March 2024

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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.


Science Job Postings

We have some terrific opportunities this month that you can view at our jobs page. Please send any job announcements to and include contact information and closing date. 

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.

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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.


Looking for Research Funding or Scholarships

Check out  KAS' Listing of Research funding leads and scholarship opportunities:

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

Congratulations to our KAS 2024 Grant Award Recipients!

KAS appreciates the work contributed from all submissions received. While we are excited to learn about the findings from these meritoriously funded research projects, we are equally encouraged by the diversity and quality of submitted research proposals received from throughout our Commonwealth.

For questions regarding grant review, or interest in becoming a future KAS Grant Reviewer, please contact the Grants Chair, Dr. Melissa Mefford (

Undergraduate Summer Research Grant
Dr. Ben Brammell, Asbury University, “Assessment of biodiversity in freshwater lotic Gal·pagos habitats (San CristÛbal) through the use of eDNA metabarcoding”

Athey Science Education & Outreach Grant
Dr. Gretel Monreal and Dr. Steven Koenig, University of Louisville, “Tactile and spatial learning with anatomical heart models at Heartwheels! STEM Mobile Outreach events”

Marcia Athey and Botany Fund
Sophia Anner, University of Louisville, “Contributions of Host Use and Geographic Distance to Phenotypic and Genomic Population Variation in Tephritid Flies”
Mallory Harmel, University of Louisville, “Snakes in the City: What Slithering Reptiles Call Local Parks Home”

Special Research Grant
Dr. Allison Parker, Northern Kentucky University, “Adult and larval Culex mosquito susceptibility status to the insecticide fipronil”
Dr. Nicholas Caporusso, Norther Kentucky University, “An AI-Driven System for Enhancing Interaction in Individuals with Communication Disabilities
Dr. Christopher Day, University of Louisville, “Impacts of historical climate and land cover change on extreme streamflow events across the Kentucky River Watershed”

Undergraduate research showcased at Posters-at-the-Capitol event

Rob Weber

Undergraduate researchers from across Kentucky gathered in Frankfort on March 7 to present their work at the 22nd annual Posters-at-the-Capitol event.

The event highlights the importance of undergraduate research to state lawmakers. Throughout the second floor of the State Capitol students displayed posters about their research, shared their findings, and answered questions.

The Kentucky Academy of Science was present, providing information about membership benefits and encouraging students to join. Additionally, KAS distributed ribbons to students who were already members to display with their research posters.
See photos from the day click here.

KAS science policy team keeping an eye on legislation

Rob Weber and Madison Flory

With the Kentucky General Assembly moving deeper into the final half of its 2024 session, scores of science policy bills are moving through the legislative process. The KAS Science Policy Committee has been keeping a close eye on bills concerning health, the environment, education, and more.

Here’s a roundup of some key issues the science policy team is following (details in full article):
  • HB 169 - Heart Health
  • HB116 and SJR 149 - PFAS
  • SB 1 - University Research
  • HB 162 - Mathematics Instruction
  • SB 198 - Nuclear Energy
  • HB 141 - Community Water Fluoridation
  • HB 10 - Maternal Health
  • HCR 38 - Artificial Intelligence

If you’d like to share your feedback on any of these issues with lawmakers, you can do so by calling the Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181.

Click here to read full story focusing on issues KAS is tracking!

Welcome Tierra Freeman-Taylor, New Editor for Journal of the Kentucky of Science

Frank R. Ettensohn Editor-in-Chief, JKAS

On behalf of the Kentucky Academy of Science and the Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science (JKAS), I welcome Dr. Tierra Freeman-Taylor, a Professor of Psychology in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Kentucky State University (KSU), as the editor for the Social Sciences and Science Education in the JKAS. Dr. Freeman-Taylor earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Kentucky and has taught at the Lexington Community College, Sullivan University, and University of Missouri-Kansas City. In her current role at KSU, she teaches Statistics for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Theories and Methods of Human Development, History and Systems of Psychology, and the Senior Colloquium capstone course. She is also Interim Director of Institutional Effectiveness at KSU.

For the last three years, the JKAS has expanded its coverage to include articles from the Social Sciences and Science Education, and under the editorship of Dr. Shauna Reilly, Professor of Political Science at Northern Kentucky University (NKU), the JKAS has published some Bio-One, award-winning articles. However, Dr. Reilly recently stepped down from the editor’s position to assume the position of Assistant Provost for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement at NKU. We appreciate very much the time and efforts of Dr. Reilly in enhancing the JKAS and wish her well in the new position. At the same time, we look forward to working with Dr. Freeman-Taylor in developing an improved and more comprehensive JKAS.

Save the Date: KAS 2024 Annual Meeting at KSU Nov 1-2

Mark your calendars and plan to participate in the 2024 KAS Annual Meeting at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY. The meeting will be Friday and Saturday, November 1st and 2nd.

KAS is returning to KSU after 23 years! KSU last hosted the meeting in 1996.

 See you there!

KAS Science Policy Committee Chair’s efforts highlighted by KET

Rob Weber

KAS Science Policy Committee Chair Trent Garrison's endeavors to work with lawmakers to improve the accuracy of state symbol designations were recently part of a news report broadcast by Kentucky Educational Television (KET). You can view KET’s story, and its interview with Garrison, by clicking here (The story begins at the 12:50 mark).

As noted in the report, Garrison approached a lawmaker several years ago to discuss inaccuracies in a pair of state symbols. That led to legislation that has been proposed several times in recent years. The proposal has advanced further than ever this year with the state House of Representatives approving HB 378 and sending it to the Senate for further review.

KJAS Attended AJAS in Denver

Melony Stambaugh

The best way to spend Valentine’s Day? Fly to Denver! This year, the representatives of KJAS had the opportunity to attend and participate in the annual AJAS meeting held this year in Denver. Our students had the opportunity to represent Kentucky as delegates and to be inducted as Fellows of AJAS. In this role, they were recognized at the AAAS Plenary Session and also presented their research in a poster session held in the Convention Center Expo Hall. AAAS is the largest scientific organization in the world and brings together scientists in all fields of science from around the world.

In addition to attending the scientific sessions, students had tours and demonstrations at the Air Force Academy and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. They also enjoyed time at the Denver Aquarium for a formal Honors Banquet. One of the highlights of this meeting is Breakfast with Scientists. This is an opportunity for students to meet scientists is a relaxed social setting to discuss their work and career paths.
Please share this information with middle and high school students in your area for the next annual meeting of KAS/KJAS. We love to have new students and new schools participate in this annual meeting. Middle school students have the opportunity to present their findings in a poster presentation and high school students have the opportunity to present their findings in either a poster or oral presentation. Not ready to be a presenter? No problem! You are still encouraged to come and see what is happening in the world of science.

Please check out our website for more details at:

Click here to see more photos.

Eclipse Science for All

from Scientific American

On April 8, millions of Americans will have a direct view of a complete solar eclipse. If you’d like to get more hands-on during this last-of-a-generation event, here are four NASA-funded projects that anyone can participate in on eclipse day. 

SunSketcher: This app will automatically snap two photos during the eclipse to help scientists get measurements of the sun down to a few kilometers of accuracy. 
Eclipse soundscape: Volunteer data collectors will use recording devices called AudioMoths to capture sound wherever they are during the eclipse. One of the goals is to monitor how animals and insects react to eclipses.
HamSCI: Radio frequencies bounce off the Earth’s ionosphere, and changes in that part of the atmosphere can change the radio frequency measurements. During the eclipse, participants can tune into a shortwave station out of Fort Collins, Colorado. Using special equipment they can record changes in the frequency measurement from the radio station. Those changes can be attributed to variations in the ionosphere during the eclipse.
Eclipse megamovie: Participants in this project will use digital single-lens-reflex (DSLR) cameras with a zoom lens and a tripod and point it in a specific direction at a specific time to snap images of the eclipse. Researchers will use artificial intelligence to help analyze the images and identify solar storms, sun spots and plasma outbursts.

KAS Member News

Photo: Ignatius Wirasakti

Kane Lawhorn and Dr. Steve Yanoviak have published two new papers in The Coleopterists Bulletin that was completed with assistance from a KAS Research grant in 2021. Kane says, "One paper describes 43 beetle species that have never been recorded in the state of Kentucky before—a critical first step for insect conservation. The other paper describes a beetle species that lives in the nests of ants, and a living specimen has not been seen in close to 100 years!"

View the papers on BioOne:

KAS Science Policy Team Stay Updated on Science Policy

Rob Weber

As advocates for science and research, it's crucial for members of the science community to stay informed and engaged with the legislative process. To assist with this, the KAS Science Policy Committee is diligently tracking science policy legislation under consideration by state lawmakers. You can view the complete list of bills the committee is monitoring by clicking here.

The committee also provides a daily update to show whether lawmakers are on the verge of acting on any of the bills the committee is monitoring. This helps give people a chance to offer feedback to lawmakers at key moments of the legislative process. You can view the daily update by clicking here.
You can also equip yourself with tools for effective advocacy by exploring the KAS Advocacy Toolkit. View the toolkit here.
Together, let's continue to advocate for policies that support scientific research, innovation, and education in Kentucky!

WKU Green River Preserve Hiring Manager

Western Kentucky University seeks a talented person to manage and conduct day-to-day operations of our recently developed Green River Preserve. This is a full-time, benefits-eligible, 12- month position with flexible days/hours.

The GRP comprises ca. 1600 acres of mixed habitat, including several miles of river frontage on the Green River in south-central Kentucky, adjacent to Mammoth Cave National Park. The land is owned or managed by Western Kentucky University and is home to more than a dozen federally endangered species, most of which are freshwater mussels or bats. Facilities include a modern barn/workshop and two houses (one historic). The Preserve is relatively new, with the land acquisition phase and ecological restoration of agricultural areas near completion. The Preserve is currently used for faculty and student research, for teaching, and by several regional partners for training or outreach activities.

For more details click here or visit our Job Postings Page for other openings.

Study Geology in England and Scotland

KAS Newsletter - March 2024