Issue: 1153

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
May 3, 2021

Top Stories

Graduation Celebration to Honor Seniors Saturday, May 8
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences graduation celebration will be held Saturday, May 8, at 9 a.m. in Jack Trice Stadium. The celebration will be streamed live on the Iowa State University graduation website and also will be available to watch at a later date. On Friday, May 7, at 9 a.m. the CALS celebration of graduates will be available on the college graduation website with messages from Dean Robison, congratulations from faculty and staff, and undergraduate student speaker, Lexie O’Brien (pictured).  

CALS Graduation Speaker Urges Class to Celebrate their Diversity
When Lexie O’Brien offers congratulations to her fellow graduating seniors this spring, she will encourage them to celebrate the strengths gained from their diverse experiences as they head out into the world. O’Brien decided to major in microbiology after watching a zombie movie in high school. Her college career has included many high points, like exploring her passion for research and playing flute and piccolo in three campus bands. More

CALS Student Marshal Radiates Leadership on Campus and into the Future
Megan Behrends has developed a passion for Iowa State University, as well as the agricultural industry. She has been chosen as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ student marshal for the university’s spring 2021 graduation celebration. Her desire to educate others about agriculture and where their food comes from led her to major in agricultural and life sciences education - communication option. More

Student Regent Earns 2021 Wallace E. Barron Honors
Graduating senior Zackery Leist has done it all (or so it seems) during his time at Iowa State. Leist is triple majoring in ag business, economics and international agriculture. From holding leadership roles in several campus organizations, to serving as the student regent on the Iowa Board of Regents, his efforts have not gone unrecognized. He recently was named a 2021 Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award winner by the ISU Alumni Association. As a member of the Board of Regents Leist will be the only student to sit on stage during Cyclone Graduation Celebrations. More

Adapting and Accomplishing within ABE
Agricultural and biosystems engineering senior, Jolynn Nissen, knew she wanted to pursue the agricultural systems technology major at Iowa State before entering her senior year of high school. Growing up in rural Ohio, Nissen enjoyed solving problems around her family farm and was curious how that could translate into a potential career. Settling on and researching agricultural engineering programs near her home state, Nissen landed at Iowa State due to proximity and how renowned the engineering program is. More

Graduating Senior is All about Dairy
Growing up on her family’s northeast Iowa dairy farm, Cynthia Hamlett developed a passion for agriculture. After dipping her toes in a couple different majors during her freshman year at Iowa State, Hamlett decided to double major in agriculture and society and dairy science. The internships she's had during her time at Iowa State helped solidify her desired career path. More


Agronomists Part of $7 Million COALESCE Grant
Arti Singh and Asheesh (Danny) Singh, agronomy, are on a team with Iowa State mechanical engineers and researchers from Illinois and Ohio, whose interdisciplinary work has won a five-year, $7 million Cyber-Physical Systems Frontier award jointly funded by the National Science Foundation and USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The researchers call their effort COALESCE – COntext Aware LEarning for Sustainable CybEr-agricultural systems. More

Teaching and Students

Toxicology Graduate Student Named Fulbright Scholar
Jacob Boyd Johnson, graduate student in toxicology, has been named a Fulbright Scholar for the 2021-2022 academic year. His Fulbright research will take place at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, where he will study particular chemicals in water and whether they are harmful to fish and the people who eat fish. More

Extension and Outreach

Storm Recovery Can Lead to More Resilient Forests
The derecho that swept across Iowa in August 2020 caused extensive damage to forests and woodlots. Billy Beck, natural resource ecology and management and extension forestry specialist, has put together a series of YouTube videos that explain how woodland owners can recover and make their forests more resilient than before. More

Sharing Rural Roads with Farm Equipment Requires Patience and Caution
Favorable weather in the forecast has farm equipment and motorists back on Iowa’s roadways, and with that combination comes the need for patience and caution. Information on Safely Sharing the Road with Farm Vehicles is available through ISU Extension and Outreach. More

Around the College

Temporary Transition in Animal Science
Effective April 26, Dr. Dan Thomson, chair of animal science, is temporarily shifting responsibilities to focus on professional development. Dr. Thomson joined the department early last spring to help manage the emerging COVID-19 crisis, and will now focus on advancement work he had previously discussed with college leadership before joining Iowa State. Richard Gates, director of the Egg Industry Center, will serve as acting chair. In close coordination with the department and college leadership teams, Gates will serve as proxy in all professional responsibilities for Dr. Thomson including public appearances, oversight of faculty and staff, collaboration with industry leaders and committee responsibilities.

Uganda Program Staff Receive COVID-19 Vaccines
Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Gideon Nadiope, national director of the Iowa State University – Uganda Program, 44 staff members at the Mpirigiti Rural Training Center in Uganda received the first of two doses of the Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine April 12. More

Iowa Scientists Predict Climate Change will bring
Floods, Droughts and Super-Ragweed

Iowa is in for a challenging mix of floods, drought, damaged crops and super-ragweed as the globe warms, predict three scientists, including Eugene Takle, emeritus professor of agronomy. More

Retallick Honored with Golden Owl Award
Mike Retallick, professor and chair of agricultural education and studies, was honored as the state winner of the 2021 Golden Owl Award from the Iowa FFA Foundation and Nationwide Insurance. The award is designed to highlight the growing importance of educators and recognize the services of the country’s leading agricultural teachers. More

Hertz Lecture Available Online
The Carl and Marjory Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture presented by Dhamu Thamodaran (’83 PhD ag economics), retired executive vice president, chief strategy office and chief commodity hedging officer for Smithfield Foods, is now available online. Thamodaran virtually presented “Emerging Issues in Global Markets and Trade” on April 12. More


May 5: Conversations about Carbon
Mahdi Al-Kaisi, agronomy, will present “Soil Carbon Management: Solutions and Opportunities” at the Conversations about Carbon series on Wednesday, May 5, at noon. The series is hosted by the ISU Bioeconomy Institute in association with CALS. More

Communications Kiosk

Faculty, Staff Encouraged to Take Inside Iowa State Survey
The past 16 months have emphasized the importance of timely, relevant communications and news for faculty and staff. As one way to improve these communications, an Inside Iowa State readership survey was distributed by editor Anne Krapfl on April 23. Faculty and staff are encouraged to check their inbox for their individualized link to the survey. The Office of Strategic Relations and Communications will use (anonymous) insights and feedback to inform how the university strategically communicates with faculty and staff.


Iowa State, City of Ames Partner to Reduce Nutrient Runoff, Improve Recreation
A partnership with the city of Ames is giving Iowa State students an opportunity to propose the redesign of a 70-acre parcel of land with the goals of reducing nutrient runoff and improving recreation. This is the last year that a portion of the land will be leased to and farmed by Iowa State. The project is part of a College of Design interdisciplinary studio called Farmscape, led by Caroline Westort, landscape architecture. 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 Thursday.


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