Issue: 1101

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
April 13, 2020

Top Stories

COVID-19 Ends Internship But Spurs Interest in Public Health
Hannah Heit, a junior in animal science, was disappointed when her semester-long internship in the Kamuli District in Uganda ended abruptly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She had been working with local farmers to help them improve agricultural practices and in local schools to motivate students to think about their academic and career potential. Heit also focused on expanding her research on zoonotic diseases and their effect on public health. Her experience has reinforced her career goals. “Spending this semester in Uganda and being able to watch this situation evolve has made me even more passionate about pursuing a career where I can play a key role in mitigating the spread of future emerging zoonotic diseases so we can hopefully prevent another pandemic like COVID-19,” Heit said. More  

Dean Robison Sends a Message to CALS Students
CALS students received a special message from Dean Dan Robison on Friday, April 10, where he reflected on their extraordinary efforts to rise to the challenges of these unprecedented times. He encouraged students to stay the course with online learning and reach out to him with thoughts and ideas about their new, virtual student experience. More


Study Gauges Insecticide Effects on Monarch Butterflies
A new study sheds light on how insecticides commonly applied to crops affect monarch caterpillars. Conservation efforts to protect monarch butterfly populations depend on planting milkweed on agricultural and, but doing so may put caterpillars in close proximity to harmful insecticides. Graduate student Niranjana Krishnan, and Joel Coats and Steven Bradbury, entomology, co-authored the study published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. More  

Continue CALS Grant Submissions 
Despite our current situation, the priority for faculty to continue to seek out grant opportunities and submit proposals has not changed. New COVID-related food and agriculture-focused grant opportunities are emerging. The CALS PreAward Team — College of Agriculture [& Life Sciences] Research Excellence Support, or CARES — stands ready to continue supporting faculty in submitting proposals and putting out new opportunities. Contact Asrun Kristmundsdottir, with questions.  

Teaching and Students

25 CALS Students Inducted into Cardinal Key Honor Society
Iowa State’s Cardinal Key Honor Society selects new student members each year who embody four virtues: scholarship, leadership, service and character. The following 25 CALS students are 2020 Cardinal Key inductees: 

  • Nick Battles, senior – Global Resource Systems
  • Jose Borunda, senior – Agricultural Business
  • Lauren Burrough, senior – Food Science
  • Jack Carter, senior – Animal Science
  • Macy Evans, senior – Agricultural and Life Sciences Education
  • Heidi Fichter, senior – Agricultural and Life Sciences Education
  • Amanda Fortman, senior – Agricultural and Life Sciences Education
  • Brynnen Gardner, senior – Animal Science
  • Grace German, senior – Animal Science
  • Hannah Heit, junior – Animal Science
  • Brad Holdgrafer, senior – Agricultural Studies
  • Grace Jakes, junior – Animal Science
  • Andrew Larson, senior - Forestry
  • Laurel McGonegle, junior – Food Science
  • Jade Paulsen, junior – Animal Science
  • Jack Pieper, senior - Agronomy
  • Brady Read, senior – Agricultural Business
  • Emerson Roberts, junior - Biology
  • Emily Saeugling, junior – Animal Science
  • Samantha Schepers, junior - Biology
  • Isabella Shehab, senior – Global Resource Systems
  • Behnia Rezazadeh Shirazi, senior - Biology
  • Cody Tjossem, senior – Agricultural Business
  • Elizabeth Uthoff, junior – Agricultural and Life Sciences Education
  • Allison Wallace, senior – Animal Science

Webinar: Effective Graduate Student Mentoring 
Theressa Cooper, CALS Assistant Dean for Diversity, shared information on an April 15 WebEx webinar offered by Purdue, “Providing Effective Graduate Student Mentoring During the COVID-19 Crisis.” Panelists will discuss maintaining physical and mental health and well-being; identifying support mechanisms and effective coping strategies; and persisting toward degree completion. Panelists are Larry Walker, Central Florida University; Nichole Garcia, Rutgers University; and Ramon Goings, University of Loyola, Maryland. The one-hour webinar starts at 11 a.m. Meeting number: (616) 582-211; password gG73xYMFcF3.

ABE Advising Team: Reaching Students with COVID-19 Updates
The agricultural and biosystems engineering advising team created a Canvas-based “information hub” for undergraduate students in the ABE department to help keep their advisees up to date on the rapidly evolving changes in academic policies and procedures and to provide a central source for accurate and updated information. The site also provides a way to reach students quickly without having to exchange emails, a prime consideration for both advisers and students during the busy course registration period. More

CALS Student Works as EMT While Studying from Home 
In between studying for classes on his family's farm in Page County, Iowa, Hunter Crawford, junior in agricultural business, is working as an EMT for the Clarinda Regional Health Center. He was featured on the "Who's Your Iowa Farmer" Facebook page for his work as an EMT, as well as his involvement in agriculture. 

Ag Business Students Reflect on Coping with New COVID-19 Realities 
Several agricultural business students shared their thoughts on how they are coping with the move to online courses. More 

Extension and Outreach

ISU Extension and Outreach Week, April 13-18: Serving Iowans Despite COVID-19
ISU Extension and Outreach Week is April 13-18. Although this year’s celebration will take place virtually given the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa’s 100 county extension offices will be thanking Iowans for their support of extension efforts throughout the state to build a strong Iowa. More

New Swine Field Specialist to Work with Southeast Iowa Producers
Matt Romoser has joined ISU Extension and Outreach as a swine specialist in southeast Iowa. He will be based out of the Johnson County office and will serve the entire southeast Iowa region. Romoser also will work with the Iowa Pork Industry Center staff. More

Small Farm Sustainability Podcasts Offer Timely Information
With the cancellation of so many face-to-face learning opportunities due to COVID-19, Christa Hartsook, small farms program coordinator with Farm, Food and Enterprise Development at ISU Extension and Outreach, has increased the frequency of Small Farm Sustainability Podcasts. New topics are available each week. More

Edge-of-Field Practices Bolster Farming Conservation Toolkit
The Whole Farm Conservation Best Practices Manual, a new publication produced by the Conservation Learning Group, a think tank based at ISU Extension and Outreach, includes detailed information regarding edge-of-field solutions farmers can employ to reduce nutrient delivery to streams and contribute to improved overall water quality. More

Around the College

Thomson on COVID-19 and the U.S. Food Supply
Has the COVID-19 epidemic endangered the U.S. food supply, or are our supply chain systems simply adapting to a new reality? On the April 10 issue of The Round Barn Podcast, Dan Thomson, chair of animal science, tackles these questions with Jim Lower from the University of Illinois to break down the effects the pandemic has had on the industry. More

Loy on COVID-19 Impact on Cattle Industry
On the April 10 edition of the Market to Market program, Dan Loy, director of ISU’s Iowa Beef Center, talks about the impact of COVID-19 on the cattle industry. More

Meyer Helps Demonstrate Value of Land-grant Programs
The National Impacts Database was the focus of the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy’s April 6 Monday Minute blogspot. Submitted impact statements provide the foundation for a special content writing group that is commissioned each year to develop consistent statements to use in 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant advocacy efforts. Brian Meyer, director of college relations for CALS, was part of the group that met Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 in Louisville, Ky., and reviewed the 2019 peer reviewed impact statements that were submitted. Their effort, financed by ECOP and ESCOP, produced 64 products including 49 fact sheets, 14 web stories and the production of an animated video.Meyer has been part of the content writing group since 2015. More

Connect with CALS during Social Distancing: Elizabeth Martinez-Podolsky
Each week during this time of social distancing, the college will be sharing CALS faculty, staff, students and alumni’s favorite locations on campus, activities, books, podcasts and more. The first feature is Elizabeth Martinez-Podolsky, undergraduate retention specialist and Multicultural Liaison Officer for the college. More


April 15: Iowa Learning Farms Webinar
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar at noon on Wednesday, April 15, about opportunities to convert marginal farmland to native perennial vegetation and the associated benefits. More

April 16: Virtual Field Day
Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Conservation Learning Group, will host a free virtual cover crop field day on Thursday, April 16, at 1 p.m. The event will allow for live interaction with Mark Licht, extension cropping systems specialist, and Alison Robertson, extension pathologist, as they discuss their current cover crop research projects. More


Helping ISU Students Learn How to Learn Online
There is a misconception that today’s college students are so adept at using technology that any shift online will be easy for them. Beyond the logistical issues of migrating more than 6,000 courses online for the remainder of the spring semester, ISU has also responded with academic support for students navigating this new learning environment. More  

National Academies: How Can Researchers Help COVID-19 Response? 
The Board on Higher Education of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine will host a series of conversations to bring together academic, industry, government and civic leaders across the country to understand the impacts of COVID-19. Each will focus on a topic related to how the 4,000+ colleges and universities—and the researchers who work there—are supporting the response efforts. On Wednesday, April 15, at 2 p.m., the conversation will be about how laboratories are shifting research agendas. More


Video: Teaching, Working from Home with Jodi Sterle
Jodi Sterle, animal science, shares scenes of teaching courses from her home office, as well as walking duroc pigs and meeting baby kittens recently born on her family’s farm. More

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online

Julie Stewart, Editor, (515) 294-5616Ā 

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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