accepting nominations for the 2019 Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture. The deadline to submit is June 30. More 

Live United Food Drive Continues through May 9
The 11th annual Live United food drive is taking place on campus through Thursday, May 9. Donations will benefit Story County food pantries, ensuring children and families have food during the summer. Nonperishable items and cash donations will be accepted at 19 campus locations. Visit the Live United Food Drive website for campus drop-off sites, a list of preferred donation items and information on making financial contributions online. Five dollars purchases 35 pounds of food, $10 purchases 71 pounds and $25 purchases almost 180 pounds of food. Questions may be directed to food drive co-chairs Haley Cook (, 4-0705) or Tara Fisher (, 4-8300). More

In Memoriam: Georganne Artz, Economics
Georgeanne Artz, associate professor of economics, died April 25 after losing her battle with cancer. She had an active research program in agricultural business and rural economic development and taught undergraduate courses in farm business management and micro-economic theory. Also, she was co-adviser of the Agricultural Business Club. Artz requested a celebration of life gathering for friends and family after the sorrow and emotions settle. A date and venue will be planned in early September. More


May 6: Retirement Reception for Rose Martin
A retirement reception for Rose Martin, senior lecturer in food science and human nutrition, will be held today, May 6, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the first floor hallway outside 1951 Food Sciences Building. Martin taught the introduction to human nutrition course and a nutrition and health assessment course.

May 13: Entomology/NREM Host Retirement and Farewell Reception
A retirement and farewell reception is being held for entomology and natural resource ecology and management faculty and staff on May 13, from 10 a.m. to noon in 220 Science II. Sue Blodgett, professor and chair of entomology and NREM is retiring, along with Sue Jones, account clerk for entomology and NREM. James Adelman, assistant professor for NREM, and Cassandra Nunez, adjunct assistant professor for NREM, are transferring to the University of Memphis, Tennessee.

Communications Kiosk

Be Concise When Telling Scientific Stories
A well-told story can be extremely powerful – it captures attention, inspires others and can even lead to action. 3M’s Scientists as Storytellers Guide includes how five celebrated communicators tell scientific stories. Be concise and use meaningful details is the fourth tip by Gitanjali Rao, 2017 national winner of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. "It's important not to overwhelm your audience with technical data," she said. "Keep your stories concise and be sure to use visuals to enhance your storytelling." (Part 4 – 3M Scientists as Storytellers Guide, 2019, pg. 10) 


Leshner: Agriculture Faces a Scientific Innovation Drought
In a May 2 opinion piece for The Hill, Alan Leshner states that the problems faced in agriculture can be solved by scientific research and innovation. "Agricultural research and development funding has an estimated return on investment of 20 to 1," wrote Leshner. But today, U.S. agricultural research funding represents less than 2 percent of the total federal investment in research and development. Leshner is CEO emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on the board of the Supporters of Agricultural Research Foundation. More 


CALS Alum Working for Policy Solutions that Work for All
Kody Olson, public policy director for the Minnesota Council on Disability and a CALS alum, wrote about building policy solutions that work for everyone in an April 8 posting of The Borlaug Blog, published by The World Food Prize. During a trip to Uganda with the college’s Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods program, Olson met a deaf family. “Meeting that deaf family in Uganda is something I think about every day in my job,” wrote Olson. “The location of your birth should not be a relevant factor in your success, but I had to face my privilege that day when I, a deaf college student from the U.S., met the deaf Ugandan boy who was denied a basic education because of his disability.” More Read more about Olson and his time as a White House intern is a recent issue of STORIES, the college’s alumni magazine.  

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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