By President Eli Capilouto

Last year, I had the opportunity to travel to China with a delegation from the University of Kentucky to advance several partnerships growing between UK's colleges and departments and universities and industries in a country growing in economic importance.

One such partnership is between UK's Center for Applied Energy Research and the world's largest power company. During a meeting with industry representatives, we shared our exciting work in the development of clean coal technology and discussed partnerships, the exchange of students, and faculty collaboration as part of the US-China Clean Energy Research Center.

As we met, they described several multi-billion dollar research and development investments in their country’s energy sector. In comparison, the proposed


By Sarah Geegan

Students from Shanghai University (SU) will get a taste of the bluegrass as the UK American Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences will host a summit for SU students on Monday, April 22.   Shanghai University is home to one of approximately ten American Studies Centers in China. Funded by a grant from the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and pioneered through a joint-venture agreement between SU and UK, the center began operation in 2011.    Since then the facility has served to emphasize the diversity of American culture and experience, to broaden Chinese understanding of American culture and to foster intellectual and cultural exchange. UK's primary contribution involves providing a perspective of the American South
Vandana Shiva returns to the University of Kentucky Thursday to share her expertise with the campus and community.

By Gail Hairston

Internationally regarded sustainability scholar and activist Vandana Shiva returns to the University of Kentucky Thursday to share her expertise with the campus and community.

Her publications and work in sustainable agriculture, development, feminist theory, alternative globalization and bioengineering as well as her creation of Navdanya, a participatory research initiative to provide direction and support to environmental activism in India, have inspired colleagues to deem her one of the brightest minds working in the interdisciplinary field of sustainability today.

Shiva will present her lecture at 8 p.m. Feb. 28, in Memorial Hall. This event is


The James S. Brown Award is given to honor the memory of Professor James S. Brown, a sociologist on the faculty of the University of Kentucky from 1946 to 1982, whose pioneering studies of society, demography, and migration in Appalachia (including his ethnography of “Beech Creek”) helped to establish the field of Appalachian Studies at U.K. and beyond.

The Award supports graduate student research on the Appalachian region. To be eligible, students must be actively enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program at U.K. The Award must be used to meet costs of doing research relevant to social life in Appalachia including travel, lodging, copying, interviewing, ethnography, data collection, archival research, transcribing, and other legitimate research expenses. Except under special circumstances, awards will not exceed $1,500. The award does not cover registration or travel

A discovery of artifacts associated with patriarch Randall McCoy’s home and site of an infamous 1888 attack were confirmed by Kim McBride, a historic archaeologist with the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, a joint partnership with the University of Kentucky Department of Anthropology and the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office.

By Sarah Geegan

A notorious feud between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky is once again making national news, but this time it is hitting a little closer to home.

A discovery of artifacts associated with patriarch Randall McCoy’s home and site of an infamous 1888 attack were confirmed by Kim McBride, a historic archaeologist with the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, a joint partnership with the University of Kentucky Department of Anthropology and the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office.

McBride’s work is central to the story of the site, and what the artifacts and their context of recovery can contribute to our understanding

by Whitney Hale

The United States is home to the largest highway system in the world, but most Americans consider the road as a means to a destination. People often pay little attention until construction detours, accumulating snow, signs touting an outlet mall, traffic or flashing blue lights force them to slow down and take a look.

Roads, however, are products of the places they wind through and have rich histories that modern drivers often ignore. Travelers have not always been able to take them for granted, however, particularly in the mountainous regions of Appalachia in the days before cars.

For generations, the steep hills and dense forests of the Cumberland Gap made wagon passage westward nearly impossible. Determination to reach the fertile hills of Kentucky led to the birth of America’s first highway into the trans-Appalachian west: the Maysville Road.


by Carl Nathe

University of Kentucky doctoral candidate and Letcher County native Amanda Fickey is the recipient of a research fellowship from the Central Appalachian Institute in Research and Development (CAIRD).  CAIRD is a nonprofit, public policy organization, which provides long-term educational and economic developmental strategies in order to establish vibrant and sustainable communities that will improve the quality of life for citizens of central Appalachia.  Fickey will serve as a fellow-in-residence for a year-long appointment in 2013.  CAIRD is located in the heart of the Central Appalachian region in Pikeville.

"We are delighted to have a person of Amanda's talent and proven research background helping us in the coming year," said Jason Belcher, CEO of CAIRD.  "Her combination of scholarly achievement and work experience in Appalachia is ideally


by Sarah Geegan

Associate professor of geography, Matthew Zook, was featured in two articles in The Economist, providing insight into the geoweb—particularly the practices surrounding user-generated data, such as geocoded tweets or other commentary.

The Economist article titled "The new local," argues that the physical and digital worlds are becoming increasingly intertwined through the use of high-speed internet and innovative technology.

The article references Zook's forthcoming paper, in which he, along with Mark Graham, a graduate of UK currently at the Oxford Internet Institute (part of the university) and


We are also very pleased to announce Dr. Karl Raitz has been named the Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor. This award is highly competitive and is selected from nominations submitted by the Deans of UK's colleges. Recipients are honored for their consistently high level of achievement in their contributions to their disciplines and the university. The appointment is for three years, and brings a research fund for each of the three years.


Professor Daehyun Kim has won the Association of American Geographers J. Warren Nystrom Award for 2012. 

Dr. Nystrom, a distinguished scholar and educator, was Director of the AAG from 1966 to 1979. He established the award to recognize the best academic paper based upon a recent dissertation in geography. Daehyun completed his PhD at Texas A & M University and his research foci include biogeography, coastal and forest ecology, and soil-landform modeling. More specifically he is pursuing issues of bio-geophysical complexity in which he models the relationships between vegetation and soils as they relate in complex and dynamic ways to climate, hydrology, and landforms. His dissertation addressed the Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Salt Marsh Vegetation Across Scales, wherein his field-based research became the basis for conceptual and simulation models that


It is with great sadness we report that Professor Emeritus Richard Ulack passed away on March 22nd, 2011. 

Professor Dick Ulack started teaching at the University of Kentucky in 1974 after earning his PhD at Pennsylvania State University. While he was on the faculty at UK he taught thousands of undergraduate and graduate students in courses such as: Lands and People of the Non Western World; Cities of the World; World Regional Geography; Third World Development; Geography of Southeast Asia; and Tourism Geography. His research strengths were in the broad area of development, with emphasis on tourism development in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. He won two Fulbright awards: one took him to the Philippines for a year and another took him to Fiji for six months. He was well known in geography for his published research on migration and tourism development, among other

Wherever she goes, Elizabeth Rebmann of Lexington seeks to improve the world.   The Lexington native has been a Big Sister volunteer in her hometown and, on the other side of the globe, she helped women grow crops in Afghanistan.   On Wednesday, the recent University of Kentucky graduate received a 2012 Algernon Sidney Sullivan Medallion from UK in recognition of her service.   "Everyone at some point or another is called to service," Rebmann said. "It's very rewarding for me to be able to change someone's life, especially children. If you have an impact at such a young age, you can change the outcome of their life."   Two other Sullivan Medallions will be presented Feb. 22 at the Founders Day Celebration at the UK. But because Rebmann will go to Afghanistan on Sunday to start a job as a security analyst for a government contractor, UK President Eli Capilouto presented her award in a


UK Geography continues to grow and build in strategic areas. Our physical geography program is going from strength to strength. In 2009 Daehyun Kim added his biogeography skills to the mix. Daehyun, together with Jonathan Phillips and Alice Turkington, crafted a strategic plan for the physical program, and we were able to hire Tony Stallins (PhD Georgia; most recently at Florida State University) at the Associate Professor rank, and Liang Liang (PhD University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) as an Assistant Professor. Tony and Liang joined us in August 2011. Tony brings expertise in biogeomorphology and Liang adds his specialty in bioclimatology. Now we have a first rate team in place and we’re excited about what these colleagues can do individually and collectively to further enhance


During America's colonial period, the trans-Appalachian west, though largely terra incognita to people living on the eastern seaboard and occupied by significant numbers of native peoples, lay open to initial forays by hunters, explorers, surveyors, and settlers. The earliest overland travel routes to traverse western Virginia lands, country that eventually became the Commonwealth of Kentucky, were established between the 1750s and 1780.




We are very pleased to announce that our very own, Dr. Paul Karan, received the University Research Professor Award for the 2010-2011 academic year. This is the University's highest honor and is a very well deserved recognition for Professor Karan's outstanding work as a Geographer. For more information please visit here.



Congratulations to Stan Brunn for the beautiful Atlas of the 2008 Elections that has just been published with Rowman and Littlefield. 

Stan is the lead editor of the team that includes well-known political geographers and cartographers:  Gerald Webster, Richard Morrill, Fred Shelley, Stephen Lavin and Clark Archer. There are many other geographers and political scientists who contributed text to the atlas – including many with University of Kentucky Geography connections.  This is a fascinating atlas, containing maps and analysis all the way from the primaries through to post-2008 congressional votes.  Regional patterns are explored in depth.    “With beautiful, provocative maps and concise, readable, and historically informed interpretations by experts, this book will be the recognized authority on the subject," reports reviewer James Allen, California State University,


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