Catching Up with CALS — Nov. 1, 2017
Dean's Message — Join In
The CALS Dean’s Advisory Committee met last week. It provided a good opportunity to hear from those who are committed to making the college a better place.
One of the takeaways for me was their feedback that our stakeholders want to invest time and effort in helping us better serve the state. One way to do that is to create effective advisory committees at the department level.
We have some departments in the college that are highly effective at connecting with stakeholders and benefiting from their advice. We have others that could do more.
The college needs your advice, too. I hope you participated in the CALS All College Meeting this morning.
One of the takeaways from the meeting is a tangible reminder about the importance of the college and our efforts to encourage staff to participate more fully.
A quote on a special edition T-shirt created for members of our new CALS Employee Engagement Committee reminds us of why we’re all here:
“Agriculture ... is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.”
It is taken from a letter to George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, who wrote from Paris Aug. 14, 1787.
We can draw strength from the recognition that our efforts are part of our nation’s DNA. And we can honor that heritage by keeping true to it.
MICHAEL P. PARRELLA
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
By the Numbers
12,072 students is number the U of I's official fall census reported to the State Board of Education last month. The breakdown includes 10,012 undergraduates, 1,671 graduate students, 310 law students and 79 WWAMI medical students. The tally includes 8,910 resident, 2,452 nonresident and 710 international students. UI students come from all 50 states, 73 countries, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Our Stories — Cummings Center Expanding Facility
On Nov. 16, things will start looking bigger and better for educational opportunities in the Salmon River Valley with a groundbreaking ceremony for an upgrade at the University of Idaho’s Nancy M. Cummings Research, Extension and Education Center near Salmon.
The UI College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will celebrate moving forward on a new classroom and office building at the university’s top beef cattle research center.
The 11 a.m. event at the center located at 16 Hot Springs Ranch Road in Carmen will highlight the new classroom building’s opportunities for university classes, UI Extension efforts and collaborations with elementary through high school students. A lunch and reception will follow from noon to 2 p.m.
John Hall, Cummings center superintendent, said the planned 8,100-square-foot building will offer greater opportunities for university students at the center and for online classes. It will also support spring science day activities with fifth and seventh grade students.
“This building will be a tremendous addition to the research center and the community,” he said. “With expanded numbers of faculty, staff and students, we simply don’t have enough room for everyone. The new classroom will provide an opportunity for local access to some UI classes as well as be a resource for the community.”
UI Extension Lemhi County will benefit by having a space at the ranch for its educational classes and workshops, he added.
The new building will free up space in the existing shop for an advanced laboratory and move offices out of other buildings to expand student housing.
The building will be funded primarily by donated funds. The university has received two gifts of $250,000 each from the Auen Foundation and the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. The foundation donated the former Hot Springs Ranch to the university in 2005 to create the center.
Architect Don Stamp of Carmen developed the initial concept and renderings for the new building.
CALS Team Posts Top 10 Finish in Latest Stage of Water Prize
A University of Idaho team won recognition for its innovative water treatment technology with a top-10 finish in the latest round of an international competition to reduce water pollution linked to toxic algae blooms.
U of I College of Agricultural and Life Sciences researchers Greg Moller, Dan Strawn and Martin Baker were honored by The Everglades Foundation Thursday in Chicago. The event concluded the second preliminary stage of the $10 million George Barley Water Prize competition.
The U of I Clean Water Machine that Moller, Strawn and Baker are developing can reduce phosphorus levels in polluted waters to below the most stringent federal and state water quality standards.
The U of I technology mimics the soil’s natural ability to clean water, Moller said. It uses air, rust, sand, charcoal and electricity to remove fertilizers and other contaminants from polluted water.
The Barley Prize entry by U of I team was a cooperative project with Nexom, a wastewater treatment company that licenses U of I technology, and Cool Planet, a company that produces biochar, tiny particles of charcoal from agricultural and forestry residues.
The Everglades Foundation’s initiative was launched to prevent phosphorus and other nutrients from damaging water quality in Florida’s famed “River of Grass.” The resulting algae blooms turned the state’s coastal waters fetid green.
The U of I Clean Water Machine Team is targeting the Boise River in its water cleanup research. Moller said the researchers are actively working on the phosphorus challenges to water quality there, the Snake River and other Idaho waters.
Faces and Places
CALS Director of Administrative Services and Chief Financial Officer Christian Elsberry will resign her position effective Friday, Nov. 3. She has accepted a position as U of I assistant vice president of advancement services.
- Nov. 1 — Professor Debate sponsored by Idaho Collegiate Farm Bureau featuring agricultural economists Cathy Roheim, Liang Lu, Phil Watson and Jason Winfree. Agricultural Science 106, 5 p.m.
- Nov. 14 — The Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting, the biggest industry event of the year. Shoshone-Bannock Events Center, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Nov. 16 — Nancy M. Cummings Research, Extension and Education Center classroom building groundbreaking, 11 a.m. MT
- Nov. 18 — 2017 Women in Ag Conference planned in 40 locations, including Bonners Ferry, Caldwell, Coeur d’Alene, McCall, Salmon, Sandpoint and Twin Falls. Registration $25 until Nov. 5, $30 after. 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. PT
- Dec. 7 — U of I SAS (Short and Sweet) Research Speaker Series, Greg Moller, IRIC, 4-7 p.m.
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