Issue: 1089

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Jan. 27, 2020

Top Stories

Latest Issue of STORIES Features "My CALS Advantage"
The latest issue of STORIES in Agriculture and Life Sciences, the college's alumni magazine, focuses on "My CALS Advantage." The issue highlights how CALS students build their unique CALS Advantage by becoming experts in their areas of study; advocating for their beliefs; excelling in innovation and entrepreneurism; and shining as leaders. Good Earth Student Farm workers Martha Hodapp, Ellena Wolff and Shannon Rauter (l-r above) share their CALS Advantage on pg. 28. More Request a print copy from

Two Open Forums this Week for CALS Associate Dean, Academic Innovation
Two of the four internal candidates identified for the new position of CALS Associate Dean for Academic Innovation will provide a public seminar and open forum this week on the topic of “Academic Innovations in CALS: A Futuristic Vision.” All seminars and open forums will take place in the Ensminger Room, 1204 Kildee Hall. They will be taped for future viewing, but not live-streamed. Application materials and a feedback survey are available online.  

  • Wednesday, Jan. 29: Mike Retallick, chair, department of agricultural education and studies. Seminar: 9:10 a.m. Open forum: 10 a.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 30: Steven Lonergan, professor of animal science. Seminar: 2:10 p.m. Open forum: 3 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 3: Carmen Bain, professor of sociology. Seminar: 9:10 a.m. Open forum: 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 4: Howard Tyler, CALS assistant dean for student services. Seminar: 2:10 p.m. Open forum: 3 p.m.


CALS Researchers Lead $2.5 Million Study to Improve Urban Sustainability
A new $2.5 million NSF grant will help an interdisciplinary team of researchers analyze innovative approaches to improving urban sustainability. The Sustainable Cities Research Team, led by Jan Thompson, natural resource ecology and management, and including Matt Liebman, agronomy, Kurt Rosentrater, ABE, Philip Gassman, CARD, and Ajay Nair, horticulture, will study various approaches to bolstering local food production in Des Moines and the surrounding area and how those approaches could affect nutrition, waste and environmental impacts. More

Research: Relationship Between Carcass Merit and Maternal Traits in Beef Cattle
A new white paper by ISU animal scientists explores "The Relationship Between Carcass Merit and Maternal Traits in Beef Cattle: A Case Study and Literature Review." The paper was prepared for Certified Angus Beef LLC by a team led by Dan Loy, director of the Iowa Beef Center. It evaluates the relationship between carcass merit and maternal reproduction in beef cattle, with a case study based on a research breeding project in which purebred Angus cattle have been selected for marbling or intramuscular fat for more than 20 years. The research is featured in an article in the Certified Angus Beef Cattleman. Team members include Loy, Katy Lippolis and Jamie Williams, animal science; and Erika Lundy, Beth Reynolds and Patrick Wall, extension beef specialists.

Teaching and Students

Leopold Center Awards Sustainability Scholarships to Iowa Undergraduates
Maia Lawson, senior in microbiology and genetics, and Kavita Jain, junior in biology, have been awarded funding in the first round of a new scholarship program supported by the Leopold Center and CALS. Five undergraduate students from Iowa four-year colleges and universities were selected for the first round. Applications for the second round of sustainability scholarships are due Feb. 15. More 

FSHN Graduate Student Named ASM Young Ambassador
Graham Redweik, a Ph.D. student working with Melha Mellata in food science and human nutrition, has been selected by the American Society for Microbiology as an ASM Young Ambassador to Iowa. The Young Ambassadors program is for early-career leaders who represent ASM in their communities, facilitating professional development and collaboration. Redweik’s research focuses on testing microbial-based strategies like probiotics and live vaccines to protect chickens against pathogens like Salmonella and E. coli.

Extension and Outreach

Iowa Learning Farms Webinar to Feature Secretary Naig
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on Feb. 5 at 12 p.m. with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig to discuss conservation, water quality and the Secretary’s vision for Iowa. Naig and ILF program director Jacqueline Comito will also discuss the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and how Iowans are working to meet the nitrogen and phosphorus loss reductions outlined in the strategy. More

Around the College

CSRL 2019 Annual Report Now Posted
The 2019 annual report for the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods is now available online, in PDF form. The report, “Improving Lives, Sustaining Lives,” features a message from Dean Dan Robison; a donor profile of Roger Winterhof; and stories on current efforts in the Kamuli District of Uganda on crop management, livestock integration, nutrition education, the school lunch and gardens program, education and entrepreneurship, water and sanitation, and community income-generating innovations.

Scholarship Fund Established to Honor Robert Martin
The Robert A. Martin Agricultural Education and Studies Scholarship Fund has been established to honor Robert Martin, retiring professor in the department of agricultural education and studies. His dedication and passion for agricultural education is evident by his many accomplishments during his 52-year career. Martin is known in Iowa and nationally for his work related to agricultural literacy, supervised agricultural experiences and student teaching supervision. More 


Feb. 5: CALS Conversations
Dean Robison is hosting a CALS Chat on Feb. 5 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the Molecular Biology Building atrium. There is no agenda; come for refreshments and conversation. It is co-sponsored by the CALS Faculty Senate Caucus, the CALS Staff Council and the CALS dean’s office.

Feb. 13: Introduction to Homemade Candy Making
Food science and human nutrition is hosting a live demonstration of candy making on Feb. 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in 2379 Food Science Building. Lauren Grant, owner of Zestful Kitchen and alumna of the culinary food science program, will present. Grant has worked with America's Test Kitchen, Cuisine at Home Magazine's Test Kitchen and Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen. Seats are limited. Registration is available online.  

Communications Kiosk

Census Bureau’s Use of Household vs. Housing Unit
As used by the Census Bureau, a household is made up of all occupants of a housing unit. A household may contain more than one family or may be used by one person. A housing unit, as defined by the bureau, is a group of rooms or single room occupied by people who do not live and eat with any other person in the structure. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2019 edition, pg. 140) The 2020 Census officially kicked off in Toksook Bay, Alaska, on Jan. 21. It will count the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Research Day 2020 Scheduled for March 24-25
The Office of the Vice President for Research is hosting its fourth annual Research Day on March 24-25. Science comedian Brian Malow, a stand-up comedian with a passion for science, will provide a keynote presentation on March 24 at 7 p.m. in 127 Curtiss Hall. The agenda for March 25 in the Memorial Union includes storytelling sessions, lighting talks, a poster session, resource fair and networking. More 


Ossian Recognized for Commitment to ‘Gift of Life’ – Blood Donations
Daniel Ossian, senior video communications specialist for the Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology Transfer, is featured in the January 2020 issue of Ankeny Living Magazine in an article on blood donors and the importance of the "gift of life" (pg. 5). Ossian has been a blood donor since he was 17. He organized some blood drives in high school, and in 2001, he began coordinating the blood drives at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Church. They have five drives per year. Ossian has given 21 gallons of blood himself. 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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