May 2020

Upcoming Events

Bench Talk: The Week in Science
Weekly each Monday 7:30pm, Tuesday 11:30am, and Wednesday 7:30am

2020 KGS Annual Seminar: Elements of Change: Innovative Applications of Geochemistry

Registration Deadline for "Developing Mathematical Reasoning Routines" Professional Development opportunity
5/22/20. Series of 90 minute workshops on June 11, 18 and 25

KAS Online Symposium
Monthly, beginning in late May 2020- stay tuned for details

Send us your Online Events for our calendar

KAS Science Resources for the Pandemic

1. KAS has NTI Science Teaching Resources for teachers and parents along with resources in specific topics like Genetics, Astronomy, Climate Change, and more
2. KAS Science Speakers Bureau is full of 193 experts, many of whom are available to you virtually
3. KAS Member Videos & Podcasts will entertain & educate you
4. Explore a Kentucky Natural Area near you, and post some observations to inaturalist
5. Citizen Science projects can fill extra time, even for folks who aren't trained scientists-  help connect friends or family members with a project, such as the ones on Zooniverse and SciStarter

6. We're starting a new Online Symposium series just for you! Read more about it below.

Thank you to those who have donated PPE to #teamkentucky!


Kentucky Junior Academy of Science went Virtual!

Melony Stambaugh, Director, KJAS

On April 18, the Kentucky Junior Academy of Science held the first ever virtual meeting and it was a success! Students from around Kentucky presented their research projects in various categories, and six of them will go on to the American Junior Academy of Science as Kentucky's delegates. Congratulations to all our Presenters and Thank you to our Judges!

Online Program and Abstracts

Grand Prize Winners
Physical Sciences 1st: Varun Chandrashekhar
Life Sciences 1st: Romith Paily
Physical Sciences 2nd: Shreyas Kar
Life Sciences 2nd: Brian Schwartz
Physical Sciences 3rd: Shirlin Kingston
Life Sciences 3rd: Diksha Satish

All grand prize winners will receive financial support from KAS to attend the American Junior Academy of Science meeting in Seattle in February 2020, as Kentucky delegates.

Category Winners
High School Biological Topics 1
1st: Romith Paily
2nd: Aakash Vadhanam
3rd: Robi Bolli

High School Biological Topics 2
1st: Diksha Satish
2nd: Khushi Pola
3rd: Shaun Liu

High School Chemistry & Physics
1st: Shirlin Kingston
2nd: Viyathma Hapaurachchi
3rd: Sushruth Muthuluru

High School Computer Science and Engineering 1
1st: Shreyas Kar
2nd: Sai Jeyaprakash
3rd: Smrithi Balasubramanian

High School Computer Science and Engineering 2
1st: Varun Chandrashekhar
2nd: Nimish Mathur
3rd: Amy Suo

High School Botany and Environmental Science
1st: Brian Schwartz
2nd: Kiera Fehr
3rd: Spandana Pavuluri

Middle School Group 1
1st: Claire Midland
2nd:Chloe Nunn
3rd: Thomas Galla

Middle School Group 2
1st: Mary Shea Ballantine
2nd:Shreyas Ghare
3rd: Shraman Kar

Thank you to our Dedicated Judges:
Ramkumar Annamalai
Bala Appakalai
Binod Basyal
R. Douglas Chatham
Robin Cooper
Jonathan Dickinson
Jon Dixon
Christine Dolin
Dan Esterline
Frank Ettensohn
Jeremy Gibson
Dirk Grupe
Patricia Kambesis
Ann Kingsolver
Keely Lowe
Zeel Maheshwari
Andy Martin
Nancy Martin
Ladonna McClave
Ehigbai Oikeh
Joshua Qualls
Robert Rosenberg
Angela Rowe
Indra Sahu
Jeremy Sandifer
Megan Schargorodski
Emmalou Schmittzehe
Valentino Simpao
Stacy Smith
Stephanie Songer
Donald Varakin
Ilsun White

2019 Volume of the Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science

Our first Digital Volume of the JKAS is complete! KAS members can log in to access all the content from the 2019 issue.
Articles are published throughout the year on an Issue-in-Progress model.
Find out more about how to submit your manuscript

Contents of Volume 80, 2019
Log in to read Full articles

A Benchtop Approach To Measuring S-AdenosylMethionine Metabolite Levels Using HILIC UPLC-MS
Stuart Oehrle, Kathryn SP Higginbotham, Erin D. Strome

Do Conservation Practices Bring Quick Changes to Key Soil Properties for Resource-Limited Farmers?
Sait Sarr, Maheteme Gebremedhin, Mark Coyne, Avinash Topè, Karamat Sistani, Shawn Lucas

Exploring the Potential Impact of Louisville's Urban Heat Island on the Structure and Intensity of an Organized Convective Systems
L. J. Twohey, J. Naylor

The Urban Heat Island at a Regional University in Kentucky, USA
Donald M. Yow, Matthew Ruggless

Changes to Kentucky’s Crayfish Fauna Since 2004 with an Updated Checklist of Kentucky Crayfish Species.
Zachary L. Couch and Guenter A. Schuster.

Global Behavior in Functional Iteration Problems. Mark P. Robinson

 Abstracts from the Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Academy of Science 2–3 November 2019 Berea College
Log in to access all the Annual meeting abstracts on BioOne
(Abstracts are also available in the online 2019 Annual Meeting Program)

Call for Social Science Editor and Chief Editor for KAS Journal

Wally Borowski, Editor, Journal of the KAS

The KAS is changing the reach and nature of its journal – the Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science (JKAS).
Over the past several years, the JKAS has published articles mostly concerning the natural sciences but now seeks to augment the JKAS by:
  • Publishing articles in the social sciences and science education
  • Extending outreach activities, by publishing theme articles
  • Inviting selected authors to make contributions, by publishing student issues
  • Publishing features such as book reviews, letters, opinions, and science news.
The KAS is also open to other roles the JKAS may serve.
Consequently we have 2 positions to fill, to join an Associate Editor of Natural Sciences:
Chief Editor and Associate Editor of Social Sciences
The Chief Editor will coordinate the activities and objectives listed above but will generally not handle journal submissions. The Chief Editor will work with the Associate Editor of Natural Science and the Associate Editor of Social Sciences. The Chief Editor will work closely with the KAS Board and also seek to direct other expansive activities of the JKAS.
The Associate Editor of Social Sciences will mainly shepherd submissions in these disciplines through the peer review process, and interface with our publisher to publish on-line JKAS articles in a timely manner. The Associate Editor will also work with the Chief Editor.

If you are interested in either of these positions, please send a letter of interest to KAS President Frank Ettensohn.

2020 Annual Meeting - call for Proposals for 1 & 2 hour sessions

Our 2020 Annual meeting is a joint meeting with the Kentucky Science Teachers Association (KSTA). We're looking for 1 or 2 hour sessions that are of broad interest to scientists and science educators (P-20, from Preschool through Senior Undergraduates). Pitch us your session idea!

Ideas for topics:
  • Earth Sciences are in high demand! Share your favorite activities, materials, or teaching tools
  • Experiences collaborating with K-12 teachers and in teacher training
  • Citizen Science projects involving teachers and scientists working together
  • Hands-on workshop or topical presentations pointed to Next Generation Science Standards  ( We can help you with that part)
  • Your session does not have to address ALL age levels or areas
  • Propose your idea! What can scientists & teachers learn from each other?  We want to help you make it happen!
Do you have an idea and would you like to find a teacher to co-present with you? Reach out to one of the KSTA board members and they may be able to help:

Submit your proposal HERE by May 31

Request for feedback - KAS Code of Ethics

Leslie North, KAS Past President

In line with other academies of science and professional organizations, the KAS intends to adopt a Code of Ethics to foster a culture of integrity, inclusivity, collegiately, and excellence. KAS is committed to providing a safe and productive environment that fosters open dialogue and the exchange of scientific ideas, promotes equal opportunities and treatment for all participants, and is free of harassment and discrimination. This Code is designed to guide members by including minimum standards of ethical professional behavior. This will apply to all KAS members as a condition of joining and continuing their membership with KAS. It is to apply to all KAS-sponsored meetings, events and workshops, and the policies herein apply to all attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff, volunteers, and guests. We encourage your feedback as we work to finalize our KAS Code of Ethics.

Read the file here, and offer us your comments by May 31.

You may make comments anonymously but members will have to log in with your UserID. The response form allows you to either write comments or upload a file with comments or edits.

Thank you!

New KAS Online Symposium launches this month!


Were you scheduled to present your research at an event that was cancelled?
Are you doing research that relates to something in the news, or is of interest to a general audience?

We're launching the KAS Online Symposium for you!

KAS is using this new "virtual" reality to share more of our members' research with the world.

We're organizing  an evening symposium series with presentations organized around a theme.    We'll be promoting these events for general audiences so we'd love your help promoting it in your networks. We'll also record programs and post them on YouTube for sharing!

Look for an announcement for the first event later this month!

If you would like to share your research at the new KAS Online Symposium, or if you have an idea for a theme, or a name for the series,  SIGN UP HERE. We're looking for students, professionals, or educators, to share what you're doing with our community. Thank you!


KAS members at Bellarmine respond to the call for PPE

KAS members Akhtar Mahmood and student Jordan Dowdy are using a 3D printer to help make face shields for healthcare workers:


NASA Kentucky EPSCoR opportunities

NASA KENTUCKY has released requests for proposals for 1-year projects to begin August 2020

NASA KY Space Grant RFP-20-001 Proposals Due Monday, May 18, 2020, 4:00 pm ET
NASA KY EPSCoR RID RFP-20-002 Proposals Due Friday, May 22, 2020, 4:00 pm ET

Please see the RFP documents for more information

Kentucky Native Plant Society invites your contributions

Nick Koenig, KNPS

The Kentucky Native Plant Society (KNPS) was founded in 1986 for everyone interested in the native plants and wildflowers of Kentucky. Plants are essential to both the well-being of our Commonwealth’s natural ecosystems and our enjoyment of its unique environment. With members in Kentucky and neighboring states, KNPS is a leader in promoting education about, appreciation for, and conservation of our native flora.

One of the initiatives KNPS works diligently on is The Lady Slipper, the official newsletter of KNPS. We would like to invite plant-lovers, botanists, and naturalists to submit an article to the newsletter on a botanical topic that interests them. For individuals interested, feel free to email Our articles range from invasive plant information and native plant conservation to book reviews and short stories from our membership. If you would like to subscribe, you can follow this link:
Happy Botanizing,
The Lady Slipper Editors

Take a Survey about Impact of COVID-19 on STEM Students and Professionals

Laleh Cote, UC Berkeley

Considering the emergence and spread of the new respiratory Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is inevitable that COVID-19 will impact the lives of students and professionals. In this study, we are interested in learning about the ways in which COVID-19 has impacted science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students and professionals personally, academically, and/or professionally. The results will be used to inform higher education and scientific institutions about these experiences, and contribute to efforts to offer support where it’s most needed.

Follow this link to the Survey

For more information, contact Laleh Cote, Graduate Group in Science & Mathematics Education, UC Berkeley (

Host an Americorps Environmental Education Leadership (EELCorps) member this summer

Ashley Mike, Environmental Education Leadership Corps

We know how hard it can be to think ahead during these uncertain times, but we encourage your team to think about the possibility of hosting an AmeriCorps member with the Environmental Education Leadership Corps (EELCorps) in the 2020-2021 service year.
Deadline to apply is May 31, 2020!
Ready to apply to become a site partner with EELCorps? Apply here
Need a little more information? Read on!
EELCorps began in 2018 with a mission to increase environmental literacy in Kentucky by supporting AmeriCorps members at sites across Kentucky to provide quality environmental education programming, activities, and lessons!
Since 2018, EELCorps members have reached over 66,000 Kentuckians and over 35,000 of those reached have participated in EELCorps programs!
In addition to leading environmental education lessons, programs, and activities, which is the bulk of their service time, EELCorps members can provide other services such as helping develop EE programming for your site, implementing outreach strategies to your community, visiting other organizations (such as schools or other non-profits) to provide EE on behalf of your organization, or even helping with fundraising for the lessons which they will lead at your site.
The qualifications for an organization to become a site partner include:
  •  Site must provide a supervisor for the member who will help recruit, train, and manage the AmeriCorps member placed at the site. The site supervisor will also be required to participate in an online supervisor training and hold regular meetings with the member and Program Director.
  •  Site will be responsible for a cost-share for the member (please see table below for cost-share amounts).
  • Site will provide a safe space for the member to serve that includes access to a computer, phone, and other necessities. Site will also be responsible for providing service opportunities for the member to complete.
  • Site must NOT be a for-profit organization, and must be within the state of Kentucky in order to serve Kentuckians.
Member Slot Type Total Hours Served by Member Cost Share for Site-Partner
Full-Time 1700 hours $7,500
Half-Time 900 hours $4,000
Quarter-Time 450 hours $2,000

Feeling ready to apply to become a site partner now? Click here
Still need more information, please email the EELCorps Program Director, Ashley Mike at or visiting Don’t forget to follow EELCorps on social media and share this opportunity with your networks!
Think you know someone interested in serving? Send them to our website or send them the member application form
During this unsure time, we encourage you to think ahead and consider hosting an AmeriCorps member with EELCorps during the 2020-2021 service year! Join us and find out how #AmeriCorpsWorks for you!
Ashley Mike
AmeriCorps Program Director,
Environmental Education Leadership Corps
Kentucky Environmental Education Council

Introducing our new KAS Newsletter Editor

We are pleased to introduce Mark dela Cerna who will be starting as your new KAS Newsletter Editor after this issue.

Mark dela Cerna is a Biochemistry doctoral candidate in the BioNMR group at the Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville. His research involves the use of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to understand the relationship between protein structure, function, and dynamics. He is also an adjunct faculty at the Chemistry Department at Bellarmine, where he primarily teaches chemistry labs. He aspires to one day lead his own group to further understand principles of protein function using structural biology and to mentor the next generation of scientists. Outside the lab, Mark enjoys recreational archery and driving (aimlessly most times). He is an advocate for diversity in STEM and research. Mark lives with his girlfriend and their four babies (all cats) in Vine Grove, KY. He has been a KAS member since he moved to Kentucky in 2016. You can follow him on twitter (@mvcdelacerna).
KAS Newsletter - May 2020