WKU grad wins international award
|Date: Monday, June 27th, 2011||Return to Archive|
WKU grad wins international award
Ben Miller, who graduated from WKU in May 2011 with a master’s degree in Geoscience, has been awarded the top 2011 Young Karst Researcher Award from the International Association of Hydrogeologists, or IAH.
Miller, who is from Springfield, Mo., was recognized for his master’s thesis research studying the groundwater hydrology of the Carroll Cave System in Missouri.
The award is typically given to doctorate-level students, but the committee this year felt Miller’s research efforts were extraordinary at the master’s level.
The two other winners this year were Anita Eröss of Hungary’s Eötvös Loránd University and Sarah Truebe from the University of Arizona. Each winner received a collection of books, but Miller also received a $500 grand prize.
He traced groundwater with geochemical and statistical methods to discover details of the geometry of a complex underground “plumbing system” that feeds a series of important springs.
Dr. Chris Groves, director of WKU’s Hoffman Environmental Research Institute, and Dr. Bob Lerch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, directed Miller’s work.
“Miller used an innovative combination of cave exploration and mapping, water tracing, geochemistry and statistics,” Groves said. “His learning curve as a master’s student was steep at times, even requiring extra classes, but he threw himself into it and, as a result, developed an outstanding skill set for this kind of environmental work.”
Professor Nico Goldscheider of the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, the IAH Karst Commission chair and a committee member that selects award winners, said Miller was very talented and passionate about karst and caves.
“Miller stood out in this competition because of his excellent presentation skills,” Goldscheider said.
Miller is now an Environmental Research Specialist for WKU’s Hoffman Institute.
“Ongoing research by students and faculty in the Hoffman Institute is addressing many of the critical challenges facing our global society in the 21st century, including water quality and environmental management of our natural resources,” said Dr. David Keeling, head of WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology.
Contact: Chris Groves, (270) 745-5974.
The WKU Dance Company will present "Evening of Dance" April 28-May 1.
The WKU Board of Regents will meet April 28.
The Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex announced the Next Generation Initiative during a celebration of Autism After 21 Day on April 21.
The WKU Forensics Team won both the National Forensic Association National Tournament championship and the National Forensic Association Lincoln-Douglas Debate Team Sweepstakes national championship.
Shelby Bowden, a WKU Geoscience graduate student from Greenville, South Carolina, has been awarded the prestigious 2017 Graduate Student Research Grant from the Geological Society of America for his master’s thesis project in Ethiopia.
April 21-23 weekend events include SOKY Bookfest, quilt registry, Run for Autism, Science Olympiad, WKU spring football, Cultural Enhancement Series, WKU baseball and softball games, WKU band and choral concerts, and more.
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