18 9 / 2014

'Last Days: The End of An Era' on display through Nov. 8 at MMTH Atrium & Gallery. Read more on WKU News at

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Last Days: The End of An Era is on display through Nov. 8 at Mass Media and Technology Hall Atrium and Gallery.

WKU’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting is presenting Last Days: The End of An Era, a documentary exhibition about NASA’s space shuttle program by Scott Andrews (who photographed NASA launches and landings for more than 40 years) and his son Philip Scott Andrews (a 2010 WKU graduate)…

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18 9 / 2014

@WKUGaryRansdell among riders as aircraft flown by Wilcutt moves to Aviation Heritage Park. Read more on WKU News at

WKU President Gary Ransdell among riders during Sept. 21 trip

Aviation Heritage Park has announced that Sunday (Sept. 21) will be “Moving Day” for its newest acquisition, a fully restored NASA T-38 Talon flown by WKU graduate and U.S. Marine Col. Terry Wilcutt.

The NASA T-38 Talon flown by Col. Terry Wilcutt is scheduled to be moved to Aviation Heritage Park on Sept. 21.

The NASA T-38 Talon flown by Col. Terry Wilcutt is scheduled to be moved to Aviation Heritage Park on Sept. 21.

The aircraft will be…

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18 9 / 2014

WKU graduate returning to Bowling Green as part of ‘Veggie Tales Live’ national tour. Read more on WKU News at

Jonathan Perry, a 2007 graduate of WKU’s Department of Theatre & Dance, will be returning to Bowling Green next week with the national tour of Veggie Tales Live.

Jonathan Perry

Jonathan Perry

Perry, a native of Nashville, Tenn., plays the host of the show that features lively storytelling, colorful costumes and lessons about life. Based on the TV show for kids, Veggie Tales is now part of DreamWorks Animation.

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17 9 / 2014

WKU alumni groups planning Homecoming Tower Climb Nov. 1. Read more on WKU News at

Here’s one trip for Hilltoppers that will be uphill all the way – a race up about 375 steps to the top of WKU’s 27-story Pearce-Ford Tower.

The inaugural Homecoming Tower Climb will begin at 7 a.m. Nov. 1 at Pearce-Ford Tower.

The inaugural Homecoming Tower Climb will begin at 7 a.m. Nov. 1 at Pearce-Ford Tower.

The inaugural Homecoming Tower Climbwill kick off 2014’s Homecoming Week on Nov. 1. The race, sponsored by the Student Alumni Association and the Young Alumni Council, will…

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17 9 / 2014

Increasing knowledge with regard to water resources is becoming a focal point in developing regions, particularly in the Caribbean and for coastal areas. Nearly half the world’s population lives within 150 kilometers of a coastline, including all of Jamaica’s almost 3 million residents. Threats from sea level rise and population growth, among others, strain fresh water resources in places like Jamaica, and need to be addressed in order to find a sustainable path forward.

Over the past several months, Dr. Jason Polk of the Department of Geography and Geology and WKU Center for Water Resource Studies led two training workshops in Jamaica in partnership with the Jamaican Water Resource Authority (JWRA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These workshops focused on capacity building and groundwater science with regard to water resource tracing to aid the JWRA in developing methods and sound scientific practices for conducting water investigations. WKU staff and graduate students also participated in hosting these workshops, gaining a true international experience in water resources research and outreach.

The first workshop, held in October 2013, was focused on isotope hydrology. This is a branch of science that uses geochemical tracers, like the elements of oxygen and hydrogen, to track water from its source of evaporation, to when it falls as precipitation, until it eventually becomes groundwater. Isotopes are powerful tools for conducting water investigations; yet, only recently, due to advances in technology and the rising need for new analytical techniques for water research, have they been more heavily utilized as water tracers. The workshop was co-taught by Dr. Jonathan Sumrall from Sam Houston State University. Dr. Sumrall is an expert on the stable isotopes of sulfur and groundwater geochemistry, particularly their use in karst environments, such as Jamaica, where caves and sinkholes are the primary means by which water enters the aquifer and flows underground.

A team from WKU returned at the end of January 2014 to conduct a second workshop that integrated methods of isotope hydrology, dye tracing and water quality research. Participants included WKU Crawford Hydrology Lab Manager Lee Anne Bledsoe and WKU Geosciences graduate student Dan Nedvidek.

Bledsoe manages the Crawford Lab, which has specialized in dye tracing of groundwater for many decades. She has many years of experience in dye tracing, wherein non-toxic fluorescent dyes are used to trace water pathways in areas, such as underground streams and dams. These water features are often inaccessible and difficult to study using traditional methods. She is also a Geosciences graduate student and received a student grant from the Karst Waters Institute to conduct this research as part of her graduate research program.

Nedvidek is a graduate student who just completed his thesis research on stormwater quality monitoring and regulation in areas like Bowling Green, also a karst groundwater region, under Dr. Polk’s supervision. This research is novel in that it can be applied in a variety of settings, such as Jamaica, to study groundwater pollution as well as the effects of things like climate change, which could impact rainfall amount and water quality. Nedvidek provided training on how water quality monitoring can complement isotope and dye tracing techniques to study a karst watershed holistically.

The team was able to train and assist the JWRA in successfully initiating a dye trace in the Cave Valley watershed. This is a karst region of Jamaica where most of the streams flow underground through caves and are part of the large regional aquifer system. These water resources are important for cities like Kingston, home to more than 700,000 people who depend upon the groundwater supply for their drinking water. Recently, work began to develop water tracing projects in the region and work toward better delineating these basins and possible sources of recharge and pollution.

“This type of collaborative training and capacity building is the most effective means by which to empower governments, citizens, and even whole countries with the necessary tools to study and utilize their water resources in a scientific and sustainable manner,” Dr. Polk said. “Our work with JWRA is cutting edge with regard to the methods and tracer techniques using isotope hydrology combined with dye tracing to examine watersheds, and really is a testament to the region’s dedication to managing its water supply and the support of agencies like IAEA in making this possible.”

An interesting note during the team’s visit was the reaction of many Jamaicans to a recently released study on global climate temperature predictions. The study, published in the highly renowned scientific journal Nature, provided predictions of the hottest places on the planet in the coming decades in the face of climate change. Kingston, Jamaica, was slated to be one of the hottest places on Earth by 2020, which will have an impact on storms and drought in the country, further threatening its already vulnerable water supply.

“Water is the most valuable and threatened resource on the planet,” noted Geography and Geology Department Head Dr. David Keeling, “and this initiative is just one of many underway in the geosciences at WKU that aims to focus greater attention on the critical challenge of water supply, access, and quality.”

For more about this project, contact Dr. Jason Polk at jason.polk@wku.edu or 270-745-5015, or @ProfJasonPolk on Twitter.

WKU group conducts water resources training workshops in Jamaica. Read more on WKU News at Increasing knowledge with regard to water resources is becoming a focal point in developing regions, particularly in the Caribbean and for coastal areas.

16 9 / 2014

Going on now! The Majors+Minors & Study Abroad Fair is underway at the Preston Center until 2pm this afternoon. Come check out what opportunities WKU has for you! #GoTops  (at Preston Center)

Going on now! The Majors+Minors & Study Abroad Fair is underway at the Preston Center until 2pm this afternoon. Come check out what opportunities WKU has for you! #GoTops (at Preston Center)

16 9 / 2014

WKU professor’s report published by IBM Center

The IBM Center for The Business of Government published a new report on participatory budgeting prepared by Dr. Victoria Gordon of Western Kentucky University.

Dr. Victoria Gordon

Dr. Victoria Gordon

Dr. Gordon’s report, Participatory Budgeting: Ten Actions to Engage Citizens via Social Media, offers an overview of the state of participatory budgeting in the U.S., and the potential value of integrating the use of…

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15 9 / 2014

WKU Theatre & Dance to present ‘6 Characters in Search of an Author’ Sept. 25-30. Read more on WKU News at

The WKU Department of Theatre & Dance opens its 2014 Mainstage season Sept. 25-30 with the play 6 Characters in Search of an Author at the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center’s Russell Miller Theatre.

WKU Department of Theatre & Dance will present 6 Characters in Search of An Author on Sept. 25-30.

WKU Department of Theatre & Dance will present 6 Characters in Search of an Author Sept. 25-30 at the Russell Miller Theatre.

The play by Luigi Pirandello has been adapted by director Scott Stroot with a…

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15 9 / 2014

Here is the latest installment of WKU Week in Photos by Clinton Lewis and Bryan Lemon of WKU Public Affairs.

Check out the latest “WKU Week in Photos” on WKU News at Here is the latest installment of WKU Week in Photos by Clinton Lewis and Bryan Lemon…

12 9 / 2014

Artist Russ Faxon prepares to install the new Red Towel sculpture outside Downing Student Union on Friday. There is a matching #RedTowel sculpture on the football field that the players touch before every home game for good luck. Russ is also working on a sculpture of Big Red for the center of DSU. #GoTops (at Western Kentucky University)

Artist Russ Faxon prepares to install the new Red Towel sculpture outside Downing Student Union on Friday. There is a matching #RedTowel sculpture on the football field that the players touch before every home game for good luck. Russ is also working on a sculpture of Big Red for the center of DSU. #GoTops (at Western Kentucky University)