Issue: 992

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Feb. 26, 2018

Top Stories

Animal Scientist’s Research Helps Endangered Pandas
Stephan Schmitz-Esser, animal science, has been working with the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu Sichuan, China, to try to understand how giant pandas digestively break down their food. One goal of the research is to develop a probiotic that can help the endangered species with degradation of their food. This would help them gain more energy from the bamboo, which they hope will help the pandas thrive as a species. The research was published this month in the Journal of the International Society for Microbial Ecology. More

CALS Placement Rate Over 99 Percent, the Highest in 20 Years
CALS Career Services is reporting an undergraduate placement rate of 99.2 percent for 2016-2017. This is the highest placement rate in 20 years; an increase from the 97.9 percent for the previous year. Placement includes students that are employed (82.9 %), furthering their education (15.4%) or fulfilling military obligations. Mike Gaul, director of career services, said this was the largest graduating class in college history, with 1,124 undergraduates. That’s a 5 percent increase from the previous year and a 104 percent increase over nine years ago. The percentage of graduates staying in state to begin their careers in Iowa was 64.6 percent. Individual departmental numbers can be viewed in this summary.
Top Employers of CALS Undergraduates, 2016-2017
According to Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services, top employers of CALS students who received their bachelor’s degree from 2016-2017 are: 1) ISU with 16 hires; 2) Cargill and John Deere with 13 hires each; 4) DuPont Pioneer with 11; 5) U.S. Forest Service with 10; 6) USDA (all agencies excluding Forest Service) with 8; 7) AgReliant Genetics and Syngenta with 7 each; 9) Archer Daniels Midland, Blank Park Zoo, Iowa DNR, Monsanto Company, Peach Corps and Seaboard Foods, all with 6 each.


CALS Research Shows Anti-GMO Articles Tied to Russian Sites
According to research by Shawn Dorius, sociology, and Carolyn Lawrence-Dill, genetics, development and cell biology, Russia is funding articles shared online that question the safety of GMOs in an effort to hurt U.S. agriculture interests and bolster its position as the “ecologically clean alternative” to genetically engineered food. The CALS researchers, already looking at how U.S. media portrayed genetic engineering and biotechnology, decided to include GMO news articles published on news sites funded by the Russian government. More

Iowa Nutrient Research Center Holds Stakeholder Roundtable
On Feb. 15, the Iowa Nutrient Research Center held its first stakeholder research roundtable meeting in Ames to help determine the most pressing research needs for producers and for Iowa to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses. The roundtable participants included the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, farmers, the ISU Interim Vice President for Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Water Alliance, Tall Grass Prairie Center, Practice Farmers of Iowa and researchers from the Regent universities. In late March or early April, INRC will release its 2018 RFP which will reflect the priority areas as identified by the stakeholder session.

Teaching and Students

Faculty Mentors Needed for Carver Summer Research Internship Program
Faculty mentors are needed for the 2018 CALS George Washington Carver Summer Research Internship Program, which runs from June 9 to Aug. 4 for college interns and June 23 to Aug. 4 for high school interns. For more information regarding program details and mentor responsibilities, contact Theressa Cooper, assistant dean for diversity ( Mentor applications can be submitted online. More

Around the College

Cultural Competency Lunch and Learn Set for March 6
The CALS Office for Diversity Programs is continuing its cultural competency series on March 6, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in 368A Heady Hall. Pamela Morris, assistant dean and director of the Office of Multicultural Programs and an associate professor in the department of youth development and agricultural education in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University, will present “Privileging the Privileged: How bias, power and privilege impact graduate school funding and admissions.” Please RSVP by noon on March 5. Lunch will be provided.

Baas and Harmon Receive Regents Award for Faculty Excellence
Tom Baas, animal science, and Jay Harmon, agricultural and biosystems engineering, received a Regents Award for Faculty Excellence on Feb. 22 at the ISU Alumni Center. The award recognizes tenured faculty members who are outstanding university citizens and have provided significant service to Iowa State and/or the state of Iowa. State of Iowa Board of Regents president Mike Richards and ISU President Wendy Wintersteen presented the award.

Bobik Receives Baily Research Award
Thomas Bobik, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, received a Bailey Research Career Development award to explore the use of an innovative compound, methanobactin, to remove copper in human tissue as a way to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The Bailey award is given to faculty whose research is innovative and not only increases fundamental knowledge, but also has practical applications. More

Economist Named Fulbright Scholar
Peter Orazem, economics, has been named a 2017-18 Fulbright Scholar by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and participants are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential. Orazem’s host institution is the University of Primorska in Koper, Slovenia. More

Research Farm Retirees Have Combined Service of 155 Years at ISU
The ISU Research and Demonstration Farms held a reception and presentation on Feb. 13 honoring four staff retirees who combined have served ISU for 155 years. Dale Niedermann, farm equipment operator with the Ag Engineering/Agronomy Research Farm, is retiring after 42 years. Kevin Maher, agricultural specialist at the McNay Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm, is retiring after 41 years. Steve Goben, field laboratory technician at the McNay Farm, is retiring after 45 years. Nick Piekema, manager at the McNay Farm, is retiring after 27 years. More

Kenneth Larson, Agronomy Emeritus Professor, Dies Feb. 21
Kenneth Larson, emeritus professor in agronomy, died Feb. 21. He was 86. Larson received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Iowa State and returned to join the faculty in 1984. Larson served as associate dean for academic programs for the College of Agriculture from 1984 to 1989. He earned the college’s outstanding adviser award in 1996. He received an Honorary American FFA Degree in 2003 for his work with FFA Crops Career Development Events in Missouri and Iowa that he began in 1970. Larson was a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and The Crop Science Society of America. In recent years, he volunteered at the Food at First Market in Ames. Visitation will be held March 16, 4 to 6 p.m. at Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care. A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held March 17 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church. More


Feb. 27: Retirement Reception for Peggy Best
A retirement reception for Peggy Best, Center for Crops Utilization Research, will be held Feb. 27, 2 to 4 p.m. in the Food Sciences Building atrium. A program will begin at 2:30 p.m. Best has been at ISU for 34 years.

March 8: CALS Spring Awards Program
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Spring Awards Program, honoring faculty and staff achievements, is scheduled for March 8 at 4:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The program will include brief comments from Interim Dean Colletti and recognition of our 2018 CALS faculty and staff award recipients. A wine and cheese reception, including Block & Bridle summer sausage, will follow the program.

Research Development Announcements and Funding Opportunities

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Signals in the Soil
The National Science Foundation has issued a Dear Colleague Letter to encourage convergent research that transforms existing capabilities in understanding dynamic near-surface processes through advances in sensor systems and dynamic models. The goal is to encourage submission of Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research proposals for research on technologies, models and methods to better understand dynamic soil processes, including interactions of the macro- and microbiomes with soil nutrients, the rhizosphere, and abiotic and biotic processes within the soil. Research concepts are due by April 13. More

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

March 2: IDALS 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. More

March 16: American Egg Board's Egg Nutrition Center – Egg Nutrition Studies and Research Grants. More

April 18: USDA NIFA Alfalfa and Forage Research Program. More

April 18: USDA NIFA Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive – Canola. More

April 20: USDA NIFA Farm Business Management and Benchmarking. More

April 26: NOAA FY 2018 Remote Sensing for Snowpack and Soil Moisture; $400,000 per award. More

April 30 (nomination): Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences; $3 million. More

May 2: VentureWell E-Team Program; to help student STEM innovators move their inventions into the marketplace. More

Communications Kiosk

Registration Ends Today for Science Communication Workshop
The 2018 R.F. Baker Plant Breeding Symposium will feature a session on science communication and interviewing skills on Thursday, March 1, 12:30 to 5 p.m. at Reiman Gardens. The symposium will be held Friday, March 2, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Alumni Center. Registration for the workshop and symposium is free, and ends today, Feb. 26. The event is organized by ISU plant breeding graduate students. Sponsors are DuPont Pioneer and the Agronomy Department. More


Workshop Tonight Provides Insider Tips for Landing that Global Job
Global leaders from Deere, Danfoss and Workiva will offer insider tips for landing that global job at an interactive workshop hosted by the Department of World Languages and Cultures tonight, Feb. 26, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in 2105 Pearson Hall. Pizza The event is free, but pre-register to be entered into a drawing for door prizes. More

Iowa State Research Day Scheduled for March 27
The Office of the Vice President for Research is hosting Iowa State Research Day on March 27, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Memorial Union. During this event, researchers and scholars are encouraged to give lightning talks about their research focal areas, present a poster or creative expression to exhibit their research interests, network with other researchers, discover campus research services at the resource fair, and listen to stories of real-life research and scholarship experiences. More

New Report Examines Americans’ Trust in Science
A new report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences offers an in-depth examination of the current state of trust in science among Americans. “Perceptions of Science in America” is the first of a series of reports that will be issued by the Academy’s Public Face of Science project, a three-year initiative to understand and address various aspects of the evolving relationship between the public and scientists. More


Inside 340 Bessey Hall – The Ada Hayden Herbarium in EEOB
In 340 Bessey Hall, there are more than 40 towering gray cabinets. Each of these cabinets contains a fraction of the Ada Hayden Herbarium. A herbarium is a large and extensive collection of dried and pressed plant specimens. The Ada Hayden Herbarium, part of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology with director Lynn Clark and curator Deborah Lewis, has more than 640,000 specimens of fungi, mosses, flowering plants and more. 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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