Issue: 1119

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
August 17, 2020

Top Stories

CALS Community Encouraged to be a Role Model
In a message to students on Aug. 15, Endowed Dean’s Chair Dan Robison and the CALS administrative team emphasized the role we each play in the success of the fall semester. Robison encouraged CALS students to be role models of COVID precaution and to encourage friends and classmates to do the same. His comments echoed his call to faculty and staff during the recent college town hall for all in the CALS community to be diligent in following the healthy behaviors of Cyclones Care:

  • Wear a face covering.
  • Physical distancing.
  • Wash or sanitize hands often.
  • Stay home when ill.

Where to Get Your Face Covering
Faculty and staff should have received two face coverings from their department or unit. Two cloth face coverings are available free to students as they start the new semester. They will be distributed again today, Aug. 17, at three locations from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Central Campus on the Sloss House lawn close to Curtiss Hall, on the southwest corner of Lied Recreation Center, and on the east side at the ISU Alumni Center. Cloth face coverings also are available for purchase at the ISU Bookstore. Individually wrapped disposable face masks are available in vending machines across campus, and in the five markets operated by ISU Dining in the Memorial Union, Hawthorn, West Side, South Side and East Side. University departments may purchase cloth face coverings, disposable masks and face shields from Central Stores.

Extension Providing Storm Damage Resources
In response to last week’s derecho, ISU Extension and Outreach is providing storm damage resources online, including scouting crop damage, disease and pest management on storm damaged crops and assessing grain bin damage. Check back as additional resources are added. More

Dean Robison Participates in Charity Steer Show, Offers Scholarships
Dean Dan Robison participated in the annual Governor’s Charity Steer Show held Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. This was the first time in the show’s 38-year history that it was not held on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Beef Industry Council partnered with Iowa State to ensure university policies, like face coverings, were implemented during the event. In recognition of the work of this year’s 23 youth exhibitors and the spirit of donating their animal to auction for Ronald McDonald Charities of Iowa, the college has offered each exhibitor a $500 scholarship to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “We recognize the tremendous amount of time, energy and work that goes in to the beef project area,” said Robison. “We hope these outstanding young people choose their next adventure at Iowa State University and look forward to welcoming them to the Cyclone family.” Dean Robison partnered with the Iowa Farm Bureau and Carson Suchan, a Wesbster County 4-H member, to show his steer, “The Real Deal.” Dr. Dan Thomsen, animal science professor and chair, served as the showmanship judge. This year’s event raised $254,000 for the Ronald McDonald Charities of Iowa, bringing the total donations to $4.1 million over the show’s history. More


COVID-19 and Research – Updated Guidance for Fall Semester
Updated research guidance for fall semester was provided by Guru Rao, interim vice president for research, in an August 13 memo to all campus researchers. CALS and LAS specific protocol for Iowa State field and farm-based research during COVID-19 also is available online.

Searching Reptilian Genome Yields Insight into All Vertebrates
Nicole Valenzuela, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, contributed to a global effort to assemble the genome of the tuatara, a rare reptile species native to New Zealand. The tuatara genome sheds light on the genomic structure of a huge range of species, including humans. More

Teaching and Students

Provost’s Message to Faculty Includes New Classroom AV Technology
The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost sent a message to faculty last week with several important instruction and classroom topics. One covers new classroom technology installed by Information Technology Services in many general university classrooms. New AV supports hybrid and online delivery of courses. ITS will continue AV installations into the first couple weeks of the semester.

Soil and Water Conservation Club Releases Annual Publication
The Soil and Water Conservation Club has released its 2020 edition of Getting Into Soil and Water, a publication dedicated to educating a broader audience on soil and water conservation and the preservation of environmental quality. Co-editors were Jacob Wright (’20 agronomy, environmental studies), Shannon Breja (junior in agronomy and seed science) and Justin Hunter (‘20 agronomy). More

Science With Practice Suspended for 2020-2021 Year
Science With Practice, a CALS experiential learning and work program for undergraduate students in agriculture, is temporarily suspended for the 2020-2021 academic year. The program is led by the agricultural education and studies department and supported by the ISU Agricultural Endowment. More

Extension and Outreach

Manage the Additional Stress Following the Derecho
Iowans still are managing the uncertainly and anxiety produced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Drought related conditions have added another layer of stress for agriculture producers in many areas of the state. And now, many individuals and communities are facing the aftermath of an unusually powerful derecho. In collaboration with COVID Recovery Iowa, ISU Extension and Outreach will begin offering, “I Worry All the Time: Resources for Life in a Pandemic” (and in the aftermath of storms). This virtual program is designed to provide education about anxiety and offer practical tools to manage worry. Opportunities for discussion also will be provided. More

Apple Season Offers Nutritious Opportunities
In last week’s edition of the Sow, Grow, Eat and Keep webinar, ISU Extension and Outreach specialists Ruth Litchfield and Sarah Francis, food science and human nutrition, and Cynthia Haynes, horticulture, discuss apples. August is the start of apple season in Iowa. More

Around the College

Animal Scientists Honored with National Awards
During the virtual American Society of Animal Science meeting in July, the following awards were given: Ken Stalder received the Rockefeller Prentice Award in Animal Breeding and Genetics; James Reecy received the Bouffault International Animal Agriculture Award; and Elizabeth Messersmith, second year doctorate student with Stephanie Hansen, received the Wilson G. Pond Appreciation Club award. More


Aug. 21: ISU Creamery Grand Opening
Grand opening of the ISU Creamery will be Friday, Aug. 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the ISU Creamery Store, 2953 Food Sciences Bldg., 536 Farm House Lane. The six traditional flavors will be available, with the winning college flavors coming in October. Ice cream may be purchased by the scoop or by the carton. More


Send in Your “Making-the-Best-of-It” Anecdotes
In the daunting process of preparing for fall, what’s made work and life a bit more manageable? What’s brightened your day? Inside Iowa State is looking for personal and light-hearted examples of how faculty and staff are making the best of it, ways they’ve adapted to ease the transition to “new normal.” Send a short anecdote or photo to, and it could be included in an upcoming edition.

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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