college of arts & sciences

Undergraduate Research at UK

Students, as well as A&S faculty members Chris Crawford (Physics) and Melody Carswell (Psychology) talk about the undergraduate research opportunities at UK.

This video appears courtesy of Reveal: University of Kentucky Research Media research.uky.edu/reveal/index.shtml

Randal Voss: Salamander Research at UK

At any given time, hundreds of salamanders are being bred at the University of Kentucky. "We have the only captive-bred salamander population in the world where people can call us up, and we can do the breedings, make those resources and ship them out nationally and internationally," says Randal Voss, a professor of biology and faculty associate of the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC).

With funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Army Research Office, Voss is studying salamander regeneration—something that may one day help people with spinal cord and limb injuries. He is involved in sequencing the salamander genome, and says he has been able to identify genes that explain variation in the rate of regeneration. "But most of the traits that we care about are very complicated in their nature. How long we live, how much we weigh, or the time at which we metamorphose, or regenerate, is probably determined by hundreds to thousands of genes."

In this complex research, Voss says UK offers him a number of advantages over other universities. Close proximity to the medical researchers with whom he collaborates through SCoBIRC, as well as his colleagues in Biology, is one advantage. Another is shared scientific equipment, like the laster capture microscope he's using to select single chromosomes. "One of the great things about UK is we've got a number of these common core facilities, and the instrumentation is there, the expertise is there to help you."

Produced by Alicia P. Gregory (Research Communications), videography/direction by Chad Rumford (Research Communications)

This video appears courtesy of Reveal: University of Kentucky Research Media research.uky.edu/reveal/index.shtml

Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars at UK

When undergrads get involved in research, they’re more likely to stay at their university, enjoy their courses, and find career success. The University of Kentucky fosters research experiences through the Office of Undergraduate Research, and the student-run Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research. Each spring these groups host a showcase that allows students to demonstrate what they’ve learned and communicate why it’s important. In April 2012, 198 students shared their discoveries through poster, oral and table presentations. Hear what a few of these students, and their faculty mentors, had to say about why undergraduate research is important.

Produced by Alicia P. Gregory (Research Communications), videography/direction by Chad Rumford (Research Communications), interviewing by Karin Pekarchik (Research Communications)

This video appears courtesy of Reveal: University of Kentucky Research Media research.uky.edu/reveal/index.shtml

Geologic Mapping at the University of Kentucky

On December 1, 2011, the Kentucky Geological Survey at the University of Kentucky celebrated a major achievement in the mapping of Kentucky's geology. KGS has published all 25 maps in the 30 by 60 minute geologic map series (1:100,000 scale), making them available for free to the public on their website and through a new app.

This achievement is unparalleled by any other state, making Kentucky a leader in geologic mapping and map technology.

These detailed maps show surface and subsurface rock types, formations, and structures such as faults. Geologic formations and faults control the occurrence of minerals and fuels, groundwater, and geologic hazards.

"They are an important contribution to society because the information they provide assists in the production of resources, protection of groundwater and the environment, stability of foundations and infrastructure, and avoidance of hazards," says KGS Director and State Geologist Jim Cobb. "Because the maps are available on the Web, they are always accessible to the public at no cost. Hardcopy versions of the maps can be ordered from the Survey's Publication Sales Office."

At a news conference on campus, a super-sized geologic map of Kentucky, 10 feet high by 23 feet wide, was unveiled in the foyer of the Mining and Mineral Resources Building on campus. A symposium on geologic mapping, "Celebrating Geologic Mapping for Science and Society," was held later that day at the Boone Center and featured experts from the University of Kentucky, KGS and other state surveys, the United States Geological Survey, and academic institutions.

KGS also announced a new mapping application available to the public. Smartphone and tablet users can explore the geology of Kentucky in their vicinity by using this new Web-based app for mobile devices. This requires available GPS to pinpoint their location and data access to download the map layers. If users direct their device browsers to the KGS GeoMobile site at kgs.uky.edu/kgsmap/mobile/kgsgeoserver, they can see the geologic formations and a number of other features found at the KGS geologic mapping site.

All of these maps and mapping resources are a product of the Kentucky Geological Survey and the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program of the U.S. Geological Survey which provides annual funding for such mapping. Also significant was another geologic mapping partnership between the Kentucky Geological Survey and the USGS from 1960 to 1980 that produced the original geologic maps that laid the framework for this series. The new map series is a testament to the work that can be accomplished through federal-state-university partnerships.

On a GPS-enabled device, browse to the KGS GeoMobile site at kgs.uky.edu/kgsmap/mobile/kgsgeoserver. You can choose to view geologic formations like water wells and springs, sinkholes, coal beds, and oil and gas wells. A map of Kentucky showing the 30 x 60 minute geologic maps can be found on the KGS website at uky.edu/KGS/mapping/100k.htm.

A full-size version of each map can be found through the KGS publication search page at kgs.uky.edu/kgsweb/PubsSearching/PubsSimpleSearch.asp.

Produced by Alicia P. Gregory (Research Communications), videography/direction by Chad Rumford (Research Communications)

This video appears courtesy of Reveal: University of Kentucky Research Media research.uky.edu/reveal/index.shtml

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