Issue: 1151

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
April 19, 2021

Top Stories

Outreach Critical for Plant Sciences
Gustavo MacIntosh, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, worked with plant scientists from around the country to compile a comprehensive guide to better communicate their work to the world. Climate change and population growth will continue to pose challenges in the future, and crop production will require innovation and progress by plant scientists in order to keep pace. More


Tuggle on Using Pigs to Study Human Illness and Treatments
In an April 12 essay distributed nationally by The Conversation, Christopher Tuggle, animal science, discusses using pigs to study human illness and treatments. A recent breakthrough by his research team at Iowa State has the potential to accelerate medical research in many areas, including virus and vaccine research as well as cancer and stem cell therapeutics. More

Research Examines Benefits, Market Potential for Organic Cotton
Research by Kathleen Delate, agronomy, and others looking at the organic cotton’s environmental benefits and agronomic, manufacturing and marketing considerations for producers, is highlighted in a recent article, “What will it take for farmers to grow more organic cotton?” in Civil Eats and SalonMore  
Soybean Research Proposals Requested
The North Central Soybean Research Program recently released its 2021 request for proposals, due May 24. More An RFP from the Iowa Soybean Association is due the same day. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Spaces Available in Student Innovation Center
The college has two Collaborative Learning Labs available in the Student Innovation Center, sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America. The space is meant for student engagement and collaboration, including project-based learning, student team meetings or recruiting future students. The Learning Labs, SICT 4227 and SICT 4229, each seat 12 people and are situated on the fourth floor of the SIC, directly across from the student-run coffee shop and snack bar, and kitty corner from the elevators and stairs. Details and reservation information are available online.

Iowa State Hosts 100th Block and Bridle National Convention
The Iowa State Block and Bridle chapter hosted the 100th annual Block and Bridle National Convention on April 8-11. The committee had to postpone the original 2020 date due to COVID-19. The Iowa State chapter is one of the charter members of National Block and Bridle, the largest chapter within the organization and the largest club on Iowa State’s campus. More

Extension and Outreach

Iowans Invited to COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sessions
ISU Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the University of Iowa are partnering to host information sessions about the COVID-19 vaccine in April. There are two sessions remaining – Monday, April 19, at 6 p.m. and Saturday, April 24, at 10 a.m. There is no fee or registration required and the sessions are open to all. More

Growing Hops Topic of April 22 Webinar
ISU Extension and Outreach and the Cedar Falls Hops Company are holding a free webinar on the emerging hops-growing industry in Iowa on Thursday, April 22, at 7 p.m. More

Retail Produce Safety Checklist Available
ISU Extension and Outreach has developed the Checklist for Retail Purchasing of Local Produce to document food safety practices on produce farms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers guidelines for farmers to follow, known as Good Agricultural Practices, but third-party verification is uncommon in Iowa. More

Around the College

MacDonald Announced as Finalist for Associate Dean for Personnel and Finance
Ruth MacDonald, professor and chair of food science and human nutrition, has advanced to the interview stage of the college-wide search for the Associate Dean for Personnel and Finance. Details about the public forum to be held Friday, April 23, MacDonald’s application materials, a position description and feedback form are available online.

Volunteers Sought for In-Person Commencement
The Office of the Registrar is seeking volunteers to assist with spring 2021 graduation celebrations on Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8. Those who wish to volunteer for one or more of the graduation celebrations should sign-up via the volunteer Qualtrics link. More information, including volunteer role descriptions, can be found on the CALS graduation volunteer webpage. The CALS undergraduate celebration will take place on Saturday, May 8, at 9 a.m. in Jack Trice Stadium. The volunteer shift will run from 7 to 10:45 a.m.

Regents Approve Faculty Promotions
The state Board of Regents approved promotion or tenure for 69 faculty members, including the following from CALS. The changes officially take effect in August. More

  • Promoted to Professor (already tenured): Thomas Brumm, agricultural and biosystems engineering; Aileen Keating, animal science; Buddhi Lamsal, food science and human nutrition; Dave Peters, sociology; and Amy Toth, ecology, evolution and organismal biology.
  • Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure: Melha Mellata, food science and human nutrition; Bradley Miller, agronomy; Ryan Smith, entomology; and Wendong Zhang, economics.

Horticulture Research Station Growing Sod for Jack Trice Stadium
The Horticulture Research Station is collaborating with the turf program in horticulture and ISU Athletics to grow six acres of sod to replace the field at Jack Trice Stadium. Updates are available on the research station’s Facebook page. Phase two involved installing an in-ground irrigation system. More  

CALS Term Faculty Advancement Virtual Workshop
A workshop for term faculty seeking advancement will be held April 29 from 10:30 a.m. to noon via Zoom (taped for future viewing). RSVP to Carla Persaud ( by April 26 to register. The workshop will discuss criteria for advancement, document preparation and development, and time for questions.
CALS P&T/Faculty Advancement Virtual Mirroring Session
CALS assistant professors, associate professors and term faculty seeking advancement are invited to attend this open discussion meeting held April 30 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. via WebEx (NOT taped). RSVP to Carla Persaud ( by April 28 to register.


April 21: Conversations about Carbon
Lois Wright Morton, emeritus professor of sociology, will present “Connecting agricultural carbon to sustainable development goals” at the Conversations about Carbon series on Wednesday, April 21, at noon. The series is hosted by the ISU Bioeconomy Institute in association with CALS. More

April 21: Iowa Learning Farms Webinar
Soil health and water quality benefits associated with organic farming will be discussed by Kathleen Delate, agronomy and horticulture, during an Iowa Learning Farms webinar Wednesday, April 21, at noon. More    
April 28: INRC Seminar Series
Jason Hubbart, director of the West Virginia University Institute of Water Security and Science, will share “Lessons learned through application of the experimental watershed approach" for the Iowa Nutrient Research Center seminar series on Wednesday, April 28, at 3 p.m. More

Communications Kiosk

Abbreviations and Acronyms – Avoid Awkward Constructions
Do not follow an organization’s full name with an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses or set off by dashes. If an abbreviation or acronym would not be clear on second reference without this arrangement, do not use it. (The Associated Press Stylebook, 2020-22 edition, pg. 2)


Volunteers Sought to Staff Student Food Pantry
Faculty and staff are invited to volunteer in the ISU student food pantry, SHOP, in 1306 Beyer Hall, during prep and final exam weeks (April 27-May 7) so student volunteers can focus on their studies. SHOP's normal hours will be maintained during these two weeks: Tuesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday 4 to 7 p.m. ISU employees are asked to use the signup website to volunteer for one hour or more.

Woteki to Speak at APLU Earth Day Webinar
The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities is holding an Earth Day webinar on the role of public and land-grant universities in addressing the relationship between agriculture and climate change. Cathie Woteki, food science and human nutrition, will present. The webinar will be held Thursday, April 22, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. More


Tracking Earl the Fox (and family)
Following sightings of a red fox dubbed Earl, who calls the Iowa State campus home, a group of natural resource ecology and management undergraduates in Mike Rentz’s mammalogy class are mapping out the home range of Earl (and potential family). 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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