Issue: 1099

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
April 6, 2020

Top Stories

Bain Named Associate Dean of Academic Innovation
Carmen Bain, sociology, has been named the associate dean for academic innovation for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The newly created position will oversee academic affairs, student services, career services, student recruitment and retention, and the Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology Transfer. Bain’s official start date is April 16. This position partially replaces the former associate dean for academic and global programs position held by David Acker since 2005. On Jan. 1 of this year, Acker began serving as the associate dean for global engagement and director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods. More  

Gaul Scans Employment Landscape Amid COVID-19
Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services, reached out to some of the college’s larger employers to check the pulse on hiring initiatives within the agriculture and life sciences job sectors during COVID-19. Of those that responded, none planned to rescind any existing job offers to upcoming May graduates. Many are considering potential remote orientation and onboarding endeavors as well as adjusting start dates. At this point, employers mentioned no plans to cancel summer internship programs, even if internships may look different than originally planned. Gaul said all recognize the fluidity of the situation and may need to adjust accordingly. “There’s no denying the employment landscape has changed significantly, but it’s equally exciting to think of the new career paths that will exist for our students once the dust settles,” said Gaul. CALS students with job/career questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Gaul,

Seed Science Center Protecting $1.6 Billion in Seed Exports
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the seed health experts at ISU’s Seed Science Center are working to provide stability to help protect $1.6 billion in annual seed exports by the U.S. seed industry. “The global nature of the seed business makes this situation particularly difficult,” said Gary Munkvold, plant pathology and microbiology and co-director the National Seed Health System administered by the Seed Science Center. “International operations and the movement of seeds from country-to-country is vital to domestic seed supplies,” Munkvold said. “The need is particularly critical right now as seed companies are working to get their product shipped in time to meet spring planting windows.” More

Suza: Memories of Another Epidemic
An Iowa View commentary by Walter Suza, agronomy, was published in the April 2 issue of the Des Moines Register. In “Sailing through the uncharted waters of COVID-19 with memories of another epidemic,” he shares reflections from experience growing up in East Africa during a cholera outbreak. More  


Why Leadership Styles Matter in Rural Iowa
A new report from David Peters, sociology, shows why municipal leadership style matters in Iowa’s small towns. The report shows how communities that buy into a shared leadership model tend to experience a range of benefits that other similarly sized communities don’t. More

INRC Accepting Proposals for Water Quality Research 
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center is accepting proposals for research that can help landowners, farmers, agribusiness and others improve water quality by reducing nitrate and phosphorus in the state’s waterways. There are six main research topic areas prioritized for funding consideration. Proposals are due by May 15. More  

Teaching and Students

CALS Student Named Goldwater Scholar
Behnia Rezazadeh Shirazi, junior and triple-major in biology, biophysics and biochemistry, is one of three Iowa State students named a 2020 Goldwater Scholar. He plans to pursue an M.D. and Ph.D. in biomedical sciences. More  

Extension and Outreach

Hart Podcast: Impact of Coronavirus on Agriculture
Chad Hart, economics, talks about the impact coronavirus is having on agriculture and what agriculture is doing to fight back on the April 6 edition of the Spokesman Speaks podcast published by Iowa Farm Bureau. More

Shaw and Coleman: No Evidence COVID-19 Transmitted through Food, Food Packaging
ISU Extension and Outreach food safety specialists Angela Shaw and Shannon Coleman, food science and human nutrition, want Iowans to know there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through food and food packaging. More  

Houser: Meat Products Safe, But Follow Food Safety Guidelines
Consumers who are purchasing meat products from grocery stores or directly from a meat processor can be confident in the safety of the product, according to Terry Houser, animal science. Citing information from USDA and the Food and Drug Administration, Houser said there has been no data indicating that the current COVID-19 pandemic can be transferred from food or packaging. More

Francis and Litchfield: Don’t Waste Food, Understand Food Package Dates
The outbreak of COVID-19 has led many Iowans to focus on stocking their pantries and freezers. For best results, Sarah Francis and Ruth Litchfield, food science and human nutrition, recommend following a simple rule: First in, first out. More  

Free Food Safety and COVID-19 Training in April
The National Restaurant Association is offering free food handler and COVID-19 training online and for download throughout April. The training is intended for delivery and carry-out operations, but according to ISU Extension and Outreach, the information is useful for everyone. More

Around the College

CALS Staff Receive Professional and Scientific Council Awards
The Professional and Scientific Council announced its 2019 awardees, recognized for their outstanding contributions. CALS staff who received awards are listed below. More

  • Mickie Deaton, Food Science and Human Nutrition – Woodin CYtation Award
  • Cynthia Robertson, Seed Science Center – CYtation Award
  • Dana Schweitzer, Entomology – CYtation Award

Wildlife Care Clinic Temporarily Closes
The Wildlife Care Clinic, jointly managed by CALS and the College of Veterinary Medicine, has been temporarily closed. Dr. Bianca Zaffarano, clinical associate professor of veterinary clinical sciences, retired this spring and was the clinic’s holder of the rehabilitation license issued by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Without the state license, the clinic cannot operate. A search to fill Zaffarano’s position was underway, but has been suspended, along with other ISU job searches, during the COVID-19 pandemic. ISU is referring all cases to area wildlife rehab centers. “We will be looking at other options in the future on continuing the efforts of the clinic as a resource for students and the community,” said Dr. Dan Grooms, the Dr. Stephen G. Juelsgaard Dean of Veterinary Medicine.


April 7: Improving Pig Survivability Webinar
The first webinar highlighting research from the Improving Pig Survivability project is scheduled for April 7 at 12 to 1 p.m. The webinar will focus on two projects - grow/finish mortality and wean-to-finish mortality. Registration is available online. More

April 8: Cover Crops Webinar
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on Wednesday, April 8, at noon to provide information on how to succeed with cover crops and no-till for 2020. The webinar is intended to help take the place of canceled field days. More  


Census Information for Students – Claim Ames!
The Census Bureau advises college students to be counted in the city where they attend college. This is especially important for students living off-campus in a house or apartment. Students are asked to work together with their roommates to complete one Census form for the residence. A two-minute video explains the process. Students who are or were living in residence halls and Greek houses do not need to complete the Census. 

National Agricultural Library Material Available Online
Even though the building is physically closed, the National Agricultural Library’s staff of librarians, data scientists, technical information specialists and administrative professionals are working remotely to deliver NAL’s products and services. Staff and the collections are virtually available to provide the information needed to facilitate the creation of new agricultural knowledge. 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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