A big problem with predicting responses to global climate change (or other environmental changes) is that they are nonlinear and thus disproportionate. Sometimes large changes can have relatively small responses, while in other cases small changes can have disproportionately large impacts.

Responses to environmental change are sometimes characterized by amplifiers—phenomena that reinforce or exaggerate the effects of the change. For example, if coastal land is subsiding, this amplifies the effects of sea level rise. Or, when warming results in permafrost thawing, this releases methane, a heat-trapping greenhouse gas, this leads to further warming. However, there are also filters—phenomena that resist, offset, or diminish the effects of the change. For instance, if coastal land is tectonically or isostatically uplifting, this can offset or even eliminate effects of sea level rise with respect to coastal submergence. Or, if warming results in increased cloud cover, which reflects more radiation, this counteracts the warming.

Brad's Blurb

Time Management:  A Different Take

Have you ever felt there just isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish what you need to accomplish?   It has long been thought that the key to workplace success was managing time more efficiently.  Since time is limited during a week it seems to make sense.  However, maybe it isn’t entirely about managing time, but also about managing energy.   Energy is a component of good performance since all hours are not created equal in the workplace.  It is a qualitative way to look at it versus a quantitative one. 

Do you accomplish more in three hours when you are sleep-deprived or in one hour when you feel energetic, optimistic, and engaged?   Eight hours of work when you're exhausted and distracted might be far less productive than three hours when you are "in the zone."  So how can we focus less on the number of hours we work, and more on doing what it takes to make sure we are at our best when working?  

Five Things About Me

kelly and ice creamI grew up in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas while my father worked on his degrees and started his teaching career.  We ended up in Richmond by the time I was in 4th grade with him teaching at E.K.U.  I graduated from Eastern with a degree in Business Administration (Marketing).  Previous positions have included everything from waiting tables (quite a learning experience!) to Biological Sales (vaccines).  It was only a matter of time before I ended up working at a University, something I had wanted to do from the time I was very young and tagged along everywhere after my dad, grading his papers, cleaning his office, and observing every career position on campus. I came to work for U.K. part time in 2010, and joined A&S last year.  My husband and I have two children and a mutt that we all love to pieces.  If you have talked to me at all, then you know about my children.  We love having fun with them and their friends, and listening to them talk and laugh.  Life is good! 

Brad's Blurb

Dear Staff,

Remember to mark your calendars for the A&S All Staff Retreat scheduled for August 13 (Wednesday), from 10 a.m-3 p.m in the Student Center Ballroom.   

Last year the College of Arts and Sciences staff redefined and clarified our College’s professional standards.  These standards go to the core of who we are as a staff and help drive our mindset and behavior toward organizational success.  Below is a reminder of our guiding standards as we get read to embark upon another school year.   I encourage you to think about what they mean and how you can exemplify them on a daily basis.   

A&S Staff Professional Standards

Competence:  Performing ones’ work well; recognizing problems and actively identifying solutions; demonstrating initiatives; seeking feedback; being accountable; understanding how one’s work supports the goals of A&S and the University’s mission; and working with integrity.
For example:

•             Does the employee understand how his/her role supports the College and its mission?

•             Does the employee understand the policies and guidelines appropriate for his/her position?

•             Does the employee recognize problems?

Social Media 101 + 102: Workshops in September

Last year, I offered the Department Managers and interested staff a session about social media, a 101 course, that guided people through a brief history of social media and how we can use it in Higher Education, as well as basics for getting started: setting up accounts, which networks are optimal for which kind of media, etc. I'm also offering a new sessions, Social Media 102, the following day. 102 will get more into the content aspect of things: ways to engage audiences, attract followers, incentivize interaction, and ways to create 'shareable' content. 

Interested in both or either of these workshops - or might know about someone in your department or program who would benefit from these sessions? Please RSVP to by September 1st. Brief descriptions and details about both are below: 

Five Things About Me

Will BickersI’m originally from Havelock, North Carolina. However, I now call the beautiful city of Lexington my home. I’m a proud graduate from the University of Kentucky in May 2011. I received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and completed three minors in Communication, History, and Geography. During my time as an undergrad I established myself as a UK Tour Guide and a Summer Advising Wildcat Assistant. These positions helped me realize my passion for this amazing “See Blue” community eventually guiding me toward being a UK Recruiter for the Chicagoland area. After working as a UK Recruiter for two and half years I transitioned into my current role as A&S Recruiter and Retention Coordinator.

Five Things About Me

camille harmonI was born and raised in Lexington, KY.  I graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2012 where I earned my BS in Community Communications and Leadership Development (Agriculture Communications). I began working at UK in 2010 as a student worker in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.  I moved to STEPS in 2012 before becoming an employee in the College of Arts and Sciences this past June.  I will be married a year in August to my husband Matt and we live here in Lexington.  We have a 7 year-old Australian Shepherd/Border Collie named Oliver. 


Brad's Blurb

Dear Staff,

Please mark your calendars for the next A&S staff retreat scheduled on August 13 (Wednesday) in the UK Student Center Ballroom from 10:00 am-3:00 pm.  Lunch will be provided.  During the retreat you will hear from Dean Kornbluh about the future goals and objectives of the College, meet new staff members, have the opportunity to join break out discussion groups on Work Life Balance, Professional Development, and Collegiality/Workplace Professionalism,  hear from the Culture Committee about actions taken this past year as a result of the feedback from the fall semester culture survey and information on the completion of the next survey, and hear from the Staff Council on their goals for the upcoming year.   Keep an eye out for more information in upcoming A&S Newsletters as well as an email invitation. 



I recently stumbled upon the OCBIL theory. In the words of Hopper (2009): “OCBIL theory aims to develop an integrated series of hypotheses explaining the evolution and ecology of, and best conservation practices for, biota on very old, climatically buffered, infertile landscapes (OCBILs). Conventional theory for ecology and evolu- tionary and conservation biology has developed primarily from data on species and communities from young, often disturbed, fertile landscapes (YODFELs), mainly in the Northern Hemisphere.” As a geomorphologist, and in particular a biogeomorphologist interested in coevolution of landscapes, biota, and soils, the OCBIL-YODFEL contrast is extremely interesting—mainly because it implies a key role for landscape age, stability, and geomorphic disturbance regimes in the development of ecosystems and evolution of biodiversity patterns.



One of my major research interests is the coevolution of soils, landforms, and biota. I’ve been working in this area pretty steadily since about 2000, but until 2013 I was completely unaware of some work being done along the same lines, over about the same time period. This is the work of W.H. Verboom and J.S. Pate from Western Australia, who among other things developed the “phytotarium concept.” Phytotarium defines the specific plants and microbial associates driving specific pedological changes during niche construction. This concept, and a wealth of work on biogenic origins of pedological and geomorphological features such as clay pavements, texture-contrast (duplex, as they call them in Australia) soils, and laterites, was highly relevant to my own thinking (e.g., Phillips, 2009a; 2009b), but though I consider myself familiar with the biogeomorphology and pedogenesis literature, then and now, I had somehow missed it.

Deep sandy duplex (vertical texture contrast) soils, Western Australia. Photo credit: Dept. of Agriculture & Food, Western Australia.


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