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 Center for Gifted Studies at WKU hosted its 34th annual Summer Program for Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth (VAMPY) from June 25 to July 15.
WKU has surpassed its previous record of private support in a fiscal year with a new high of $36.3 million gifted in 2016-17.
The WKU Alumni Association recently thanked nine volunteers who are retiring from the WKU Alumni Association National Board of Directors after their term of office.
Get ready for the end of summer WKU PBS Pool Party being held at the Russell Sims Aquatic Park on Sunday, Aug. 6, from noon to 5 p.m.
The WKU Alumni Association recently elected 11 new board members for 2017-2018.
WKU alumni and friends will celebrate "There’s No Place Like Home" for Homecoming 2017.
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