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Dr. Jen O’Keefe elected to Fellows of the Geological Society of America

news-thumb-jen-okeefe.webpDr. Jen O’Keefe, professor of earth systems science at Morehead State, has been elected to the Fellows of the Geological Society of America (GSA).

Fellowship in the GSA is awarded annually to earth scientists in recognition of notable contributions to geosciences and the GSA.

O’Keefe began working at MSU in the fall of 2002. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, her master’s degree from Texas A&M and her bachelor’s degree from Cornell. Her research focuses on everything from curriculum and instruction to academic and applied aspects of geology, including paleoecology, biostratigraphy, coal systems characterization, and studies of bee diet through melissopalynology (pollen in honey). O'Keefe is an active scholar and routinely supervises undergraduate and Craft Academy researchers. She is also a member of the editorial board for the International Journal of Coal Geology. 

“I was surprised and honored to be elected. Research, and especially research with students, is one of the best ways to provide opportunities above and beyond the classroom and to bring best practices and newest ideas back into the classroom setting,” O’Keefe said.  

O’Keefe was nominated to GSA for contributions to coal geology, palynology, and terrestrial paleoecology, especially her pioneering work in fungal palynology and her record of service to the field. She has been chairperson of the GSA Energy Geology Division (2015) and president of AASP-The Palynological Society (2015).  

“GSA has been my scientific community since 1999, and continued engagement with this community has led to many opportunities for MSU students over the years,” O’Keefe said.  

For more information about research opportunities, contact O’Keefe at or call 606-783-2349.  

Learn more about MSU’s Department of Physics, Earth Science and Space Systems Engineering by emailing or calling 606-783-2381. 


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