Dr. David Cornelison | KBIA

Dr. David Cornelison

Dr. David Cornelison has been working as an educator and scientist in Arizona and Missouri universities for the last 25 years.  Since 2010, he has been the head of the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science at Missouri State University.  His research interests lie at the intersection of experimental condensed-matter physics and astrophysics, while his educational efforts have focused on outreach to the K-12 school system.   Most of all, he believes in curiosity-driven learning in the sciences and all other fields.

Dave Cornelison speaks with MSU alumnus Steve Nunn, a formal naval scientist, about his work with speech recognition and his projects at MSU.

Copyright 2019 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

From a physicists point of view, the study of materials is intended to give insight into the fundamental processes at work.  However, the scientists at MSU are also working to incorporate their findings into practical long-term applications.  Dr. Kartik Ghosh, a Distinguished Professor of Physics, has been doing this sort of work in Springfield for many years.  He stops by STEM Spots to talk about his efforts, collaborators and the atmosphere of diversity needed to get the job done.

When thinking of all the solids we use in our everyday life, it is striking how many are made by humans instead of occurring naturally.

STEM Spots host Dr. David Cornelison discusses the effects of climate change with geoscientist and MSU professor Toby Dogwiler. The topics range from research into the effects of climate change and possible responses to the changing world.


Copyright 2019 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

We all know that many plants need pollinating and that this activity is crucial to the agriculture on which we depend.  However, in most cases, our understanding can be somewhat simplistic, centering on the honeybee and its relationship with various flowers.  It turns out the interactions between pollinators, of which there are many besides honeybees, and plants is a complicated one.

We all know that many plants need pollinating and that this activity is crucial to the agriculture on which we depend.  However, in most cases, our understanding can be somewhat simplistic, centering on the honeybee and its relationship with various flowers.  It turns out the interactions between pollinators, of which there are many besides honeybees, and plants is a complicated one.

It is now well known that planets orbit nearly every star we can see.  Astronomers are constantly working to fill in the details and understand the development of solar systems from the wide array of candidates visible to us.  This work is done initially by space-based satellites, as finding the exoplanets requires large telescopes and is best done outside the earth’s distorting atmosphere.  However, to lock down the characteristics of the detected bodies requires extensive follow-up work, some of

Students at Missouri State University are always on the lookout for extracurricular activities to complement the coursework in their majors. 

So when students in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program learned about a national competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers, they jumped at the chance to participate. 

A month of research at in Nebraska has given host Dr. David Cornelison the opportunity to meet two people who see things as he does, at least on the subject of science.   From the University of Nebraska physics department, Jocelyn Bosley and Brad Nordell have a new role to play as podcasts hosts.  Their new podcast, “Science! With Friends” focuses on the who behind the what in science.  


Host David Cornelison interviews Nicholas Rogers, a student at Missouri State, about his impressions of his summer program in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

From the differences in equipment, knowledge, and research techniques, the discussion explores the opportunities offered to students in different locations.


As everyone in the Ozarks knows, small animals abound in our environment.  Many of these are mammals and each has an array of parasitic guests on their person.  Sean Maher is a biologist at Missouri State University and he is mapping out the distribution of various animals and their accompanying “bugs” in locales throughout the region.  Through this work, he is correlating environmental characteristics with the populations.  In doing so,  he hopes to learn more about the connections between population size and health with the supporting ecosystem in which the animals live. 

For the last couple decades, a standard refrain, h

When one studies the processes at work in the earth, it is difficult to recreate the requisite conditions in the lab.  What one lacks most is time, as building rocks and mountains takes eons to complete.  In their quest to understand the mechanisms behind these geological events, scientists must know the times at which the pieces of the puzzle were first formed.

Becky Baker has been around MSU for quite a while.  From earning her degree at SMSU in the 1970s to working as a part-time teacher to returning as a full-time faculty member in the early 90s, she has seen many changes in both the institution and the general environment of science.  After many years of service, she will step down from her position this year.  She stops by STEM Spots to talk about her career, what she has learned and the general tenor of science at MSU, especially as it pert

Students who go into physics are often most interested in its connections to astronomy.  And when presented with an opportunity to visit Johnson Space Center, they don’t need much convincing to embark on a good old-fashioned road trip.  Kali Shoaf is one such student and she stops by to chat with me about the highlights of our recent four-day excursion down Houston-way with 20 other students, one other faculty member and a dog named Boo (included under poetic license).

Everyone knows you need metals to survive. However, as we also know some metals are deleterious to our health and the health of our ecosystem. Tracking metals and their pathways into plants requires a great deal of concentrated effort on the part of scientists in general. Enter Dr. La Toya Kissoon Charles an assistant professor of biology at Missouri State University.

Even though Missouri is not typically thought of as a place for fossils, we are not without our share.  In fact, the rocks are littered with the remnants of animals that once called this place (albeit a very different version) home.  Of course, Missouri is known as a place of caves, and the discovery of the Riverbluff cave system, which held remnants of animal life from the ice age, brought together a group with an interest in natural history, fossils and the Ozarks.  They created the Missouri Institute of Natural History in 2003 and have been welcoming visitors and  pro

3M is known for making all sorts of adhesives.  In fact, they make a wide array of products, and some of them are manufactured right here in Springfield.  The local plant has been here for 52 years and employs over 400 local workers.  Their corporate research site is working on new ideas all the time, but the manufacturing arms are also implementing new technology.  The incorporation of new tools, including automation, changes the way they do business.  Of course, STEM  Spots is very interested in the ways new technology will change the

When thinking about automation, AI and robotics, one is struck by all the positive things that might come from their implementation.  However, in a society where your value to society derives primarily from your contributions, we may need to rethink some of our conceptions of human worth.  In his position as a minister, Andy Bryan, the pastor at Campbell United Methodist Church in Springfield, deals with the issues of self-worth and human value on a daily basis.  In this segment of STEM Spots, he and I discuss human worth related to both one’s work and to our inherent value a

Agriculture is near and dear to the hearts of Missourians.  Of course biology is the science most associated with the growth of plants.  However, chemistry also has a direct bearing on the development of crops.  Enter Dr. Cyren Rico, an Assistant Professor in MSU’s Chemistry department.  He has degrees in both chemistry and agriculture and works at the intersection of the two.  Listen in as we discuss his work on metal nanoparticles and their interaction with the important grains, wheat and barley.

It is hard to believe, but the Discovery Center of Springfield recently turned 20.  From a small seed, the children’s science museum has grown a plant that enriches the lives of residents of the entire region.  This week on STEM Spots, Rob Blevins, the Executive Director, stops by to chat.  We talk about the why, the motivation, the plans for the future and the building of local partnerships into relationships. 

In this episode of STEM Spots, Dr. David Cornelison speaks to an astronomy expert about two marvelous events in outer space:  the lunar eclipse and mysterious bursts of radio energy.

Copyright 2019 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.