May 2018

Did you Know?

The KAS website has Job Postings !

The KAS website has a page of Resources for Teachers, including links for Next Generation Science Standards -aligned lesson plans

Members can log in to find  every issue ever published of the Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science  (all the way back to 1914!) Log in and under the Member Menu, go to Resources  > File Archive > Journals

Let KAS help with "Broader Impacts"

Do you have an NSF grant, or are you applying for NSF funding? Let  KAS help you with your Broader Impacts goals. We can help connect you to community events, teachers, and informal science education institutions where your research can reach more people. Let us know what you're working on! Email Executive Director Amanda Fuller to find out more.

2018 KAS Governing Board

Jennifer Birriel  Morehead State University 
Leslie North Western Kentucky University 
Vice President
Frank Ettensohn University of Kentucky 
Past President
Darrin Smith  Eastern Kentucky University 
Rajiv Singh  Kentucky Community and Technical College System 
Rodney King  Western Kentucky University 
Executive Director (ex officio)
 Amanda Fuller  Kentucky Academy of Science 
Junior Academy Co-chairs (ex officio)
Bruce Griffis  Kentucky State University;  Ruth Beattie University of Kentucky 
Newsletter Editor (ex officio)
Sarah Mardon  Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation 
Program Coordinator (ex officio) 
Melony Stambaugh  Kentucky Community and Technical College System
Research Grants Chair (ex officio)
Nancy Martin University of Louisville 
 Biological Sciences Representative
Maggie Whitson  Northern Kentucky University
Biological Sciences Representative 
Melanie Hardin-Pierce  University of Kentucky 
Physical Sciences Representative
Trenede (Trent) Garrison  Northern Kentucky University 
Physical Sciences Representative 
Richard Gelderman   Western Kentucky University 
Social & Behavioral Sciences Representative 
Kerrie McDaniel  Western Kentucky University 
Social & Behavioral Sciences Representative
 At Large Representative 
Dirk Grupe Morehead State University
At Large Representative 
Tracy Hodge Berea College 
Journal Editors (ex officio) 
Kelly Watson and Walter Borowski  Eastern Kentucky University 
Historian (ex officio) 
Marilyn Akins Kentucky Community and Technical College System 
Webpage Editor (ex officio) 
Claire Rinehart  Western Kentucky University 

The Future of Support for Fundamental Research in US Universities

Gwylim Croucher with the Center for Studies in Higher Education just published this evaluation of trends in research funding


Do you use or request data from federal laboratories?

On May 1, the National Institute of Standards and Technology published a Request for Information in the Federal Register, seeking public comments on technology transfer and the “public’s ability to engage with Federal laboratories and access federally funded R&D through collaborations, licensing, and other mechanisms.” Furthermore, NIST will be hosting a series of public forums across the U.S. over the next month to engage stakeholders in gathering comments on this topic. The RFI was created to further goals outlined in the President’s Management Agenda to advance U.S. innovation. Comments are due by July 30, 2018.

Publish your Research in our Journal

The Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science is currently accepting submissions for our 2018 issue. Find out more at

Tell us what you think, and win a $25 gift card

Amanda Fuller, KAS Executive Director

We're experimenting with this new newsletter format, and we're also thinking about how KAS can best bring our members the news you want, when you need it.

What kind of news do you want to see from KAS?  We'd love to hear from you to help us bring you timely communications about the news you want. Job postings? Funding leads? Events?  Let us know!  A link to the survey is in your email inbox and I hope you'll take  5-10 minutes to fill it out. We'll enter your name in a drawing for a $25 gift card. Thank you!

KAS Advocacy & Education Committee

This committee was busy this spring following the budget and all the implications for education in Kentucky. Find out what  we've been up to and keep up with how you can advocate for science, HERE

Kentucky Science Teachers Association news

KSTA has great resources for science educators! Check out their latest newsletter HERE

Message from the President

Jennifer Birriel

On April 28, 2018 at Kentucky State University, aspiring young scientists from both middle and high school presented their work at the Kentucky Junior Academy of Science (KJAS).  Their work was a treat to observe.  For a second year in a row, I was delighted to serve as judge.  These students are truly excited about science and appreciated the opportunity to discuss their work.  Thanks to all of the students who participated, all of the teachers who encouraged their work, and all of the volunteer judges who spent their Saturday morning or afternoon encouraging these young scientists! 
The hard work of KJAS Director Ruth Beattie, University of Kentucky and co-chair Bruce Griffis, Kentucky State University make this annual event a wonderful experience for students.   Ruth has given us eleven great years as Director of the KJAS but has decided that now it is time to focus on other areas of her professional life.   We greatly appreciate all her hard work and dedication and wish her all the best.
I am very pleased to announce that KAS Program Coordinator Melony Stambaugh has accepted the position of Director of KJAS.  Welcome aboard Melony.  Bruce Griffis will stay on as co-chair.  Melony, a cultural anthropologist and adjunct professor at Gateway Community and Technical College, brings with her a wealth of experience in coordinating undergraduate research competition at the annual KAS meetings.
Next April, I encourage you to consider volunteering as a judge at KJAS as it is an experience not to be missed!   In the meantime, please consider volunteering for upcoming education and public outreach events during the summer and fall.
Enjoy your summer,
Jennifer Birriel

2018 Junior Academy of Science winners

Photos from the 2018 Junior Academy are HERE
2018 Award Winners
Grand Prize Winners
Grand Prizes, Group 1
1st: Rojin Shirwan
2nd: Aysha Puzhakkaraillath
3rd: Betty Ngo
Grand Prizes, Group 2
1st: Rachel Seevers
2nd: Will Drury
3rd: Sarvesh Babu
All grand prize winners will receive financial support from KAS to attend the American Junior Academy of Science meeting in Washington DC in February 2019, as Kentucky delegates.
Category Winners
High School Behavioral & Social Science
1st: Betty Ngo
2nd: Marco Munoz
3rd: Samhita Lellapalli
High School Biological Topics and Microbiology 1
1st: Aysha Puzhakkaraillath
2nd: Bhargar Ramesh
3rd: Nivedha Loganathan
High School Biological Topics and Microbiology 2
1st: Ishaan Jindal
2nd: Ellie Hummel
3rd: Elaina Render
High School Biological Topics and Microbiology 3
1st: Rojin Shirwan
2nd: Anne Liang
3rd: Jennifer Xu
High School Chemistry
1st: Vivian Pham
2nd: Elizabeth Gallagher
3rd: Nikhil Vangana and Sophie Ma
High School Engineering
1st: Rachel Seevers
2nd: Ray Suo and Vaibhav Vinukonda
3rd: Jiane Hu
High School Computer Science and Mathematics 1
1st: Sarvesh Babu
2nd: Sasmi Heellage
3rd: Sanya Dronawat and Karthik Jetty
High School Computer Science and Mathematics 2
1st: Nimish Mathur and Romith Paily
2nd:Stephanie Yang
3rd: Brian Schwartz
High School Earth and Space, Physics and Environmental Science
1st: Will Drury
2nd: Lily Gonzalez
3rd: Jack Boylan and Harshith Gontla
Middle School Group 1
1st: Ella Diehl
2nd: Smaran Alli
3rd: Varun Chandrashekhar
Middle School Group 2
1st: Sarah Kwasny
2nd: Varshini Loganathan
3rd: Maia Kuehne-Seeber
Middle School Group 3
1st: Avery Ramsey
2nd: Anirudh Srinivasan
3rd: Rishi Vinukonda


Congratulations to 2018 KAS Research grant winners

Binod Basyal, University of Louisville, Marcia Athey and Botany fund, Do mycorrhizae help alleviate drought stress in a biofuel crop, Panicum virgatum?
Aaron Sexton, University of Louisville, Marcia Athey and Botany fund, How are prairie restorations impacting the richness, abundance, and life histories of solitary bees?
Matthew Nee,  Western Kentucky University, Special Research Grant, Developing real-time Raman measurements for low-concentration analytes in wastewater removal
Brandon VanNess, Morehead State University, Special Research Grant, Investigating the synthesis of the novel anti-cancer natural product LMA-P2
Christopher Andrew Day, University of Louisville,  Special Research Grant, Impacts of precipitation and seasonal land cover change on fluvial sediment loads of the Upper Floyds Fork watershed, KY
Joseph Steffen,  University of Louisville, Undergraduate Research Supply grant,  Noninvasive Analysis of Protein Metabolism in Summer Active Black Bears
Ben Brammell, Asbury University, Undergraduate Research Supply grant, Use of eDNA in multiple species fish biomass determinations in small to mid-sized lotic systems.
Ben Brammell, Asbury University, Undergraduate Summer Research Grant, Use of environmental DNA in detection of an endangered species in remote, high elevation habitats in the Sierra Nevada
Emily Brown, Bellarmine University, Undergraduate Summer Research Grant, How do low-head dams affect sediment deposition and toxicity in Indian Creek in southern Indiana?

KAS Marches for Science

KAS Members and other community members gathered in threatening weather to stand up for science on April 14, 2018! The Louisville march coincided with national and international events.

Co-Organizers Cindy Corbitt,  Ashley Best and Amanda Fuller lined up a slate of great speakers:
Skip Zwanzig, retired DuPont Manual HS teacher;
Eboni Cochran, West Louisville Math & Science Project;
Chris Milligan, Butler HS student scientist;
Kasey Maier, Waterfront Botanical Gardens; and
Trent Garrison, NKU  (and co-chair of KAS Advocacy & Education Committee)

Participants wrote postcards to public officials asking them to stand up for science.

Many thanks to the Society for Neuroscience and Jon Dixon for science demos, to all our speakers, and to the American Geophysical Union for covering the cost of our tents!

Tune in to Bench Talk: The Week in Science

Dr. Justin Mog, University of Louisville

The 2018 March for Science Louisville got a special boost this year in partnership with Louisville’s one-year-old community radio station, FORward Radio 106.5fm. Not only did the station provide a volunteer audio engineer for the event, but FORward Radio recorded the entire event for re-broadcast three times during the following week.  You can also hear the March in its entirety, download and share it at

FORward Radio is excited to soon launch its new weekly science show, Bench Talk: The Week in Science, co-hosted by KAS members, Dr. Ashley Best and Dr. David Robinson. The show will share cutting edge scientific research findings and translate scientific discoveries for the general public. To hear their program, support the station, and learn how you can get involved, go to and tune-in to 106.5fm whenever you’re in Louisville.

Kentucky's delegates to the American Junior Academy of Science

See a photo album here from Austin, TX in February 2018

Summer Volunteer Opportunities around Kentucky


Speakers for the monthly “Scientific Proofs” series at Mellow Mushroom pizza near Louisville. Email Andrew Spence at  the Kentucky Science Center

June 16 Future STEM Professionals Summit (formerly "Youth Science Summit) Louisville seeks presenters for hands-on labs and other volunteers. Email Andrew Spence at  the Kentucky Science Center

June 23 Future STEM Professionals Summit (formerly "Youth Science Summit) Lexington seeks volunteer Speed Mentors, 3-4pm. Email Andrew Spence at  the Kentucky Science Center

Summer Science Camps seeking presenters for hands-on activities on a variety of topics. Email Justin Magaw at the Kentucky Science Center
June 11-15 Daviess County
June 11-15 Bullitt County
June 18-22 Warren County
June 25-29 Woodford County
June 25-29 Henderson County
July 9-13 Henderson County
July 16-20  Daviess County

New Article

Partnerships and Collaborations towards a Single Voice for the Ohio River Basin
The Ohio River Basin Alliance Summit and the Ohio River Basin Consortium for Research and Education Annual Symposium will take place from October 17-19, 2018
on the main campus of Thomas More College, in Crestview Hills, KY.   This joint meeting is sponsored by Thomas More College and hosted by the Thomas More Biology Field Station
and co-hosts: The Foundation for Ohio River Education (FORE) and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO).
The Call-for-Abstracts and Registration are now open and can be found at the conference website:,
along with information on the Program, Exhibitor & Sponsorship Opportunities, pre-meeting Field Trips, Lodging and more.
On behalf of the Meeting Planning Committee, the Ohio River Basin Alliance and the Ohio River Basin Consortium for Research & Education,
we hope to see many of you on campus in the fall!

Upcoming Events

Find details about all these upcoming events on our  Calendar at


STEMCats workshop for Middle & High School teachers

NSF webinar on Funding for Broadening Participation

KAEE Outdoor Learning Symposium

Ky Girls STEM Collaborative Annual Conference

Flying Wild and Aquatic Wild workshop

KAS Annual Meeting
Western Kentucky University
November 2-3, 2018
Friday evening reception & plenary speakers at the Corvette Museum, featuring the famous Sinkhole Exhibit


Details about all these items at

Girls in Space.......Camp! SpaceTrek at Morehead State University, July 6-14, 2018
Space Trek is a one-week space science and engineering camp for girls entering 10th grade, July 6-14 2018

Spring STEM Guide from Ky Girls STEM Collaborative
STEM activities all over the state - all are open to girls, some are girls-only, and most are co-ed.

AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award and Mentor Award nominations are open
Nominate a Mentor for a AAAS award

NASA Ky Pre-Proposals now open
NASA Kentucky invites pre-proposal submissions for the NASA EPSCoR RA solicitation. Each funded NASA EPSCoR proposal is expected to establish research activities that will make significant contributions to NASA and contribute to the overall research infrastructure of Kentucky. One pre-proposal will be selected for development into a full proposal and submitted by NASA Kentucky as Kentucky’s entry in the national competition. See for RFP-18-002 solicitation information. A pre-proposal telecon will be held on May 15. Proposals due Tuesday, June 12, 2018

AAAS' SEA Change Program Aims to Transform Diversity Efforts in STEM
SEA Change is accepting applications from institutions in fall of 2018. Under the new program led by AAAS, educational institutions commit to removing barriers to STEM achievement for women, minorities and people with disabilities through participating in a program of voluntary self-assessment.

Climate Science
Diversity Climate Science

New Pilot Program Announced for University/Industry Partnerships
Contact: The Kentucky Science & Engineering Foundation (KSEF), an initiative of KSTC, has just announced a two-year-pilot program that carries up to a $150,000 award for projects that synchronize the best efforts of thinkers and makers. The University Partnership with Industry Research program, or UPAIR, is accepting proposals until MAY 8 For more information and details about UPAIR, visit the KSEF website or email

Developing Scientists Program Opens Its Doors to Students Interested in Psychology

Catherine McDermott and Nonah Marie Olesen

The Developing Scientists Program is a free educational program that makes science fun! Based out of the University of Louisville, we provide information about psychology, scientific research, where science comes from, and how to pursue a future in the psychological sciences.

Participation in this program includes face to face meetings with graduate students and tours of developmental research labs. Small groups of students will have the opportunity to participate in, watch, and create mock experiments. Participants will work together to identify and follow the research behind popular media articles. Sessions will also include a Q&A with current doctoral candidates about how to get involved in science and pursue an advanced degree.
If you’re interested, please contact us at:

Connect with us on social media!
Facebook: Developing Scientists Program
Instagram: developingscientists

New Books Published by the American Chemical Society and the Oxford University Press.

Dr. Bommanna Loganathan

Murray State University Chemistry Professor Dr. Bommanna Loganathan and his co-editors from Japan, Korea, and the United States recently published two volumes of their book on persistent organic chemicals–their contamination status and temporal trends in Pacific Basin countries.  Oxford University Press and the American Chemical Society released the printed volumes in February 2018.   
The two volumes were based on the successful symposium on “Status and Trends of Persistent Organic Chemicals in the Environment”.  The symposium took place at PACIFICHEM 2015, International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, December 15-20, 2015 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The symposium brought together an impressive group of leading experts in the field, covering a broad spectrum of expertise in contamination status and temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants from countries in the Pacific Rim. The presentations created an exciting and dynamic forum for highlighting current contamination profiles and as well as future trends, which formed the foundation of this two-volume book published by the American Chemical Society and the Oxford University Press. 

Contents of the above volumes may be accessed via online at:

KAS Congratulates Dr. Charlie Covell

Please joining us in recognizing Life Member, Dr. Charlie Covell, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Louisville, for receiving the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Entomology Department at Virginia Tech, his alma mater, on April 20th.  Dr. Covell continues to work part-time as a curator of moths at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity at the University of Florida.  
KAS Newsletter - May 2018