NEWS AND EVENTS
Dr. Gary O'Dell Honored as the State Geographer of Kentucky
Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed Morehead State University’s Dr. Gary A. O’Dell, professor of geography, as state geographer for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
He succeeds Margaret M. Gripshover. Dr. O’Dell will serve until Jan. 1, 2015.
Dr. O’Dell was awarded a Ph.D. degree 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 UK, 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 also was from U.K.; and he received the Oswald Award for undergraduate research, first place in biology.
He has been a member of the National Speleological Society for more than 40 years and 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, Dr. O’Dell was employed with the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection in the Division of Water.
He also is interested in regional history, and a large proportion of his substantial publication record concerns historical geography and industrial archaeology focused on Kentucky. Dr. O’Dell has published three separate articles in the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, two in the former Filson Club History Quarterly, and has several articles scheduled for publication in scholarly journals in the near future.
Additional information is available by contacting Dr. O’Dell at 606-783-2729.
Zboriv National Battlefield
Based on the research conducted by Prof. Adrian Mandzy between 2002 and 2007, the 1649 Zboriv Battlefield has been nominated as a National Historic-Cultural Preserve. Entitled the “1649 Zboriv Battlefield” the idea for a National Preserve was raised early in the process when it was clear that it was possible to identify areas of the former field of conflict.
Financial support by two Fulbright grants and Morehead State University allowed Dr. Mandzy to work with various historians, preservations, architects and archaeologist to create a multi-discipline study of the 1649 battlefield. The Cossack victory at the battle of Zboriv and the resulting Treaty of Zboriv led to the creation on an autonomous Cossack state. Over the last few centuries various foreign governments downplayed the significance of this event as it was understood to be a reminder of Ukrainian national aspirations. With the establishment of an independent Ukrainian State in 1991, the battlefield has become a critical component of modern Ukrainian national identity.
In spite of the event’s historical importance, previous attempts to locate the area of the former field of conflict were unsuccessful. The discovery of a map drawn by a German mercenary during the course of the battle located specific features of the Polish camp and gave general locations of the Cossack and Tatar forces. Using this map, along with extensive literature reviews, topographic examination, document analysis, a three metal detecting surveys, cartographic analysis, and archaeological excavations allowed us to identify where the battle took place. From this information, Professor Mandzy, along with the local and regional governments, the regional historical preservation office, and scholars from the National University L’viv Polytechnic and the I. Krypiakevych Institute of Ukrainian Studies, created a site preservation document, which in turn gave way to a proposal for the creation of a National Historic Preserve.
The final documentation for the project was signed in June 2013 and approved by the Ministry of Culture at the end of August. Upon final signature by the Prime Minister of Ukraine, funding for the preserve will come from the regional government office. The decree for the creation of the preserve states that an administration for the preserve will be created by the end of October 2013 and a comprehensive site plan will be implemented by 2015.