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PhD candidate, Kyle Compare, recognized for research on using deep learning to study karst springs


Kyle Compare, a Ph.D. Candidate in Geology, has received multiple recognitions for his doctoral research on using deep learning to study karst springs.

Kyle was awarded in May a Graduate Student Research Grant from the Geological Society of America to implement deep learning methods to study springs throughout Florida. His work will compile data from the 30 Outstanding Florida Springs to train a neural network to both predict springflow and determine which hydrologic, geologic, and meteorologic factors largely impact flow at these springs.

His GSA research grant was built on his previous work of deep learning studies of Wakulla Springs. This work was presented in March at the 17th Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst (aka The Sinkhole Conference). The Sinkhole Conference is an international conference sponsored by the National Cave and Karst Research Institute. It aims to bring together the engineers, geographers, and geologists who study how and where karst develops, with the engineers and planners who apply this information to building and maintaining society’s infrastructure in an environmentally conscious way.

Before the sinkhole conference, Kyle received the Beck Award, a competitive grant awarded to one or more students who presents the results of their research at the Sinkhole Conference. The award was inaugurated in 2013 in memory of the late Dr. Barry Beck, a pioneer in the scientific study of sinkholes who founded the Sinkhole Conference series, and who died in 2011.

At the conference, Kyle presented his research on using neural networks trained on groundwater and surface water monitoring data to simulate springflow at Wakulla Springs, south of Tallahassee. Following this, he was recognized by receiving the Young Karst Researcher Prize from the Karst Commission of the International Association of Hydrogeologists. The award aims to encourage and promote young scientists in the field of karst hydrogeology and Kyle was one of three students selected for his presentation at the Sinkhole. Conference.