Dr. Jason Polk is the Director of CHNGES and humble servant of many a grad student and staff member within the Center. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida and is often found underground, on a glacier, or in some remote location working to live the academic dream. His research includes karst environments, climate change, water resources, isotope geochemistry, and environmental geoscience issues. Dr. Jason Polk enjoys traveling, caving, and photography and aspires to someday open the first sustainable auto repair center called the Truck Doctor actually owned and operated by a Dr. (of sorts)! He can be reached at or (270)-745-5015. 


Ethan is the Lab Manager at HydroAnalytical and serves as the main point of contact for Lab clients. He received both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Health with concentrations in Environmental Health at WKU. His research interests include microbiology, water quality and public health. In fact, he has published research on bacterial contamination of fresh produce, pathogen surrogate development and irrigation water quality policies. Ethan is an avid outdoorsman and in his free time enjoys activities such as fishing, hunting, hiking and helping his parents on their farm. E-mail: Office: 270-745-8705.


Kegan is the lead analyst and field manager (jack of all trades, master of none!), for CHNGES and the HydroAnalytical Lab. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Cincinnati and a Master’s in Geoscience from Western Kentucky University. His thesis investigated inorganic carbon cycling along the Green River in south-central Kentucky. His research passions revolve around the applications of low temperature stable isotope systems to climate change, karst geochemistry, water resources, and water quality. In his spare time, Kegan enjoys hiking, backpacking, surveying caves, and exploring the world through overlanding. Contact him at


Gray P'Pool is the Office Associate for CHNGES. Yep, she’s the one that drives the day-to-day operations of the Center. She stays busy wrangling and caring for our crazy group, and doesn’t even have time for a photo. In her “spare” time, she enjoys working in her garden, investigating genealogy, and traveling. Gray is our resident animal and nature lover. Her favorite animals are dogs, horses, moose, foxes, squirrels, and birds, but those default to whatever animal is in front of her at the time! Email Gray at


Rachel Kaiser is a geoscience graduate student from Kenton County located inNorthern Kentucky. Rachel was the first JUMP (Joint Undergraduate Master’s Program) student in the WKU Department of Geography and Geology...yes, that means she was working on both undergraduate and graduate coursework and research at the same time! Rachel has worked at the lab as both an undergraduate and graduate student analyzing lab samples as well as her own research samples there. She is currently researching strategies for stormwater monitoring in karst environments as well as developing a threat assessment framework for urban karst landscapes. Not only doesRachel work at a water quality lab, but she is the president of the Western Kentucky University Water Professionals, a student chapter of the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors togo hiking and kayaking, but mostly spending the day fishing at the lake. Contact her at:


Allison Quiroga was born and raised in Northern California, but lived in many states throughout her high school years including Washington (State and D.C), Virginia, and Minnesota. Her most recent move was from Houston, TX to Kentucky to attend WKU. She is a second year graduate student with her thesis focus in CO2 flux in glacial rivers throughout Southeast Iceland. She has worked at HydroAnalytical for over year, assisting in sample analysis and internal operations. Fun fact, as children, she and her twin sister were known for pranking their teachers. Though their parents wrote their names on their shoes so the teachers could tell them apart, she and her sister would switch one shoe every day before class to be mischievous. Contact Allison at


Whitney Frost is currently an undergraduate at Western Kentucky University, working towards receiving her Bachelors in Science with a concentration in karst and water resources.Whitney is an intern at HydroAnalytical Lab, as well as the secretary of Western Kentucky University Water Professionals, a student chapter of the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation, and a member of WKU – CHNGES, Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies.Whitney enjoys spending time out on the water, kayaking, as well as studying its quality and treatment. Contact her at:

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2413 Nashville Road, Ste. 100

Bowling Green, KY 42101

Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 3:30pm

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