Issue: 908

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
July 11, 2016 – No. 908

Top Stories

George Washington Carver Interns Join CALS for the Summer
The George Washington Carver Summer Research Internship Program in CALS has been inspiring young scientists for more than 25 years. Both undergraduate and high school students from around the country are part of this program every year, working side by side with faculty mentors in CALS on research projects. While the program helps students explore science through experiential learning opportunities, it also helps increase diversity within the world of science in STEM fields, champions the value of graduate education and helps recruit new bright minds to undergraduate and graduate programs in CALS. This summer from June 4 to July 30, 24 undergraduate students and 10 high school students from 10 different states and Puerto Rico are interns in the program. More


Research Shows Perennials could Reduce Nutrient Runoff
A new study from Andy VanLoocke, agronomy, shows that an increase in perennial bioenergy grasses throughout the Corn Belt would lead to a significant reduction in nitrogen moving down the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico. The study used computer models to simulate how various levels of perennial grasses might affect the level of nutrient runoff from Midwestern farmland. More

Farmer’s Assistance Requested for Monarch Repopulation
A coalition of researchers from ISU, USDA and other conservation groups are offering farmers across Iowa and the Midwest financial support to help restore the country’s monarch butterfly population. Sue Blodgett, entomology and co-chair of ISU’s Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium, said most of the land plots monarch conservationists look for are small pieces of land adjacent to crop fields that, for a multitude of reasons, can’t support or fit extra crops. More

Bradbury Leads Statewide Pest Resistance Management Project
Herbicide, insecticide and fungicide resistance has been building for decades. Leaders of a statewide pest resistance management project led by ISU and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, in cooperation with the commodity groups and agriculture organizations and businesses, are formulating an action plan to mitigate the problem. The Iowa Soybean Research Center at ISU is helping finance the project. Steve Bradbury, entomology, is the project leader. More

Melon Crop Destroyed Following Severe Storm at Muscatine Research Farm
The ISU Muscatine Island Research Farm near Fruitland experienced a severe storm the morning of June 22. Trees were blown down and greenhouse and building roofs were damaged. The melon crop, about two weeks from harvest, was destroyed.

Teaching and Students

Scholarship Sends CALS Student to Morocco to Study Arabic
Adam Willman, senior in agronomy and global resource systems, is spending eight weeks in Morocco this summer studying Arabic as a recipient of the Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State. The scholarship is an all-expenses paid program seeking to teach students languages that are critical to the U.S. It is a rigorous program; Willman and the other students sign a pledge stating they will only speak Arabic so they can further immerse themselves in the language and culture. After returning to Iowa State, Willman plans to finish his studies then focus on sustainable agriculture production and food security in the Middle East and North African regions.

Progressive Farmer Magazine Features Ag 450 Farm
The August 2016 issue of The Progressive Farmer features an article of the Ag 450 Farm at ISU and the 15 student farmers currently overseeing and making decisions about corn and soybean crops, as well as 1,200 hogs in a finishing barn and newly-arrived piglets in the nursery barn. The Ag 450 course is a required capstone course for all agricultural studies majors in the college.

FSHN Graduate Students Takes First Place in Poster Competition
Lei Fang, a graduate student in food science and human nutrition, recently took first place in the 2016 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference poster competition. The conference is hosted by the National Corn Growers Association and is a showcase for the latest research into new uses for corn. More

Extension and Outreach

Iowa Women in Ag Conference to Focus on Water Quality
The 10th annual Iowa Women in Ag conference will be held July 26, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny. Jamie Benning, ANR Extension water quality program manager; Angie Rieck-Hinz, field agronomist; and Madeline Schultz, program manager for Women in Agriculture with ISU Extension and Outreach, will participate in the conference, helping educate women from across the state on conservation and water quality practices. More

Field Day to Showcase New Sports Turf Research Facility
The ISU Horticulture Research Station will host the annual Iowa Turfgrass Field Day on July 28. The program includes demonstrations from ISU researchers and ISU Extension and Outreach specialists in three categories: golf course, sports turf, and lawn and landscape management. Nick Christians, horticulture, said, “This will be a particularly good year for those in the sports turf industry to attend as the construction of the ISU Sports Turf Research Facility has been completed.” More

Around the College

Bjelland Named Interim Director of Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods
Beginning July 1, Denise Bjelland is serving as interim director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods. Bjelland succeeds Patricia Hipple, who served as director since 2014 and stepped down June 30. Bjelland has served as director of Global Programs for CALS since 2011, and has served in several capacities in that office for 25 years. Bjelland has worked at ISU since 1976, including positions in the ISU office for the Vice President of Business and the President’s Office. She earned a master’s degree in international development studies and a bachelor’s in communication studies, both from Iowa State.

BCRF One Reason ISU Named Innovation and Economic Prosperity University
ISU has been designated an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities for its commitment to economic engagement. Among the achievements cited are research centers that involve collaboration with industry, including the BioCentury Research Farm, the first facility of its kind in the nation that integrates research and demonstration in biomass production and processing. More

Deputy Director General of CATIE Visits CALS
Miley Gonzalez, deputy director general of the Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education in Costa Rica, visited CALS on July 7. Gonzalez met with David Acker, associate dean of CALS Academic and Global Programs, Denise Bjelland, director of CALS Global Programs, and faculty from several departments in the college. Gonzalez was assistant director of International Agriculture Programs in the College of Agriculture from 1988 to 1991, and served as Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics at USDA during the Clinton Administration.


July 20: Iowa Learning Farms Webinar
Building a Culture of Conservation is the theme for the Iowa Learning Farms’ monthly webinar on July 20 at 1 p.m. Jacqueline Comito, program director, and Ann Staudt, science director, will showcase ways that Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks! programs have been educating Iowans of all ages about water quality and conservation issues over the past year. More

Funding Opportunities

ISU Antimicrobial Resistance Seed Grant Program
The ISU Antimicrobial Resistance Research Initiative involves faculty members across all colleges. The Office of the VPR, in partnership with the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, will provide seed funds to support AMR researchers in developing innovative, inter/transdisciplinary projects that have the goal of obtaining sponsored funding. The seed grant program focuses on four priority areas: strengthening systems biology and microbiome research; development of novel detection systems; development of mitigation strategies; and risk analysis, policy and welfare, and assessment of the socio-economic impacts of AMR. Four to six awards of up to $50,000 each will be funded for two years. Third-year funding will be contingent upon success achieved in the first two years. Proposals are due by Aug. 1. Contact Jamy Rentschler ( for guidelines.

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

July 29 - Sept 19 (varies by application type): NSF Prediction of and Resilience against Extreme Events (PREEVENTS). More

Various dates: NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Exploring Mechanisms to Enhance the Economic and Societal Impacts of Fundamental Advances in Information and Communications Technologies; EAGER and conference proposals. More

Aug. 8: NSF Collections in Support of Biological Research; three applications per institution, email to express interest. More

Aug. 16: NOAA FY16 Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Program; matching funds required, includes Great Lakes native species; $100,000 to $2 million. More

Aug. 25 (letter of intent): NIH Initiative to Maximize Research Education in Genomics: Diversity Action Plan (R25). More

Aug. 30: BLM-Alaska Forb Seed Production Agreement; $100,000, seed increase for native forb species attractive to pollinator species. More

Sept. 14 (letter of intent): New Informatics Tools and Methods to Enhance U.S. Cancer Surveillance Research (UG3/UH3). More

Sept. 19 (letter of intent): NIH - A Community Research Resource of Microbiome-Derived Factors Modulating Host Physiology in Obesity, Digestive and Liver Diseases, and Nutrition (R24). More

Feb. 15: NSF Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM; limited submission, contact Sue Shipitalo ( to express interest. More

Communications Kiosk

Think in Pictures When Publishing Your Research
“Many scientists are shocked to learn that it is the art department of most journals that usually determines which paper to feature on the cover,” said Nancy Baron in her book on making your science matter. As soon as a paper is accepted, Baron advises authors to start looking for photos, graphics or other art. Look at past issues of the journal for ideas about its tastes. If authors think a particular piece has cover potential, try laying it out with the journal’s title graphic. (Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter, 2010, pg. 174.)


ABE’s Buchele Authors Book on the Cotton Gin
Wesley Buchele, professor emeritus of agricultural and biosystems engineering, has co-authored a book titled “Who Really Invented the Cotton Gin? Unraveling the Mystery and Folklore of a Critical Agricultural Innovation.” Before retiring in 1989, Buchele taught farm machinery design for 43 years. He holds 23 patents, including the rotary threshing and separating cone-cylinder used in all modern rotary grain combines, and the large round baler. Early in his professional life, Buchele spent three years research cotton mechanization in the Mississippi Delta. 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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