Issue: 902

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
May 31, 2016 – No. 902

Top Stories

Soil Judging Team Successful at National Competition
The ISU Soil Judging Team placed second overall in the American Society of Agronomy National Soil Judging Competition held at Kansas State University in April. The weeklong competition included 23 university teams competing in both individual and group contests. Jake Ziggafoos, senior in agronomy, placed second overall in the individual contest. The team is coached by Amber Anderson-Mba, a lecturer in agronomy, and Heidi Dittmer, a graduate student in soil science and agricultural education. More

Andreotti Named Endowed Chair in BBMB
The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine has committed $1 million to ISU to establish the Roy J. Carver Chair in Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology.  Amy Andreotti, director of the department’s Initiative in Biomolecular Structure, has been appointed as the first chair holder. More


ISU Hosts Meeting on Big Data in Agriculture
On May 16-17, the Digital Agriculture Spoke, which is part of the Midwest Big Data Hub, hosted more than 100 researchers and representatives from public and private organizations at Iowa State to meet and share ideas about the collection, use and sharing of agricultural data. ISU is co-leader of the Midwest Big Data Hub grant which is part of a National Science Foundation initiative. Video recordings from the workshop are available online. More

CAMTech Accepting Proposals for Research Projects
The Center for Arthropod Management Technologies is accepting proposals for research projects to begin Jan. 1, 2017. Proposals should be for pre-competitive research related to arthropod or nematode management. Application deadline is June 20. More

Teaching and Students

Agronomy Graduate Student Receives NASA Fellowship
Victoria Walker, a graduate student working with Brian Hornbuckle in agronomy, received a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship for the 2016/2017 academic year. The purpose of the NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines required to achieve NASA’s scientific goals. Walker will be working on “A New Approach for Retrieving Soil Moisture from SMAP over the Corn Belt.” More

Cyclone Power Pullers Revamp Tractor for Competition
The Cyclone Power Pullers, a long-standing student organization at ISU that designs and builds a quarter-scale tractor for an annual competition, is using an electronic transmission this year rather than a hydraulic transmission, which is the industry standard. Clayton Hamilton, team leader, said the change should yield improved efficiency while reducing the cost and difficulty of production. More

GRS Student-Led Company Seeks to Stop Food Waste
A Cedar Rapids TV station recently highlighted an Ames-based company that is marketing a mobile food dehydrator in an effort to stop food waste around the globe. Developed by a team of ISU students in the global resource systems program, KinoSol is a mobile food dehydration unit that is solar powered for farmers right in the field. KinoSol now has partners in Brazil, Indonesia, El Salvador, Uganda, Nepal, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. View the Story

Extension and Outreach

Insect to be Released to Help Manage Emerald Ash Borer
Beneficial insects that will help battle the emerald ash borer, a highly destructive pest of ash trees, will be released in Jefferson County over the next few weeks. This is the first release of the natural enemies of EAB in Iowa. More

Field Days Provide Insight into Crops Research
ISU Research and Demonstration Farms and ISU Extension and Outreach are holding early summer field days in June and July. Field Days give the public a chance to see research projects in progress and talk with researchers and extension staff involved with the experiments. More

Demonstration Garden Field Days Scheduled for July and August
Each year, ISU Research and Demonstration Farms plant seven demonstration gardens around the state to showcase home vegetable gardening. The gardens are supported throughout the summer by Master Gardener volunteers who harvest and deliver fresh produce to local food banks. Field days run from July 19 to August 10. More

Program Builds Small Businesses, One Microloan at a Time
Solidarity Microfinance, a program launched by ISU’s Community Vitality Center and local leaders in Des Moines in 2014, lends to people who want to start or expand an enterprise to generate extra income, but who are unable to get a loan from a bank because they have no or poor credit ratings. Mark Edelman, economics professor and director of the center, provides an update on the program, which “turns the banking concept on its head.” More

Around the College

Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative Helps Launch New Program at Research Park
A new initiative at the ISU Research Park will identify and fund innovative agricultural startups. The accelerator program, called the Ag Startup Engine, is part of a broader Iowa State Initiative that is working to foster business startup, innovation and technology transfer. The CALS Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative led by Kevin Kimle, assisted in the creation and development of Ag Startup Engine, which is a private-sector entity. More

Block to Lead ISU Seed Health Testing Program
Charles Block, who has served as a plant pathologist for the USDA-ARS North Central Region Plant Introduction Station and assistant plant pathology professor, will assume the position of seed health testing coordinator for the Seed Science Center on July 1. As part of his new position, Block will conduct sample diagnostics, pathogen identification and interpretation of test results for more than 350 plant pathogens. More

USDA Features Cathy Kling as a Leader in Agriculture
Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. May features Cathy Kling, a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Economics and director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development. More

Farmers Responding to Changing Weather Patterns
Gene Takle, director of the Climate Science Program and Pioneer Hi Bred Agronomy Professorship, talks with Iowa Farmer Today about farmers in the Midwest responding to changing weather patterns. More

Curtiss League Welcomes New Members
Members of the CALS young alumni initiative, Curtiss League, visited campus on May 20 for their annual kick-off. Members received an orientation to the program, toured water quality research and demonstration projects and received a college update from Dean Wintersteen. Curtiss League includes 165 members who assist the college in recruitment, advocacy and awareness efforts. More

CALS Alumni Gather for Pregame Reception at Tailgate Tour
CALS alumni and friends gathered for a pregame reception at Arnolds Park amusement park near Okoboji prior to the Iowa State Athletics Cyclone Tailgate Tour on May 17. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey (’81 ag business) and CALS Associate Dean John Lawrence (’84 animal science, ’86 MS economics) offered updates on water quality research, programs and partnerships. More

Retired Economics Distinguished Professor Dies
George Ladd, retired economics faculty member, died on May 22. He was 91 years old. Ladd taught economics from 1955 to 1992 and retired as a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture. During his time at Iowa State, he mentored more than 60 graduate students. He was named a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association in 1987. More

Funding Opportunities

NASA Seeks Comments on Space Technology Research Institutes
NASA is seeking to invest in university-led, multidisciplinary basic research and technology development within areas of interest to NASA and the wider aerospace community via Technology Research Institutes. The institutes will allow for the participation of experts from a range of fields and organizations and will facilitate a sustained and coordinated set of research and development efforts. Research areas of interest include biomanufacturing for deep space exploration (e.g., in situ microbial media production, production of mission products and food production). Up to two awards will be funded at up to $15 million each over a five-year period. Comments are due June 10. The funding opportunity is scheduled for release on July 1. Information will be forthcoming from the Office of the VPR for this limited submission opportunity. More

NSF Seeks Comments Regarding Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure
The National Science Foundation is conducting a review of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Division’s position within the agency. As part of this review, NSF is soliciting input from the research community about (1) the extent to which ACI's current role within NSF supports and anticipates the cyberinfrastructure needed by science and engineering research communities; (2) suggestions for improvements to further ACI's role and contribution to research cyberinfrastructure in support of NSF's mission; and (3) positive or negative trends that arise directly from the realignment of the NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure. Comments should be submitted by June 30. More

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

May 26 (pre-application): USDA-NSF Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology Prize Competition. More

June 20: NSF Small Business Technology Transfer Program Phase I (STTR); PI must be small business, research partner required. More

June 23 (concept note): USAID Feed the Future Livestock Systems Innovation Lab. More

July 19: USGS FY 2017 National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center Program. More

July 19 (pre-application): DOD Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research Program; Career Development Award, Investigator-Initiated Research Award. More

July 22: USDA Rural Community Development Initiative. More

July 25: USAID Feed the Future Ethiopia Livelihoods for Resilience Activity; $60 million. More

Aug. 12: American Gastroenterological Association-Dannon Gut Microbiome in Health Award; $20,000 to established researchers; applications to other gut microbiome opportunities are due in Jan. 2017. More

Aug. 23: NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*). More

Sept. 3: NIH Partnerships for Structure-Based Design of Novel Immunogens for Vaccine Development (R01). More

Communications Kiosk

Use “Include” for Partial List
Use “include” to introduce a series when the items that follow are only part of the total: “The price includes breakfast. The zoo includes lions and tigers.” Use “comprise” when the full list of individual elements is given. “The zoo comprises 100 types of animals, including lions and tigers.” (Associated Press Stylebook, 2015 edition, pg. 132)


CALS Graduate Departs for Year Long Road Trip
Natalina Sents received her degree in agricultural business in May. Through a partnership with Beck’s Hybrids, she will be visiting all 50 states over the next year and writing a blog for the company’s “Why I Farm” online campaign. 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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