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    Dept. of History, Philosophy, International Studies and Legal Studies

Dept. of History, Philosophy, International Studies & Legal Studies
Dr. James Masterson, Interim Department Chair
Diane Lawson,
Academic Departmental Specialist
354 Rader Hall
Morehead, KY 40351
Phone: 606-783-2655
Fax: 606-783-5096

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MSU Home :: Dr. Gary O'Dell
Gary O'Dell

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Dr. Gary O'Dell, Professor of Geography
Program/Dept: International and Interdisciplinary Studies
Degrees, Licensures and Certifications: Ph.D.
Research Interests: Gary’s research interests are quite diverse. As a member of the National Speleological Society for more than forty years, he has a strong research program in the geology and hydrology of karst landscapes and associated cavern development and morphology. Before coming to MSU in 2001, long-term employment with the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection fostered considerable attention upon human-environment interaction, particularly in regard to water supply and sanitation and issues of rural infrastructure development. Gary is also fascinated by regional history, and a large proportion of his substantial publication record concerns historical geography and industrial archaeology focused on Kentucky. Recently, he has had two separate articles accepted for publication in the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, which should appear in print in the near future.
Contact Info:
150 University Blvd.
Rader Hall 302, MSU
Morehead, KY 40351
Phone: 606-783-2729
Office Hours: 9:10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Tuesday


Gary A. O’Dell serves as a Professor of Physical Geography at Morehead State University, Morehead, KY. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Geography in 2003 from the University of Kentucky; his dissertation was on “Eco-efficiency and lean production: Environmental performance of Japanese transplants in the United States.” In 1996, Gary earned a M.A. degree in Geography from the University of Kentucky, writing his thesis on the subject, “The search for water: Self-supply strategies in a rural Appalachian neighborhood.” His B.S. degree (1977) in Horticulture was also from U.K.; and he received the Oswald Award for undergraduate research, first place in Biology. Dr. O’Dell serves on the steering committee of the Kentucky Geographic Alliance, and in January 2014, was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear as the Kentucky State Geographer.

“The history program at MSU is analytical and has given me the writing skills and tools I need to be competitive for internships and graduate school. Faculty members have always been supportive and have motivated me to expand my knowledge and experience. This summer I will be interning at the Alice Paul Institute outside of Philadelphia, where I will be working in archival studies along side authors and collaborating with curators across the state.  I am thankful the history program at MSU has prepared me for such opportunities.”

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