Issue: 288

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COLLEGE NEWS
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SPRING CONVOCATION SET FOR FRIDAYThe College's spring semester convocation will begin at 4:15 p.m. Feb. 15 in the Curtiss Hall Auditorium, 127 Curtiss. It will begin with President Geoffroy presenting the Frances M. Craig Professorship medallion awarded to Basil Nikolau, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology and the Pioneer Hi-Bred Agronomy Professorship medallion to Michael Thompson, agronomy. The annual presentation of College awards will follow. Dean Wendy Wintersteen will make brief remarks and the event will conclude with a reception in the Curtiss Hall rotunda.

HORTICULTURE CLUB TO SELL PLANTS FOR VALENTINE'S DAY
The Horticulture Club will hold its Valentine's Day plant sale this week. Flowering plants will be on sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, in Horticulture Hall and Curtiss Hall ground floor rotunda; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, in Horticulture Hall and Beardshear Hall; and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, in Horticulture Hall.

ERRINGTON MEMORIAL LECTURE APRIL 10
The 44th Annual Paul L. Errington Memorial Lecture will feature Debra Peters, research scientist at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Jornada Experimental Range, located in the Chihuahuan Desert. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. April 10 in 1414 Molecular Biology. This year's lecture is titled "Continental-scale ecology in a connected world." Peters will give a seminar talk on April 11 at 3:10 p.m. in 142 Lagomarcino, titled "Spatial context of global change in desert systems.” More: http://www.nrem.iastate.edu/news/errington_lecture.php

KAN WANG TO GIVE OSBORN CLUB LECTURE TONIGHT
"State of the art in plant genetic transformation," will be presented by Kan Wang, director of the Plant Transformation Facility, at the Osborn Club at 7 p.m. tonight, Feb. 11, in the Campanile Room, Memorial Union. It's open to the public.

IOWA STATE STUDENTS WIN SEVENTH TURF BOWL IN A ROW
Iowa State horticulture students won the seventh consecutive Turf Bowl Feb. 1 in a national competition of 92 teams. The 2008 Turf Bowl championship team consisted of Adam Hebbel, Brad Johnson, Shane Brockhoff and Matt Hoffman. Matt Klingenberg and Marcus Jones were the team's coaches, and Nick Christians is the adviser of the Turf Club. The competition was sponsored by the Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America. A video report of the event is on the web at: http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1402023141

HORTICULTURE STUDENTS PLACE SECOND AND THIRD IN NATIONAL TURF CONTEST
Horticulture student teams finished second and third in the Sports Turf Managers Association's 2008 STMA Student Challenge last month. The second-place team consisted of Joe Bowser, Dirk Sorensen, Derrick York and Drew Kleinmeyer. The third-place team consisted of Brad Johnson, Adam Hebbel, Matt Hoffman and Shane Brockhoff. David Minner, horticulture professor, and Andrew Hoiberg, horticulture grad student, mentored the teams.

HISTORIC FARM PUBLICATION GIVES EARLY ACCOUNT OF IOWA STATE
Back in 1884, The Prairie Farmer, a weekly journal based out of Chicago, found many reasons to praise Iowa State College. The article was featured on its front page in November 1884 and describes important research and professors at Iowa State, as well as buildings and living arrangements on campus. It has been reproduced on the College's 150th web site at: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/coa150/prairie_farmer.php

POINTS OF PRIDE FEATURES AGRONOMY DEPARTMENT
Agronomy department faculty, alumni, history and popcorn-breeding program come together for this week's Points of Pride celebrating the College's sesquicentennial. Each Monday five Points of Pride are posted to coincide with the 150 days of the 2007-2008 academic year. More: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/coa150/points_of_pride.php

PROFESSORS PICKED FOR WAKONSE CONFERENCE
Levon Esters and Michael Retallick, agricultural education and studies, have been selected to attend the Wakonse Conference on College Teaching this May. Upon completion of the conference, Esters and Retallick will become Wakonse Fellows. The theme for the 2008 Wakonse Undergraduate Conference is "Leadership and Learning."

SMITHFIELD SENDS WORKERS TO TRAIN AT MEAT LAB
Fifty Smithfield Foods employees from 16 states participated in the Iowa State/Smithfield Meat and Poultry Brown Belt Training Program last week at the Meat Lab. This was the third group from the company to train on campus through the program. Upon completion of the training they will be designated as Brown Belt Processing Specialists.

DEADLINES AND REMINDERS
Feb. 11: Entomology department chair candidate seminar, Leon Higley, professor, entomology department, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 3:30 p.m., E164 Lagomarcino Hall
Feb. 12: Panel discussion, “The Future of Agriculture in Iowa,” 7 p.m., Curtiss Hall Auditorium
Feb. 14: Spring Ag Career Day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Great Hall and Sun Room, Memorial Union
Feb. 15: College convocation, 4:15 p.m., Curtiss Hall Auditorium, 127 Curtiss
Feb. 21: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences ISU Sesquicentennial Lecture, “Dreaming the Future: Trends and Technologies for the Next 150 Years,” Lowell Catlett, 7 p.m., Sun Room, Memorial Union
Feb. 24: Shivvers Memorial Lecture, "Family Farms in an Era of Global Uncertainty," John Ikerd, 7 p.m., Sun Room, Memorial Union
April 4: Promotion and tenure workshop on the definition of scholarship, 3:10 to 5 p.m., CCUR auditorium, 1951 Food Sciences building
April 18: Promotion and tenure workshop on portfolio development, 3:10 to 5 p.m., CCUR auditorium, 1951 Food Sciences building
April 30: Promotion and tenure workshop for associate professors, 3:10 to 5 p.m., CCUR auditorium, 1951 Food Sciences building

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COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK
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UPDATED AGRICULTURAL THESAURUS AVAILABLE ONLINE
The USDA National Agricultural Library (NAL) has published 2008 editions of its NAL Agricultural Thesaurus (NALT) and Glossary of Agricultural Terms in both Spanish and English. NAL, the world's foremost research library focused on agriculture, is part of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency. The 2008 edition of the Agricultural Thesaurus and Glossary adds about 70 new definitions in Spanish and English. The thesaurus and glossary website features a new format presenting parallel English and Spanish language interfaces, enabling users to search and read all background materials in either language. The website is at: http://agclass.nal.usda.gov/agt/agt.shtml. (USDA Agricultural Research Service, Feb. 5)

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INFOGRAZING
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ISU ALERT VIDEO EXPLAINS SYSTEM
IT Services has produced a video on ISU Alert, the emergency alert system that will notify the university community of potentially dangerous situations. The episode features dean of students Dione Somerville and Gene Deisinger, commander of special operations for the ISU Police. More: http://www.it.iastate.edu/talkaboutit/alert

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM SUBMISSIONS DUE FEB. 14
ISU's second Undergraduate Research Symposium will take place April 15 in the Memorial Union. The symposium is a professional-style conference in which students make oral presentations at concurrent sessions moderated by faculty members. More information about the Symposium and the submission process for prospective participants can be found at http://www.vpresearch.iastate.edu/UndergradResearch/Symposium/index.html or by contacting Laura Merrick at lmerrick@iastate.edu. The deadline for abstract submission is Feb. 14.

FFA REQUESTS JUDGES FOR FEB. 16 AND 25 COMPETITIONS
The Iowa FFA seeks judges for its Proficiency Award competition Saturday, Feb. 16, and its National Chapter Awards contest Feb. 25. The Proficiency Award competition will be at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny from 9 a.m. to noon or 2 p.m. Lunch will be served. Proficiency Awards are paper applications related directly to FFA members Supervised Agricultural Experience projects. There are 50 different areas and applications range from ag communications to beef production to food science to wildlife management. The National Chapter Awards on Feb. 25 begin judging at 5:30 p.m. through 9 p.m. on campus in 224 Curtiss. Supper will be served. The National Chapter Award recognizes FFA Chapters for outstanding activities in community development, chapter development and student development. If interested in judging, contact: Alan Spencer, executive secretary/treasurer, Iowa FFA Association, 515-281-4706 or alan.spencer@iowa.gov.

INTERNATIONAL GRANTS PROGRAM FOR 2008-2009
The ISU Council on International Programs is issuing a Call for Proposals of up to $5,000 for internationalization/globalization grants to be spent by June 30. The purpose of this solicitation is to fund individual and group projects led by faculty and staff to enhance the infusion of international perspectives into the learning, discovery and/or engagement activities of the university. The deadline for proposals is April 11. Submit proposals electronically to Penni Bryant at pabryant@iastate.edu. More: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~cip/Grants/Grant.html

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INTERNAL VOICES
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INTERNSHIPS HELP HORTICULTURE STUDENT
“I want to be one of the people to help change it from an art to a science. This is where the interface between my classes and my internships will be able to help me be one of the people to help develop the vegetative market.”
--Eric Pitzen, horticulture senior, in a profile about him in Greenhouse Product News (GPN) featuring his intern scholarship from GPN and the Nexus Corp.

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EXTERNAL VOICES
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BIOTECH RHETORICAL BATTLE BEMOANED
“Last month the Food and Drug Administration gave the green light to food made from cloned cows, pigs and goats, with the agency's top food-safety expert, Dr. Stephen Sundlof, declaring, “It is beyond our imagination to even have a theory for why the food is unsafe.” Opponents of biotechnology immediately let out a collective groan of disapproval … . The hubris here highlights the saddest aspect of our perennial food wars. Like abortion and capital punishment, biotechnology inspires knee-jerk rhetorical passion rather than rational debate. Dr. Sundlof's remark was the equivalent of an uppercut to the anti-biotech camp, one offering an open invitation to fight back. … Lost in this rhetorical battle was a quiet middle ground where the benefits and drawbacks of genetically engineered crops were responsibly considered.”
-- James E. McWilliams, history professor at Texas State University at San Marcos, op ed (New York Times, Feb. 5, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/opinion/05mcwilliams.html?th&emc=th)

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MARGINALIA
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GENE MIGHT SERVE AS PLANT WORLD'S BARCODE
A “barcode” gene that can be used to distinguish between the majority of plant species on Earth has been identified. This gene, which can be used to identify plants using a small sample, could lead to new ways of easily cataloging different types of plants in species-rich areas like rainforests. It could also lead to accurate methods for identifying plant ingredients in powdered substances, such as in traditional Chinese medicines, and could help to monitor and prevent the illegal transportation of endangered plant species. The team behind the discovery found that DNA sequences of the gene 'matK' differ among plant species, but are nearly identical in plants of the same species. This means that the matK gene can provide scientists with an easy way of distinguishing between different plants, even closely related species that may look the same to the human eye. (ScienceDaily, Feb. 7)
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AG AND LIFE SCIENCES ONLINE
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EDITOR
Ed Adcock, edadcock@iastate.edu
Phone: (515) 294-5616 Web site: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/

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