January 2022: Happy New Year!!

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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 (https://kyscience.org/)
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 kyscience@memberleap.com

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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.


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.

EPSCoR&Idea Funding, Training, & News

Check out news this month from Established Program for Stimulating Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and Institutional Development Award (IDeA), including federal funding opportunities and more!
EPSCoR & IDeA Newsletter

COVID and Vaccine Update

The number of COVID-19 cases throughout the State of Kentucky has risen in recent days, possibly due to the Omicron variant. While we are now more than 60% vaccinated, positivity rate has risen to 27% with a state-wide overall incidence rate of 173 cases per 100,000. As we all return from the holidays, we must continue observing safe practices including social distancing and mask-wearing. 

Vaccines remain our best tool to fight the pandemic. Booster shots are also now available for anyone over 18 years old. Learn more about the importance of booster shots here. Masks also provide general protection against all variants and slows down transmission of the virus. Click here to see some recommendations and guides to mask-wearing. To know more about resources that are available in Kentucky and specific information for local vaccinations and testing, visit the official Team Kentucky resource

Scientists look back at devastating tornadoes

Rob Weber

On the night tornados tore a destructive path through Western Kentucky, Megan Schargorodski was receiving information from weather stations across the region when data from Caldwell County showed wind speed had reached an astonishing 120 miles per hour.

Staff members at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton are looking to rebuild after the center was destroyed by a tornado. Photo by Matt Barton, UK agricultural communications.
    Moments later, that number dropped to zero. A tornado had torn apart the weather station, explained Schargorodski, interim director for the Kentucky Climate Center and Kentucky Mesonet, as well as the interim state climatologist.
    The strength of the Dec. 10 tornadoes that tore a path of destruction through Western Kentucky were the deadliest in the state’s history with 77 reported deaths. Rebuilding will take years in some areas.

Read the rest of this article by clicking here.

BenchTalk Live January

Kentucky Geology in One Hour or Less
26 January 2022, 7PM EST

Do you think you found a meteorite in your backyard, or maybe an ancient dinosaur fossil? Well, you won't want to miss this chance to talk to expert geologists in this month's edition of BenchTalk Live!

Doug Curl and Sarah Mardon from the Kentucky Geological Survey will answer some burning geology questions and show you how to use free online maps to discovery local rock layers, groundwater, and other natural resources. It is a fast class in Kentucky geology!

Click here for more details about the speakers. As always, these sessions are free and you can register by following this linkCheck out past BenchTalk Live events and watch the recordings if you missed them.

KAS keep watch as 2022 General Assembly session begins

Rob Weber

The Kentucky General Assembly’s 2022 session is underway and KAS is following the action, tracking legislation important to the science community so that we can report back to members and share ways they can be have a voice in the process.
    This year’s session will last 60 legislative days and will feature lawmakers’ top constitutional priority: passing a state budget. The budget will guide state spending over the next two fiscal years. KAS wants to make sure our system of education and postsecondary institutes across the state are funded in a way that properly supports science education.
    The KAS Education and Advocacy Committee is also paying close attention to legislation dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks, and vaccines. Bills that have an impact on soil, air, and water will also be followed.
    There are numerous ways to stay in touch with lawmakers and make your voice heard. One of the most convenient ways to share your concerns with state legislators is by calling the General Assembly’s toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181.

SEA Change Community Conversation

SEA Change is an initiative by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that supports a community committed to and working to achieve diversity and inclusion in STEM. You can learn more about this intiative from the video below and by visiting their webpage.

AAAS is hosting an online community conversation on January 19th, 2022 at 12 noon ET. Hear about the experiences of current Member Universities and how SEA Change can become a unifying driver for transformation. Learn more about the featured speakers here and follow this link to proceed directly to the Zoom registration page.

Empowering students through KAS workshops

Rob Weber

KAS is planning a pair of online Student Action Workshops for undergraduates and graduate students pursuing science degrees in Kentucky to help them become effective advocates when issues important to the science community are debated at the State Capitol.

    Workshop leaders will provide students with an overview of science-related legislation under consideration during the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2022 legislative session and will engage students in discussions to determine which issues they prioritize. Students will learn about online tools available to keep them closely connected to the legislative process and informed of the status of priority legislation. They will also receive instructions on the most effective methods for citizen participation in the process so that they can become effective science advocates.

    The workshops will be held in late January and February. Exact dates will be announced very soon as we get feedback from student groups we’re working on the timing they think will allow the greatest student participation.
    The goal of the workshops is to provide early-career scientists with tools to be educated, motivated, and empowered to help create sound science policy in Kentucky. Ultimately, KAS wants state policymakers to recognize that the scientific community has a strong voice that must be listened to in the development and implementation of state policy.

KY Science Center Looking for Volunteers

Do you believe that Science Matters? Are you a lifelong learner? Share the joys of learning with others, meet new people, and bring positive change to your community by volunteering at Kentucky Science Center!

Kentucky Science Center offers volunteer opportunities for teens (aged 13-17) and adults (18+). Children aged 5-12 are welcome to volunteer with their caregiver’s guidance. To learn about group volunteer opportunities, check the status of your application, or ask additional questions contact Andrew Spence, Manager of Visitor Experience. You can also visit the KY Science Center Volunteer page for more information and other opportunities.

Science Job Postings around KY

If you're looking for a job or if you're hiring, pop over to our jobs page. Please send any job announcements to executivedirector@kyscience.org and include contact information and closing date. We have several new job postings this month that you can view by clicking here. 

Thinking about Undergraduate Research this summer?

Deadlines are in February for Summer REU (Research Experiences for Undergradutes) experiences. These are paid opportunities and are available all over the country. KAS has a link to search for research opportunities Click here to find opportunities.

If you know of any summer research opportunities that you would like to add to our list, please get in touch.
KAS Newsletter - January 2022: Happy New Year!!