Issue: 328

COLLEGE NEWS

HOIBERG RETIREMENT RECEPTION FRIDAY
Dean Catherine Woteki and Provost Ben Allen will be among those speaking at the program for Eric Hoiberg’s retirement reception Friday, Dec. 17. Hoiberg, associate dean for academic programs since 1995, has been at Iowa State since 1974. His reception will be from 3 to 5 p.m., with a short program at 3:30 p.m., in the Campanile Room, Memorial Union.

NEARLY 200 TO GRADUATE FROM COLLEGE
Faculty and staff are invited to the College of Agriculture undergraduate convocation on Saturday, Dec. 18. The convocation program for the 190 fall-semester graduates will begin at 9:30 a.m. in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium. A reception with refreshments will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby. Alyx Oshel, agricultural education major, will give the address to graduates and guests. The Agricultural Student Council will present awards to Janna Bisinger, agricultural business, for academic achievement; Raye Taylor-Vokes, zoology, for distinguished service; Kimberly Schaefer, animal ecology, for leadership excellence; and Nicole Wilson, animal science and agricultural business, for outstanding senior.

IOWA STATE TO WORK WITH FAO ON INTERNATIONAL SEED ISSUES
An agreement to work on seed issues worldwide has been signed by officials in the College of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Iowa State and the FAO will collaborate in three areas — harmonization of seed policies and regulations worldwide; strengthening national capacities in modern seed technology, biotechnology, seed exchange and quality assurance; and conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources through seeds. Initial talks on the agreement began in 2003 between ISU’s Seed Science Center personnel and FAO officials. In August of this year, Dean Catherine Woteki and Associate Dean David Acker traveled to FAO headquarters in Rome to finalize the agreement.

AG ONLINE WILL BE BACK AFTER HOLIDAYS
Ag Online will take two weeks off for the holidays. The next issue will be sent Jan. 3. Have a good break.

ISU’S IOWA BEEF CENTER WELCOMES NEW EXTENSION ECONOMIST
There is a new extension program specialist at ISU’s Iowa Beef Center. Shane Ellis comes to Iowa State from Utah State University Extension, where he served as an agricultural risk management specialist. Details: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/newsrel/2004/dec04/dec0410.html

HANK HARRIS' BACTERIOPHAGE WORK COVERED IN MAGAZINE
The research of Hank Harris, animal science, on bacteriophages is featured in the January issue of Discover magazine. "In the battle against antibiotic resistant bacteria, researchers are looking closely at the enemy of our enemy. ISU microbiologist D.L. Harris is using bacteriophages -- viruses that infect bacteria the way bacteria infect humans -- to bring down strains that cannot be stopped by drugs," the article states.

NEW MANURE NUTRIENT STANDARD NEARING COMPLETION
A national effort to revise a standard for estimating nutrient content in manure is nearly complete. Wendy Powers, animal science, is co-leader of the standard revision. The standard allows producers to estimate what levels of nutrients are in the manure they apply to their fields. The current standard is based on animal body weight. The new standard will take into account what the animals are being fed. Learn more: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/newsrel/2004/dec04/dec0416.html

ISU ECONOMIST TO REPORT FARMLAND VALUES TUESDAY
A news conference to announce the results of the 2004 Iowa Farmland Value Survey conducted by Iowa State is scheduled for 10 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 14. Michael Duffy, ISU Extension economist who directs the survey, will announce the findings in Room 275, Scheman Building. Land value survey information from 1994 to 2003 is available on ISU Extension's Web site, http://www.extension.iastate.edu, under the publications link. The site also has a link to yearly data back to 1950. The 2004 information will be posted on the same site following Tuesday’s news conference.

COLLEGE ALUM WATCHES SON, 2004 ISU GRAD, BATTLE CANCER
It’s not unusual for college students to take more than four years to complete a bachelor’s degree. Philip Lehtola, who graduates Saturday with a degree in electrical engineering, is one of those students. What is unusual for Lehtola is that it didn’t take him longer, given the cancer diagnosis he faced in 2002. Philip’s mother, Carol Lehtola, an ISU alum in agricultural and biosystems engineering, is a leading farm safety specialist. She faced one of the greatest fears of a parent -- being unable to keep her own child safe. Learn more: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/news/lehtola.html

‘BY THE NUMBERS’ CD IS A HIT
The CD “Iowa By The Numbers” produced by the Office of Social and Economic Trend Analysis (SETA) has set a sales record. The CD has been purchased by 331 clients and has generated more than $8,000. The CD contains a collection of data sets for Iowa at the state, county, and incorporated place level that cover the range of topics from agriculture to travel and transportation. SETA is a collaborative project that has grown out of the former Census Services in the sociology department and the former PROfiles program in the economics department. Cindy Anderson, sociology, is the professor-in-charge of the office. More at: http://www.seta.iastate.edu/

FOOD DISTRIBUTED AS MEMORIAL TO CINDY HANSEN
Last month, the ISU chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources & Related Sciences (MANRRS) collected food that provided Thanksgiving dinners for four local families, along with canned goods and paper products for their pantries. The chapter’s food drive was a memorial to Cindy Hansen, a secretary in Dean Woteki’s office who died in October.

PAST DEAN PORTRAITS CAN BE SEEN ON WEBSITE
The portraits of three College of Agriculture past deans that were unveiled Dec. 3 are on exhibition on the Web. The portraits of deans Lee Kolmer, David Topel and Richard Ross hang in 142 Curtiss Hall, the College conference room. See them at: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/news/deanportraits.html

DEADLINES AND REMINDERS
Dec. 16: College holiday open house, noon to 2 p.m., 142 Curtiss
Dec. 18: College of Agriculture convocation for graduating students, 9:30 a.m., C.Y. Stephens Auditorium

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COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK
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WRITING WITH THE ACTIVE VOICE
The active voice, with its subject-verb-object construction, is usually more direct and vigorous than the passive voice. "I shall always remember my first visit to Boston," is bolder and more concise than the passive: "My first visit to Boston will always be remembered by me." Trying to make it more concise by omitting "by me," only makes it indefinite: "My first visit to Boston will always be remembered." This rule does not mean that the writer should entirely discard the passive voice, which is frequently convenient and sometimes necessary. (The Elements of Style, William Strunk, Jr., 1918, http://www.bartleby.com/141/strunk5.html)

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INFOGRAZING
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UNIVERSITY RESEARCH GRANT PROPOSALS SOUGHT
The vice provost for Research and Advanced Studies requests proposals for spring University Research Grants. This seed-money program is designed to assist new faculty and research staff members. The grants are open to faculty and staff members who were first employed by ISU on July 1, 2001 or later. Proposals showing more than one investigator should be endorsed by DEOs. Colleges are asked to rank proposals before submission. Contact: Dorothy Pimlott at 4-6344 or dpimlott@iastate.edu. More at: http://www.vpresearch.iastate.edu/guidelines/urg.html

FAO HUNGER REPORT ESTIMATES HUNGER COSTS
The United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) annual hunger report, “The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2004,” estimates that hunger and malnutrition kill more than five million children every year. The direct costs of dealing with the damage caused by hunger was estimated at about $30 billion a year or more than over five times the amount committed so far to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The report estimated that every dollar invested in reducing hunger could yield from five, to more than 20 times as much in benefits. More at: http://www.fao.org/documents/show_cdr.asp?url_file=/docrep/007/y5650e/y5...

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EXTERNAL VOICES
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ON KNOWLEDGE AND MYSTERY
"The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery."
--Anais Nin, French writer (1903 - 1977)

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MARGINALIA
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NATURE INSPIRES INNOVATIVE DESIGNS
Biomimetics -- the science of finding "smart" designs in nature and adapting them to manmade products -- is an ancient concept getting a renewal, according to Wired magazine. University of Southampton researchers have put it to work in their research on the optical properties of butterflies' wings, exploring the nanostructures and physical mechanisms that produce the dazzling blue of a species' wing, and then reproducing them in silicon. The structures could hold the key to producing photonic crystals, with potential applications in the fields of optoelectronics and telecommunications. Researchers at Penn State University are working on "morphing airplane wings" that change shape according to the speed and duration of the flight. The concept is based on the wing structures of a variety of birds that fly at different speeds, and uses an idea taken from fish, using scales that can slide over each other as wing "skin" to accommodate shape changes. (Wired.com, Nov. 9, http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,65642,00.html)

Next issue: Jan. 3
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AG 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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