A Western Kentucky University professor has become Kentucky's first woman to be named state geographer.
Gov. Steve Beshear appointed associate professor of geography Margaret M. Gripshover to the post. The term expires Jan. 1.
Western said in a statement that Gripshover was involved in historic preservation in eastern Kentucky in the 1990s, submitting a successful National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Frontier Nursing Service in Leslie County.
Now she's working on two research projects in the state. The first is to develop a map of foaling locations for Kentucky Derby winners to track land use changes in specialized thoroughbred breeding regions. The other is about the Shake Rag neighborhood in Bowling Green, focusing on African-American contributions to the city's cultural development.