Issue: 995

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
March 19, 2018

Top Stories

Grand Opening Held for New CSRL Training Center in Kamuli, Uganda
An estimated 500 people attended the grand opening of the ISU-Uganda Program training center in Kamuli, Uganda, on March 13. His Royal Majesty Kyabazinga (King) of the Busoga was the guest of honor. The facility has been created to help students, staff and faculty better serve the rural families of the Kamuli district. It gives farmers, teachers, community leaders and clients a place to meet year-round to learn and share expertise to overcome challenges in meeting the goal of sustainable rural livelihoods. The center includes multiple buildings. It provides office headquarters for nearly 20 full-time field and support staff working in community nutrition, agronomy and land use, post-harvest technologies, youth entrepreneurship, livestock, school gardens and service-learning. The center will house university student service learners from both ISU and Makerere University. It includes dorm rooms (pictured above) and teacher accommodations, as well as common areas for eating, meetings and learning. The grounds will have agriculture and livestock demonstration areas. Also in attendance were Tim Kolschowsky, president of the Kolschowsky Foundation, and his family; David Acker, CALS associate dean for academic and global programs; Denise Bjelland, interim director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods; and 16 ISU students as well as CALS faculty and staff who are involved in the Uganda program. CSRL has been working together with the people of the Kamuli District since 2004. The center and its partners have addressed hunger and poverty through agriculture, nutrition and youth education.  

Listening Sessions for CALS Dean Search on March 26, March 30
The search committee for the next CALS dean will host two open forums in March to provide more information on the search and solicit feedback from the university community on characteristics they would like to see in the next dean. Both forums will be live streamed to allow off-campus stakeholders to participate, and viewers may also submit questions. The first session will be held March 26, noon to 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union Gold Room. (Live webinar. Join by phone: (669) 900-6833 – ID# 295238679.) The second session will be held March 30, 4 to 5 p.m. in 1951 Food Sciences Building, CCUR Auditorium. (Live webinar. Join by phone: (669) 900-6833 – ID# 298365885.) Questions may be submitted during each session by using the chat window in the webinar, or via email to


NREM Researcher Leads Grant to Study Pollinator Health
Lisa Schulte Moore, natural resource ecology and management, is leading an interdisciplinary team from ISU and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to examine possible impacts on pollinators from strips of prairie planted in crop fields. The study is funded by a Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research grant. More

Return on Investment a Stumbling Block for Widespread Adoption of Cover Crops
Alejandro Plastina, economics, and his colleagues found that despite farmers’ positive perceptions about cover crops and the availability of cost-share programs to incentivize their use, the return on investment may be the biggest hurdle to overcome for widespread adoption of the practice. More

New Fungus Species Named in Honor of ISU Scientists
Thomas Harrington, plant pathology and microbiology, and Doug McNew, a mycologist and lab technician, identified three new species of a fungus called Tubakia. They added the fungi’s names to the scientific nomenclature in honor of three former ISU colleagues. The new fungus species are: Tubakia hallii, named for forest geneticist Richard Hall; Tubakia tiffanyae, named for mycologist Lois Tiffany; and Tubakia macnabbii, named for forest pathologist H. Sande McNabb. More

BBMB Researcher Uncovers Clues to the Human Immune System
ISU researchers including Adam Barb, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, found a way to gain new insight into the human immune system by studying material left over after blood donations. The results, published recently in a peer-reviewed journal, illuminate the process of how the human body fights off harmful bacteria. More

Software Aims to Reduce Food Waste by Helping Those in Need
An ISU research team including Sugam Sharma, Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology, and U. Sunday Tim, agricultural and biosystems engineering, are testing a new online tool to provide food to those in need by reducing food waste. Restaurants, grocery stores and individuals can use the mobile-friendly software to post food they have to donate. Likewise, those in need can find nearby locations where food is available for pickup. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Council Seeking Nominations for Senior Awards
The CALS Student Council is seeking nominations for spring 2018 senior awards. Every fall and spring semester, CALS Council recognizes graduating seniors through six different awards: outstanding senior, leadership excellence, academic achievement, distinguished service, outstanding ambassador of agriculture and life sciences, and commitment to diversity. Nominations are due April 9. More

Students Participate in Regional ASPB Meeting
The Midwest regional meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists was held at ISU on March 3-4. More than 200 participants attended from 26 universities, Pioneer and Monsanto. From ISU, in addition to 15 faculty, there were five post docs, 46 graduate and 16 undergraduate students that participated and presented at the meeting.

Extension and Outreach

Iowa Sets Goal for Monarch Conservation
The updated Iowa Monarch Conservation Strategy seeks to establish approximately 480,000 to 830,000 acres of monarch habitat by 2038. The strategy – developed by the consortium members – guides the implementation and documentation of a voluntary, statewide conservation effort based on the best available science. More

Poll Examines Dealing with Herbicide-Resistant Weeds
The 2017 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll surveyed farmers to learn about their perspectives on the potential effectiveness of technological, incentive-based and cooperative approaches to managing herbicide resistance weeds. According to J. Gordon Arbuckle, sociology, the two highest rated options were “quick fix” approaches using new technology. More

Webinar to Highlight Non-Operator Landowner Roles in Conservation
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar about how to better engage non-operator landowners in natural resources conservation on Wednesday, March 21, at 12 p.m. The webinar will cover conservation check-up tools for farm land. More

Around the College

Pork Industry Honors Baas with Distinguished Service Award
The National Pork Board honored Tom Baas, animal science, with its Distinguished Service Award during the National Pork Industry Forum in Kansas City on March 1. The award recognizes Baas as an outstanding leader and recognizes his lifelong contribution to the pork industry. More A video is available online that provides an overview of Baas’ career.

Schulte Moore Joins PFI Board of Director
Lisa Schulte Moore, natural resource ecology and management, was elected to the Practical Farmers of Iowa board of directors in January by Practical Farmers members. She is the new friend-of-farmer at-large director. More

Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture, April 4
Amy Asmus, vice president of Asmus Farm Supply, will present the 2018 Carl and Marjory Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture on April 4 at 7 p.m. in the Dolezal Auditorium, 127 Curtiss Hall. More

CARET Representatives Visit Washington, D.C.
Iowa’s Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching representatives accompanied Joe Colletti, interim CALS dean, and John Lawrence, interim vice president for Extension and Outreach, earlier this month on a visit to Washington, D.C. to support research, teaching and outreach programs funded through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Don Latham of Alexander; Sally Stustman of Riverside; Bob Petrzelka of Mt. Pleasant; and Kevin Ross of Minden are the CARET members. The group talked with Iowa's Congressional delegation about appropriations for Smith-Lever, Hatch Act, McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry and Agriculture & Food Research Initiative.  A copy of the CARET report is available online.

Iowa Soybean Association Looks Back on Owen’s Career
Mike Owen recently retired after more than 30 years as a CALS agronomy professor and Extension and Outreach weed specialist. In an article published on March 7, the Iowa Soybean Association looks back on his career. Owen directed research on many topics including weed seedbank population dynamics, the genetic and physiological control of weed seed dormancy and herbicide resistance. More  


March 20: Hilton Chair Lecture Series
The next installment of the Hilton Chair Lecture Series, scheduled for Tuesday, March 20, 6 to 8:30 p.m. in 1148 Gerdin Business Building, includes appetizers and a movie. “Wasted: A Story of Food Waste” shows how influential chefs from around the world transform scraps of food into savory dishes. Following the movie, Lynn Pritchard, co-founder of Table 128: Bistro & Bar, will give a brief talk about how his restaurant handles food waste. More

March 21: The GMO Controversy
Kate Creasey, president and CEO of Grow More Foundation, will present “The GMO Controversy” on Wednesday, March 21, 4 to 5 p.m. in 3140 Agronomy Hall. More 

March 23: Scholarship Administrators Appreciation Open House
CALS faculty and staff who help administer scholarships and acknowledge donors are invited to join college leadership and the development team for an open house on Friday, March 23, 8:30 to 10 a.m. in the Curtiss Hall ground floor rotunda. Refreshments will be provided.

March 23: Registration Deadline for ADVANCE Workshop
Kathrin Zippel, associate professor of sociology at Northeastern University, will present a workshop on effective teams on March 26 in the Memorial Union Sunroom. The workshop will provide tools and promising practices to understanding and effectively navigating interpersonal dynamics and cultural differences in order to effectively lead and work in teams. Participants can select the morning (9:15 to 10:45) or afternoon (1:15 to 3:45) session. Register by Friday, March 23. CALS ADVANCE is a co-sponsor of the event.

March 26: Shivvers Memorial Lecture
The 2018 Shivvers Memorial Lecture sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the Department of Agronomy, will be held March 26 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Gallery. Steve Jones, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and director of the Bread Lab at Washington State University, will present “White Bread, Wheat Breeding and the Beauty of Place.”  More

Research Development Announcements and Funding Opportunities

Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Exploration Grants Round 21
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is inviting proposals for three challenge areas in Round 21 of the Grand Challenges Explorations program. The challenges are Innovations in Immunization Data Management, Use and Improved Process Efficiency; Affordable, Accessible and Appealing: The Next Generation of Nutrition; and Tools and Technologies for Broad-Scale Disease Surveillance of Crop Plants in Low-Income Countries. Initial grants are $100,000, and successful projects are eligible for additional funding of up to $1 million. Applications are due by May 2. Additional Grand Challenges funding opportunities are also open. More

AAAS Accepting Nominations for Awards and Prizes
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is accepting nominations for several annual awards and prizes that recognize significant contributions to science and the public's understanding of science. Among the programs accepting nominations are the Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science (due Aug. 1) and the Mentor Awards (due Aug. 15). Nomination deadlines vary for other programs. More

DOE RFI – Critical Water Issues Prize Competition
The U.S. Department of Energy seeks to understand barriers that may prevent long-term access to low-cost water supplies that could be addressed through challenges and prize competitions. These competitions can be used to engage a broad range of stakeholders in developing solutions to difficult problems. This Request for Information covers six categories of water problems. DOE may use feedback to develop competitions to address key water issues. Responses are due by May 14. More

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

April 10 (internal pre-proposal): Will T. Grant Scholars Program; limited submission. Contact for pre-proposal information.

May 1 (internal pre-proposal): WM Keck Foundation Research Programs – Medical and Science and Engineering; limited submission, contact for pre-proposal information.

May 7: USDA NIFA Higher Education Challenge Grant Program. More

May 7: USDA AMS Farmers Market Promotion Program. More

May 7: USDA AMS Local Food Promotion Program; matching funds of 25 percent of total project cost required. More

Communications Kiosk

Who’s vs. Whose
“Who’s” is a contraction for who is, not a possessive: Who’s there? “Whose” is the possessive: I do not know whose coat it is. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2017 edition, pg. 308)


New CALS Portraits Part of Leaders Exhibition in Morrill Hall
University Museums is hosting an exhibition, “Face Value: Portraits of Leaders,” beginning today, March 19, in the Reiman Gallery, 0003 Morrill Hall. The exhibition will feature 19 recent portrait acquisitions to the permanent ISU art collection, including Wendy Wintersteen, former Endowed Dean of CALS, Kendall Lamkey, chair of the Department of Agronomy, and Perry Holden, former agronomy department chair. The exhibition will run through March 28 and then the portraits will be installed in their permanent campus locations. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Upcoming Lecture Addresses Science and Environment Decision-Making
Rosina Bierbaum, professor of natural resources and environment at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability, will present “Science and Environmental Decision-Making: From the Lab to the White House and Beyond,” on Thursday, March 22, at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. 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. The agenda includes lightning talks, research and storytelling sessions, and a resource fair. Gregory Petsko, chair of the Department of Biochemistry at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, will present the keynote address, “Science and the Arts/Humanities: A Marriage Made in Heaven.” More

Engineers Develop Tools to Understand Autothermal Production of Bio-oil
ISU engineers have developed a process called autothermal pyrolysis that breaks down biomass for fuel and fertilizer. A recently announced grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office will support studies of the process, including development of models and design tools that could help reduce the risk of scaling up the technology for commercial use. More


The “Dean’s Desk” Installed at Borlaug Learning Center
An oak desk used by Henry Herbert Kildee, fourth dean of agriculture at ISU, in the dean’s office on campus, has been donated to CALS and placed in the Borlaug Learning Center at the Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua. Dean Kildee reportedly always had a typewriter on his desk. A Remington Noiseless Model 7 Portable Typewriter from the 1930s and 1940s was provided as a gift from the History on the Hill Museum in Winterset, made possible by museum director Jared McDonald and Brooke Blessington, executive director of ISU Madison County Extension. The desk and plaque were installed for the Northeast Iowa Agricultural Experiment Association annual meeting on March 6. 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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