Issue: 985

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Jan. 8, 2018

Top Stories

CALS Student Elected to SACNAS Board
Daniela Flores, a doctoral student in interdepartmental genetics, is the first ISU graduate student elected to serve on the board of directors for the Society for the Advancement of Chicano/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science. “The organization has been a huge driving factor in my career and I am excited to have a voice in shaping the future of an organization that has helped me so much,” said Flores. She attended her first SACNAS conference five years ago, and met Susan Lamont, animal science, and Gustavo MacIntosh, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology. The information she received from them convinced her to pursue an advanced degree in genetics at Iowa State. More


Schnable Part of Team Developing and Testing “Plant Tattoo Sensor”
Patrick Schnable, agronomy and director of the Plant Sciences Institute, helped test applications of graphene-based sensors-on-tape that can be attached to plants and provide data to researchers and farmers about water use in crops. Schnable is co-author of a paper featured on the cover of the December 2017 issue of the journal Advanced Materials Technologies. Liang Dong, electrical and computer engineering, developed the technology and is lead author of the paper. More

EPA Grant Awarded to ABE to Study Harmful Algal Blooms in Iowa Lakes
A new grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will allow ISU scientists including Adina Howe, agricultural and biosystems engineering, to develop new tools to predict and combat harmful algal blooms, a growing threat to human and animal health in Iowa’s lakes. Cyanobacteria, which have the ability to produce toxic byproducts, can grow quickly and form blooms that discolor lake water. More

ISU Researchers Look for Avian Influenza in Small Birds and Rodents
ISU research found no evidence that small wild birds and rodents were possible sources of the avian influenza virus that decimated Iowa poultry flocks in 2015. Jim Adelman, natural resource ecology and management, and Kyoung-Jin Yoon, veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine, were the co-principal investigators of the study, which was funded by the Egg Industry Center. More

ISU Developing Plans to Advance Iowa’s Bioscience Economy
A consultant’s report released in December recommends ways lawmakers can invest in the biosciences to help grow the state’s economy. ISU leaders, including President Wendy Wintersteen and Patrick Schnable, agronomy and director of the Plant Sciences Institute, are preparing to advance the effort by promoting research in biobased chemicals, precision and digital agriculture, and vaccines and immunotherapeutics. More

Teaching and Students

GRS Student Included in 2018 Women Impacting ISU Calendar
The 2018 Women Impacting ISU calendar will be unveiled during a reception recognizing the 12 honorees on Wednesday, Jan. 10, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room/South Ballroom. Rachel Barnes, senior in biological systems engineering and global resource systems, is one of three students selected for this year’s calendar, which is published by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. More

Applications for NCORE-ISCORE Project due Jan. 19
The NCORE-ISCORE Project Office is accepting applications from ISU undergraduate students interested in attending the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education, May 29 through June 2 in New Orleans. Students would then present knowledge gained from the NCORE experience at the Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity the following year. Applications are due Jan. 19. More

Extension and Outreach

ISU Develops New Crush Margin App for Hog and Cattle Producers
A new ISU Livestock Crush Margin App has been developed to allow users to select cattle or hogs and pick their placement date for feeder cattle or weaned pigs. The app is in addition to the ISU Livestock Crush Margin website. Lee Schulz, extension livestock economist, has been tracking the crush margins for cattle and hogs and posting them online for several years. More

CALS Updates Game that Helps Students Learn Land Use Concepts
The third version of an online, educational game called People in Ecosystems Watershed Integration is available online. The latest version of the watershed-scale simulator or educational what-if game includes new features to make it more useful to students and instructors seeking to understand land use concepts. Lisa Schulte-Moore, natural resource ecology and management, leads the team that developed PEWI. More

Social Networks Play Integral Part in Conservation Practice Adoption
Research from ISU recently published in the Journal of Extension found that farmers who are more engaged in agricultural social networks tend to adopt more diverse nutrient management practices. The article, “Understanding Predictors of Nutrient Management Practice Diversity in Midwestern Agriculture,” is co-authored by Hanna Bates, Iowa Water Center, and J. Gordon Arbuckle, sociology. More

2017 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll Summary Report Available Online
The 2017 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll summary report is now available online. Survey results discuss weed and herbicide resistance management, soil health, use of small grains in extended rotations, the influence of agricultural stakeholders on farmers’ decisions and decision making among multiple farm operators. More

Revised Ornamental and Turfgrass Pest Management Manual Available
An updated version of the Iowa Commercial Pesticide Applicator Manual for Ornamental and Turfgrass Pest Management Category 3 OT is available from ISU Extension and Outreach. The manual is intended to be used by people preparing to take pesticide certification exams. It also serves as a reference guide for professionals within the pest management field. More

Video Highlights Extension’s Work in Protecting Natural Resources
The state of Iowa has abundant natural resources. The work of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Natural Resources team to keep these resources thriving is highlighted in the video “IMPACT: Protecting Natural Resources.” This is the seventh video in Extension’s Agriculture and Natural Resources series highlighting the impact being made by extension specialists. More

Around the College

Bradbury on New Monarch Fueling Station Project
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association has launched the Monarch Fueling Station Project to help ethanol and biodiesel producers across the state establish monarch butterfly habitats on green spaces surrounding biofuels plants. “We believe the IRFA-established habitats will help model how we make progress through voluntary, statewide efforts based on the best available science,” said Steve Bradbury, entomology and one of the leaders of the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium. More

Two CALS Staff Part of Poultry Inaugural Emerging Leader Class
Lesa Vold, communications specialist with the Egg Industry Center, and Cameron Hall, manager of the poultry farm, are members of the Iowa Poultry Association’s inaugural Emerging Leader Class. The program offers a blend of industry networking and educational events targeted specifically to the class. More

Richard Willham, Animal Science Emeritus Professor, Dies Dec. 31
Richard Willham, emeritus professor in animal science, died Dec. 31. He was 85. Willham received a master’s degree in animal breeding and a doctorate from ISU. He served on the faculty in the animal science department, and in 1979 became a C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture. Willham wrote and popularized the “computer cow game” which is used national and internationally to teach selection principles using beef performance records. Visitation will be held Jan. 12, 4 to 6 p.m. at Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care.  A Celebration of Life will be held Jan. 13, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Green Hills Retirement Community. More

CALS Contributes Nearly $69,000 to United Way Campaign Goal
Iowa State University exceeded its United Way campaign goal by $4,000, donating $419,646.63 to United Way of Story County programs. CALS contributions totaled $68,980.92, the largest portion donated of all ISU units. The Live United Campaign raised $2,210,891 for Story County programs. This year’s campaign funds will support education, income and health initiatives impacting more than 30,000 local individuals. Learn more about United Way of Story County programs by visiting their website. If you have questions or comments about your contributions, please contact CALS United Way liaison, Haley Cook (


Jan. 18: ISU Study Abroad Fair
The ISU Study Abroad Office is hosting their spring study abroad fair on Jan. 18, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The CALS Study Abroad Office will be in attendance sharing about upcoming international travel opportunities through travel courses, exchange programs, internships and individual opportunities. More

Jan. 24-25: Iowa Pork Congress
The Iowa Pork Congress will be held Jan. 24-25 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. ISU faculty and staff will be available in booth 1601, and the National Agri-Marketing Association student club will be available in booth 1235. CALS faculty and staff presenting seminars includes: Dan Anderson and Matt Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering; and Mark Storlie and Erik Potter, Extension to Agriculture. More   

Jan. 31: CALS Spring Career Day
The college’s Agriculture and Life Sciences Spring Career Day will be held Jan. 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall.

Research Development Announcements and Funding Opportunities

Limited Submission: NSF S-STEM Expressions of Interest Due Jan. 17
The National Science Foundation’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program provides funds for scholarships to encourage and enable low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need to enter the workforce or graduate study following completion of associate, baccalaureate or graduate degrees in STEM. Submissions are limited to one per college. Faculty members whose primary appointment is in CALS should contact Ruth MacDonald ( by Jan. 17 to express interest. If multiple expressions of interest are received, an internal competition and review process will be coordinated to select the submission that will go forward. More

Reminder: ISU I-Corps Sites Informational Lunch and Learn, Jan. 17
The ISU Office of the VPR, Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations and CALS will co-host a Lunch and Learn informational session about the ISU I-Corps Site Program. I-Corps Sites provide training to faculty and postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate students to explore the commercial potential of their research and technology. Teams are comprised of an entrepreneurial lead (post-doc or graduate student), an academic lead (faculty or qualified scientist) and an entrepreneur-mentor. Fifteen teams will be selected for the spring 2018 program. The Lunch and Learn will be held Jan. 17, 12 to 1 p.m. in 142 Curtiss Hall. All interested faculty, postdoctoral students and graduate students are invited. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to Carla Persaud ( by Jan. 10 if you plan to attend. More

ISU Seminar: Early Career Foundation Awards Seminar, Jan. 31
The Office of the VPR and the ISU Foundation will present a seminar on early career awards, with a focus on private foundations. ISU Foundation staff will explain how they can help you pursue funding, and Grants Hub staff will provide information about early career awards from the federal government. ISU faculty who have received career awards will discuss how the awards helped shape their careers. The seminar will be held on Jan. 31 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the Memorial Union Cardinal Room. More

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

Jan. 19 (pre-application): DOE Bioimaging Research and Approaches for Bioenergy; $1.5 million per award. More

Jan. 31 (expression of interest): USAID Global Food Security Strategy India – Ag Tech Challenge Broad Agency Announcement; interventions to address development challenges for food and nutrition security in Asia. More

Feb. 7: U.S. EPA 15th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet; informational webinar to be held Jan. 11. More

Feb. 12 (Phase 1 concept note): USAID John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer Program; typical awards of $8.25 million, applicants’ conference to be held Jan. 22. More

Feb. 26: USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant Program; awards up to $2 million, 100 percent cost share required. More

March 1: USDA NIFA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative. More

March 5: Vodafone Americas Foundation - Ninth Annual Wireless Innovation Prize; $300,000, connected solutions and wireless technologies that impact the global community, contact ISU foundation ( to express interest. More

March 30: NOAA 2018 Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program; $250,000. More

Communications Kiosk

AAAS Offers Workshop on Fundamentals of Science Communication
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is offering a workshop that addresses the needs of scientists and engineers to communicate scientific or technical information in a variety of public and professional interactions, such as media interviews, writing grant proposals, discussing ideas with students, testifying before Congress or participating in public forums. The workshop is scheduled for Jan. 25 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Memorial Union Campanile Room, with a limit of 50 participants. More


Digital Extension Topic of AgriPulse Opinion Column
“Extension and technology, when combined, are key catalysts to bringing farmers back into the center of our food and agriculture system,” wrote Rikin Gandhi in an AgriPulse opinion column published on Dec. 21. Gandhi is the co-founder and executive director of Digital Green, an organization that promotes the integration of technology with agricultural development efforts. More


Agriculture Float Featured in 2018 Rose Parade
The Ag PhD Salute to Farmers float was one of 18 commercial floats chosen for the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade. Ag PhD collected seed of all different kinds from across the U.S. to use in decorating the float, and riders consisted of 100 farmers from across the country. 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.


University Nondiscrimination Statement