Footnotes, Spring 2010

Students Participate In Demos With Search, Rescue Dogs

Robin Habeger, development officer with the Iowa State Foundation, moonlights as a search and rescue dog trainer. She often visits undergraduate courses to demonstrate training methods as she is doing in the photo at right. During the demonstration she emphasizes the importance of body language, timing and play as a reward for working dogs. The students pictured are in Anna Johnson’s Domestic Animal Behavior and Well-being class (see story on Johnson on page 18). Moses, a Yellow Labrador-Golden Retriever mix, is one of two search and rescue dogs owned by Habeger. He is a FEMA disaster dog in training with Nebraska Task Force 1.

Video Highlights Grad Students’ Biorenewable Research

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences scientists and graduate students are researching technologies, biomass and cropping systems to help Iowa become a leader in the bioeconomy. Together they are partnering with farmers, businesses and industry to produce food, feed, fiber and fuel and create new opportunities for Iowans. To watch the video visit

Automated Odor Mitigation Gets Cues From Climate

Steven Hoff, an Iowa State University professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, has developed a system for operating odor mitigation systems only when the weather is most likely to cause the odors to become a nuisance to neighbors. Hoff’s odor mitigation prototype monitors several climate variables and operates only when neighbors may be affected. The system is a miniature weather station that includes locations of neighbors as part of its programming. “If no one is going to be impacted by the odors emitting from a pig house, let’s say, or a poultry house, then save the farmer some money and don’t mitigate,” he says. Learn more at

Budding Illustrators Create Drawings For New ISU Weed Identification Guide

Students in biological and pre-medical illustration (BPMI) created technically accurate illustrations of several grass species for a Weed ID Guide published by the Corn and Soybean Initiative at Iowa State University. The publication is part of a series of field guides widely used by agriculture and university professionals and growers to aid in-field crop management. The students are Jamie Rippke, Ames; Stephen Robinson, Story City; Kaitlin Lindsay, Kearney, Neb.; and Jessica Thompson, Chicago. December 2009 graduate Azusa Okuwa, Kanazawa, Japan, also participated in the project. In return, the students earned course credit towards their degree in BPMI – an undergraduate major in Iowa State’s colleges of Design and Liberal Arts and Sciences for students who want to combine interests and aptitudes in science and art. The major prepares students for careers in biological illustration or for graduate education in medical illustration.