Issue: 838

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Feb. 23, 2015 – No. 838

Top Stories

Plant Sciences Institute Announces Faculty Scholars
The Plant Sciences Institute has awarded funding to investigators in three colleges in an effort to stimulate high-risk, high-reward research in plant sciences. The new Faculty Scholars program was instituted by PSI director Patrick Schnable and takes a different approach than a traditional internal seed grant program. Instead of funding specific research projects, the program will invest $2 million annually to provide investigators with flexible funding they may use in a variety of ways to engage in innovate and high-risk research that may lead to important breakthroughs in PSI’s focus area of predictive phenomics. Faculty scholars from CALS departments include: Madan Bhattacharyya, Thomas Lubberstedt, Maria Salas Fernandez and Jianming Yu, agronomy; Lie Tang, agricultural and biosystems engineering; Hui-Hsien Chou, Stephen Howell, Carolyn Lawrence and Yanhai Yin, genetics, development and cell biology; W. Allen Miller and Steven Whitham, plant pathology and microbiology; and Dan Nettleton, statistics. More

Collegiate FFA Pancake Breakfast Tomorrow, Feb. 24
The Collegiate FFA pancake breakfast will be held tomorrow, Feb. 24, from 7 to 9 a.m. in the Iowa Farm Bureau Pavilion in Kildee Hall. Celebrity chefs include Don Beermann, new chair of animal science, Jodi Sterle, animal science, Andrew Manu, agronomy, and Mike Gaul, CALS Career Services. The breakfast is open to faculty, staff and students at no charge.


Lamont Awarded US-UK Research Funds
Susan Lamont, animal science, was awarded research funds by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the United Kingdom’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The US-UK partnership addresses high impact diseases and animal health issues relevant to both countries. Lamont will study host resistance to avian pathogenic E. Coli. More

Emily Heaton: Using Science to Change the World
Emily Heaton, agronomy, studies perennial grasses to get a better handle on their environmental benefits. “More perennials in Iowa means more roots in the ground, which keeps soil and water and nutrients where they should be,” she said. Heaton is featured in a series about ISU faculty who are using science to change the world for the better. More

Iowa Center Invests in Future Best Practices
An article in the Feb. 19 issue of “Iowa Farmer Today” states that there has been plenty of debate and no small amount of controversy regarding Iowa’s nutrient reduction strategy, which was approved by the legislature in 2013. What hasn’t been controversial is the creation of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center as part of that plan. John Lawrence, associate dean for CALS Extension Programs and Outreach and director of ANR Extension, is director of the Center. More

Teaching and Students

Faculty Encouraged to Apply for Undergraduate Research Assistantship Program
Applications are being accepted for the 2015-16 Undergraduate Research Assistantship program, which encourages juniors and seniors to pursue graduate study by offering them hands-on experience in a formal research environment. The URA Program benefits students and faculty alike by providing them with an opportunity to make career decisions and to work with other talented individuals in a research environment similar to graduate research and fellowships. Application deadline is March 31. More

Brenton Center Accepting Classroom Reservations
The Brenton Center is accepting classroom reservations for summer and fall 2015. All classrooms have the ability to capture live courses. Classrooms 8 and 9 seat 35 each; classroom 13 seats 56. First preference will be given to CALS Online courses that require a live capture. Second preference will be given to CALS face-to-face courses that want to use technology. Third preference will be given to others outside of the college if space is available. Contact Gaylan Scofield,, with questions or requests.

New CALS Guide Provides How-To for Student-Run Events
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is offering a new resource for students planning, conducting and promoting student events. The CALS Student Event guide (available as a pdf linked from the student services webpage) provides student groups helpful tips on securing sponsorships, completing required forms, best practices during events and publicity, and provides links to important campus resources. More

Extension and Outreach

ISU Helps Develop App for Recording Pesticide Applications
The Pesticide Safety Education Program at ISU worked on the Pesticide and Field Records app for iOS and Android systems with funding from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Environmental Protection Agency. The app is designed to help producers and agricultural businesses record and maintain pesticide application information. Kristine Schaefer, extension program specialist, is the program manager. More

Update CSA Directory Lists 85 Enterprises
“Iowa CSA Farms: 2015 Statewide List of CSA Farms and Organizers Serving Iowa” is an updated directory listing 85 community supported agriculture enterprises offering fresh produce and other products specifically for local consumers. The directory was compiled by Savanna Lyons, graduate research assistant at the Leopold Center, and Craig Chase, who coordinates local food programs for ISU Extension and Outreach and the Leopold Center. More

CALS Staff Encouraged to Serve on P&S Council
Nominations are now open for the 2015 Professional and Scientific Council elections. The P&S Council serves as a resource and an advocate for all P&S employees. Nominations are due March 1. More


March 5-6: ISCORE Conference
The Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity will be held March 6, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union. One session will address the lack of minorities represented among agricultural disciplines. The Next Generation leadership program will be presented by a panel of CALS students, including Kevin Quinteros, senior in animal ecology; Asana Zilk, freshman in food science; Ali Elsadig, sophomore in global resource systems; David Ortiz, junior in environmental science; Sarahi Trejo, freshman in horticulture; and Keiry Ceron, freshman in genetics. Other CALS speakers include: Adrian Montero, senior in biology; Easten Lovelace, senior in agricultural engineering; and Giselle Narvaez-Rivera, senior in animal ecology. A professional development pre-conference will be held March 5, 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The sessions will provide a structured environment to enhance employees’ understanding and sensitivity to cultural differences. It is free and open to all university employees. More

April 7-8: Egg Industry Issues Forum
Registration is now open for the 7th annual Egg Industry Issues Forum, scheduled for April 7-8 in downtown Des Moines. More

April 10-11: Registration Open for Stupka Symposium
Registration is now open for the 10th annual Stupka Symposium, to be held April 10-11, 2015. The event is organized and run by undergraduate students in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, and designed to encourage the interaction between students and faculty over research topics in biological and chemical sciences. More

Funding Opportunities

ISU VPR Office Announces Beckman Scholars Program Internal Competition
The Office of the Vice President for Research is accepting letters of interest for the Beckman Scholars Program. This program provides awards of $26,000 to support an undergraduate student and research mentor in the areas of chemistry, biochemistry, the biological and medical sciences, or a combination of these subjects. Applications are limited to one per institution. Letters of interest are due by March 27. Contact Sue Shipitalo ( for the letter of interest guidelines. More

ISU Publication Subvention Grants
The Office of the Vice President for Research is accepting proposals for the Publication Subvention Grants Program. These grants are made possible by an endowment formed from the proceeds of the sale of the ISU Press. Any full-time faculty member or P&S staff member at the rank of P37 or above may apply. Applications are due by April 6. More

ISU Workshop: Understanding Funding Agencies - USDA
The Office of the Vice President for Research has scheduled a workshop to help faculty, researchers and support staff understand how to successfully seek sponsored funds from USDA. A faculty panel will discuss USDA's mission and structure, research funding opportunities, the proposal review process, and tips on how to write a competitive proposal to this agency. The workshop will be held Feb. 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. in Room 1951 Food Sciences Building. Registration

ISU Workshop: How to Write a Successful CAREER Grant Proposal
The Office of the Vice President for Research is hosting a workshop on How to Write a Successful CAREER Grant Proposal. Recent CAREER grant awardees will discuss the development of their proposals, including their plans for the broader impacts and evaluation, and provide tips and recommendations. The workshop will be held on March 11 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Cardinal Room. Registration

NSF Webinar: Understanding the NSF Structure for SBIR/STTR Funding
The U.S. Small Business Administration will hold the webinar “Understanding the NSF Structure when it Comes to SBIR/STTR Funding” on Feb. 25, noon to 1:30 p.m. The webinar is open to anyone interested in how universities and industry can seek funding for innovative research and commercialization efforts. Registration

Funding Information, Opportunities and Deadline Reminders
Dates listed are application deadlines. Contact: Roxanne Clemens,
Additional information is posted at CALS Funding Resources.

Mar. 2 (ISU internal competition): NSF Research Traineeship Program; limited submission, contact Sue Shipitalo ( for pre-proposal guidelines. More

Mar. 4 (concept papers): DOE EERE Cleantech University Prize; $700,000 for hub, $225,000 for collegiate competitions, cost share required, one application per topic area. More

Deadlines vary: USDA AFRI Foundational Program; $200,000 to $500,000. More

Mar. 31: EPA Support the National Environmental Monitoring Conference as Part of the Environmental Measurement Symposium; $500,000 over five years. More

Mar. 31 (nominations): TED Prize, $1 million. More

Apr. 2 (letter of intent): USDA AFRI Agriculture and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change; $325,000 to $3 million. More

Apr. 3: USAID Guatemala Sustainable Economic Observatory; one award, $8.5 to $9 million over five years, 15 percent cost share, one application per organization. More

Apr. 9 (letter of intent): USDA AFRI Water for Agriculture; $500,000 to $10 million. More

Apr. 13: National Institute of Standards and Technology Standards Services Curricula Development; $25,000 to $75,000, two to eight awards. More

Apr. 23: USDA AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention; $600,000 to $5 million. More

May 13, May 18: USDA AFRI Food Safety; $1 million to $4 million. More

June 30: NIH Identification of Genetic and Genomic Variants by Next-Gen Sequencing in Non-human Animal Models (U01). More

Communications Kiosk

Researching and Reporting Complex Environmental Stories
Dan Fagin, an award-winning investigative and scientific journalist who directs New York university’s graduate program in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting, will present “Researching and Reporting Complex Environmental Stories” on March 3 at 12 p.m. in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room. Co-sponsors of the lecture include the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology and the Henry A. Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture. More


Survey Finds Increased Farmer Awareness of Nutrient Reduction Strategy
Farmer awareness of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy nearly doubled during the past year, according to a statewide survey of more than 350 farmers commissioned by the Iowa Soybean Association and funded by the soybean checkoff. This familiarity, say farm and environmental leaders, is key to increasing the pace and scale of adoption of on-farm conservation practices proven to have a positive impact on water quality. More

APLU Launches New Website
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities has launched a new website designed to provide APLU members and guests with easy, intuitive access to detailed information on the association’s wide array of work, including increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research and expanding engagement. More


Do One New Thing for Water in 2015
ISU’s Iowa Learning Farms and the Water Rocks! program recently started a campaign to do “1 New Thing for Water” in 2015. It is for all Iowans – rural and urban, young and old – challenging us to do one new thing this year to help preserve, conserve, improve and celebrate water. The responses include great ideas from a wide variety of Iowans, including ag secretary Bill Northey, who pledged to improve grass waterways on his farm. Others are pledging to add cover crops, reduce the use of bottled water and more. 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 Friday.


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