Academic leaders


Iowa State's academic leadership team awaits other members of the procession during the undergraduate commencement ceremony May 11 in Hilton Coliseum. From left are deans Olivia Madison, Library; Lisa Nolan, Veterinary Medicine; Michael Crum, Business (interim); Sarah Rajala, Engineering; Beate Schmittmann, Liberal Arts and Sciences; Luis Rico-Gutierrez, Design; Pam White, Human Sciences; Wendy Wintersteen; Agriculture and Life Sciences; and David Holger, Graduate College; and senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Be prepared for weather extremes

Lightning on campus

Lightning over the Iowa State Center. Photo by Naipong Vang.

Unsettled weather is an Iowa mainstay, and so is Inside's annual reminder of the university's severe weather safety and preparedness guidelines -- for storms, extreme heat, flooding and more.

Lists of weather coordinators, evacuation maps and weather radio locations are available for individual campus buildings on the environmental health and safety website. The EH&S site also offers additional weather safety information and resources, including links to National Weather Service websites and the safety tips listed below.

Severe weather

  • Be aware of weather conditions at all times, especially if severe weather is predicted
  • Sign up for an email or text alert from local news organizations
  • Download a weather app for smart phones or mobile devices (many are free)
  • If you receive a severe weather message, spread the word to your co-workers and family members, especially those who work outside


  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to harm you
  • If you hear thunder -- even in the distance -- move to a safe place. Fully enclosed buildings are best. Sheds, picnic tables, tents and covered porches do not protect from lightning. If no safe buildings are nearby, jump in a car (with a hard metal top) and close all the windows. Stay put for at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.
  • If you are planning outdoor activities, know where to go for safety and how long it will take to get there
  • Consider postponing outdoor activities or moving them inside if thunderstorms are predicted
  • Don't use a corded phone while it's thundering and lightning, unless it's an emergency. Cordless and cell phones are OK.
  • Don't use any plumbing fixtures during a thunderstorm since water pipes conduct electricity


  • Head to higher ground if a flash flood warning is issued for your area
  • Don't drive or walk through floodwaters
  • If you live or work in a flood-prone area, be prepared to evacuate quickly and consider gathering emergency supplies, such as:
    • three-day supply of nonperishable food and water
    • flashlight
    • seven-day supply of medications
    • copies of personal documents (for example: insurance policies, birth certificates, deeds)
    • cell phone with charger
    • tools for securing your home
    • insect repellent and sunscreen
    • extra sets of car and house keys
    • camera to shoot photos of damage to your property


  • If you hear a tornado siren while inside a building, go to a windowless interior room on the lowest level; bathrooms often are best.  Avoid buildings with large expansive roof structures, like the Armory. Many campus buildings have designated storm shelters.
  • If you are walking across campus and hear the tornado siren, get to the nearest building and follow the same procedures
  • If you are driving a car and debris begins flying around you, pull over and park. Your next two options are:
    • stay in the car, buckle your seatbelt and keep your head below the windows and cover it with your hands or a blanket
    • if you can safely get to a ditch or area lower than the road, exit the car, lie down and cover your head


Know the signs of heat stress, such as:

  • muscle spasms
  • heavy sweating
  • fainting, collapse
  • blurred vision
  • weakness, fatigue
  • pale, clammy skin
  • dizziness
  • confusion, erratic behavior

To avoid heat stress, take frequent breaks in a cool, shaded area and drink water. If symptoms appear serious, seek medical help.

Keeping it local at the gardens

Winged Samaras

Winged Samaras, by Tim Adams.

It's all about Iowa at Reiman Gardens, expressed through art, plants, displays and events planned for the "More than Meets the Iowa" theme year that runs through December.

Grasshopper sculpture

Grasshopper, by Kevin Korte.

An assortment of 13 garden-inspired sculptures, created by artists with ties to Iowa, are scattered throughout the grounds. The art pieces are made from a variety of materials, including metals, wood and plaster.

In addition to the sculptures, the Iowa theme is woven into several displays, including the:

  • conservatory (Winds of Change, Balloons All Around and Our Holiday Heritage)
  • Garden Room (Iowa's Main Streets)
  • butterfly wing (Jewel of Iowa)
  • campanile garden (Diversity in Bloom and Landscapes of Grant Wood)
  • Stafford Garden (Iowa's Prairie Heritage)
  • home production garden (Save Our Seeds)
  • herb garden (Herbs Rock)
  • children's garden (Blue Ribbon Garden)
  • south field, Dunlap Courtyard (RAGBRAI)
  • trial garden (Flower Caucus)

Gardens admission is free for ISU students, members and active duty military personnel; $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $4 for youth. Beginning Memorial Day, extended summer hours go into effect, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (butterfly wing closes at 4:30 p.m.). Photos by Bob Elbert.

Seven professors awarded new titles

Three professors are the first to receive a new faculty award recognizing excellence in teaching. Thomas Greenbowe, chemistry; Gail Nonnecke, horticulture; and Leo Timms, animal science, recently were named Morrill Professors.

The award recognizes faculty who excel in teaching in undergraduate, graduate or extension and outreach programs.  The award also carries an obligation to share their expertise. The professors will do that as members in the Morrill Academy for Teaching and Learning.

The Morrill award joins two others -- Distinguished Professor and University Professor -- in the lineup of prestigious faculty awards announced in the spring.

Jack Dekkers, animal sciences; Catherine Kling, economics; and Patrick Schnable, agronomy, received Distinguished Professor titles, which are given to full professors whose contributions to their academic disciplines are recognized nationally or internationally.

Micheal Owen, agronomy, received the University Professor title, which honors change agents who have made exceptional contributions to the university.

Distinguished Professors

Jack Dekkers


Jack Dekkers
Charles F. Curtiss Professorship in Agriculture and Life Sciences

Dekkers made significant contributions to livestock industries by developing innovative molecular genetic analysis and selection methods in swine breeding programs. He is renowned for his work on statistical genetic analysis of quantitative traits and genetic basis of feed efficiency and disease in pigs.

Dekkers is a professor of animal science. He is among eight scientists to receive the highest awards in animal breeding and genetics from both the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science.

Catherine Kling


Catherine Kling
Charles F. Curtiss Professorship in Agriculture and Life Sciences

Kling is well-known for research in the areas of environmental amenities, tradable pollution permits and water and carbon sequestration. Her work includes a landmark study on Clear Lake (Iowa) restoration and a study of the Mississippi watershed in connection with Gulf of Mexico pollution. She is considered among the top environmental economists in the world.

Kling is a professor of economics and currently serves as president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

Patrick Schnable


Patrick Schnable
Charles F. Curtiss Professorship in Agriculture and Life Sciences

A leader in maize genetics and genomics, Schnable has notched many major research accomplishments and served as co-leader of the National Science Foundation-funded maize genomic sequencing project. He is founding director of the Center for Plant Genomics and the Center for Plant Transformation and co-founder of Data2Bio, a successful start-up company.

Schnable is the Baker Professor of Agronomy and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

University Professor

Micheal Owen


Micheal Owen

Through his national stature in herbicide management and his prolific research and hands-on training in weed herbicide resistance, Owen has enhanced the reputation of Iowa State's weed sciences programs.  On campus, he also has served as a change agent through leadership in Faculty Senate. He played a major role in development and approval of two faculty policies intended to improve and recognize faculty excellence.

Owen is a professor of agronomy and an Extension weed specialist.

Morrill Professors

Thomas Greenbowe


Thomas Greenbowe

Greenbowe's broad national and international impact in chemistry education stems from his research in teaching and learning and his innovative instructional use of computer visualizations to enhance student understanding and problem-solving. He also has amassed a strong record of outreach to students and educators (K-12 and post-secondary) through hands-on demonstrations and his "Guided Inquiry in the AP Chemistry Classroom" series.

Greenbowe is a professor of chemistry.

Gail Nonnecke


Gail Nonnecke

A change agent in the classroom, Nonnecke has broadened "education" to include learning communities, study abroad and service learning -- all aspects of the student experience at Iowa State.  She is recognized as a teacher and leader by organizations inside and outside of Iowa State. Her area of research is small fruit crops, and her classroom extends to the farms of fruit and vegetable growers throughout Iowa.

Nonnecke is a University Professor of horticulture.

Leo Timms


Leo Timms

Timms is an innovative and stimulating educator in the classroom, on-farm with dairy producers or 4-H youth, and on campus with fellow researchers. His multidisciplinary programming in Extension with dairy producers and industry groups allows him to bring real-life examples to the classroom. He also regularly involves undergrads in his research programs and has an impressive service record.

Timms is a professor of animal science and Extension dairy specialist.

About the awards

The first Distinguished Professor award was given in 1956. Distinguished Professors receive a $6,500 increase to their base salaries.

The first University Professors were named in 1993. University Professors receive a $6,000 base salary increase.

Iowa State has its first three Morrill Professors this year. They receive a $6,000 base salary increase.