Issue: 1091

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Feb. 10, 2020

Top Stories

New CALS Placement Rate Over 98 Percent; Over 65 Percent in Iowa
CALS Career Services is reporting an undergraduate placement rate of 98.6 percent for students graduating 2018-2019. Placement includes students that are employed, furthering their education or fulfilling military obligations. The 2018-2019 academic year was the largest graduating class in CALS history with 1,180 undergraduates receiving diplomas, up 2 percent from the previous year. Of those placed, 82.8 percent were employed and 14.9 percent were furthering their education. About 5.7 percent returned to a family farm. Of those working, 65.2 percent remained in Iowa. More

Top Employers of CALS Undergraduates, 2018-2019
According to Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services, top employers of CALS students who received their bachelor’s degrees during 2018-2019 were: USDA (all agencies) with 23 hires; Iowa State University with 18; John Deere with 16; Corteva Agriscience with 13; Landus Cooperative with 11; Cargill with 10; U.S. military with 9; Growmark/FS System with 8; and Archer Daniels Midland, Iowa Select Farms and Smithfield Foods with 6 each. Starting salaries continued to trend upward for most majors.


Nettleton Part of Team that Receives $1.5 Million NSF Grant
Hridesh Rajan, interim chair of the department of computer science and Kingland Professor of Data Analytics, was recently awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The funds will support basic research and enable Rajan and his team, including Daniel Nettleton, department chair and Distinguished Professor of Statistics, to develop and eventually establish the Dependable Data-Driven Discovery Institute (D4) at ISU. More 

Researchers Say Iowa’s ‘Goldilocks’ Climate Period Won’t Last
In an article from the February issue of Physics Today, Eugene Takle, agronomy, and William Gutowski, geological and atmospheric sciences, describe the challenges farmers could expect to see to maintaining high yields if global warming continues along predicted trends. An upward trend in production, which they call a 'Goldilocks' period, has occurred as a result of better technology and management along with more favorable weather. According to their research on climate change, the researchers say this ideal combination is not expected to last. More

Teaching and Students

PAS Club Brings Home State Awards
Members of the Professional Agricultural Student organization competed at the state conference on Feb. 5-6 in Ames. Eight of the 11 teams finished top three in their contest, including five first place teams, and 11 students finished top three individually in their team contest, including four state winners. Seven students finished top three in individual contests. Nelson Findling, junior in agricultural and life sciences education, was elected vice president of the state officer team. Nate Dobbels, agricultural and life sciences education is the club advisor.

Horticulture Club Selling Flowers Feb. 13-14
The Horticulture Club will be selling flowers in the Memorial Union on Feb. 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. under the west stairwell. The club has a variety of roses, carnations and alstroemeria.

Food Science Club Selling Fudge on Feb. 14
The Food Science Club will be selling fudge for Valentine’s Day on Friday, Feb. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or until sold out) in the foyer of LeBaron Hall near the west entrance. Flavors include chocolate, chocolate mint, peanut butter, cookies ‘n cream and Cyclone (a chocolate fudge with peanuts, marshmallows and M&Ms).

FundISU: NAMA to Compete at Marketing Conference
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to support the National Agri-Marketing Association student chapter at ISU in sending a team to compete in the student marketing competition held at the National Agri-Marketing Conference in April. Team members fundraise to compete at the conference, but are asking for additional help this year with the conference being held in San Diego. The project ends on Feb. 14. More

Around the College

Seed Science Center Displays Posters to Honor George Washington Carver
In honor of Black History Month, the Seed Science Center has displayed four posters honoring the work of George Washington Carver, ISU alumnus and former faculty member. His research resulted in the creation of hundreds of products from peanuts, soybeans and sweet potatoes. More 

CALS Portion of College-by-College Pitch Off Scheduled for Feb. 18
The College-by-College Pitch Off will take place over the next two weeks, offering students in all seven colleges the change to deliver a 90-second pitch about an idea or business they are working on to a panel of judges for cash prizes. The CALS portion of the event will take place Feb. 18 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in room 4202 of the Student Innovation Center. The top two in each category (a new idea or existing business) from each college will advance to the Innovation Pitch Competition on Feb. 27. More 

CALS Faculty, Students on New University Committee to Address Sustainability
President Wintersteen has established a new university committee to improve sustainability at Iowa State. The committee is charged with developing a set of actionable recommendations that will increase energy efficiency, energy conservation and use of renewable energy with the goal of moving ISU toward carbon neutrality. Committee members from CALS departments and centers include: Kelsie Ferin, graduate student in agronomy; Paul Lasley, sociology; Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center; Ruth MacDonald, food science and human nutrition; Peter Orazem, economics; Mark Rasmussen, Leopold Center; Toni Sleugh, undergraduate student in biology; and Gene Takle, emeritus professor in agronomy. More 

Nominations for Gamma Sigma Delta due March 20
The Iowa chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the honor society of agriculture, is accepting nominations for membership and awards. Nomination forms for faculty, staff and alumni membership and awards are available online and are due March 20. More


Feb. 12: CALS P&S Council Coffee Talk on Mentoring
The CALS P&S Council is inviting staff to its second coffee talk. The topic is mentoring. The council is working to set up a mentoring program for staff and would like your ideas, questions or suggestions about mentoring or becoming a mentor. So, please join us on Feb. 12 from noon to 1 p.m. in 301 Curtiss and bring your lunch, questions and ideas. Contact Rachel Fleck,, or Barb McBreen,, with questions.

March 10: CALS Town Hall Meeting
CALS will hold a town hall meeting for all college faculty and staff on March 10 from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. in the Dolezal Auditorium in Curtiss Hall, Room 127. Refreshments will be served. Endowed Dean Dan Robison will provide a welcome and remarks, including updates on enrollment and budget. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.

Communications Kiosk

Reporting on Polls and Surveys
Take care to use accurate language when describing poll results. For example, only groups comprising more than 50 percent of the population can be said to be the majority. If the largest group includes less than 50 percent of the surveyed population, it is a plurality. Majority means more than half of an amount. Plurality means more than the next highest number. When majority and plurality are used alone, they take singular verbs and pronouns: The majority has made its decision. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2019 edition, pgs. 352 and 175)


CELT to Host Workshops on Project-Based Learning
The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching is hosting a series of half-day workshops on Feb. 20-21 related to project-based learning and how this approach can be applied to courses exploring social entrepreneurial themes. Paula Quinn, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Center for Project-Based Learning, will lead the three workshops. It will be the first official event in the Student Innovation Center. More

OVPR and ISU Foundation Hosting Early Career Research Event
The Office of the Vice President for Research and the ISU Foundation are hosting an event on Feb. 25, 3:10 to 4:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Cardinal Room, for early career faculty to gain insight and advice from their peers who have experience pursuing and receiving non-governmental funding. Speakers will include: Geetu Tuteja, genetics, development, and cell biology; Elizabeth McNeill, food science and human nutrition; and Eric Underbakke, Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology. Refreshments will be provided. More 

Looking for Judges - State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa
The State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa is scheduled for March 26-27 in Hilton Coliseum. The Iowa 4-H Program's fair serves as a platform for student researchers (grades 6 - 12) to meet with professional researchers and communicate their findings and understanding of the research process. If you would like to volunteer to judge at the high school or junior high level, a sign up form is available online. 


Cherokee Nation Sends Heirloom Seeds to Global Vault
The Cherokee Nation is the first tribe in the United States to receive an invitation to deposit its traditional heirloom seeds in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a long-term seed storage facility housed deep inside a mountain on a remote island in Norway. The CN Natural Resources office collected nine samples of Cherokee heirloom crops to send to Svalbard, including Cherokee White Eagle Corn, the tribe’s most sacred corn, which is typically used during cultural activities, and three other varieties of corn grown for consumption in distinct locations to keep the strains pure. Other seeds sent to the seed bank include Cherokee Long Greasy Beans, Cherokee Trail of Tears Beans, Cherokee Turkey Gizzard black and brown beans, and Cherokee Candy Roaster Squash. All nine varieties sent to the seed bank predate European settlement. 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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