Issue: 1085

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Dec. 16, 2019

Top Stories

CALS Convocation to Honor Graduating Seniors, Friday, Dec. 20
CALS will hold its fall convocation for about 320 graduating seniors on Friday, Dec. 20, at 10 a.m. in Hilton Coliseum. Doors open at 9 a.m. The CALS Student Council will present its senior awards (see award winners below). Macy Marek, agriculture and life sciences education, is the convocation speaker. Kayla Kaalberg, global resource systems, will be the CALS student marshal at the university undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 1:30 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. Kaalberg will be accompanied by her faculty mentor, Carmen Bain, sociology. 

CALS Student Council to Present Senior Awards 
At Friday’s graduation convocation, the CALS Student Council will present awards to the following graduates: Scarlett Eagle, genetics, for outstanding senior; Macy Marek, agricultural and life sciences education, for leadership excellence; Kayla Kaalberg, global resource systems, for academic achievement; Jesse Matt, forestry and global resource systems, for distinguished service; Garrett Onstot, animal science and global resource systems, for outstanding ambassador of agriculture and life sciences; and Natili Jouzi, nutrition and dietetics, for commitment to diversity.  


CALS Researchers Named Science and Innovation Fellows
William Beavis, G.F. Sprague Chair in agronomy, and Susan Lamont, Charles F. Curtiss distinguished professor in animal science, were named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Guru Rao, associate vice president for research and former chair of the Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, was named a fellow to the National Academy of Inventors. More

New Sorghum Study Illustrates Process of Plant Domestication
A new study illustrates the concept of a domestication triangle, in which human genetics interact with sorghum genetics and the environment to influence the traits farmers select in their crops. Xianran Li and Jianming Yu, agronomy, are co-authors of the study published in the scientific journal Nature Plants. More  

Teaching and Students

Ruble and Schulz Receive Milleman Family Mentorship Award 
The Milleman Family Mentorship Award was presented to Marshall Ruble and Dick Schulz for their work and dedication in advising students in CALS. The award winners were nominated by students and selected by the CALS Student Council. The award is sponsored by Jane and Leo Milleman from Ames. More

Students Prepare for CALS Study Abroad Trip to Antarctica
Julie Blanchong, natural resource ecology and management, and Steve Dinsmore, entomology, along with seven students, will travel to Antarctica in January 2020. The group will spend 12 days on a ship exploring the Weddell Sea, Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. In a Dec. 6 article for the Iowa State Daily, Blanchong and Dinsmore provide more details on the trip and how they prepare students for the environment of the continent through a required course. More  

Retaining ABE Students through Relationship-Building
The origin of the department of agricultural and biosystems engineering’s successful learning community is rooted in long-term retention efforts. Steve Mickelson, department chair, reflects on the program in a College of Engineering feature article. More

Students Research Cattle Health at ISU Beef Nutrition Farm
In the Dec. 10 issue of the Iowa State Daily, graduate students in animal science talk about their research at the ISU Beef Nutrition Farm. Erin Deters, Aubree Beenken and Katie Heiderscheit work with cattle raised on the farm for their research on beef nutrition and behavior. More

Extension and Outreach

Iowa Farmland Value Grows, but Barely Exceeds Inflation
The statewide value of an acre of farmland is now estimated to be $7,432, which represents an increase of 2.3 percent, or $168, since 2018. While the growth in land values is a positive, Wendong Zhang, economics and lead for the annual Iowa Land Value Survey, warned that it should not be labeled as a solid rebound of the land market. “The future of farmland market still hinges on the pace and speed of Federal Reserve moves on interest rates, progress in the trade talks, and the availability of land parcels,” said Zhang. More  

Community Food Systems Conference Scheduled for Jan. 9-10
The annual Community Food Systems conference is scheduled for Jan. 9-10 in West Des Moines. The agenda includes nine breakout sessions on topics related to specialty crop and garden production, business development, farm to school, food systems and USDA programming. Community Food Systems is a joint program of ANR Extension and Outreach's Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program and the Community and Economic Development program. More

Around the College

FundISU: Growing Education through School Lunches
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to support the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods’ work to end hunger and improve children’s education by contributing to the Kamuli District, Uganda, school garden and lunch programs. Support raised will provide learning opportunities and nutritious meals to almost 3,000 children on each school day. The project ends on Jan. 3, 2020. More  

CALS Online: Next Issue Jan. 6
CALS Online will take the next two weeks off for the holidays. It will resume Monday, Jan. 6. Happy holidays. 


Dec. 18: Retirement Reception for Denise Bjelland
Denise Bjelland, director of CALS Global Programs and director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, will be retiring on Jan. 3 after 47 years of service to ISU. A reception is scheduled for Dec. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. in 111 Curtiss Hall. Messages, memories and photos are being collected online for a memory book.  

Jan. 8-9: Wine Microbiology Workshop
A two-day workshop on Wine Microbiology will be held Jan. 8-9 in Ames. Participants will receive instruction and hands-on experience in microbiological lab techniques for winemaking, including microscope use. In addition, instruction will cover sanitation strategies and the sensory impact of spoilage microbes. Course instructors are members of ISU’s Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute. More  

Communications Kiosk

Change Your Voicemail and Email Messages for Winter Break 
If your department is closing over winter break, discuss how to handle incoming phone calls. One option is to direct all departmental calls to one voicemail box to be checked periodically by designated employees during the break. Also change your personal voicemail and email messages. Consider stating the dates you’ll be absent and if you’ll be checking your messages. If necessary, include an off-campus number where you can be reached. Also consider posting holiday hours on your department’s website. More information on a partial closing can be found in Inside Iowa State.  


Register for International Travel Beginning Jan. 1
Registration for international travel for faculty, graduate students and staff will soon be required. Comprehensive international health and emergency medical insurance is provided at no cost to all faculty and staff traveling internationally on university business. Enrollment in the insurance is now completed through this registration with the Office of Risk Management. This policy is scheduled to become effective Jan. 1, 2020.


ISU’s Untold Story about Building a National Maize Museum
In the 1930s, Jules Cool Cunningham, professor of horticulture at Iowa State College, had a vision of establishing a National Maize Museum on Iowa State’s campus. A faculty committee was established and the college president got on board. But what sidetracked this plan and what happened to the artifacts he collected for a museum is a mystery today. In the Nov./Dec. issue of Iowa History Journal, Jerome Thompson tells how papers in Special Collections at the Parks Library and some news articles reveal this untold Iowa story. 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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