Issue: 1122

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
September 8, 2020

Top Stories

CALS Fall Enrollment Reveals Positive Trends
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences enrollment for fall 2020 is 4,534 students – 3,954 undergraduates and 580 graduate students. While this represents a decline in total enrollment from fall 2019, there are some very positive trends. (More on ISU’s enrollment.)  

  • CALS awarded 1,324 degrees in 2019-2020 – the fourth largest amount in the last decade.
  • ISU celebrated a record first year retention rate of 88.6 percent. CALS led all colleges on campus, retaining 91.7 percent of first-year students.
  • Multicultural representation in CALS increased, with a record 10.7 percent of students identifying as ethnicities other than white.
  • Several undergraduate programs increased enrollment over 2019 levels, including agriculture and society, animal ecology, biochemistry, biology, culinary food science, diet and exercise, microbiology and nutritional science.
  • The largest undergraduate majors are animal science, animal ecology, agricultural business, agronomy, agricultural studies, industrial technology and biology, making up 72 percent of CALS enrollment.
  • Nearly 57 percent of CALS undergraduate students are women. University-wide, female students make up just over 43 percent of the student population.
  • Nearly 29 percent of CALS undergraduate students are from states other than Iowa, reflecting a university effort to expand recruitment markets. University-wide nonresidents make up nearly 35 percent of the student population.

New COVID Testing Sites at Johnny’s, Research Park
Iowa State’s new COVID-19 testing site in Johnny’s in Hilton Coliseum opened today, Sept. 8. The site will increase Iowa State’s test capability to 500 tests per day and will be open Monday-Friday (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and Saturday (8 a.m. – noon). The ISU pre-testing questionnaire is required before testing.  Also, Mary Greeley Medical Center is operating a drive-in testing site at the ISU Research Park, 2503 South Loop Drive, that will be open 12:30 to7:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Complete an online assessment at before scheduling an appointment by phone, 1-800-866-3492. Though the assessment is required and those with symptoms or contact with a person with COVID-19 are prioritized for scheduling, Test Iowa is available to individuals who do not have symptoms or known exposure.


New Study Supports Habitat Loss as Primary Reason for Monarch Decline
A recent study of tagged monarch butterflies migrating from the United States to Mexico presents evidence that the migration success of monarchs hasn’t declined and thus cannot explain the steep decline in the monarch population over the last few decades. The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, was co-authored by John Pleasants, ecology, evolution and organismal biology. More  

Diversifying Crop Rotations Keeps Farm Profitable, Improves Environmental Outcomes
A new study finds that diversifying crop rotations can greatly reduce negative environmental and health impacts, while maintaining profitability for farmers. Matt Liebman, agronomy, is co-author of the study, recently published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The work was based on data from a large-scale, long-term field experiment at Iowa State's Marsden Farm. More  

INRC Funds 11 New Water Quality Research Projects
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State announced funding for 11 new water quality and nutrient management projects for 2020-2021. This round of projects represents more than $1.3 million for water quality research. More

Teaching and Students

Academic Affairs Provides Quick Links for Instructors 
Several resources were shared with instructors last week from the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost:

Statistics Initiates Graduate Mentorship Program
The Department of Statistics is initiating a Zoom-based mentoring program in which small groups of graduate students – two incoming students and two experienced students – meet regularly to discuss student life. Each pair includes one international student and one domestic student. The effort is led by the department’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

CALS Council Seeking Nominations for Senior Awards
The CALS Student Council is seeking nominations for fall 2020 senior awards. Every fall and spring semester, CALS Council recognizes graduating seniors through six different awards: outstanding senior, leadership excellence, academic achievement, distinguished service, outstanding ambassador of agriculture and life sciences, and commitment to diversity. Nominations are due Sept. 25. More  

Beekeeping Classroom Comes to 13th Street
Four hives were moved from the university’s horticulture farm north of Ames to the prairie area north of the Environmental Health and Safety Services Building, creating a classroom for Bee Biology, Management and Beekeeping. Instructors are Amy Toth, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, and Randall Cass, extension specialist. More  

Dairy Science Club Cancels Ice Cream Sales
In the interest of protecting the campus community during the pandemic, the Dairy Science Club announced it will forgo making and selling ice cream this semester. Members look forward to resuming their work for spring semester, if possible.

Extension and Outreach

Grain Quality Concerns Abound Following Extreme Weather
The combination of drought, derecho and hot weather has Iowa crops maturing earlier than usual and with a host of grain quality concerns. Charles Hurburgh, agricultural and biosystems engineering and grain quality specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, said communications is key in helping producers and grain buyers determine the best course of action. More  

CALT’s Fall Seminars Planned for Sept. 23-24
The Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation will hold a two-day educational event for farm advisers, titled Moving Forward, Equipping Your Clients for 2021 and Beyond. An agricultural law seminar will be held on Sept. 23 and will include the impact of COVID-19 on the farm economy. A farm tax workshop will be held on Sept. 24 and address COVID-19 relief and legislation impacting agricultural producers. More  

Extension Uses Online Options to Reach Audience
ISU Extension and Outreach hosted its first large-scale Research and Demonstration Farms Virtual Field Days last week. The event spread over five days and was another example of efforts to help the agriculture community during a trying time. More  

Around the College

Woteki Co-Authors New Report on Improving America’s Health
Cathie Woteki, food science and human nutrition, is co-author of a new report identifying strategies to strengthen federal food and nutrition research and policy. It was the focus of a national online event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center. The report, Strengthening National Nutrition Research: Rationale and options for a New Coordinated Federal Research Effort and Authority, provides an in-depth review of the federal government’s current coordination and support of food and nutrition research. More  

FSHN Co-Sponsors Virtual Culinary Experience
Get Cooking: A Virtual Culinary Experience is a free, four-session series sponsored by ISU WellBeing in partnership with ISU Dining and the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Sessions will be offered from Sept. 21 through Oct. 26. Registration is limited to 100 employees. More  

Global Café in Curtiss Hall Closing for the Semester
Reducing campus density by decreasing classroom and lecture hall capacity are important pieces of Iowa State’s overall COVID-19 mitigation strategies. These adjustments have changed how students, faculty and staff use ISU Dining locations. Five units located in buildings that typically have large lectures or are adjacent to one of ISU Dining’s other locations will close for the remainder of the semester, including the Global Café in Curtiss Hall. More  


Sept. 9: Iowa Learning Farms Webinar
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 9, about how to assess and address storm damage to both forest and urban trees caused by the derecho on Aug. 10. Billy Beck, natural resource ecology and management and extension forestry specialist, will present. More  

Sept. 18: George Fuller Memorial Lecture
The George Fuller Memorial Lecture will be held virtually on Sept. 18 from 3:40 to 5 p.m. Costas Arkolakis, a professor of economics at Yale University, will present “Not-Parametric Gravity: Measuring the Aggregate Implications of Firm Heterogeneity.” More

Sept. 23: Water Quality Research Seminar
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center will begin a new series of virtual water quality research seminars, beginning Sept. 23 from 3 to 4 p.m. The online event will continue Oct. 28 and Nov. 18. More  


Innovation Forum Series Launches Friday
A virtual innovators forum, What IF, opens Friday, Sept. 11, from noon to 1:30 p.m. President Wendy Wintersteen, Student Innovation Center director Jim Oliver and ISU Research Park president Rick Sanders will open the series, which will continue every week through the last Friday of the semester, Nov. 20. More  

ClubFest ’20 Moves to a Virtual Format
The fall ClubFest, featuring ISU student clubs and organizations, will be held as a virtual event on Sept. 14-18 using the Flipgrid platform. It will feature videos of up to 3 minutes produced by the various organizations, including instructions for joining. An in-person, outdoor portion of ClubFest scheduled for Sept. 8-10 has been canceled due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the community. More

Fall 2020 Commencement to be Held Virtually
The fall 2020 undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies and college convocations will be held virtually. The ceremonies will be prerecorded and available for viewing at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28. Similar to the spring 2020 ceremony, virtual commencement will include the conferring of degrees, a listing of graduates' individual names, and addresses from President Wendy Wintersteen and other speakers. Additional information will be posted at on the graduation and commencement website as it becomes available. More  


Carillon Model on Display in Sukup Hall
The travel-sized campanile and playable carillon will be on display in the Sukup Hall atrium during the fall semester as work on its finishing touches continues. The one-fifth size model has been five years in the making. 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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