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MSU students intern at KGS

Two geology students from Morehead State are gaining essential career skills this summer by interning at the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS).   

Ashton Killen, a senior from Proctorville, Ohio, and Russel Rogers, a sophomore from Calais, Maine, are each working on unique projects at KGS.    

Killen is working with Matt Crawford, a landslide researcher with KGS, on a federally funded project involving landslides in the Big Sandy Area Development District. She first met Crawford, and KGS Director Bill Haneburg, at last year’s annual conference of the American Geological Society. Killen began her work with Crawford in January of this year, using the data she collected in Magoffin County for her senior capstone project. She works in the KGS Digital Earth Analysis Lab (DEAL), where she is working to create digitized maps of landslides in Magoffin County. She said the things she’s learning through the internship will be invaluable once she enters the workforce.    

“I am learning how to use ArcGIS and ArcMap, which is the future of mapping. It is a program made by Esri and is extremely vital to be fluent in after I graduate. I am also learning how to make different types of maps within ArcMap,” she said.    

Rogers first started college with aspirations of going to medical school, enrolling at the University of Southern Maine and majoring in biology. Realizing that wasn’t the right path for him, Rogers came to MSU and started as an astrophysics major but changed his major to geology and earth systems science because of his fascination with rocks and the formation of the Earth. Killen encouraged Rogers to apply for the internship at KGS. Rogers is now working with KGS Seismologist Seth Carpenter to investigate the causes of seismic waves.  His work involves characterizing seismic waves from the instruments in the temporary Eastern Kentucky Microseismic Monitoring Network to determine which recordings are from natural events and which are blasts. 

To learn more about the geology program at MSU, visit, email, or call 606-783-2381.   

Top photo: Ashton Killen is learning to use geological mapping software during her internship at the Kentucky Geological Survey. Photo credit: Kentucky Geological Survey.

Bottom photo: Russel Rogers is working to determine the causes of seismic waves during his internship at the Kentucky Geological Survey. Photo credit: Kentucky Geological Survey.