AppalAIR is comprised of five faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences, drawing expertise from every science department on campus.

Current Members

Howard Neufeld, Chair: Studies the ecophysiological effects of climate change and ozone air pollution on plants. 

Jim Sherman is using remote sensing techniques to measure water vapor and atmospheric aerosols, which are key components to understanding environmental responses to climate change. 

Baker Perry is using surface based and balloon-borne meteorological measurements to study synoptic climatology and orographically driven precipitation in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

Rahman Tashakkori will manage data acquisition and manipulation, as well as data visualization for the AppalAIR researchers.

Chris Thaxton: Investigates planetary boundary layer physics using the WRF/MPAS regional modeltoward a better understanding of the effects of orography on regional meteorology and climatology in the Southern Appalachians, and improved sub-grid scale model parameterization schemes.

Adjunct Members

Patrick Sheridan is an atmospheric scientist with the NOAA-Earth Systems Research Laboratory's Global Monitoring Division (, located in Boulder, CO. Sheridan's group monitors aerosols at selected regional sites worldwide to study their effects on solar radiation, and hence climate. Sheridan also serves as advisor for our NOAA-GMD Collaborative Aerosol Monitoring Station and played a key role in setting up the AppalAIR air sampling infrastructure according to NOAA-GMD specifications.

Douglas K. Miller - Current projects involve examining the hydrologic cycle at high elevation locations (in collaboration with researchers at Duke University) and examining the predictability of snowfall accumulations (in collaboration with researchers at the National Weather Service, Appalachian State University, and NC State University). Current research projects combine the use of weather observations collected in special data collection campaigns in the field with meso-scale model (WRF) simulations of specific weather events.

Founding Members

  • Howard Neufeld: Department of Biology
  • Brett Taubman: Department of Chemistry
  • Jim Sherman: Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Baker Perry: Department of Geography and Planning
  • Ryan Emanuel: Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences
  • Rahman Tashakkori: Department of Computer Science