Dr. Jason Polk is a Professor of Environmental Geoscience at Western Kentucky University. He serves as Director of the Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies (CHNGES) and HydroAnlaytical Lab. Dr. Polk earned his doctorate degree from the University of South Florida in Geography and Environmental Science and Policy and his current research investigates groundwater resources, isotope hydrology and geochemistry, karst resource management, and global climate dynamics. Dr. Polk is passionate about the integration of human-environmental research and community development through applied research. He has technical expertise in karst geoscience, hydrologic monitoring, water quality and quantity assessments, groundwater resource management, and solution-based approaches to resilience and adaption planning for communities. Dr. Polk conducts research throughout the world, including the Caribbean, Vietnam, Iceland, and Europe and has worked in the longest, largest, and deepest caves in the world.
Dr. Polk is an active member of the Geological Society of America (past Chair of the Karst Division), American Geophysical Union, National Speleological Society, National Ground Water Association, and serves as faculty advisor of the WKU Water Professionals Chapter of the AWWA/WEA. He is a Board Member of the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute and is a Fellow of the National Speleological Society, co-Director of the North Atlantic Climate Change Collaboration Project (NAC3), Member Representative for the UArctic Council, founder of the UnderBGKY real-time monitoring and continuous data network for public outreach and education, and serves on the Advisory Board of the internationally renowned The $100 Solution™ non-profit service learning organization. He enjoys traveling, basketball, caving, and photography and seeks new ways to learn about and experience our natural environment and communicate science toward solutions. Dr. Polk is also currently on the Board of Directors of the Karst Waters Institute and his goal at KWI is to support efforts to improve knowledge about cave and karst landscapes and work to drive positive change by increasing the visibility and cohesiveness of the many different cave and karst efforts underway around the world. Additionally, he hopes through KWI to enhance accessibility and interactions among cavers, scientists, nonprofits and governmental agencies toward the improved understanding and protection of karst areas and their vital resources.