September 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

COVID Update Around KY

We are unfortunately back in the red. We encourage everyone to continue observing safe practices including social distancing when possible and mask-wearing when in crowds. We got this, Team Kentucky!

If you have received your first Moderna/Pfizer shot, make sure to get your second! J&J only requires a single-shot. As most of the Commonwealth is now a Red Zone, make sure to follow the recommendations found here to avoid further spread of the virus in our communities. 

KAS supports using sound science in policy decisions, especially in our response to the current pandemic. There is evidence that supports the case for mask mandates. Click here to read a study on the effectiveness of mask in preventing transmission.

Register for our Upcoming Virtual Meeting!

After some deliberation, KAS has decided to hold the 2021 Annual Meeting virtually. We are still grateful to our virtual host, Eastern Kentucky University. Much appreciation also goes out to our Annual Meeting planning team: KAS President Trent Garrison, KAS President-Elect Jon Dixon, KAS Program Coordinator Melony Stambaugh, KAS Vice-President Julie Reizner, and our EKU Local Host Team: Tanea Reed, Thomas Jarvis, Jessica Lair, Walter Borowski, and Mary Beth Trice. Thank you!!

Click here to read more about how we made this decision to go virtual.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone virtually. Presentation sessions will be live on Zoom this year and registration is free for members until October 1. You can also join us as a Sponsor or Advertiser.

For more details, visit the KAS Annual Meeting webpage, or click here for a direct link to the registration and abstract submission.

We look forward to seeing everyone!!

Keynote Speakers Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein and Dr. Burton Webb

KAS is pleased to announce our Annual Meeting Keynote Speakers!
Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Saturday, Nov 6, 12:00 ET

Dr. Prescod-Weinstein is an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy and core faculty in women’s and gender studies at the University of New Hampshire. Originally from East L.A., Dr. Prescod-Weinstein is a graduate of Harvard College, University of California — Santa Cruz, and the University of Waterloo. One of under 100 Black American women to earn a PhD from a department of physics, she is a theoretical physicist with expertise in particle physics, cosmology, and astrophysics, with an emphasis on dark matter. In addition, Dr. Prescod-Weinstein is a theorist of Black feminist science, technology, and society studies, and a monthly columnist for New Scientist. Her research and advocacy for marginalized people in physics and astronomy have won multiple awards, and her first book, The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred, is now available from Bold Type Books.

Dr. Burton Webb
Friday, Nov 5, 4:30 PM ET

Dr. Burton Webb is the President of the University of Pikeville.  Dr. Webb's background is in immunology and will speak to us about COVID-19 in Kentucky.
Find his vaccine explainer on YouTube


BenchTalkLive September 24, 2pm ET: Hemp (New Time!)

Hemp Research @
Murray State

24 September 2021, 2PM ET

This month's BenchTalk Live will feature some of the highlights of the hemp research that is currently being done at Murray State University. We will be joined by researchers from the Hutson School of Agriculture at Murray State, Dr. David Ferguson and Dr. Iin Handayani, Professors of Agriculture, and Mallorie Snider, Research Coordinator. Please note the new time slot!

You can register to attend by visiting the BenchTalk Live webpage where you can also see our past sessions, or by clicking here

KAS Spotlight: Maegen Rochner

The first Kentuckian Scientist to be on our spotlight is UofL Dendrochronologist, Dr. Rochner!

Dr. Maegen Rochner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geographic and Environmental Sciences at UofL. She specializes in dendrochronology, or tree-ring science and uses these to better understand past climates and environments and the influence of climate change on trees and forested ecosystems. She also specializes in dendroarcheology, the use of tree-ring patterns to date structures and artifacts.

Learn more about Dr. Rochner and her work in the full spotlight that you can find here. This feature is part of an on-going series that aims to highlight Kentuckian scientists, any field at any level. If you want to be featured or nominate someone to be featured, send us a note! You can also visit the wordpress page dedicated to this series: KYScientist.

We are hiring a Communications & Policy Director

The Kentucky Academy of Science is looking for a part-time science communications & state policy professional with some experience in fundraising.  The KAS Communications & Policy Director will engage in science communication, and state and local science policy analysis and communications. Applications are due on September 30. For more details, click here.

For other jobs, be sure to check out our Job Listings. If you are an employer and want to adverstise a job opening, send us your announcements including all pertinent details.

Kentuckians for Science Education's Policy Briefs are Available

Did you know? Our colleagues at Kentuckians for Science Education have prepared policy briefs on a number of public policy issues facing Kentuckians. Find briefs on water pollution, mental health, racial discrimination, KY's academic standards, charter schools, and more! Click here to keep posted on these relevant issues.

KY-INBRE Virtual Seminar Series

The Kentucky IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (KY-INBRE), formerly known as the Kentucky Biomedical Reserch Infrastructure Network (KBRIN), is hosting a Virtual Seminar Series from 08 September 2021 to 23 March 2022. All seminars will be via Zoom and will facilitate continued online learning and networking among KY scientists.

You can learn more about the upcoming topics and speakers on the Seminar Series Calendar. We will also include upcoming seminars in our monthly calendar on the left sidebar of this newsletter.

KAS Research Grants due Nov 15

The 2022 Cycle for the KAS Research Grants will open this month and members can apply until the end of November 15th. Watch out for that!

There are KAS awards and grants in several categories:
  • Marcia Athey and Botany Funds
  • Special Research Program
  • Undergraduate Research Program ( Supply grants and Summer Research Grants )
  • Athey Science Education & Outreach Grant

For further details about these individual awards/grants, visit the KAS Grants webpage. We encourage those interested to apply! 

KAS Science Education & Outreach Award

KAS is now accepting nominations for the annual Excellence in Science Education and Outreach Award.  This award is open to KAS members or groups of members, and honors unique activities, educational programs, or approaches that have increased the involvement, engagement, and sustainability of science in the Commonwealth.
The nominee must have made a major effort to reach the public with positive messages about science and/or have been involved in regular public outreach for 3 or more years. The nominee may have performed the activities as part of their job or a funded grant but outreach must not be the sole focus of their employment.

2017 KAS SEO Winner Dr. Kate Bulinski from Bellarmine University.

Nominations must be made by a KAS member other than the nominee.  The nominator must provide the Awards Committee with both a letter explaining why the nominee should win the award and three letters of recommendation. For more information, click here.

Nomination materials should be sent to KAS Vice-President Julie Reizner and must be received by September 30th at 11:59 pm.  
We very much look forward to reading about your nominees and their work!

Julie Ann Reizner
KAS Vice-President
Northern Kentucky University

Call for KAS Board Nominations

The Kentucky Academy of Science is seeking assistance from the KAS membership to identify a ballot of quality candidates for leadership roles within the Academy for next year. Board members serve four-year terms. Any member may nominate another member for Vice President, Secretary, or At-Large Representative. However, for Biological Sciences and other Divisions, the nominators must identify with the Division for which they are nominating. Please send nominations by September 25, 2021. KAS members interested in nominating themselves or a colleague for these vacant positions should forward the name, e-mail address/phone number for each candidate, and indicate the leadership position of interest to the KAS Past President or the Executive Director. Contact Past President, Frank Ettensohn ( or Executive Director, Amanda Fuller (
The membership is being contacted at this time for nominations for the following offices:
  • Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • Biological Sciences Division Representative
  • At-Large Representative
For a description of the offices and duties, click here.
KAS Newsletter - September 2021