Issue: 969

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Sept. 11, 2017

Top Stories

$14 Million Committed for ISU Feed Mill and Grain Science Project
Kent Corporation is committing $8 million, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board $4 million and Sukup Manufacturing Co. $2 million in support of a new ISU education and research facility for feed milling and grain science. The $14 million in gifts are the first to be announced for the $21.2 million feed mill and grain science complex, which will be funded entirely through private giving. More

CALS Fall Enrollment Level at 5,333
CALS fall-semester enrollment is 5,333 students, which includes both undergraduate and graduate. This fall there are 4,603 undergraduate students, 54 fewer than a year ago. There are 730 graduate students, 8 fewer than the year before. For undergraduates, the fall-semester number ends an 11-year streak of enrollment increases, including five consecutive record enrollments. CALS continues to be the third largest undergraduate student body among agricultural colleges in the nation. More

  • This fall’s undergraduate enrollment is 62 percent higher than 10 years ago, and 7 percent higher than five years ago.
  • The top five majors in enrollment are animal science, agricultural business, animal ecology, agricultural studies and agronomy.
  • This fall, 52 percent of CALS undergraduates are women, the third straight year the college has enrolled more women than men. (Fall 2015 was the first time in history the college had more women than men undergrads).
  • CALS expects to have more multicultural students enrolled this fall than the previous year; numbers will be finalized soon. A year ago, CALS had 423 multicultural students, or about 11 percent of enrollment.
  • CALS continues to have a strong retention rate, with 89.6 percent of new students from fall 2016 returning to campus. Also, 81.9 percent of those students stayed within majors in CALS.
  • The new fall 2017 students replace a CALS record graduating class. In 2016-2017, CALS awarded 1,160 bachelor’s of science degrees — 49 percent more than the number awarded five years ago.
  • Overall, ISU’s fall 2017 enrollment is 36,321, the second-largest in school history. Total U.S. multicultural and international enrollment at ISU is 8,789 or 24.2 percent of the student body – a new record.

CALS Fall Convocation on Tuesday, Sept. 12
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Fall Convocation is Sept. 12 at 4:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The program will include brief comments from Dean Wendy Wintersteen; a medallion ceremony for Mike Weber, Harmon Family Professorship in Forestry; the awarding of the Dean Lee R. Kolmer Award for Excellence in Applied Research; and recognition of the College’s new faculty and staff since last fall. A reception will follow, featuring Dairy Science Club ice cream.

Teaching and Students

Technology Advancement Committee Call for Proposals
The CALS Technology Advancement Committee is accepting proposals from faculty, staff and students for improving technology that benefits student learning. Contact Gaylan Scofield, TAC chair, for proposal guidelines ( Proposals are due by 1 p.m. on Oct. 2.

CALS Invites New Graduate Students and Post-docs to Welcome Dinner on Sept. 20
A CALS welcome event for new graduate students and post-docs will be held Sept. 20 in Harl Commons at Curtiss Hall. Dinner will be served at 5:15 p.m., followed by a panel discussion with current students from 6 to 7 p.m. Current graduate students and post-docs are encouraged to attend or volunteer for the panel.  Please RSVP by Sept 15 to Contact Ruth MacDonald, CALS assistant dean for graduate programs, for more information (

Women’s Leadership Workshop for CALS Graduate Students
A Women’s Leadership Workshop series has been planned to empower female graduate students and post-docs across CALS to achieve their career ambitions. From Dean Wintersteen speaking about the valued qualities of STEM professionals to gaining confidence and embracing risk from Rita Mumm of the University of Illinois, topics are designed with women in mind. Sessions are held once a month, beginning on Sept. 19, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Elings Hall. Food and beverages will be provided. Please register and indicate if you would be interested in childcare. The workshop series is organized by faculty and graduate students in the department of agronomy, with funding from the department, the CALS Advance program and the vice president of diversity and inclusion.

Extension and Outreach

Palmer Amaranth Declared a Noxious Weed
Over the past year, ISU Extension specialists and agronomy faculty have been warning Iowans about Palmer amaranth. During the last legislative session, Iowa lawmakers heard ISU’s message and declared Palmer amaranth a noxious week so eradication efforts could begin. Read more about this effort in the Sept. 6 issue of Alliance for Iowa State.

Extension Releases Publications about Prairie Strips Conservation Practice
ISU Extension has released five publications on the STRIPS project, a conservation practice developed by ISU scientists that has proven environmental benefits. The Science-based Trials of Row-crops Integrated with Prairie Strips project involves converting 10 percent of a row-cropped field to strategically placed prairie strips. Lisa Schulte Moore, natural resource ecology and management, is co-lead of the STRIPS project. More

Extension Releases Corn Disease Publication
ISU Extension has published a new Corn Diseases booklet available to crop producers and industry professionals to help farmers and agronomists identify, scout and manage corn diseases. According to Alison Robertson, plant pathology and microbiology, stalk rots may be more prevalent this year due to the stressful growing season across most of Iowa. More

Schwab: Providing Leadership for Agricultural Safety
Charles Schwab, agricultural and biosystems engineering, provides leadership for ISU Extension’s agricultural safety program, helping make Iowa farms a safer place to work and live. Schwab’s work is highlighted this month through ANR Extension. More

Around the College

ISU Names Frevert Ag 450 Endowed Fellow
Rob Frutchey, agricultural education and studies lecturer, has been named the James and Clare Frevert Ag 450 Fellow. The fellowship will allow Frutchey to fund a graduate student who can help with farm and class activities during the spring, summer and fall sessions, which helps students have a year-round agricultural experience. More

Delate Receives Organic Pioneer Award
Kathleen Delate, horticulture, received a Rodale Institute Organic Pioneer Award at a ceremony on Sept. 9. Her research and extension program evaluates agroecological methods to improve organic farming systems in Iowa. Delate was awarded the first faculty position in organic agriculture at a land-grant university in the U.S. in 1997. More

Lamont to Speak at BIFAD Meeting on Sept. 12
Susan Lamont, animal science, will be speaking at a Board for International Food and Agricultural Development meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The public meeting will launch the U.S. government’s Global Food Security Research Strategy and highlight government, university, international agricultural research center and private sector collaboration and synergy on research to end global hunger. The event will be online via Livestream. More

Thoms on Composting at the Capitol
Adam Thoms, horticulture and turfgrass extension specialist, told the Des Moines Register that he doesn’t see any drawbacks to the composting plans at the Iowa Capitol. Work crews plan to start applying compost to the Iowa Capitol’s lawns next week with a goal of demonstrating how to improve soil quality while helping rainwater soak into the ground, reducing runoff. More


Sept. 13: “White Like Me” Author to Speak at ISU
Tim Wise, antiracist writer and educator, will speak at ISU on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. in Stephens Auditorium. Author of “White Like Me,” Wise will present “Understanding and Defeating Racism and Discrimination in America.” CALS is a co-sponsor of the lecture and will be hosting a workshop for student leaders in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room at 4 p.m. Also, Wise will be joining student members of MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences) for dinner following the lecture. More

Sept. 14: Feeding the World Seminar Series
The Feeding the World seminar series will continue on Thursday, Sept. 14, 3:40 to 5 p.m. in 1204 Kildee Hall, Ensminger Room. Seppe Deckers, professor in the Division of Soil and Water Management at Ku Leuven in Belgium, will present “Research for Development, Does it Work? The Green Miracle of North Ethiopia.” More

Sept. 16: Horticulture Research Station Celebrates 50th Anniversary
The Horticulture Research Station will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 12:30 p.m. Alumni and friends are invited for farm tours, apple demonstrations, kids’ games, and a special program hosted by Jeff Iles, chair of the horticulture department. More

Funding Opportunities

Reminder: Parag Chitnis to Present NIFA Seminar, Sept. 13
CALS will host Parag Chitnis, deputy director for USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, for the seminar “NIFA’s Portfolio and Priorities for Science.” The seminar will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 3 to 4 p.m. in Room 1951 Food Sciences (CCUR Theater). All ISU faculty, staff, post-docs, and graduate and undergraduate students are welcome to attend. There is no registration for this seminar.

Still Time to Sign Up - Digital Agriculture Data Carpentry Workshop, Sept. 12-13
ISU and CALS are hosting a hands-on Data Carpentry Workshop covering basic research computing concepts and tools. Mark Laufersweiler, University of Oklahoma Libraries, and Elizabeth Jamene Brooks Keiffer, Kansas State University, will lead the workshop. Participants from all disciplines and all colleges are welcome to attend and no previous knowledge is needed about the tools that will be presented. The workshop will be held on Sept. 12 and 13 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in 368A Heady Hall. The $25 registration fee covers light breakfast, lunch and breaks on both days. Space is limited to 40 participants. More

Digital Agriculture UASPSE All-Hands Meeting, Sept. 14
ISU and CALS will host an Unmanned Aerial Systems, Plant Sciences and Education All-Hands Meeting devoted to building partnerships and resources to address emerging big data issues. Parag Chitnis, deputy director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will present the keynote address. Stakeholders from academia, industry, government, nonprofits and other organizations are invited to attend. Participants are invited to display posters relevant to UASPSE big data topics. The meeting will be help on Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Scheman Building. The registration fee for the meeting is $25. More

USDA FAS Resiliency in Northern Ghana Evaluation, Apply by Oct. 4
The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service has issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity to conduct a mid-term evaluation to determine the effectiveness of the Resiliency in Northern Ghana project implementation approach. Interested parties are invited to join a conference call on Sept. 20 to discuss the opportunity and ask questions. Funding of approximately $284,000 is available for one award. Applications are due Oct. 4. Contact Roxanne Clemens ( for a copy of the NOFO.

Iowa Water Center Research Grants, Apply by Nov. 8
The Iowa Water Center is accepting research proposals for two programs. The Seed Grant Water Research Competition will award one seed grant of up to $30,000 to enable exploration of innovative ideas that will become tools to assist in building future water-related policies and practices. The Graduate Student Supplemental Research Competition will provide up to three awards of $5,000 each for graduate students nearing completion of their program of study. The priority area for this initiative is cyanobacterial blooms (harmful algae blooms) and their impact on water quality and water management decisions. Matching funds are required. Proposals are due Nov. 8. More

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Life STEM
The National Science Foundation has issued a Dear Colleague Letter inviting research proposals that inform, create, implement and evaluate innovative models of intervention that will advance the knowledge base for establishing and retaining underrepresented minorities in STEM fields, with particular attention to life science and the biosciences. Proposal may be submitted to six NSF programs, as well as EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research proposals. Applications must be prepared in accordance with NSF's Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide and individual program solicitation requirements. More

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

Oct. 2 (executive summary): Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Young Faculty Award; tenure-track or tenured assistant or associate professors within three years of their tenure appointment. More

Oct. 12 (pre-proposal): NFWF Northern Great Plains 2018; $300,000, matching funds required. More

Oct. 31: USDA Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program. More

Nov. 6: Simons Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards; $540,000, contact ISU Foundation to express interest. More  

Nov. 17: Bureau of Reclamation Colorado River Basin Data Visualization Challenge, $160,000. More

Dec. 4: NSF Small Business Technology Transfer Program Phase I; PI must have at least 51 percent employment by the small business. More

Dec. 12: NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources (IUSE: EHR) - Development and Implementation Tier for Engaged Student Learning and Institution and Community Transformation. More

Communications Kiosk

“A Total Of” Often is Redundant
The phrase “a total of” often is redundant. It may be used, however, to avoid a figure at the start of a sentence: A total of 650 people were killed in holiday traffic accidents. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2014, pg. 259)


ISU Study Abroad Fair on Thursday, Sept. 14
The Study Abroad Center will be holding its next fair on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The fair provides information on intern, study and volunteer opportunities ranging from one week to one year. More


Cover Crops Season: Thousands of Steps, Millions of Seeds
“Labor Day often marks the end of summer, but for the Iowa Learning Farms team it’s the start of cover crops season,” wrote Liz Juchems in a Sept. 7 blog post. The cover crop mixture project began in 2013 at six ISU research and demonstration farms. Juchems walks backwards while shaking out seed from an individually weighed packet. In the last five years she has walked 30.6 miles or 61,200 steps backwards seeding cover crops. 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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