March 2023

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.


Donate to KAS

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.


Follow us on social media!

Stay updated on all things KAS! Like and follow the Kentucky Academy of Science


 KAS Channel

News from Partners

EPSCoR & IDeA News Established Program for Stimulating Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and Institutional Development Award (IDeA), including federal funding opportunities and more! EPSCoR is a program serving states such as Kentucky, to build capacity for federally funded scientific research.

Ky- INBRE Recent News  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. Their newsletter  has training events, funding leads, and job opportunities.  You can also subscribe at the above link.

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

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.

KJAS Student Delegates Attend AJAS Meeting

Melony Stambaugh

Kentucky high school students representing KAS/KJAS as delegates attended the AJAS conference, March 1-5. This group of seven students were selected at the recent KAS/KJAS meeting at Morehead State for achieving a Thoroughbred ranking for oral presentations. Thoroughbred is the highest rank possible for student presentations with KAS/KJAS.


Leading up to the conference, there were virtual poster and round table presentations of the students’ work. Student delegates from across the United States came together to interact with each other along with scientists from around the world and were recognized at the opening session of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Some of the highlights from this meeting were the annual Breakfast with Scientists event, a tour and dinner at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and the Honors Banquet to wrap up the week.  Keynote speaker at the Honors Banquet was the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics recipient Dr. William D. Phillips.  Additionally, all student delegates were recognized as Fellows of AJAS.  The students from Kentucky are:
  • Rishabh Ranjan and Justin Huang, duPont Manual High School
  • Joshua Zyzak, Beechwood High School
  • Leah Groves, Kathryn Harris, and Elek Olson, Bowling Green High School
  • Sierra Durkee, Gatton Academy
Look for these students at the next KAS/KJAS meeting to share their highlights and encourage more high school students to work towards this opportunity.

Announcing: 2023 KAS Grants Winners

Congratulations to all the 2023 KAS Grants Winners! Learn more about all the different grants by clicking here. Watch out for the next cycle!

  • Effect of the Mutations on the Structural Dynamics of Potassium Channel Modulating Protein KCNE3, Indra Sahu, Campbellsville University
  • Identification & Characterization of Phosphatase Inhibitors from a Plant Used in American Traditional Medicine, Savita Chaurisa, Bellarmine University

  • Predicting How Climate Change Will Influence Plant-Pollinator Mutualisms, Alissandra Ayala, University of Louisville
  • Anthosphere Microbiome Effects on Floral Volatility Production, Noelle Visser, University of Louisville
  • Comparing stress and disturbance effects on wetland plants, Shannon Walker, University of Louisville

  • Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) in Color, Elizabeth Thomas, Morehead State University

  • Development and validation of qPCR assays for three species of Plethodon salamanders, Sarah Brewer, Asbury University
  • Climate change effects in developmental timing and reproduction in Rhagoletis flies, Alycia Lackey, University of Louisvill

  • Cytotoxicity of Anthracyclines, DNA Topoisomerase 2 Inhibitors, in Escherichia coli, William Mackay, Campbellsville University
  • New practicable, eco-friendly methods in the generation of sustainable transparent wood materials, Oscar Hanson, Berea College

KAS Member, Blaine Early, recognized by Bluegrass Tomorrow

Dr. W. Blaine Early III, Attorney at Stites & Harbison and Kentucky Academy of Science Member and Past President has been awarded the Robert N. Clay Distinguished Board Service Award by Bluegrass Tomorrow.

Bluegrass Tomorrow envisions the Central Kentucky (Bluegrass) Region as a place where our best agricultural land remains secure and productive, and development occurs deliberately, responsibly, and with environmental sensitivity; it is a place where we celebrate and preserve our unique agricultural resources and heritage; where we enjoy a strong sense of place through constructive, connected governance; and where education is deemed the key to all success and is promoted as such.

Click here to read about the other awardees here.

Education and Advocacy team keeping an eye on Frankfort

Rob Weber

With only three bills passed into state law so far this year, the pace of the Kentucky General Assembly’s work is certain to pick up steam in days ahead as the March 30 adjournment date approaches. The KAS Education and Advocacy Committee is tracking issues, getting feedback from members, communicating with lawmakers, and highlighting issues important to the science community.


A top issue many health science advocates are watching closely this year deals with fluoride added to drinking water to promote oral health. Kentucky is one of 13 states that mandates fluoride for most water systems. However, two bills – HB 74 and SB 127 - have been filed this year that would remove the mandate. Though the issue has not yet come up for a vote in a legislative committee during this year’s session, it received increased attention last year as a topic of discussion in committee meetings.
Opponents of fluoridation requirement say it’s an unfunded mandate while supporters note water fluoridation has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.

Click here to view other issues that we are actively tracking...

KAPT Spring Meeting

Marilyn Akins

KAPT Spring Meeting
March 25th @ Berea College
The Kentucky Association of Physics Teachers (KAPT) Spring 2023 Meeting will be held Saturday, March 25th on the campus of Berea College in Berea, KY. Everyone interested in teaching physics and/or astronomy is welcome. The meeting will feature presentations, a business meeting and a workshop. The Spring Meeting will also feature a workshop led by Tracey Hodge from Berea College, entitled "Surveying the Solar System."

We are currently accepting abstract for presentations. Deadline is March 20th at 11:59 PM through this link. Advanced registration is also now open until the 20th. Presenters should fill out both forms. Click here to access registration form.

Travel grants up to $50 will be available for people carpooling to the meeting.

Click here for more information about the workshop.

2023 KOFS Annual Meeting

Kentucky Organization of Field Stations
Annual Meeting

Please save the date for the upcoming annual meeting of the Kentucky Organization of Field Stations. The meeting will be held in collaboration with Kentucky State University. The general details are as follows:


  • Thursday, March 23rd – Any attendees wanting to arrive early can do so, for primitive camping. The location for attendees on the afternoon of this day (and evening) will be at KSU’s Environmental Education Research Center.
  • Friday, March 24th – The principal meeting for KOFS will be held at KSU’s Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm. The agenda will follow with the new year, but generally we’ll have a start time of ca. 9:30 AM and a wrap-up by 3:30 PM.

For questions or any programming ideas for the meeting, do not hesitate to email Luke Dodd (Web/Communications Offier) or Jenny Hubbard-Sanchez (KOFS President).

Coffee shops brew up support for science

Rob Weber

Several Kentucky’s coffee experts have stepped up to support an opportunity for a Kentucky Junior Academy of Science member to present his research on compounds that create coffee aroma at a national conference. Josh Zyzak, a Beechwood High School student, is one of seven students chosen to serve as delegates at the American Junior Academy of Science meeting, which was held March 1-5 in Washington D.C.  His research presentation focuses on the discovery of an important aroma compound (trimethylamine) in dark roasted coffee.

As part of KAS fundraising for the students’ participation in the meeting, we shared info about Josh’s research presentation and asked for support from some of the state’s coffee businesses. We give thanks to those who responded with donations: Heine Brothers Coffee; Under the Oak Tree Coffee Roasters; Lexington Coffee & Tea Co; Coffee Times Coffee House; and A Cup of Common Wealth.
The seven Kentucky high school students who participated in the Washington D.C. meeting earned their invitations based on the strength of research presentations they gave during the 2022 Kentucky Junior Academy of Science meeting. Learn more about the students and their research by clicking here.

Posters-at-the-Capitol program highlights undergraduate research

Rob Weber

State lawmakers got to see real-world examples of the important role undergraduate research plays in education when the 21st Annual Posters-at-the-Capitol program was held on March 2. Throughout the second floor of the State Capitol, students presented posters with information about research projects and talked with visitors about their findings.

The Kentucky Academy of Science once again took part in the event. At the KAS table, we talked with students about their research and discussed the benefits of joining KAS. We also provided KAS ribbons to students who are already members to display with their research posters.

To see an example of a Posters-at-the-Capitol Day presentation, check out a video we made with a University of Louisville student who talked about his efforts help a robot perform more advanced tasks. 

Check out some events photos here!

Environmental justice among the issues spotlighted at advocacy workshop

Rob Weber

PFAS chemicals, the Ohio train derailment, and the debate over a proposed natural gas pipeline in Bernheim Forest were among the issues highlighted in KAS’s most recent online Science Advocacy Workshop.

The Feb. 17 workshop was the second of two – the first was held Feb. 3 – that KAS offered for college students pursuing science degrees who want to give the science community a stronger voice in public policy decisions.

More than 60 people registered for the workshops, with almost 40 students successfully earning “Kentucky Science Advocates” certificates for attending both sessions.

Click here to continue reading...

Memberships available for the Citizen Science Association

The Envirome Institute in Louisville is offering KAS members 10 complimentary memberships to the Citizen Science Association (CSA). Anyone interested to join can sign up by clicking this unique membership link. These memberships are for one year (January 1 to December 31, 2023) and are worth between $40-120.

The Citizen Science Association (CSA) is a member-driven organization that connects people from a wide range of experiences around one shared purpose: advancing knowledge through research and monitoring done by, for, and with members of the public. Learn more about what interesting things are happening at the CSA by visiting their webpage

NASEM Seeking Feedback

A committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will analyze how environmental health and geospatial data and environmental screening tools can inform the Council on Environmental Quality’s vision by conducting a data assessment to assist CEQ in considering the disparities it has prioritized.
   This assessment will build on the following tasks:
  1. Scan of existing screening tools for types of data and approaches used to identify disadvantaged communities and their potential to benefit from investment (e.g., CEQ-funded Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice Screen, tools and approaches reviewed in Luskin, 2021)
  2.  Identification of the types of data (e.g., environmental, socioeconomic, energy, transportation) needed for CEQ’s screening tool(s)
  3. Evaluation of current data availability, quality, and spatial and temporal resolutions, as well as key data gaps
  4. Discussion of approaches to process, integrate, and analyze these data (e.g., weighting, consideration of additive effects)


USGS/NIWR Request for Proposals

The US Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the National Institutes of Water Resources (NIWR) has released their annual request for proposals for the National Competitive Grants Program. Any investigator at an institution of higher learning is eligible to apply for these grants with research that focuses on priorities of regional and national importance. Application must be through the Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) in your State. All submissions must be made to KWRRI by April 13, 2023 at 9:00 AM. If you have interest in applying for any of these grants, please email to indicate your potential interest.

Click on the following grants for full announcement and additional funding information:
WRRIs from across the US are organizing a joint webinar on March 9th, 2023 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time that focuses on the National Competitive Grants RFPs. We will discuss the full proposal process and funding priorities and include an opportunity for researchers to ask questions. In addition, researchers will be able to identify potential collaborators in topic specific breakouts. Click here to join on Zoom.

KAS seeking support for KY student contests

Rob Weber

The Kentucky Academy of Science is holding contests to get students involved in activities associated with an upcoming PFAS Awareness Day. In support of these efforts to boost students’ scientific knowledge through creative expression, we’ve asked members of the KAS chemistry sections to participate in social media fundraisers organized by KAS. But all KAS members are asked to help with this worthwhile effort by making a donation here.

Click here for contest details.

Science Job Postings around KY

We have several new job postings this month that you can view at our jobs page. Please send any job announcements to and include contact information and closing date. 
KAS Newsletter - March 2023