Issue: 1193

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
Feb. 21, 2022

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS - I hope this finds you and yours well, successfully navigating the semester, the continuing COVID concerns, and the ups and downs of the crazy weather. This is also an interesting season to watch our various levels of government do their work, and to consider the ebb-and-flow of politics, process and change. It's good, intriguing and dynamic to keep aware and engaged in our civic connections. Last week I was in Arizona for an ISU Foundation event and to visit alumni, friends and donors of our college. It was a great visit… More

Top Stories

New Student Services Employees Here to Help
Justin Roberson, student retention coordinator, and Greer Potadle, SMART STEPS coordinator, joined Esperanza Moothart, emergency support coordinator, on the CALS Student Services team at the beginning of January. Moothart has been with student services since last fall. Together, the three will offer holistic services to help CALS students succeed during their academic career. More  


Modeling Study Links Crop Production to Increase of Nitrous Oxide
Findings of a recent ecosystem modeling study reported in Global Change Biology suggests U.S. crop production has led to an increase in the emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide throughout the last century. Chaoqun Lu, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, is a corresponding author of the study. More  

Teaching and Students

New CALS Placement Rate Over 98 Percent
CALS Career Services is reporting an undergraduate placement rate of 98.5% for students graduating 2020-2021, up from 97.7% last year. Placement includes students that are employed, furthering their education or fulfilling military obligations. As expected, based on enrollment trends, there is a reduction in size of the graduating class with 1,074 undergraduates; down nearly 7.5% from the previous year. Only one major, agriculture and life sciences education, had a significant increase in the number of graduates, up 19% from last year. Approximately 4.9% returned to a family farm, a slight increase from the previous year. Of those working, 68.5% remained in Iowa, the highest percentage in six years. Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services, said these numbers “are a strong reflection of the great students and programs we have here within CALS. Given the uniqueness of the current labor market, it will be very interesting to see where things go from here.” More  

Top Employers of CALS Undergraduates, 2020-2021
According to Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services, the top 10 employers of CALS students who received their bachelor’s degrees during 2020-2021 were: Iowa State University with 26 hires; Corteva Agriscience with 22; Syngenta with 13; John Deere with 10; Bayer CropScience with nine; Cargill and Iowa Department of Natural Resources with eight each; and U.S. military, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Vermeer Corporation with seven each. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more comprehensive collection of corporate powerhouses on this list,” Gaul said. “Another strong indicator of how highly regarded our students and programs are within the agriculture industry.” 

CALS Students Earn Wallace E. Barron Awards
Four CALS students have been named recipients of the 2022 Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award by the ISU Alumni Association. More  

  • Belinda (Heckman) Hoffman, a senior in global resource systems and dietetics, has been a key player in addressing food insecurity at Iowa State and in the Ames community. 
  • Javelis Marín Castro, a senior in animal ecology, is a leader in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion at Iowa State. 
  • Paiton McDonald, senior in agricultural biochemistry and international agriculture, has been an integral part of the Stupka Undergraduate Research and Planning Committee. 
  • Sydney Paris, senior in animal science and microbiology, has been involved in many leadership roles and currently serves as president of the American Pre-Veterinarian Medical Association. 

Student Athlete Pursues Career in Wildlife Research
Annie Hatch is a senior in animal ecology and member of the Iowa State women’s volleyball team. Over the summer she worked at the Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in Ames with Robert Klaver, affiliate professor in natural resource ecology and management and the unit’s leader. The job reinforced Hatch’s aspirations to pursue wildlife research. More  

Brenton Center Accepting Room Reservations for Summer and Fall 2022
The Brenton Center is accepting room reservations for the summer and fall 2022 semesters. Curtiss 0008 and 0009 hold up to 35 students and Curtiss 0013 has a capacity of 56 students. Contact Rod Fischer ( to schedule a room or with questions.

Extension and Outreach

Water Rocks! to Host Earth Day Poetry Slam
An adult poetry slam contest will be offered by Water Rocks! and ISU Extension and Outreach at Alluvial Brewing Company in Ames on April 22. Applications will be accepted through March 4. The slam is part of the Water Rocks! 10th anniversary celebration. More  

Tips for Selecting Successful Houseplants
According to Aaron Steil, consumer horticulture specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, the first thing to consider when selecting a houseplant is the light available in the home. Overwatering is another common issue many new plant owners face. Finally, don't be afraid to ask questions, Steil adds. There is a variety of extension resources available to houseplant enthusiasts. More  

Around the College

Q&A Session with the Deans on Feb. 28
Dean Robison and a panel of associate deans will host an information Q&A on Feb. 28 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in 2050 Agronomy Hall. College faculty and staff are encouraged to come with questions for administrators. Any topic is welcome. The session will not be recorded or live-streamed. 


Feb. 23: Iowa Learning Farms Webinar 
Maximizing cover crop advantages by treating them like cash crops is the focus of the Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at noon, with speaker Andrea Basche from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. More  

Feb. 23: INRC Water Quality Research Seminar 
Phosphorus Forms and Cycling in Agricultural Soils of Southern Saskatchewan is the focus of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center’s water quality research seminar on Wednesday, Feb. 23, from 3:10 to 4 p.m. The session will be presented virtually, with speaker Barbara Cade-Menun, a research scientist with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Swift Current Research and Development Centre, Swift Current, SK, Canada. More  

Feb. 24: Virtual Field Day on Diversifying Iowa’s Farm Landscape 
A virtual field day on Thursday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. will highlight the cooperation between farmer partners and the C-CHANGE research group to explore the potential for perennial vegetation and future diversification of the agricultural landscape in Iowa. Sponsors include Iowa Learning Farms, the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and ISU Extension and Outreach. More  


Muslims of the Heartland Topic of March 2 Lecture
Edward Curtis IV will discuss Muslims of the Heartland at a lecture on March 2 at 5:30 p.m. in 114 Student Innovation Center. Curtis is the William M. and Gail M. Plater Chair of the Liberal Arts and professor of Religious Studies at the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. More  

P&S Council Holding Meet and Greet at Cy Bowl and Billiards
Iowa State’s Professional and Scientific Council is holding a Meet and Greet on March 10 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Cy Bowl and Billiards in the Memorial Union. Bowl, shoot some pool, enjoy refreshments and meet P&S Council representatives. The event is free to all P&S employees. 

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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