The University of Kentucky Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences (UK-CARES) is excited to announce its annual Request for Applications (RFAs) for Community Engagement Projects. Community organizations serving southeastern Kentucky can apply for funding of up to $10,000 to support community-engaged environmental health projects.  Each application must designate at least one UK faculty collaborator. Projects must contribute to the prevention or treatment of environmentally-induced diseases in the Big Sandy, Kentucky River, and Cumberland Valley Area Development Districts. Priority areas considered for funding are air quality, water quality, healthy homes, radon exposure and youth engaged citizen science. Projects that combine the arts and environmental health are encouraged.

Key Dates

  • RFA Released: Aug. 11, 2023
  • Informational Webinar: Aug. 25, 2023, Noon to 1 p.m., ET (Click here to register: https://bit.ly/082523_RFA)
  • Applications Due: Sept. 8, 2023
  • Applicants Notified: Sept. 27, 2023
  • Project Period: Oct. 2, 2023 to June 5, 2024

Please contact Kelly.kennoy@uky.edu or call 859-323-4587, if you have questions or would like more information.
UK-CARES can help connect you with a UK Faculty Collaborator if needed.

Funded Projects

COHORT I

Connecting Science and Citizens to Improve Water Quality in Martin County, KY
Nina McCoy and Ricki Draper, Martin County Concerned Citizens
Faculty Collaborator: Jason Unrine, PhD - UK College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment 
Click here to download the Preliminary Technical Report from the related Pilot Project.
Click here to view the Community Report Back event on YouTube.

Letcher County Community-Driven Drinking Water Testing
Caitlin Myers and Emily Madden, Headwaters, Inc.
Faculty Collaborator: Jason Unrine, PhD - UK College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment
Click here to read more about the research.

Utilizing Citizen Scientists in Monitoring School Bus Air Quality and Absentee Rates in a Rural Appalachian Public School System
Craig D. Wilmhoff, MS, Perry County School District
Faculty Collaborator: Anna G. Hoover, PhD - UK College of Public Health

COHORT II

Citizen Science on Stinking Creek: Water & Environmental Health Impacts
Charles and Diann Carnes, Lend-A-Hand Center
Faculty Collaborator: Kathryn Engle, PhD - UK College of Arts & Sciences, Appalachian Center

Incorporating Social Media and Citizen Science into a Water Quality Improvement Project
Alice Mandt, Watershed Watch of Kentucky
Faculty Collaborator: Bill Ford, PhD - UK College of Engineering

Reduce and Remove Waste, Improve Water Quality in Jackson & Wolfe Counties through Youth Citizen Science Engagement
Jennifer Morris, Wolfe County Cooperative Extension, and Kim Hornsby, Jackson County Cooperative Extension
Faculty Collaborator: Charles Stamper, PhD - UK College of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment

Fleming-Neon Rapid Response Drinking Water Testing Project
Katie Myers, Headwaters, Inc.
Faculty Collaborator: Jason Unrine, PhD - UK College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

Cross-sectoral Translation to Improve Water Quality in Eastern KY: Piloting Methodological Innovations under Pandemic Conditions
Betsy Taylor, Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN)
Faculty Collaborator: Anna G. Hoover, PhD - UK College of Public Health

Engaging Youth Citizen Scientists in Educating their Community about the Effects of Wastewater Runoff into Local Streams
Craig D. Wilmhoff, MS, Perry County School District
Faculty Collaborator: Jason Unrine, PhD -  UK College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

COHORT III

Increasing Disaster Response Capacity in a Rural Appalachian Community Utilizing Telehealth Communication Device Delivery by Drone (TCD3)
TBD
Faculty Collaborator: 
Frances Feltner, DNP - UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health

Citizen Science on Stinking Creek: Ground & Surface Water Health & Community Resources
Charles and Diann Carnes, Lend-A-Hand Center
Faculty Collaborator: Kathryn Engle, PhD - UK College of Arts & Sciences, Appalachian Center

Project RACE: Radon Awareness and Clinical Education
LeAnn Jones, Baptist Health Corbin Foundation
Faculty Collaborator: Stacy Stanifer, PhD, APRN, AOCNS - UK College of Nursing

Building Local Capacity for Detection of Sewage-Related Water Quality Threats in Eastern Kentucky
Malissa McAlister, Watershed Watch of Kentucky
Faculty Collaborator: Tiffany Messer, PhD, EIT - College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment

Restoring Healthy Outdoor Physical Environments (HOPE)
Mary Meade-MacKenzie, Kentucky River Community Care
Faculty Collaborator: Frances Feltner, DNP, MSN, RN - Colleges of Medicine & College of Nursing

Breathitt County 4-H Youth Development Citizen Science Project: Our Riverways are Important
Ryan Spicer, Breathitt County Cooperative Extension
Faculty Collaborator: Charles Stamper, PhD - UK College of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment

Protect Our Community, Protect Our Future: Secondhand Smoke & Aerosol Awareness
Sherrie Stidham, Kentucy River District Health Department
Faculty Collaborator: Ellen Hahn, PhD, RN - College of Nursing

Engaging Youth Citizen Scientists in Assessing the Safety and Health of Streams in Rural Appalachia
Craig D. Wilmhoff, MS, Perry County School District
Faculty Collaborator: Jason Unrine, PhD -  UK College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

COHORT IV

Educating and Engaging Youth Citizen Scientists in the Mitigation of Climate Change Using Microalgae
Craig D. Wilmhoff, MS, Perry County School District, Buckhorn High School
Faculty Collaborator: Garrett Owen, PhD - UK College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

Citizen Science on Stinking Creek: Sediments, Water Quality, & Health in the Headwaters
Charles and Diann Carnes, Lend-A-Hand Center
Faculty Collaborator: Kathryn Engle, PhD - UK College of Arts & Sciences, Appalachian Center

Changing the Practice: Improving the Water Quality in Lee County, Kentucky Through Youth Citizen Science Engagement
Carissa Miske, Lee County 4-H Youth Development
Faculty Collaborator: Charles Stamper, EdD - UK College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

Wolfe County Community Clean-up, Working to Change a Mindset
Jessica Morris, Wolfe County Cooperative Extension
Faculty Collaborator: Isaac Hilpp, PhD - UK College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

How High School Students Can Use Drone Technologies to Help Assure Healthy Riverways in Eastern Kentucky
Chris Stiles, USA Drone Port, and Craig Wilmhoff, MS, Perry County School District
Faculty Collaborator: Jason Unrine, PhD, UK College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment and KWRRI