I am a geomorphologist in the mapping section of the Kentucky Geological Survey and a PhD candidate at the University of Cincinnati. I am happiest when I am in the field and I am not too particular on what the field work is, but usually it is geologic mapping, measuring sections of outcrop, or drilling and studying sediment cores. The focus of my doctoral research is the late Quaternary evolution of the lower Ohio River Valley, which is the region I have been mapping in for the past 8 years. I am married to Melissa (Conder) Counts, who currently teaches environmental science and biology at Harrison High School in Evansville, Indiana.
I graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a B.S. in Geology and a minor in Environmental Biology in 1999. I started working for the KGS during my senior year at USI, working part-time at the KGS office in Henderson, KY. I began by helping with a couple of ground water projects, and a year later after I graduated I was hired full-time as a Geologic Technician. I continued working on the ground water projects for two more years, and though I enjoyed applied ground water research and learned much, I decided that it wasn't the field for me. So, in the fall of 2001, I left the KGS and started working on a M.S. degree in geomorphology at Utah State University with Dr. Joel Pederson.
My project in Utah was an ambitious Edmap project, which involved surficial mapping along the Henrys Fork and the Green River on the northeastern slopes of the Uinta Mountains. While I was in Seattle presenting an abstract at the national GSA meeting, I ran into the director of the KGS, and he told me the KGS was getting ready to start a Quaternary mapping project and I should apply for the job. I did not want to leave Utah, but it was nice to return to our family in the midwest, so I took the job before I had finished writing my thesis. I finished my M.S. two years later in the spring of 2005. In 2007 I started working towards my PhD with Lewis Owen at the University of Cincinnati, and plan to finish in May of 2011.