By Guy Spriggs
With sea levels rising, will coastal land along the northern Gulf of Mexico naturally build itself up enough to combat the loss of its coastline? As the coastline continues to disappear, where will the rate of loss be worst?
When did pollution in Maine’s Penobscot River begin? Is the polluted material being introduced into our food chain? Are new laws helping reduce the pollution level?
If we wanted to answer these important questions, where would we turn?
These questions – and many more – can be solved by the unique equipment and skilled researchers working in Kevin Yeager’s Sedimentary, Environmental and Radiochemical Research Laboratory (SER2L) at the University of Kentucky.
by Gail Hairston
(Sept. 30, 2014) — More than an “s” has been added since the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Science was created in 1908 with only seven faculty members. In fact there was a College of Arts and Science even before the institution was named the University of Kentucky; the institution was called the State University, Lexington, Kentucky (previously Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky and State College) until 1916.
In those 106 years, several of today’s largest colleges were birthed from the original College of Arts and Science’s former programs, including today’s College of Education, College of Communication and Information, College of Social Work and College of Fine Arts.
The college grew quickly under the inspiration and commitment of President James Patterson, whose statue now graces the plaza next to the Patterson
by Jenny Wells
(Aug. 26, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence honored its newest class of Chellgren Fellows this past weekend. Benefactor Paul Chellgren, along with Chellgren Endowed Chair Philipp Kraemer, recognized and congratulated the students on being named Fellows.
The Chellgren Fellows Program is for students with exceptional academic potential and aspirations, who are eager to participate in a special learning community designed to cultivate extraordinary achievement. Outstanding faculty members from across campus serve as individual mentors for the Fellows.
The students selected as 2014-15 Chellgren Fellows include:Shiza Arshad, an international studies and
by Keith Hautala
(July 15. 2014) — The University of Kentucky has entered into an agreement with a major Chinese petrochemical conglomerate to develop technologies to capture, utilize and store 1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year from a coal-fired power plant in Dongying, Shandong, China.
The agreement, between UK's Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and the Sinopec Corporation's Shengli Oilfield Company and Petroleum Engineering Construction Corporation, is a project of the joint U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) as part of its Carbon Capture, Use, and Storage (CCUS) initiative. Preliminary work on the project began in 2012, and work is scheduled to continue through 2017.
The purpose of the project, with an estimated total investment of $320-400 million, is to develop a series of technologies to capture, transport, store and monitor
By Guy Spriggs
In the field of geology, the University of Kentucky is not traditionally known as a petroleum school. But through participation in the Imperial Barrel Award (IBA), a team of graduate students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) not only gained invaluable insight into the oil industry, but elevated UK’s standing as a geoscience program.
The IBA, organized by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, is an annual basin evaluation competition where participants analyze geological and geophysical data sets for oil-producing viability. Teams this year were challenged with determining hydrocarbon potential for an area in New Zealand’s Taranaki Basin and presenting their findings to a panel of industry experts.
by Keith Hautala
(June 3, 2014) — The University of Kentucky has been awarded a $1.9 million grant to improve retention of students in the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and mathematics, through a collection of initiatives dubbed "STEMCats."
UK is one of 37 research institutions selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to receive an award, from among 170 institutions competing for a share of $60 million in total funding. The five-year awards, ranging from $1.2 to $2.4 million, are intended to enable schools to focus on "significant and sustained improvement in retaining students" in the STEM disciplines.
Although the need for STEM graduates is growing nationally, fewer than half of all students who enter college with the intention of majoring in aSTEM field leave with a
by Keith Hautala
(April 22, 2014) — To save the United States from the effects of global warming, the U.S. government must literally “save the world,” University of Kentucky sedimentary geologist and paleontologist Frank Ettensohn said.
Ettensohn, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, will deliver the UK College of Arts and Sciences 2014 Distinguished Professor Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 24, in the auditorium of the William T. Young Library. The title of his talk is "Saving the World: Reflections on the U.S. Government and Energy Security."
Ettensohn, whose career at UK spans more than 30 years, is a leading scholar in
by Keith Hautala, Shane Tedder
(April 8, 2014) — The University of Kentucky this month is hosting the ninth annual Earth Days in the Bluegrass (EDBG), a month-long series of events promoting sustainability.
The Office of Sustainability coordinates EDBG and partners with other campus and community organizations to provide a full calendar of workshops, presentations, films screenings and more. This year the schedule of events includes several unique sustainability-focused volunteer opportunities.
The Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment is hosting a rain garden “Planting Party” at 1 p.m. Friday, April 11, at the newly constructed rain garden on Farm Road.
by Whitney Hale
(April 8, 2014) — "Reel to Real: Special Collections at the Movies," the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library's film series, will close this year with a screening of "Our Day," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, at Worsham Theater in the UK Student Center. The film series explores celebrated movies through a historically accurate perspective based on primary source materials found in Special Collections. The screening is free and open to the public.
“Our Day” is a short 1938 documentary about the Kelly family of Lebanon, Ky. Filmed by Wallace Kelly, the home movie looks at a day in the life of the family.
Movie topics from this
by Mike Lynch
(March 27, 2014) — Kentucky geologists say Saturday morning's landslide in rural Snohomish County, Wa., should serve as a reminder that other parts of the country, including the Commonwealth, face similar threats.
The incident in Washington state, reported to cover about a square mile, occurred as a result of recent heavy rains that saturated the ground. Kentucky has also been affected by landslides, though most of them are not as large or devastating as the Washington state slide.
The Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) at the University of Kentucky is compiling a landslide inventory database to better document the distribution and geologic context of Kentucky’s landslides.
“The purpose of the database is to provide users easy access to landslide information, raise awareness of landslide causes, and avoid property damage or injury,” says Matt
by Whitney Harder, Whitney Hale
(March 11, 2014) — Eugene Richards, a photographer, writer and filmmaker known for capturing moments of political activism and social issues in his work, will give the final presentation in the 2013-14 Robert C. May Endowment Photography Lecture Series with a lecture at 4 p.m. Friday, March 14, in Worsham Theater at the University of Kentucky Student Center. In conjunction with the talk, an exhibition of Richards' work will be on display March 14 through April 27, in the Art Museum at UK. The lecture and exhibition are free and open to the public.
Richards launched his career
by Carl Nathe
(March 12, 2014) — Encouraging sustainability practices and awareness of environmental issues is at the heart of a new Living Learning Program (LLP), which will make its debut this fall at the University of Kentucky.
Greenhouse is a partnership between the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (CAFE) and the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S). The co-directors from CAFE are faculty members Carmen Agouridis, Department of
by Keith Hautala
(March 5, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Student Sustainability Council is seeking applications for up to 11 at-large members for the 2014-2015 school year.
The council is a registered student organization, composed of representatives from other student organizations and at-large members, created in 2009 to oversee the distribution of the Environmental Stewardship Fee. Each full-time student pays a mandatory student fee of $3 per semester into the Environmental Stewardship Fund. In 2014-2015, this will increase to $3.25.
At-large members have voice and vote on the council, working with their peers to ensure that the Environmental Stewardship Fee supports programs that represent the will of the student body in promoting sustainability on UK’s campus. A full list of projects funded in the 2012-
by Whitney Harder, Whitney Hale
(March 3, 2014) — "Reel to Real: Special Collections at the Movies," the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library's film series, will continue with "Coal Miner's Daughter," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at Worsham Theater in the UK Student Center. The film series explores celebrated movies through a historically accurate perspective based on primary source materials found in Special Collections. The screening is free and open to the public.
"Coal Miner's Daughter," is based on the life of country singer and Kentucky native Loretta Lynn,
By Guy Spriggs
For most Americans, levees are man-made engineering projects, rarely mentioned outside of the flooding that follows disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
However, recent research conducted by Earth and Environmental Science (EES) Assistant Professor Derek Sawyer published in the journal “Geology” sheds new light on levees most of us never see – those built naturally by underwater rivers deep below the ocean’s surface.
“On the ocean floor there are rivers gouging their way to deeper parts of the ocean,” Sawyer explained. “As a river moves along the bottom it makes its own channel, and it can run for hundreds of miles.”
These underwater rivers typically form outboard of
by Keith Hautala
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 17, 2014) — The University of Kentucky's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) formally opened the Pioneer Natural Resources Stratigraphy and Paleo-environments Laboratory at a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, Feb. 14.
The laboratory is situated on the completely renovated ground floor of the Slone Building. The project was undertaken with $900,000 in support from Pioneer Natural Resources, a large, independent oil and natural gas company based in Irving, Texas. The company provided an initial grant of $600,000 and an additional $300,000 in operating funds.
Additional support for the project came from the UK College of Arts and Sciences, UK Facilities Management, and the Herman Lee and Nell Stuart Donovan Endowment
by Keith Hautala
(Feb. 10, 2014) — A Harvard professor will deliver a special lecture at the University of Kentucky about the earliest forms of life on Earth.
"The Deep History of Life: What Kinds of Life Characterized Earth During the Precambrian?" will be presented by Andrew H. Knoll, of the Harvard University Departments of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Earth and Planetary Sciences. Knoll's talk is free and open to the public and will take place starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at Memorial Hall. Free parking will be available at Parking Structure No. 2, on Hilltop Avenue.
The Precambrian period refers to the time when only primitive life forms existed on Earth, before about 545 million years ago.
"Fossils of shells, bones, tracks, and trails record a history of animal evolution more than 600 million years in duration," Knoll said, in
by Kieth Hautala, Mike Lynch
(Jan. 31, 2014) — The New Madrid Seismic Zone is in the news again, following the Jan. 23 publication of a paper by the journal Science, titled "The New Madrid Seismic Zone: Not Dead Yet."
The study has been widely reported, drawing attention to the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), a fault system which extends into five states, including the western part of Kentucky. The Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) and the University of Kentucky Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences have studied the NMSZ for decades.
KGS operates a network of seismographs in this zone, including the Central U.S. Seismic Observatory, just a few miles from the town of New Madrid, Mo. UK has been monitoring seismic activity on the NMSZ for more than 30 years. Dozens of small earthquakes are recorded by the Kentucky Seismic and Strong Motion Network each
by Derrick Meads
(Jan. 29, 2014) — The University of Kentucky ranked in the top 10 for Fulbright Scholar Awards received by its faculty in 2013-14. Many of the applicants were advised by David Adams, the former director of the East Asia/Pacific region for the Fulbright Program, whom the UK International Center (UKIC) brought to campus in 2012.
To continue this success, UKIC will bring two Fulbright consultants to UK this spring.
On Monday, Feb. 10, Dom Caristi, professor of telecommunications at Ball State University, will lead two workshops and meet privately with interested faculty to select an award and prepare an effective application. The workshop will take place in Study Room 1 of the Fine Arts Library. The itinerary is:9–10:15 a.m., The