Department

Dr. David W. Staniforth (1919-1984) was a pioneer in the field of weed science. His research efforts helped to shape the effective weed control systems used by farmers today. His experience spanned the development of modern herbicide technology, beginning with work on the mode of action of 2,4-D and continuing through refinements in weed control systems including the development of weed control for conservation tillage.

By Ellen Bombella, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service

Ken Moore led the development of a distance education program in agronomy 19 years ago and this year he received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Distance Education in Teaching Award for his hard work.

There have been a lot of changes in technology since Moore started the program. One of the first roadblocks was the students' ability to access the internet. When the program began in 1998, it was very expensive for students to use the internet and online courses were not common.

by Ellen Bombella, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service

Sotirios Archontoulis' curiosity about crops, soil and weather started at a very young age when he was growing up in Greece. He remembers going to the fields with his father, who was a farmer, in the heat of the afternoon to see if the crops needed watered.

"I thought to myself, there has to be a better way than this," Archontoulis said. "I was motivated to pursue agronomy because the farmers had to make important decisions without help."

Mike Owen grew up in Ames. His dad was a faculty member for the Atomic Energy Commission during the “Little Ankeny Project.”

“I grew up one house down from David Staniforth,” says Owen. “I started working on his crew in high school.”

After high school, he became a botany major at Iowa State. In 1970 he left Iowa State for a wrestling scholarship at another university. Due to an injury he gave up the scholarship and was drafted for the Vietnam War in 1971. Owen did a pre-induction physical and was accepted into the Army. He returned to Iowa State Spring Semester of 1971 and regained his student deferment.

The Science Center of Iowa hosted a STEM for Girls event February 10. Groups in our department hosted two different booths.

Michelle Graham and Jamie O'Rourke's team, our affiliates from the USDA, taught kids about DNA extraction using strawberries. Here in Agronomy, Michelle and Jamie use similar technology to research soybeans.

A group of our ag meteorology graduate students also attended and helped the kids build their own an anemometer to measure the speed of wind.

Graduate student Kevin Falk also germinated seedlings with different root structures for everyone to see.

The Iowa State College of Agricultural and Life Sciences awards are selected each semester to highlight the excellent contributions of faculty and staff. The Department of Agronomy won several awards for the Spring 2018 semester. All awards will be given at the awards ceremony held March 8 at 4:10 pm in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union. Congratulations to the following Agronomy faculty and staff on a job well done:

 

Ken Pecinovsky, superintendent of the Nashua research farm - P&S Award of Excellence

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