Issue: 916

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Sept. 6, 2016 – No. 916

Top Stories

Assistant Dean Shares Vision for Student Services Office
Howard Tyler, an animal science professor at ISU for the past 25 years, began serving as the assistant dean for CALS student services on June 1. He succeeded Tom Polito who retired in May. Tyler recently sat down with CALS Communications to talk about his new position and his vision for the office. More

CALS Fall Convocation this Thursday, Sept. 8
The CALS Fall Convocation is Thursday, Sept. 8, at 4:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The program will include brief comments from Dean Wendy Wintersteen and recognition for the College’s new faculty and staff since last fall. CALS award recipients will be honored during the program. (The CALS Spring Awards Program, originally scheduled in February, was cancelled due to the weather.) A reception will follow.

Teaching and Students

CALS Invites New Graduate Students and Post-docs to Welcome Dinner, Sept. 15
A CALS welcome event for new graduate students and post-docs will be held Sept. 15 in the Harl Commons at Curtiss Hall. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m., followed by presentations from campus programs and a panel discussion with current students from 5:45 6 to 7:30 p.m. Current graduate students and post-docs are encouraged to attend to interact with the new students.  Please RSVP by Sept 12 to or contact Ruth MacDonald, CALS assistant dean for graduate programs, for more information (

Brenton Center Accepting Spring 2017 Classroom Reservations
The Brenton Center is accepting spring 2017 classroom reservations for CALS online courses that require a live capture. For more information, contact Gaylan Scofield ( by Oct. 15 to be considered for space within the Brenton Center. 

Extension and Outreach

Computer Simulation to Explore Watershed Health Released
An online simulation that allows students and adults to experiment with how land-use practices can affect the health of a watershed has been designed by ISU personnel, including Lisa Schulte Moore, natural resource ecology and management. People in Ecosystems Water Integration is a web-based educational game designed to help users understand the production and environmental consequences of various agricultural and conservation practices. More

Nutrient Reduction Strategy Progress Report Released
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Annual Progress Report for 2015-2016 is available. It assesses efforts to improve water quality in the state. More

What Farm Downturn Means for Beginning Farmers
Chad Hart, economics, and David Baker, an extension farm transition specialist, talked with the Des Moines Register about the downturn in agriculture opening windows for beginning farmers. The article in the Sept. 3 issue also features two CALS students, Mitchell Hora (senior in agricultural systems technology) and Trey Forsyth (senior in agricultural business) and their plans following graduation. More

Around the College

Memorial Fund Established for Chet Britt, Sociology
A memorial service and campus reception were held Saturday, Sept. 3, for Chet Britt, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, who died Aug. 30 at the Israel Family Hospice House in Ames. The Iowa State University Foundation has set up the Chet Britt Memorial Fund for friends, colleagues and alumni to honor his career. Memorial gifts may be made online (the bottom of the page offers an area to enter “Chet Britt Memorial Fund”) or checks may be made out to ISU Foundation and mailed to: 2505 University Blvd., Ames, IA  50010.

Dean Wintersteen to Lead Art Tour in Curtiss, Sept. 8
Dean Wendy Wintersteen will conduct a “My Favorite Things” tour in the Dean’s Gallery, first floor Curtiss Hall, on Sept. 8, 1 to 2 p.m. The tour brings some of the more public figures of the ISU community into the museums to discuss their favorite works of art in the collection. More

CALS Cultural Competency Series Continues Sept. 14
The CALS Office for Diversity Programs is continuing a series of discussions to examine the dynamics of race, bias, inclusivity and privilege in higher education through the lens of cultural competency. Three seminars are scheduled for this fall; Sept. 14, Oct. 7 and Nov. 11. “Supporting International Students and Scholars and Addressing Xenophobia and Nativism” will be held Sept. 14, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the CCUR Technology Transfer Theatre, 1951 Food Sciences Building. The session will be facilitated by Mark Grey, professor of anthropology and director of the Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership and Integration at the University of Northern Iowa. RSVPs are requested for each seminar as lunch will be provided at no cost. For the Sept. 14 seminar, please RSVP by noon on Sept. 12 to Theressa Cooper, assistant dean for diversity,

CALS Sustainability Lecture Series: Keith Paustian to Speak Oct. 10
In 2016-2017, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is continuing a lecture series focused on sustainability topics. CALS faculty, staff and students are welcomed and encouraged to attend. The first speaker this fall, selected by the CALS Task Force on Sustainability and scheduled for Oct. 10, is Keith Paustian of Colorado State University. The lecture will begin at 3:10 p.m., Oct. 10, in Room 2432 of the Food Sciences Building. Paustian is a professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and senior research scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory. A major focus of Paustian’s work involves modeling and field measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from land-use activities.

Grewell on Using Agave Fiber for Car Parts
Ford plans to introduce a new kind of plastic for some of its automobile parts using agave fibers. In an article for The Guardian, David Grewell, agricultural and biosystems engineering and director of the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites, said a lot of companies around the world are looking at agave fibers. “The fibers themselves are relatively flexible, so that when they go through processing equipment, they are able to retain their strength.” More

CALS, Student Government Add Tables to East Side Plaza of Curtiss Hall
Four outdoor tables have been placed on the east side plaza of Curtiss Hall. CALS and ISU Student Government each provided funds for two tables.


Sept. 8: FSHN Welcome Back Picnic
The Food Science and Human Nutrition Department’s annual welcome back picnic will be held Thursday, Sept. 8, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Food Sciences Building Courtyard. Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni are invited to meet club representatives, network with faculty, reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

Sept. 13: Local Food Festival
The Local Food Festival: An Adventure in Eating, will be held Sept. 13 from 9:30 1:30 p.m. on central campus. The event will celebrate local food with educational displays, food samples, local food recipes developed by ISU Dining chefs, and locally grown and produced items for sale by vendors and ISU student clubs. More

Sept. 22: Errington Memorial Lecture
Polar Bears, Sea Ice and Conservation is the topic of this year’s Paul L. Errington Memorial Lecture, to be held Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Andrew Derocher, professor of biological studies at the University of Alberta, has spent 30 years studying the ecology, conservation and management of large Arctic mammals with a focus on polar bears. Derocher will speak on “Polar Bears: An Arctic Icon in a Changing Climate.” More

Funding Opportunities

Limited Submission: NSF ADVANCE Program
The National Science Foundation’s program for Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers focuses on diversity among women faculty by funding projects that support systemic change for gender equity in STEM academic careers. Two program tracks are available—Institutional Transformation and Adaptation—and both are limited to one application per institution. Awards range from $1 million to $3 million over three to five years. Interested individuals should email by Sept. 15 to express interest in applying for this opportunity. More

Internal Competition: NSF Research Traineeship Program
The National Science Foundation’s Research Traineeship Program is designed to encourage the development of bold, new, potentially transformative and scalable models for STEM graduate training that ensure that graduate students develop the skills, knowledge and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. This year’s program includes two tracks, traineeship and innovations in graduate education. ISU is allowed to submit two proposals for each track. Pre-proposals for the internal competition are due by Oct. 2. Contact Sue Shipitalo ( or Wolfgang Kliemann ( More

ISU Publication Subvention Grant Applications due Oct. 3
The ISU Publication Subvention Grants support the publication of the scholarly writings and other worthy productions of the faculty and staff of ISU, as well as selected manuscripts by others that deal with topics related to the state of Iowa and the surrounding region. All full-time faculty or P&S staff member at the P37 level or above may apply. Applications are due Oct. 3. More

FDA Amends Antibacterial Drug Development/Antibacterial Drug Resistance Opportunity
The Food and Drug Administration has amended the Broad Agency Announcement for Advanced Research and Development of Regulatory Science. In Research Area 2, Facilitate Antibacterial Drug Development and Address Antibacterial Drug Resistance, the amendment adds in-vitro, animal model and/or pharmacokinetic studies to facilitate antibacterial drug development. Responses are accepted continuously through Feb. 22. More

Iowa’s Creative Corridor Biotech Spotlight Series, Oct. 4-5
A day-long bus tour of biotech assets in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City will showcase companies that research, develop and create products, and develop the biotech workforce. The event will open with a welcome reception on Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. The bus tour on Oct. 5 will include presentations at more than 10 Cedar Rapids and Iowa City biotech companies and facilities, with speakers from ISU and the University of Iowa, and Debi Durham, director, Iowa Economic Development Authority. Space is limited and registration is due by Sept. 16. CALS is co-sponsoring this event. More

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

Sept. 25 (internal pre-proposals): VentureWell Faculty Grants - Course and Program Grants; $30,000 to support experiential learning and foster student invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. Limited submission, contact Sue Shipitalo ( for pre-proposal guidelines. More

Sept. 30 (expression of interest): USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean Science, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships Broad Mission Announcement Addendum 1 – Local Capacity for Local Solutions, focus areas include climate change. More

Oct. 5 (expression of interest): USAID Climate Resilient Enterprise and Innovation Design: A Broad Agency Announcement for Bangladesh; $5 million to $30 million. More

Oct. 17: NSF MacroSystems Biology and Early NEON Science - Research on Biological Systems at Regional to Continental Scales. More

Nov. 1: W.M. Keck Foundation Research Program; $5 million, one application per grant cycle, contact ISU Foundation ( to express interest. More

Nov. 1 (pre-proposal): U.S. Poultry and Egg Association. More

Nov. 2: USDA Food and Nutrition Service - Participant Research Innovation Laboratory for Enhancing WIC Services; $1 million. More

Nov. 15: NSF Mathematical Biology. More

Dec. 25 (letter of intent): NIH Resource Program Grants in Bioinformatics (P41); up to $8.75 million direct costs over five years. More

Jan. 4, 2017: NSF Research Coordination Networks UBE & UBE Incubator Track; Undergraduate Biology Education, up to $500,000. More

Jan. 17, 2017 (letter of intent): NIH Maximizing the Scientific Value of the NHLBI Biorepository: Scientific Opportunities for Exploratory Research (R21); National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, $150,000 direct costs over two years. More

Communications Kiosk

Links That Do the Job
Accessible links are an important, but often overlooked, part of a welcoming website. The following suggestions were posted in the Sept. 1 issue of Inside Iowa State. More

  • Don’t put “link” in a link.
  • Links must make sense out of context.
  • If a link is going to download something or open a new window, say so.
  • Avoid using the URL as the link title.
  • Ensure that links can be easily seen.
  • Ensure that links can be accessed via the keyboard.


Writing and Media Center Offer Student Workshops
The ISU Writing and Media Center is offering 15 workshops and retreats this year. A session on writing effective resumes and cover letters is scheduled for Sept. 29, an opportunity before the CALS Career Fair on Oct. 11. Additional workshops will cover avoiding plagiarism, grammar and punctuation. There are also three writing retreats scheduled for graduate students. More

Websites and Social Media Help Farmers Connect with Others
A farm website and social media can help farmers connect with consumers as well as employees, vendors and landlords. In the August issue of Successful Farming, several farmers share their experiences, from farmwife bloggers working to share the story of modern agriculture, to websites that not only communicate where our food comes from, but in the process helps retain employees who feel a sense of belonging and pride in showcasing their work, from improving vendor relationships to sharing activities with landlords. More


“Summering” Originally Used for Livestock
While many of us may have been away somewhere nice recently, not many of us would say that we’ve “summered.” That’s because most of us summer where we winter. Although clearly a noun, the word “summering” was originally used for livestock, which meant they were pastured in a specific area during the summer. The word was applied to people as leisure time increased in the 19th 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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