April 2022

Follow us on social media!

Stay updated on all things KAS! Like and follow the Kentucky Academy of Science


Donate to KAS

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.


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

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.

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

Amplify the voice of science by donating to KAS!

Mark dela Cerna, Newsletter Editor

It has been a busy April for your newsletter editor but I am glad to be able to send this out before the end of the month! I also wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we have a page for donations (click here!) to continue supporting the Kentucky Academy of Science. Your donations allow us to continue our efforts in communicating science across the state and in our advocacy efforts as well. The Donate Link also lives permanently on the left panel of the newsletter! 

Also, if you would like to share your work, job/internship opportunities, or news, or any science-related piece, feel free to shoot me an email. We'd like to take advantage of our monthly newsletter to encourage communication among our members across the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

Congratulations to KAS 2022 Grant Awardees

KAS is pleased to be able to award financial support to the following members in our 2022 Grants cycle:

Marcia Athey Fund and Botany Fund
  • Bryophyte Assemblages at Cave Entrances Across a Range of Anthropogenic Disturbance, $2824.19, Morghan McCool, University of Louisville
  • Assessing the effect of man-made reservoirs on gene flow of stream-breeding salamanders, $500Anna Favalon, Western Kentucky University

Special Research
  • Integrated Renewable Energy System for research and educational purposes, $4953, Dr. Zeel Maheshwari, Northern Kentucky University
  • Can Increasing Soil Complexity of Freshwater Wetlands Improve Carbon Storage by Minimizing Greenhouse Gas Emissions? $5000Dr. Jessica Moon, Murray State University

Undergraduate Summer Research
  • Development of a nanobody evolution platform, $3000, Mark Vincent dela Cerna, Bellarmine University

Undergraduate Research Supply
  • The Hunt for Novel Antimicrobials, $500, Larry Porter, Bluegrass Community & Technical College

Athey Science Education & Outreach
  • Kentucky Giant Maps, $1738, Jill Brown, Western Kentucky University

Learn more about KAS Grants and how to apply for them by visiting our Grants Page. You can view past grantees and learn about the application process so you can prepare one too! Grant applications typically open in November -- watch out for the next cycle!

State surplus will deliver extra funds for education

Rob Weber

Buoyed by a surplus of funds, Kentucky lawmakers have approved a state budget that increases spending throughout government, including schools and universities.
While more money for schools and universities will be good for science education and research support, there’s noticeable disappointment among educators that raises for K-12 teachers aren’t included in the spending plan. Lawmakers say the increase in school funding will allow decisions to be made locally on possible raises for teachers. Still, considering school budgets are already tight after years of underfunding – not to mention the recent wave of inflation—it will be hard for school districts to stretch those extra dollars far enough to meet all their demands.

Budget negotiators included funding for full-day kindergarten in the state's next two-year spending plan.
The KAS Education and Advocacy committee has been tracking bills of interest to the science community throughout the 2022 legislative session. Here are some additional budget highlights that have caught members’ attention:
  • State workers will receive an 8 percent pay raise in the next fiscal year. Money is also budgeted for the equivalent of 12 percent raises the next year, but a personnel study that hasn’t yet been conducted will guide how those raises are distributed throughout the state workforce.
  • Full-day kindergarten is funded statewide.
  • Per-pupil school funding provided through the Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) program will increase from $4,000 to $4,100 in the next fiscal year and $4,200 after that.
  • The budget includes no additional investment in preschool.
  • An appropriation of $11 million will go toward the Read to Succeed early literacy program.
  • State funding for school transportation will increase from 50 percent to 70 percent of the costs.
  • Postsecondary education funding will crack the billion-dollar mark. In the next fiscal year, $1.03 billion will go to postsecondary schools with $1.08 billion appropriated in the following year. $97 million of these funds each year will be distributed through performance-based funding.
  • Kentucky State University (KSU) will receive an immediate $23 million to stabilize the school’s finances. The budget also provides $15 million to be distributed to KSU through the Council on Postsecondary Education as goals and benchmarks are met in accordance with a management improvement plan.
  • The “Bucks for Brains” program that boosts research at universities will receive $40 million.
  • The Kentucky Science Center will receive $500,000.
  • Despite efforts from land conservation advocates, the budget does not provide funding for the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund or for the PACE farmland conservation program. The Heritage Land fund has seen revenue drop 70 percent over the past ten years and the PACE program has no dedicated funding stream. Advocates requested a one-time appropriation this year to boost the programs, but have also talked about the need to move toward building support for an adequate long-term funding model.
  • More than $3 million was appropriated for a Cumberland Forest conservation project in southern Kentucky. The Cumberland Forest is the focus of preservation efforts in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia with a focus on protecting a forest that captures thousands of tons of CO2, provides numerous microclimates that can help plants and animals adapt to climate changes, and includes important migratory corridors.
The budget, which is contained in House Bill 1, was approved 35-0 in the Senate and 93-3 in the House on March 30. The General Assembly’s 2022 session ended on April 14. A list of bills the KAS Education and Advocacy Committee followed this year is available here: https://www.kyscience.org/legislative_issues_2022.php.

BenchTalkLive: Microplastics, April 29th

Friday, April 29th, 1:00 PM ET

How are researchers studying microplastics? How widespread are they and what are some of the impacts? Join us on April 29th for another session of Bench Talk Live to answer these questions, and a lot more about microplastics!

This month, we will be joined by Idoia Meaza Isusi from the University of Louisville and Philip Potter from EPA Cincinnati.

This event is free for everyone. Click here to register for the Zoom meeting. In the meantime, you can also look at past sessions, some recordings, and other available slides and materials from previous BTLs by visiting the BenchTalkLive Webpage.

KJAS working on new model

The Kentucky Junior Academy of Science is on the move as we work to build a new model for our annual meeting. More to come later, but for a sneak peak, plan to see our Junior Academy students at the KAS Annual Meeting this Fall. For comments, questions, and suggestions regarding the Kentucky Junior Academy of Science, do not hesitate to contact Melony Stambaugh at  melonystambaugh11@gmail.com.

KY Multiscale Seed Program and Workshop

KY Multiscale Seed Program

In support of its vision to strengthen and accelerate discovery in micro/nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing across the US, KY Multiscale has established the KY Multiscale Seed Program. This program allows members from the microtechnology, nanotechnology, and larger scientific communities limited free access to the UofL KY Multiscale facilities to aid in research, obtain preliminary data, conduct proof of concept studies, or for educational purposes. Click here to apply and learn more about the program.

NanoEducate Workshop
Summer STEM Experience for Middle School Teachers
June 21-23, 2022, Apply by April 30
This hands-on experience will demonstrate how nanotechnology has positively impacted our society and how it can continue to do so for years to come. Participants will learn about related fields including micro-fluidics, photovoltaic devices, and additive manufacturing. There will be lectures and demonstration projects that can be integrated in the STEM curriculum to better engage and excite young students. The workshop will be in person at the UofL Shumaker Research Building with its state-of-the-art nanotechnology research facilities. Participation is limited so apply early. Learn more about the program and other benefits by visiting the workshop page. This workshop is funded by the National Science Foundation.

April is Citizen Science Month

April is Citizen Science Month, and National Science Foundation is recognizing the contributions that volunteers from all walks of life, age groups and demographics have made to scientific discovery – and will continue to make. NSF has launched dozens of citizen science projects, from birds to ladybugs, accessible sidewalks to safaris and auroras to aquatic species. Nearly all of these projects partner with SciStarter, an online portal where individuals, educators and groups can search through more than 3,000 projects by location, topic or age level. Ready to do some science?

AAAS Survey about Scholarly Publication Costs

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is conducting a survey to understand how open access trends and costs associated with scholarly publishing are affecting the American scientific enterprise. This short survey (www.aaas.org/survey) seeks information about approaches to and experiences with scholarly publishing from:
  • scientists who conduct and publish research or did so for a significant portion of their careers;
  • librarians in academic settings; and
  • who oversee budgets that may be affected by publication costs, such as provosts and vice presidents for research.administrators w
AAAS is hoping for responses from a wide range of universities and colleges across the country as well as a diverse array of researchers and disciplines, and are encouraging all institutions active in any aspect of SEA Change to participate.

The deadline for participation is May 1, 2022. If you have any questions, they can be directed to the research team via the survey landing page. Thanks for taking the time to inform this incredibly important component of equity in STEMM.

iNaturalist City Nature Challenge

From April 29 - May 2, 2022, you can participate in the theis City Nature Bioblitz Challenge that will occur from April 29 to May 2! You can take photos of plants, animals, fungi and other organisms in Louisville Metro/Jefferson County. Lexington-Fayette County and Madison County. visit: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/kentucky-city-nature-challenge-2022-cities

ACTION Program publishes 2nd edition of Cancer Crisis Book

Nathan L. Vanderford, PhD, MBA

The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center’s Appalachian Career Training In ONcology (ACTION) Program, which is a National Cancer Institute-funded Youth Enjoy Science R25 program, has published the 2nd edition of the book The Cancer Crisis In Appalachia: Kentucky Students Take ACTION. In the book, ACTION students write personal, poignant essays about their experiences with cancer in their families and in their communities, they discuss why they believe cancer rates are so high in Appalachian Kentucky, and they write about how they think the cancer problem in the region can be addressed. This is important because Kentucky ranks first in the nation in overall cancer incidence and mortality rates, and the Appalachian Kentucky region experiences the highest rates of cancer in the state.

Through the book, readers gain an understanding of how cancer touches individuals in the region through the voice of youth from the area. More about the book can be found at the following press release: https://uknow.uky.edu/uk-healthcare/markeys-action-program-announces-second-edition-book.

Clay Hill Memorial Forest: Call for Research Proposals

Call for Research Proposals
Clay Hill Memorial Forest

Clay Hill Memorial Forest is a 325-acre nature preserve in Taylor County Kentucky owned and managed by Campbellsville University. We invite research proposals that partner with us to use the opportunity afforded by recent (Dec 11, 2021) tornado damage. Approximately 50 acres of mature forest has been severely impacted with most mature trees broken or uprooted. An additional 30+ acres has patchy damage. Of particular interest to us are research proposals focusing on forest regeneration and associated successional/community changes, invasive species management, historic and prehistoric archaeology, disturbance effects on ecosystem processes, shifts in wildlife populations and behavior, and management strategy consequences. Other research topics are welcome. 

Image from CHMF: http://www.clayhillforest.org/

Projects should be consistent with the spirit of the CHMF mission statement (some exception to guidelines may be granted depending on the nature and justification of proposed research). All proposals require approval by the CHMF advisory board. Please contact Dr. Jonathan Moore, Director of Clay Hill Memorial Forest, to discuss potential research proposals. 
Guidelines for proposal submission: 
Proposals should be no longer than two typewritten pages and should include the following: 
1. A project summary including a clear description of the project, project goals and objectives, and how the research relates to the mission of CHMF. 
2. A brief description of methods and materials to be used including a project time frame, number and location of sample sites (a map may be included), collecting techniques, equipment used, etc. Plans for the deposition of collected specimens and treatment of voucher specimens should be clearly indicated. 
3. A summary of expected outcomes. 

CHMF has some equipment and supplies available for loan, and short-term housing arrangements can be made at no charge to researchers. 

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. 
KAS Newsletter - April 2022