KAS Section Descriptions

Agricultural Science
Agricultural science is an integrated science related to the production of plants, animals and related processes. It includes various divisions such as Agronomy, Horticulture, Forestry, Animal husbandry, Agricultural Engineering and Economics, and Aquaculture including aquaponics and hydroponics. Overall a stable agricultural sector ensures a nation of economy and food security. We invite graduate and undergraduate students and other professional researchers to present their research work at KAS meetings.

Anthropology / Sociology
The Anthropology and Sociology section aims to promote research and academic collaborations among Anthropologists and sociologists based at Kentucky’s higher education institutions. As sisterly fields that share a long and stellar legacy of inspiring a deeper understanding of humanity from cultural, biological and social perspectives, Anthropology and Sociology enjoy a respected place in most colleges and universities in our region and beyond. Educators and students of Anthropology and Sociology programs throughout Kentucky’s higher education institutions are encouraged to participate at the KAS annual conferences to meet their colleagues and learn from each other’s work.

The Botany Section focuses on studies of plant taxonomy and diversity, herbaria, and evolutionary history (phylogenetics).

Cellular & Molecular Biology
Cellular Biology is the study of the structure and function of a cell.  Molecular Biology is the study of the structure and function of biomolecules that are essential for life.  Together, Cellular and Molecular biology help us understand the fundamental functions of the cell and its molecular activities within the context of a tissue or organism interacting with its environment.

Analytical and Physical Chemistry
Analytical Chemistry focuses on analytical methods and instrumentation for qualitative and quantitative measurements of various inorganic/organic compounds. The topics covered include, but are not limited to, industrial, agricultural, environmental, pharmaceutical, biological analyses.  Physical Chemistry deals with physical structure of chemical compounds, properties, behavior and transformations.  Topics covered include, but are not limited to, electrochemistry, chemical kinetics, quantum chemistry, computational chemistry, thermodynamics, spectroscopy, macromolecules and solid state.

Organic/Inorganic Chemistry
The Organic and Inorganic Chemistry Section of KAS focuses on the study of organic, inorganic, and organometallic compounds.  This includes the synthesis, characterization, properties, and theoretical description of these compounds, as well as their use in a variety of applications, including industry, agriculture, and medicine.

Computer & Information Science

Ecology aims to understand how organisms interact with each other and the environment.  Studies on the biotic and abiotic factors that influence the distribution and abundance of organisms can be at many levels including organismal, population, community, ecosystem and global ecology.  Understanding the role and impact(s) of conservation biology is also an important aspect of this subject area.

The Engineering Section consists of mechanical, electrical, civil, and chemical engineers and students in the private sector and academia. Engineering work includes the development of new products and technology, the improvement on designs of existing products or systems, and the creation of computer models to better understand our world.

Environmental Science
Environmental Science attempts to understand processes and patterns of the natural word, particularly modification of these by human activity.  It is a distinctly interdisciplinary field including studies from any branch of natural science that examine human influence on the natural world.  Studies from social science that examine human interactions with the natural world are also included.  

Geography is the spatial study of the Earth as a system. The discipline couples physical and social components to study human-environment interactions. Whether a human or physical geographer, to better understand these complex interactions geographers make use of a wide range of geospatial skills and techniques, including geographic information sciences (GIS), remote sensing and spatial modeling.

Geology is the scientific study of planet Earth. This study includes the Earth’s constituent materials and processes that act on these materials, as well as the history of the planet and life. Geology is a multi-disciplinary field and considers the Earth’s physics, chemistry, atmosphere, and biology. Geology also considers evidence from meteorites, the moon, and other planetary bodies in the Solar System and beyond as clues as to the formation of the Earth. Geology aids in the discovery and exploitation of natural resources and seeks ways to mitigate pollution and environmental risks. Like all science, geology uses scientific evidence to create theories to interpret past events and make predictions about the future.

Health Sciences
Health-related research is the purview of this section.  This is necessarily broad, as many of other KAS areas could involve research related to health (e.g., microbiology, botany, immunology, chemistry, agriculture, ecology and environmental science, engineering, public health, psychology, health informatics).  Some examples include (but are not limited to):  chemical analyses of health-impacting substances, clinical studies, public-health research, pharmacology, nutrition, and the use of health-related technologies.

According to Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mathematics ), mathematics is “the science of numbers and their operations, interrelations, combinations, generalizations, and abstractions and of space configurations and their structure, measurement, transformations, and generalizations”.  The Mathematics Section is interested in all sorts of mathematical studies.  Past Mathematics Section presentations have included expository talks on numerical analysis and the history of mathematics as well as original research in the analysis of games and the mathematical modelling of the spread of disease.

Microbiology includes bacteria, archaea, or viruses. Microbiology overlaps with a number of other areas of research (e.g., bacterial, fungus, cell line botany, immunology, biochemistry, food chemistry, agriculture, ecology and environmental science and engineering, public health).  Some examples of research include (but are not limited to): molecular biology or technologies, chemical analyses of health-impacting substances, clinical studies, food safety, public-health research, and pharmacology.

Physics & Astronomy
The Physics & Astronomy section focuses on the fundamental laws of nature through computational, experimental, and theoretical approaches. It includes studies in astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, condensed matter, biological and medical physics, atomic and molecular physics, optics, nonlinear dynamical systems, plasma and fusion, nuclear and particle physics.

Physiology & Biochemistry
The Physiology and Biochemistry Section aims to understand how organisms, organ systems, cells, and biomolecules carry out the chemical or physical functions of living systems.  While physiology principally focuses on the level of organs and systems, and biochemistry focuses on the level of molecules and biochemical processes, an integration of the two are needed to clearly understand the normal functioning of living systems and how this functioning is affected by factors such as toxins, stress, or disease.

 The Psychology Section of KAS seeks to share empirical research that focuses on the mental life and behaviors of humans and other animals. We welcome research from any of the major subfields of psychology--clinical, social, experimental, developmental, cognitive, organizational, cultural, school, comparative, etc.--and we also welcome research from developing fields and interdisciplinary approaches.

Science Education
Science Education is the field of research focused on teaching and learning science. Science Education employs a wide variety of research methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative, in its exploration into the development of effective pedagogical practices designed to improve learning in science and to understand how that learning is achieved.

The Zoology Section encompasses a wide variety of subjects that have animal life as a focus.  Topics covered emphasize various aspects of animal biology, including, but not limited to, behavior, development and ontogeny, physiology, taxonomy and systematics, biodiversity, ecology, and evolution.