May 2021

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

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. We are excited about fostering more conversations within our scientific community!

 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

Don't forget your 2nd shot!

Vaccine rollout continues in the state and as of the first week of May, close to 1.5 Million Kentuckians have been FULLY vaccinated.Find out if you are eligible to get the vaccine and sign up for notifications through this link. Please remain vigilant and continue to practice social distancing, when possible #MASKUP.

Importantly, make sure to get your scheduled second shot (if required) to take full advantage of your vaccine! (Note: J&J is single shot). 

Find out more about the vaccines and keep updated by visiting this Corona Virus Vaccine Tracker from the New York Times. For more information about  services and updates in our state, visit the official Team Kentucky COVID-19 source

Congratulations, KJAS winners!

We had another successful Kentucky Junior Academy of Science this year highlighting outstanding Junior scientists in the Commonwealth. We would like to thank all participants and the judges!

You can view the presentations by clicking here. We do miss showcasing photos from the event, but with the virtual platform, we only have these boxes for now. Nonetheless, it was great to see the hard work from our students!

The Grand Prize Winners will serve as Kentucky's delegates to the American Junior Academy of Science in February 2022

1st place
  • Alexandra Heironimus, Novel polymathic method for maritime threat detection
  • Varun Chandrashekhar, SpeakUp: A Machine Learning-Based Speech Aid to Enable Real-Time Silent Communication for the Paralyzed

2nd place
  • Shraman Kar, An IoT and Machine Learning based system for the detection and treatment of plant diseases and deficiencies
  • Shreyas Ghare, Methods to Improve the Efficiency of Solar Panels
  • Vedha Balamurugan, Development of semi-solid cell culture medium for providing 3D matrix support and enhancing the survival of organoids
  • Aditi Kona, Characterization of Insulin-degrading Enzyme: Using Molecular Visualization Systems to Understand Substrate Recognition
3rd place
  • Kayoung Kim, The Effect of External Factors on Baseball

A special thank you goes out to student researchers who joined us as speakers for the "What Comes Next" panel. These students shared fascinating and inspiring stories of their own pathways into undergraduate & graduate research at KSU, U of L, WKU, and EKU.  Thank you to ZaKylah Bryant, Kylea Garces, Bailey Harrod, Lars Hebenstiel, Nick Koenig, and Miana Wallace. Watch the Panel presentation.

Congratulations to these students and thank you for all our participants! Hope to see everyone again in the next KJAS (hopefully, in-person!). 


Annual Meeting at EKU Nov 5-6

The Kentucky Academy of Science is tentatively planning for an in-person meeting at Eastern Kentucky University this coming November 5-6.

We are looking forward to seeing all of you and enjoying all that EKU has to offer.  Mark your calendar to join us - for posters ands talks, keynotes, field trips, a planetarium show & other special highlights. Registration will be open in August. Watch out for updates through our newsletter and social media or by visiting our website at

Bench Talk Live May 24, 7pm ET: Bourbon Science

Tune in on May 24 for a panel of fellow scientists talking about Kentucky's favorite spirit.

Dilution of whisky – the molecular perspective | Scientific Reports

Dr. Lenny Demoranville from Centre College will be joined by Dr. Pat Heist from Ferm Solutions, Dr. John Medley from Buffalo Trace, and Dr. Seth DeBolt from University of Kentucky, who will take us on a virtual visit into their labs for a look at the chemistry inside one of Kentucky's pride, Bourbon.

For additional details and registration, please click here

KPA Call for Proposals

Deadline: May 17, 2021

The Kentucky Psychological Association (KPA) is accepting proposals for their annual convention. The KPA Convention will be on November 11-13 at the Campbell House in Lexington. This is a fantastic opportunity to share your work with colleagues from across Kentucky!


This year's theme is: Emerging from Crisis:  Reflecting on the Past, Renewing Community, and Reinventing the Future Proposals can be submitted through this link. Find out more about KPA by visiting their homepage at

Environmental Education Survey

The Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEA) is asking environmental education programs and service providers to contribute to the Regional Environmental Education landscape analysis to better understand what is happening around the state and the region in Environmental Education.

The final product for this project will include an interactive map that people can use to find EE providers and programs across the Southeast. This will also help to identify gaps and barriers to access, as well as opportunities for service providers to partner with one another to advance our collective efforts toward environmental literacy. Find out more about this effort here: EE Landscape Analysis.

Note: The survey deadline has been extended so you may disregard the April deadline showing on the website.

KGS Annual Seminar 2021

60th KGS Annual Seminar
20 May 2021, Virtual

Join us on May 20th for the Kentucky Geological Survey’s Annual Seminar. The theme of this year’s seminar is Big Earth Data: Forging A New Future.” Data is the foundation of science and as science grows, so does data. Knowing how to manage, share, and use large collections of data provides the pathway to future breakthroughs. The seminar will be held virtually via Zoom Meeting. Proceed to the registration page by following this link:


KGS has planned a full day of activities including the annual Haney Lecture, which will be given by Dr. Sarah BattersbyPrincipal Scientist on the Tableau Research team at Salesforce. There will also be a virtual poster session, and, at the end of the day, plenty of opportunities for discussions and networking as well as a chance to participate in the KGS Map Blast!
For more information about the seminar, including the full agenda, click here. For more information about KGS, visit their Facebook ( or LinkedIn ( for updates.

Picture A Scientist Screening

About the film: Women make up less than a quarter of STEM professionals in the United States, and numbers are even lower for women of color. But there is a growing group of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists, exposing longstanding discrimination, and leading the way in making science more inclusive. A biologist, a chemist, and a geologist lead viewers on a journey through their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from outright harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, scientific visionaries, including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists, provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all. 

Film is available for free viewing on the PBS NOVA website.
KAS Newsletter - May 2021