Issue: 1160

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
June 21, 2021 

Dean’s Message

I hope you had a good weekend, kept cool and I know we are all looking forward to some much-needed rain to replenish crops, pastures and running taps. The variability in weather and the change in climate are compelling issues everywhere, and surely here in our home state. It is reassuring to think of the excellent work our college is doing in these regards, as we teach, study and share ways to enhance the sustainability, quality and utility of the systems that link our societies and communities to the air, land and water resources on which we depend. This past week I had the opportunity to… More  

Top Stories

MacDonald Named Associate Dean for Personnel and Finance
Ruth MacDonald has been named associate dean for personnel and finance for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, effective July 1. She currently serves as professor and chair of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, a position she has held since joining the university in 2004. In her new role, MacDonald will provide the dean, department chairs and other unit directors with strategic guidance and counsel on personnel and finance initiatives, opportunities and challenges. Working in collaboration with the dean and other associate deans, she will allocate resources to achieve the college’s teaching, research, extension and outreach, global and partnership objectives and improve organizational effectiveness. Lorraine Lanningham-Foster will serve as interim chair of FSHN. The department is co-administered with the College of Human Sciences. More  


FFAR Awards $2 Million Grant to Improve Sustainability in Corn Production
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research awarded a $2 million grant to Iowa State University to evaluate how maize breeding, field management and environment affect sustainable corn production. Led by Sotirios Archontoulis, agronomy, researchers are examining corn hybrid characteristics to analyze yield trends in the U.S. Corn Belt. Other project supporters include Iowa State, Bayer Crop Science, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Purdue University and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. More  

Teaching and Students

Submit Proposals for Learning Across America Program
The Dean’s Office of Academic Innovation is requesting proposals to support faculty and staff led groups of undergraduate students traveling to domestic locations. CALS launched Learning Across America in 2019 to complement its nationally recognized study abroad program. Proposals are due Aug. 19. More  

Entomology Students Travel State with Insects
An article in the Daily Gate features Iowa State entomology students traveling around the state with insects like beetles, spiders, a land crab and a tarantula to educate the public about insects. More  

Extension and Outreach

Northeast Research Farm Field Day is June 24
The annual spring field day at the Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua will be held Thursday, June 24, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Topics will include the dry weather and implications on crop development and yield potential, and the latest research on corn rootworm management. More  

Northwest Iowa Research Farm Field Day is July 7
The annual field day at the Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm near Sutherland will be held July 7 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The focus will be on pest and weed management and nitrate reduction practices. The program will begin with a conversation with CALS Dean Daniel J. Robison. More  

Around the College

Open Forums: Three Candidates Named for CALS 
Associate Dean for Research and Discovery

Three candidates have been identified for the new position of CALS Associate Dean for Research and Discovery. Each candidate will provide a public seminar and open forum on the topic of “Vision for the CALS Research and Discovery Enterprise: Short- and Long-term Goals and Strategies in a Land Grant Context.” All seminars and open forums will take place in 0118 Horticulture Hall. They will also be live-streamed. Zoom links to the forums and candidates’ application material is available online. Kendall Lamkey, chair of the Department of Agronomy, is chairing this search. The position replaces the associate director of research portion of the former senior associate dean position held by Joe Colletti. 

  • June 21: Carolyn Lawrence-Dill, professor, Department of Agronomy, Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology, ISU. Seminar: 9 a.m. Open forum: 10 a.m.
  • July 13: David Wright, department head and professor, Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science, South Dakota State University. Seminar: 9 a.m. Open forum: 10 a.m.
  • July 15: Andrew Rypel, associate professor, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis. Seminar: 9 a.m. Open forum: 10 a.m.

Clark Named Interim Chair of EEOB
Lynn Clark, a professor of botany, has been named interim chair of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, effective June 16. She is taking over for John Nason who is retiring in July. EEOB is co-administered by CALS and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. More  

Dinsmore Named Interim Director of Leopold Center
Stephen Dinsmore, chair of the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, has been named interim director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, effective July 1. He will take over when current director Mark Rasmussen retires June 30. More


June 23: Iowa Learning Farms Webinar
Mark Rasmussen, director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will present ”Looking Back to Look Ahead” at the Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, June 23, at noon. More  

June 30: Colletti, Persaud Retirement Virtual Celebration
Senior Associate Dean and Associate Director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station Joe Colletti retires June 30 following a 43-career in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Carla Persaud, administrative assistant, also is retiring on June 30 after 27 years of service at Iowa State University. The two will be recognized during a virtual celebration hosted by the college via Zoom on June 30 at 3 p.m. Josie Six, senior manager of budget and finance, also will be recognized as she transitions to serve the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods. All are welcome to participate. Zoom link: Or join by phone: (312) 626-6799, (646) 876-9923, (301) 715-8592, (346) 248-7799, (669) 900-6833, (253) 215-8782. Webinar ID: 955 2387 5432.

June 30: Paul Lasley Retirement
Paul Lasley is retiring June 30 after 40 years of service to the Department of Sociology (including 13 years as chair), Sociology Extension and Iowa State University. Messages can be sent to a Kudoboard.  

Communications Kiosk

All, Not All Of
Delete the of whenever possible (all the houses, all my children). The only common exceptions occur when all of precedes a nonpossessive pronoun (all of us) and when it precedes a genitive (all of North Carolina’s players). (The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, pg. 265)


Comic Book Explores World without Mosquitoes
A world without mosquitoes may sound appealing to anyone who has been a victim of the summertime pest, but a new comic book titled Mosquitoes SUCK! tells a story of the devastation and disruption to the ecosystem if the species was eliminated. Katherine Richardson Bruna, Iowa State’s School of Education, is one of the comic book authors. More  


Peter Rabbit Joins Global Campaign to Mobilize Food Heroes
Peter Rabbit has joined forces with the United Nations, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN Foundation to enlist more food heroes, like Peter, who see the value in fruits and vegetables for a balanced diet and a healthier planet. Peter and his friends from Sony Pictures' Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway are joining the awareness-raising campaign that asks everyone to be food heroes. That means being mindful to eat plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, locally sourced and in season where possible, reducing food waste and planting gardens, however small. 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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