News

9/27/2022

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2022) — Kevin M. Yeager, a professor in the University of Kentucky’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has received a major transdisciplinary award from the National Science Foundation for research on coastal wetland methane dynamics. Yeager is part of a multi-institutional team, led by Annette Engel at the University of Tennessee, who received the $2.9 million award to study methane emissions in coastal wetlands, which play an increasingly important role in ongoing and rapid climate change.

The team will focus on marshes in southern Louisiana and study methane emissions from coastal soils as sea-level rises and test natural microbial, landscape and

9/21/2022

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Wendell Overcash has one great collection – a collection of minerals that wow fellow enthusiasts and competition judges alike. Most recently, he won the Geofair Gem, Mineral, Fossil and Jewelry Show of Greater Cincinnati; it’s part of his collecting strategy to impress and impress big. He also recently received the Best of Species cabinet at a mineral show in Denver.

“I want viewers’ eyes to fall on the ground,” said Overcash, who honed his interest in minerals as he earned his bachelor’s degree in geology at the University of Kentucky in the 1970s. “And I can make them do that.”

Overcash also earned a law degree from UK and worked as an attorney in land acquisition and other areas for a variety of companies in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Kentucky, including the Exxon Mineral Co. He eventually returned to Kentucky and performed

9/15/2022

By Kent Ratajeski

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2022) — Dave Moecher, a professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, recently returned from Ireland, where he spent five months studying the erosion of the Appalachian Mountains and exploring the culture and history of the Emerald Isle.

While collaborating on research with two Irish geoscience professors, Moecher and his wife, Amy Luchsinger (recently retired from UK), lived in suburban Dublin during their stay, traveling widely throughout the country.

The experience was made possible by the Fulbright Scholar Program, which supports immersive experiences in other countries for researchers, teachers, artists and professionals with the aim of producing mutual understanding of other cultures. The Fulbright

8/29/2022

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 29, 2022) — A study led by the University of Kentucky has been selected for funding by the National Science Foundation’s “Biodiversity on a Changing Planet” program, an international, transdisciplinary effort that addresses major challenges related to climate change. The five-year project has been awarded nearly $2.5 million.

Led by Michael McGlue, associate professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, the study seeks to understand how aquatic biodiversity in Africa’s Great Rift Valley is affected by climate change.

The award marks a major milestone for climate research at UK — something McGlue and faculty hope to see even more support.

“Citizens of the

6/24/2022

By Elizabeth Chapin

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2022) — The first cohort of interns in a new Kentucky Geological Survey program are spending their summers contributing to statewide research projects focused on geologic resources, environmental issues and natural hazards affecting Kentucky.

The new Paul Edwin Potter Internship Program is giving University of Kentucky students interested in geoscience research the opportunity to engage in a hands-on research project for 10 weeks throughout the summer. Although the program was limited to UK students during its first year, it will be expanded in future years to include students from other universities.

Supported by a gift from the late Paul Edwin Potter, a

3/21/2022

By Olaoluwapo Onitiri

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The University of Kentucky has a high-quality environmental geoscience program and has produced excellent geologists like Rachel Nally, who is using the skills she developed through the program in her work as the environmental and sustainability manager at Heaven Hill Distilleries.

“As an undergraduate, the geoscience program provided me with a strong knowledge base of the breadth of natural sciences,” she said. “Because geology brings together concepts from chemistry, physics, geography — and even biology — and applies them to the Earth, it’s important to understand all the processes at play. I rely on this knowledge every day as I work to evaluate and reduce the consumption of natural resources by Heaven Hill’s distilleries and facilities. My graduate work in the

2/14/2022

By Alicia Gregory

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science will hold its 17th Annual Spring Conference on April 5, 2022, focusing on “Climate and Health.”

Join nearly 1,000 researchers, clinicians, students and community members for this free, day-long, in-person event at the Gatton Student Center exploring the relationship between the environment, our health and how we live. 

This year’s keynote speaker is Robert Bullard, distinguished professor of urban planning and environmental policy and director of the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University. 

Widely regarded as the father of environmental justice

2/2/2022

By Kate Maddox

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2022) — The Kentucky Geological Survey, the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program are sponsoring the “Geoscience & Environmental Justice in Appalachia” Appalachian Forum speaker series beginning Tuesday, Feb. 15. The series will feature Ann Harris, Nate Siggers and Eva Lyon.

The presentations will be in a hybrid format. If you would like to attend in person, all three of the series will be held at the UK Gatton Student Center, Room 331. The series is being held in conjunction with UK doctoral student Edward Lo's EES 480 course, which shares the same

11/8/2021

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sierra Heimel has an award-winning passion for hanging out in low places: caves.  

“I enjoy this sub-field of geology for the fieldwork,” she said. “Caves are like visiting another planet, and if you're lucky, you can discover a place or a thing that literally no other human has seen before. Caves are not only a great natural laboratory; they are also an explorer's dream.” 

Heimel, a master’s student in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences, recently 

9/13/2021

By Jesi Jones-Bowman

UK undergraduate researchers Bridget Bolt and Gretchen Ruschman. Students are encouraged to explore undergraduate research opportunities at the Research + Creative Experience Expo.

At the University of Kentucky, undergraduates have access to outstanding research and creative work activities led by world-class faculty and staff that promote self-discovery, experiential learning and lifelong achievement.

Explore exciting undergraduate opportunities at the first annual UK Research + Creative Experience Expo 3-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, around the Gatton Student Center’s Social Staircase.

“The goal of the Research + Creative Experience Expo is to introduce undergraduates to the diversity of research and creative work conducted at UK,” said Chad Risko, faculty director of the

9/8/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2021) — In California, the impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly obvious. Turn on the news and you will hear about extreme heat waves, droughts and frequent wildfires plaguing the state.

"Climate change is one of the grand challenges facing society,” said Michael McGlue, associate professor in the University of Kentucky’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. “California, our most populous state and one of the largest economies globally, faces major threats from hot, dry conditions. This is manifested in the four major fires burning, largely uncontained, in the state right now.”

Climate change

5/27/2021

By Facundo Luque and Andrea Gils

Leandro Domingos Luz is an international doctoral geology student from Brazil who lives in Lexington. Devoted to education and research, he decided

to pursue his second doctorate at University of Kentucky. Before moving to the United States, he had completed a doctoral program in geography at Universidade Estadual de Maringá in Brazil. At the same time, he also taught geography for eight years in his home country.

In 2019, came across the opportunity to come to the United States while on a field trip in the Pantanal, a region in Brazil encompassing the world's largest tropical wetland area. There he met Michael McGlue, UK professor of stratigraphy, who presented the opportunity to study in Lexington to him and eventually became his faculty adviser.

“I have always been curious about what is the impacts of climate change in

4/13/2021

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2021) — For Sydney Clark, every day presents challenges. She was born with a genetic condition that resulted in vision loss over time.

By the time she was a teenager, she was almost completely blind. 

“Accessibility is always an issue,” Clark said. “I've never had an experience where accessibility wasn't an issue."

But Clark never allowed her disability to stop her from achieving her goals. And one of those goals was to attend the University of Kentucky.

The transition from high school to college can be challenging for any new student, but when Clark came to UK as a freshman in 2014, the Frankfort, Kentucky, native found herself facing more challenges than she was used to.

“I started reading Braille in class from the time I was

4/6/2021

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky – The Earth’s mantle has spontaneous magnetism, contrary to what was believed until recently, and one University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences professor wants geophysicists to go figure out why.

Dhananjay Ravat, professor of geophysics, co-wrote a paper recently in Nature Reviews/Earth and Environment that explores reasons for the magnetism  in the Earth’s mantle. Basically, the prevailing wisdom was that mantle could not  be magnetic.

So what gives? The problem dates back to the launching of satellites in the late 1960s and ‘70s with magnetometers attached. Those devices picked up some strong magnetic anomalies that puzzled scientists.

“When satellites with magnetometers came along in the 1970s – the  analysis techniques were crude compared to today’s standards – and yet those early

3/31/2021

By Miko McFarland and Lindsey Piercy

For more than 100 years, the National Parks have allowed visitors to immerse themselves in diverse ecosystems, as well as provided opportunities to learn about the importance of conservation and environmental protection.

This summer, students at the University of Kentucky will get the chance to take their studies beyond the classroom and into the National Parks — thanks to a partnership between UK, Aramark and the National Parks Service.

Aramark, UK’s dining partner, also serves the U.S. National Parks, and that’s how this unique collaboration emerged.

“We’re excited to work in partnership with Aramark to offer these opportunities for students to engage in credit-bearing experiential educational experiences in some of the nation’s most beautiful national parks,” Katherine McCormick,

10/12/2020

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2020) — A new study led by a University of Kentucky professor is sounding the alarm on the impact climate change could have on one of the world’s most vulnerable regions.

Michael McGlue, Pioneer Natural Resources Professor of Stratigraphy in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, and his team conducted the study at Lake Tanganyika — a major African fishery. The results, which published today in Science Advances, show how certain changes in climate may place the fishery at risk, potentially diminishing food resources for millions of people in this area of eastern Africa.

"Lake Tanganyika’s fish

10/6/2020

The UK Department of Chemistry and the UK Office for Institutional Diversity have arranged to make the film, Picture a Scientist, available for anyone in the University of Kentucky community to view.

“PICTURE A SCIENTIST chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.”

Licensed viewers will be

6/3/2020

The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to learning and working environments that are diverse, inclusive, and equitable for students, staff, and faculty.

We stand in solidarity with those working to confront systemic racial injustice in our communities and in the United States. We recognize the disproportionate burden of racism and other forms of violence on many within our A&S community during this time. We affirm our support of faculty, students, staff, and alumni in standing against all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias.

During this time of pandemic and continued racism and violence that especially impact marginalized communities of color, we recognize the disproportionate impact on Black and African-American people. In the context of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and here in Kentucky, Breonna Taylor and David McAtee, we affirm that

5/27/2020

By Victor Allison and Jenny Wells-Hosley

Respect for the Earth drives Edward Woolery, chair of the Earth and Environmental Science Department in UK’s College of Arts & Sciences, to study the forces that govern the planet’s myriad shifts and changes.

“I’m really an experimentalist and not a theorist; we’re very field-oriented,” said Woolery, who is one of Kentucky’s top geophysicists. “You have to get out there. Get out and enjoy the outdoors. It’s the best laboratory on Earth.”

Woolery was named chair EES in 2019. He first pursued a degree in geology from Eastern Kentucky University in 1985, but his experience working at the Army Corps of Engineers led him to pursue a civil engineering degree.

“I was noticing that there was a

5/27/2020

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 27, 2020) — The COVID-19 pandemic has turned life upside down for almost everyone, and University of Kentucky students had to quickly adapt to finish out a semester that was unlike any other in UK history. Maria Sanchez, who graduated from UK this May, was no stranger to these challenges. Sanchez chose to share her personal story of family, hard work and resiliency, and how she plans to use her skills and experiences to create a better tomorrow.

From Mexico to the United States

Sanchez has lived in Chicago for more than half of her life and identifies as a Chicagoan. However, she was originally born in Mexico City and lived in the city’s outskirts as a young child. Her father died when she was just 1 year old, leaving her mother as

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