Issue: 845

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
April 13, 2015 – No. 845

Top Stories

Faculty and Staff Invited to Attend CCUR Candidate Seminars
The search committee for the director of the Center for Crops Utilization Research and the BioCentury Research Farm has scheduled campus interviews for three candidates. Faculty and staff are invited to attend the public seminars of the candidates, who will each present on the topic, “Vision for Food-Fuel-Biomaterials Research.” All seminars will be held in Room 1951, Food Sciences Building (the CCUR Theatre). The search will replace Larry Johnson, who is retiring.

  • James Wynn, Director of Bio-based Technology De-risking, MBI International, Lansing, Mich. – April 20, 10 to 11 a.m.
  • Kevin Keener, Professor of Food Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. – April 23, 10 to 11 a.m.
  • Joseph Rich, Research Leader, Renewable Product Technology, USDA=ARS, Peoria, Ill. – April 27, 10 to 11 a.m.

For more information, contact search committee co-chairs Ruth MacDonald,, or Joe Colletti,


Helmers, Castellano and Isenhart Featured in Water Quality Story
The Des Moines Register published articles in Sunday’s paper on nitrate levels in Iowa’s major rivers. Matt Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Michael Castellano, agronomy, were interviewed about how much of Iowa’s nitrogen, and nitrates, are in the soil organically. More The Sunday Register also included a story on buffer strips quoting Tom Isenhart, natural resources, ecology and management. More In the op-ed section, Helmers and Castellano clarify the science of when, where and how nitrate is transferred from Iowa crop fields to waterways. More

Distillers Grains Symposium Set for May 13-14
The Distillers Grains Technology Council, based at ISU and directed by Kurt Rosentrater, agricultural and biosystems engineering, will hold its 19th annual Distillers Grains Symposium on May 13-14 in Kansas City. More

Research Farm Progress Reports Available Online
The 2014 Farm Progress Reports are available online for most outlying ISU Research and Demonstration Farms. Progress reports for the McNay Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm and the AEA, Central Iowa and BioCentury Research Farms will be available by the end of April. More

Teaching and Students

Retallick Receives Iowa FFA Distinguished Service Award
Mike Retallick, agricultural education and studies, will receive the Distinguished Service Award at the 87th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference on April 20. Retallick’s selection is in recognition of his ongoing dedication and support of the Iowa FFA Association.

CALS Student Receives Honorable Mention as Goldwater Scholar
Jered Stratton, a senior in genetics, received an honorable mention in the 2015 Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. The Goldwater recognizes students of outstanding potential who intend to pursue careers in research. More

Biorenewables Art Competition Scheduled for Earth Day
The 6th annual Biorenewables Art Competition will be held on Earth Day, April 22, 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Biorenewables Research Laboratory Lobby. Art students from ISU’s College of Design create works that reflect the mission of the Bioeconomy Institute. More

More than 1,000 Attend Animal Learning Day
More than 1,000 people attended Animal Learning Day on April 11, hosted by the ISU Block and Bridle Club at the Jeff and Deb Hansen Learning Center. The event included hands-on educational activities, demonstrations, “Taste of Iowa,” and a screening of Farmland. More

Academic Quadrathlon Team Places in Regional Meeting
The ISU Academic Quadrathlon Team competed in the Regional Midwest Animal Science Meetings, placing first in oral presentation, third in lab practicum and fourth in the written exam. Team members included Natalie Hanson, junior in biological systems engineering; Kyle Larson, junior in management; Breanna Saso, senior in animal science; and Megan Valentine, junior in animal science.

Extension and Outreach

Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources: Challenge and Opportunities
Agricultural extension programs face unprecedented challenges to continue their nonformal educational role. The challenges present opportunities for extension to evaluate programs and to serve the common good by charting new directions, according to a paper published in February in the American Society of Agronomy's Natural Sciences Education online journal. The paper was coauthored by Mahdi Al-Kaisi, Gerald Miller and David Kwaw-Mensah in agronomy, and Roger Elmore of the University of Nebraska. It can be found on the Natural Resources Education website.


April 14: Agricultural Entomologist to Present Staniforth Lecture
Michael Gray, professor of agricultural entomology in the department of crop sciences at the University of Illinois, will present the 2015 David W. Staniforth Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, April 14, at 4:10 p.m. in 210 Bessey Hall. Gray will speak on “Managing Pests in the Transgenic Era: Is the Integration in IPM an All But Forgotten Consideration?” A reception will follow in the Agronomy Commons. More

April 14: Welcome CALS News Multicultural Liaison Officer
A welcome reception will be held Tuesday, April 14, for Elizabeth Martinez-Podolsky at 4:10 to 5 p.m. in Harl Commons, Curtiss Hall. Martinez-Podolsky joins CALS as an undergraduate student retention and diversity coordinator. She will act as the CALS multicultural liaison officer and provide programming for a broad range of student interests.

April 14: The Politics of Global Food Security
Philip McMichael will speak on the politics of global food security on Tuesday, April 14, at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. McMichael is professor and chair of development sociology at Cornell University. Co-sponsors of the lecture include the Leopold Center, the sociology department and the Sustainable Agriculture Student Association. More

April 15: Webinar to Discuss Prairie Strips in Farm Fields
This month’s Iowa Learning Farms webinar will be held Wednesday, April 15, at 1 p.m. Timothy Youngquist, agronomy, will present research showing that strategically converting 10 percent of a crop field into perennial prairie can greatly reduce soil erosion as well as phosphorous and nitrogen loss. More

Funding Opportunities

ISU PIIR Seed Grants for Data Driven Science
To prepare ISU for becoming a leader in Big Data, the Presidential Initiative for Interdisciplinary Research is being extended to support the advancement of Data Driven Science on campus. The VPR office is incentivizing the development of integrated research collaborations by creating a seed program to fund interdisciplinary research groups with $100,000 to $200,000 per group per year over three years. White papers are due May 11. More

Innovative Swine Industry Enhancement Grant Program
The Office of the Attorney General of Iowa is accepting applications for projects that advance and enhance swine production in Iowa. Grant funds totaling approximately $225,000 are available through a 10-year $1 million program funded by Smithfield Foods. This is the final year of the program. Proposals are due by June 1. More

RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies Grant Program
The Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics Center for Targeted Studies at Purdue University is accepting applications for grants of up to $35,000 to invest in innovative social sciences-based research that explores the food and nutrition assistance challenges of rural people and places. The program is interested in a wide array of topics and issues. Proposals that focus on Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans and other racial/ethnic populations, as well as children and low-wealth individuals/households, are strongly encouraged. Deadline for submissions is May 15. More

Big Data Regional Hubs Webinar
The April 3 webinar for the Big Data Regional Hubs has been posted for viewing. The webinar discusses the Big Data Regional Hub program and its connection to the recently announced Charrettes for Accelerating the Big Data Innovation Ecosystem. The presentation slides, audio file and transcript from the webinar are available. More

ISU Library Research Funding Workshop
The Parks Library is offering the workshop, Finding Funding: Using Campus Resources, on April 23 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The workshop will show participants how to search the Foundation Center's nonprofit database and Pivot for funding opportunities. Preregistration is required. Contact: Jody Kalvik ( More

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

Apr. 17 (expression of interest): William T. Grant Foundation – Scholars Program; $350,000, one submission per college, interested individuals should contact Joe Colletti ( by April 17. More

May 8: NSF Stimulating Research Using National Ecological Observatory Network Data; conference grants and EAGER grants, $100,000 and $300,000, respectively. More

May 14: USDA NIFA AgrAbility – Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities; $180,000 per year up to four years. More

May 26: EPA Science to Achieve Results Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study; Master’s level $88,000 for two years, Doctoral level $132,000 for three years. More

May 29: Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Program; 25 percent match required. More

June 5: NIH Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Biology and Medicine (R01). More

Sept. 1: NSF Building Community and Capacity in Data Intensive Research in Education (BCC-EHR); $500,000. More

Communications Kiosk

Abbreviations and Acronyms – Avoid Awkward Constructions
Do not follow an organization’s full name with an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses or set off by dashes. If an abbreviation or acronym would not be clear on second reference without this arrangement, do not use it. (The Associated Press Stylebook, 49th ed., 2014, pg. 2)


Donors Establish Endowed Dean’s Chair in Human Sciences
An anonymous gift to the College of Human Sciences at ISU will fund a new endowed Dean’s Chair. The gift will allow Pamela White, who will become the inaugural holder, unrestricted use of earnings toward the college’s priorities. Dean White also is a University Professor in the department of food science and human nutrition. More

USDA Seeks Nominations for Trade Advisory Committees
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that USDA, in cooperation with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, is accepting nominations for new members to serve on its agricultural trade advisory committees. Members serve four-year terms and advise USDA and USTR on the operation of existing U.S. trade agreements, negotiating objectives for new agreements and other trade policy matters. Nominations are due April 30. Nominations received after April 30 will be considered for future appointments. More


A Trip through Iowa’s Farming Past
Inside a white, two-story farmhouse about a quarter-mile north of the turnoff to Gilbert on U.S. Highway 69, artist Lyndsay Nissen has prepared a trip through the history of Iowa farm culture and an imagined farm family in her exhibit “MetaStory: A present Iowa past.” The original rooms focus on the beginnings of farming in the state, how settlers came to the prairie and broke it down into usable farmland. The newer part of the house tells about the changes to the farm culture during the 20th century. 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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