September 2022

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KAS has been standing up for Science in Kentucky since 1914! We encourage aspiring scientists, promote science literacy, give science a voice in policymaking, and recognize those who make the future brighter through scientific discovery.


News from Partners

EPSCoR & IDeA Newsletter - September Established Program for Stimulating Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and Institutional Development Award (IDeA), including federal funding opportunities and more!

Ky- INBRE News - September KY IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence supports biomedical researchers and educators within the Commonwealth. The purpose of the network is to develop infrastructure and capacity for biomedical research and training in the state.

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Share your news with KAS members

If you have something to share in the monthly KAS newsletter, get in touch with our Newsletter editor, Mark dela Cerna.

Publish in the KAS Journal

The Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science publishes work in the Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences.
Digital issues are published as Issues-in-Progress which expedites publication for authors.

Illustration from:
Occurrence of Compsopogon coeruleus (red alga) on Lernaea (Copepoda) from Fishes in the Obion Creek Drainage, Hickman County, Kentucky
William G. Wells, Joshua Alvarez
Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science 82 (1), 42-44, (28 January 2022) Abstract
Log in to read the full article
Watch a
video about the research

How to Join the KAS Listserv

KAS has set up a listserv so our members can talk to each other, to share science-related news & announcements, offers, requests, questions and answers.

 Opt In to the listserv:
Log In at the KAS website (
In the Member Menu, go to Communication / Message Boards
Click to Opt In to the KAS Member Listserv (and choose the Daily Digest option if  you prefer)
To post to the listserv, send a message to

Newsletter General Update

Mark dela Cerna, Newsletter Editor

A new school year has started for everyone! I hope that everyone is staying safe and having a fantastic start for the Fall semester. There's a lot of things happening around the state right now so this newsletter is quite long.
    That said, allow me to share a quick update: as I have accepted a new position, news, announcements, and other pieces that you would like to share should now be sent to or the official newsletter email,
    I look forward to continuing helping you connect with other members of the Kentucky Academy of Science!


Kentucky Strong: How we can help Eastern KY

Relief efforts continue to help our fellow Kentuckians who were affected by the July flooding in Eastern Kentucky. The local government has established the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund to assist our friends who were impacted by the flood and storms. You can learn more about this fund and donate by visiting the Team EKY Flood Relief Fund page.
Airlift rescue during the July 2022 flooding. Photo from the National Guard (, CC-BY-2.0)

Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about this unprecedented flooding, Dr. William Haneburg of the Kentucky Geological Survey released a statement early last month. Click here to read the director's statement.

K12 Student Science Research Info session with KAS, Sept 7

Calling all scientists interested in K12 mentoring!

The Kentucky Academy of Science is hosting an information session on September 7th, Wednesday at 7 pm ET to share some opportunities to participate in our 2022-2023 Student Mentoring Program.

KAS is matching middle & high school students (and teachers) with KAS scientists, to help middle & high school students get involved in science research. We're looking to reach students all over Kentucky who are interested in a STEM career pathway. Research projects can happen in a classroom, at home, outside, in a laboratory with scientists, or in an online citizen science community. We're matching up scientist mentors with students & teachers based on your interests & availability. We encourage those who are interested to attend the info session.

Scientists and graduate students who are interested in participating should also fill out the questionnaire to let us know about your area of expertise, availability, and other relevant information. 

We are also encouraging students and teachers to participate in the joint KAS/KJAS meeting this coming November 10th-12th. Any Kentucky student over 6th grade who is interested in science is welcome!
To register for the September 7th Info Session on Zoom, click here. We hope to see you there!

KAS Annual Meeting in Morehead November 10-12

Annual Meeting Registration and
Abstract Submission

Early registration and abstract submission deadline is October 1st. Click here for additional details about our annual meeting. To continue to meeting registration, follow this link.

This year, we are incorporating the Kentucky Junior Academy of Science into the 2022 KAS Annual Meeting. Our partners at the Center for STEM+ eXcellence are helping us produce a terrific experience for our young scientists in middle and high schools. 

Keynote Speaker, Nov. 12th (11:30 AM)
Travelling Through Disciplines
Prof. Andrea Armani works across disciplinary boundaries. Dr. Armani is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California where she is developing novel non-linear materials and integrated optical devices that can be used in understanding disease progression and in quantum optics. 

Interdisciplinary Session Topics
This year we've added a few special interdisciplinary themed sessions. If your presentation fits into one of these, we welcome you to submit into that session:
  • Cancer 
  • Climate Science
  • Drug Addiction 
  • Environmental Justice
  • Equity in Science
  • Green Energy

Evening at the Space Center
Friday evening we'll be at the Morehead State University Space Science Center. Join us for tours, food, and a show at the Star Theater!
Anechoic chamber at Morehead Space Science Center

Local Accommodations
We have hotel blocks for attendees of the Kentucky Academy of Science Annual Meeting. These are at Hampton Inn - Morehead and Best Western Eagles Inn - Morehead. Click here for details on KAS hotel blocks.

Click here for an overview of meeting itinerary.

Annual Meeting Teachers Workshops

We are delighted to offer five workshops for teachers at the KAS/JKAS Annual Meeting in Morehead! Visit our webpage for additional details.

Nov. 10th, Thursday, 5-8pm ET
  • DNA in Color with Dr. Elizabeth Thomas
  • Aquaculture with Dr. Ken Thompson

Nov. 12th, Saturday, 12-5pm ET
  • Tree Rings with Dr. Maegen Rochner
  • Amgen Biotech Experience with Dr. Joanne Dobbins
  • Color Mixing using Glow Sticks and Spectroscopy with Dr. Jennifer Birriel

We are offering workshops at no cost for K12 teachers. If you're interested in supporting the teacher workshops as a Sponsor, please email us.

Be a Sponsor Exhibitor or Advertiser for the KAS Annual Meeting

The KAS Annual Meeting is the biggest STEM event in Kentucky! It is a great place to recruit, network, and promote your services.

You should join us if you are:
  • An employer looking for talented STEM professionals
  • An institution looking to recruit students for graduate school
  • A company or organization with products or services for scientists & students
  • Interested in spending time with Kentucky's scientific community!
To find out more about sponsorship and exhibitor options, click here.

KAS Elections Announcement

A Special Election is currently open. An email with the link to vote has been sent via email. Please vote by October 1st.

The Regular 2022 Election will open in October
The Kentucky Academy of Science is seeking to fill 4 board vacancies. Any member may nominate another member for a board position. The KAS Governing Board meets quarterly. KAS members interested in nominating themselves or a colleague for these vacant positions should forward the name, e-mail address/phone number for each candidate, and indicate the leadership position of interest to the KAS Past President Trent Garrison at Please send nominations with a bio (no more than 200 words) by September 15th 2022.
We are seeking nominations for the following offices:
  • KAS Vice President
  • 2 Physical Sciences Representatives
  • Social / Behavioral Sciences Representative
For a description of responsibilities, see the KAS Bylaws.

KAS Science & Outreach Award - nominations open

The KAS Excellence in Science Education & Outreach Award provides recognition of distinctive activities, educational programs, or approaches that increase involvement, engagement, and sustainability of science in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Nominations are open to individual members, and to groups of members (for example, from one or various institutions), that have collaborated on Education and Public Outreach initiatives. 

Evaluation criteria includes advocacy and involvement in public outreach, and overall impact on the public. For more information about the award, click here. Please send nomination materials to KAS Vice-President, Noel Novelo at

Candidates asked to share thoughts on science issues

Rob Weber, KAS Communications and Policy Director

The KAS Education and Advocacy Committee has asked Kentucky candidates for state and federal legislative offices to share their thoughts on science policy issues through a questionnaire that was distributed more than 200 candidates.

The surveys were created in collaboration with the National Science Policy Network, which works with science groups across the nation on candidate questionnaires. The ten-question survey touched upon topics including STEM education, innovation, PFAS chemicals, and climate change.
    Candidates were asked to provide short, complete responses to convey their positions and assist voters in making their decisions. KAS informed candidates that the organization would remain non-partisan and would not editorialize on candidate responses.

Click here to continue reading...

Dark Waters Screening + PFAS panel discussion, Sept 18

Dark Waters Screening 
and Panel Discussion

September 18th, 3 pm, Cinema+

Tickets are free and available on a first come, first served basis

Dark Waters, directed by Todd Haynes, is inspired by a true story of a man— Rob Bilott—and his decades-long battle against big chemical companies who have been poisoning us and our communities. Join us at Cinema+ for a screening followed by a panel discussion.

The post-screening panel will be moderated by Nima Kulkarni, Attorney and Kentucky State Representative, District 40. Among the panelists are:
  • Rob Bilott, Esq., Partner in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Offices, Stettinius & Hollister LLP
  • Elijah Yetter-Bowman, Director of Angel of Alabama and GenX: A Chemical Cocktail
  • Samantha Bauer, Engagement Producer, Ethereal Films
  • Jamie Lynn Young, Ph.D., University of Louisville School of Medicine, Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute

KAS Grant Applications

KAS Research Grants ‚Äč2023 Cycle ‚ÄčOpening Soon!

The application for the 2023 Cycle of the KAS Research Grants will open soon! If you have a research project that could benefit from a little funding, you should watch out for these research grants. For additional details and past funded projects, visit the KAS Grants Page. These grants are available to KAS members, with opportunities for faculty and for students, as well as for science education and outreach. The applications will be due on November 15.

Training Opportunity in Civically Engaged Science

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) has launched an advocacy program: Scholars Transforming Through Research (STR). The STR Program serves as a six month professional development opportunity for undergraduate students and faculty/mentors interested in garnering communication and advocacy skills to leverage the impact of their undergraduate research experience by conveying their story to stakeholder groups such as funding agencies, association partners, elected officials, future employers, community, and beyond.

This program will broaden participation allowing for engagement from students at varied stages of the undergraduate research process. CUR encourages teams of one faculty/mentor and up to two students to submit their application to the STR Program by September 7, 2022. Learn more about this program at For more details on training dates and locations, click here.

Presentation/acceptance remarks for paleontology award published online

Rob Weber, KAS Communications and Policy Director

Cambridge University Press recently published the presentation that was offered when KAS Geology Section Chair Dan Phelps received the Paleontological Society’s 2021 Harrell L. Strimple Award.
    In the presentation, Colin D. Sumrall of the University of Tennessee’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, recognized Phelps’ longtime contributions to science education, including his advocacy for evolution and the fossil record in Kentucky. He also praised Phelps as the founder and president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society (KPS).

 “The KPS would not be the success it is without Dan's continued leadership,” Sumrall said in his presentation. “Dan also has discovered many interesting and important fossils and fossil localities and has been extremely generous with his material by assuring it gets into the hands of scientific community and is properly curated. Dan has been a stalwart supporter of science and a vocal and eloquent critic of the insurgence of creation science in central Kentucky. I can think of few that have done so much to better society and our scientific community than Dan Phelps!”
You can read the full presentation online at Phelps’ acceptance remarks upon receiving the award have also been published online by Cambridge University Press. You’ll find those remarks at

Envisioning the Future of NSF EPSCoR

NSF’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) seeks to expand opportunities for diverse faculty, staff, and student populations through a geographic approach focused on strengthening research capabilities and competitiveness.

Different perspectives, skill sets, and visions are needed for the U.S. to remain at the forefront of innovation and discovery. The Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) established a subcommittee to conduct a visioning activity for the future of NSF EPSCoR. The video highlights the outcomes of this visioning process. The full committee report can also be accessed here


Online Smithsonian educator development

Attracting All Learners to STEM Using Culturally Based Pedagogy
October 14 and 15, Online

The Smithsonian Science Education Center is offering this free online professional learning opportunity. The deadline to register is Friday, October 7, 2022 at 5 pm ET. Click here to register.

During this professional development, participants will receive an overview of culturally relevant, responsive, and sustaining pedagogies as theoretical frameworks that can be integrated into STEM classrooms. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from educators and community partners who can speak about the positive impact of using culturally based practices. Participants will finally spend time contextualizing their learnings to develop a SMART goal focused on improving their STEM instruction, before networking with field experts and researchers to collect resources and gain support for their ideas.

For additional details about this programming, click here.

Science Job Postings around KY

If you're looking for a job or if you're hiring, pop over to our jobs page. Please send any job announcements to and include contact information and closing date. We have several new job postings this month that you can view by clicking here. 
KAS Newsletter - September 2022