B.A., Comparative Area Studies, Duke University, 1996
M.A., Geography, Appalachian State University, 1998
Ph.D., Geography, UNC Chapel Hill, 2006
Dr. Baker Perry is a Professor of Geography and a National Geographic Explorer. His research interests include alpine precipitation formation, snow and ice, precipitation-glacier-climate interactions, and high elevation weather stations. Perry has led or co-led 23 research expeditions and – along with local collaborators – has installed and maintained 11 weather stations above an elevation of 5,000 meters. In 2022, Perry led two National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Expeditions: one to Nevado Ausangate (6,384 m) in southern Peru to assess climate change impacts, and another to install the highest weather station in the world just below the summit at the Bishop Rock (8,810 m) and maintain other stations installed in 2019. He also co-led the National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Expedition to Tupungato Volcano in Chile that installed the highest weather station in the Americas in February 2021.
Dr. Perry has over 30 years of alpine mountaineering experience that includes an installation of a weather station at 8,430 m at the Balcony on Mt. Everest in Nepal, an installation of a weather station at 6,349 m on Ausangate in Peru, ascents of Illimani (6,435 m) and Ancohuma (6,427 m) in Bolivia for data collection from snow pits, a first ascent of the southwest face of Soral Este (5,460 m) in Bolivia, and extensive field work on glacierized surfaces above 5,000 m. Dr. Perry has slept at elevations above 5,000 m on 134 nights (above 6,000 m on 17 nights) and has climbed to his team’s weather station at 5,650 m on the summit plateau of the Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru 22 times since 2014.
Since receiving his Ph.D. in 2006, Dr. Perry has authored or co-authored over 45 research papers that have been cited over 1,000 times. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union, and the American Association of Geographers.
Dr. Perry’s research interests include alpine precipitation, snow and ice, glacier-climate interactions, and climate change. Mountain regions serve as a focus, with specific interests in the Himalayas, Andes, and Appalachians. His current research is organized around three major topics:
1. Meteorological Research on Mt. Everest: Recent research activities include installation of a network of meteorological stations – including the two highest in the world – in the Khumbu Himal (Everest) region of Nepal as part of the National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition in April/May 2019. The network will greatly improve climber safety on the main climbing routes on the south side of Mt. Everest through real-time meteorological monitoring and bias correction of numerical model output. The highest stations in particular have enabled the first in-situ characterization of the climate at the highest points on Earth and will improve paleoclimatic reconstructions from nearby ice cores. Recent publications include:
Pelto, M., P. Panday, T. Matthews, J. Maurer, L.B. Perry. 2021. Observations of winter ablation on glaciers in the Mount Everest Region in 2020-2021. Remote Sensing 2021: 13(14) 2692. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13142692
Perry, L.B., T. Matthews, H. Guy, I. Koch, A. Khadka, A.C. Elmore, D. Shrestha, S. Tuladhar, S.K. Baidya, S. Maharjan, P. Wagnon, D. Aryal, A. Seimon, A. Gajurel, P.A. Mayewski. 2020. Precipitation characteristics and moisture source regions on Mt. Everest in the Khumbu, Nepal. One Earth 3(5): 594-607. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.10.011
Perry, L.B., S.E. Yuter, T. Matthews, P. Wagnon, A. Khadka, D. Aryal, D. Shrestha, A. Tait, M.A. Miller, A. O’Neill, S.R. Rhodes, I. Koch, T.G. Sherpa, S. Tuladhar, S.K. Baidya, S. Elvin, A.C. Elmore, A. Gajurel, P.A. Mayewski. 2020. Direct observations of a Mount Everest Snowstorm from the World’s Highest Surface-Based Radar Observations. Weather, Early Online View. https://doi.org/10.1002/wea.3854
Matthews, T., L.B. Perry, I. Koch, I, D. Aryal, A Khadka, D. Shrestha, K Abernathy, A.C. Elmore, A. Seimon, A. Tait, S. Elvin, T. Subash, S.K. Baidya, M. Potocki, S.D. Birkel, S. Kang, P.A. Mayewski, and National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Mt. Everest Team. 2020. Going to extremes: installing the world’s highest weather stations on Mount Everest. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 101: E1870-E1890. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0198.1
Matthews, T., L.B. Perry, T.P. Lane, A.C. Elmore, A. Khadka, D. Aryal, D. Shrestha, S. Tuladhar, S.K. Baidya, A. Gajurel, M. Potocki, P.A. Mayewski. 2020. Into Thicker Air? Oxygen availability at humans’ physiological frontier on Mount Everest. iScience 23(12): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2020.101718
Mayewski, P.A. L.B. Perry, T. Matthews, S. Birkel. 2020. Climate change in the Hindu Kush Himalayas: Basis and Gaps. One Earth 3(5): 551-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.10.007
Mayewski, P.A., A. Gajurel, S.E. Elvin, P. Athans, T. Dinley, P. Sherpa, A.C. Elmore, J. Ghimire, L.B. Perry, T. Matthews, S. Birkel, S. Guilford, M. Hubbard, A. Putnam, T. Seimon, A. Seimon, S. Ghimere, A. Tait. 2020. Pushing climate change science to the roof of the world. One Earth 3(5): 556-560. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.10.021
Video highlighting weather stations on Mt. Everest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqJ7LQ8KGMc
2. Precipitation-Climate-Glacier Interactions in the Tropical Andes Mountains: Research priorities include investigating precipitation patterns and processes across the Andean region, investigating the atmospheric influences on oxygen stable isotopes and trace elements preserved in high-elevation snowfall, and decoding multi-centennial climate histories from tropical Andean ice cores. This work was supported by two grants from the National Science Foundation and currently by National Geographic and Rolex. As part of these projects, Dr. Perry has installed comprehensive precipitation monitoring stations on the Quelccaya Icecap in Peru at 5,650 m and at the Chacaltaya Observatory at 5,160 m in Bolivia. Along with Dr. Gino Casassa and other Chilean partners, Dr. Perry installed the highest weather stations in the Americas at 6,505 m on Tupungato Volcano in the Chilean Andes in 2021. Selected recent publications are available below:
Clifford, H.M., M. Potocki, C. Rodda, D. Dixon, S. Birkel, M. Handley, E. Korothikh, F. Schwanck, F.A. Tavares, R.T. Bernardo, F.G.L. Lindau, O.V. Gomez, H. Jara-Infantes, V. B. Urviola, L.B. Perry, J. Maurer, A. Seimon, M. Schwikowski, G. Casassa, S. Hou, A.V. Kurbatov, K.R. Miner, J.C. Simões, P.A. Mayewski. 2022. Comparison of shallow ice core records from Quelccaya Ice Cap (Peru) and Nevado Illimani (Bolivia) and potential for future ultra-high-resolution investigation. Journal of Glaciology, In Press.
Birkel, S., P.A. Mayewski, L.B. Perry, A. Seimon, M. Andrade-Flores. 2021. Reanalysis inter-model comparison of temperature and precipitation for the Andean Altiplano and adjacent Cordilleras. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, http://doi.org/10.1029/2021EA001934
Fyffe, C.L., E. Potter, S. Fugger, A. Orr, S. Fatichi, K. Medina, R.Å Hellström, M. Bernat, C. Aubry-Wake, W. Gurgiser, L.B. Perry, W. Suarez, D.J. Quincey, E. Loarte, F. Pellicciotti. 2021. The energy and mass balance of Peruvian glaciers. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 126, e2021JD034911. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JD034911
Jonaitis, J., L.B. Perry, A. Seimon, P. Soulé, C. Thaxton, M. Andrade-Flores, T. Ita-Vargas. 2021. Spatiotemporal patterns of ENSO-precipitation relationships in the tropical Andes of southern Peru and Bolivia. International Journal of Climatology, 41: 4061-4076. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.7058
Guy, H., A. Seimon, L.B. Perry, B.L. Konecky, M. Rado, M. Andrade, M. Potocki, P.A. Mayewski. 2019. Subseasonal variations of stable isotopes in tropical Andean precipitation. Journal of Hydrometeorology 20:915-933. DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-18-0163.1.
Endries, J.L., L.B. Perry, S.E. Yuter, A. Seimon, M. Andrade-Flores, G. Mamani, F. Velarde, R. Winkelmann, M. Rado, N. Montoya, S. Arias. 2018. Radar-observed characteristics of precipitation in the tropical high Andes of southern Peru and Bolivia. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 57: 1441-1458. DOI: 10.1175/JAMC-D-17-0248.1
Schauwecker, S., M. Rohrer, C. Huggel, J. Endries, N. Montoya, R. Neukom, L.B. Perry, N. Salzmann, M. Schwarb, W. Suarez. 2017. The freezing level in the tropical Andes, Peru: an indicator for present and future glacier extents. Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres 122, doi:10.1002/2016JD025943.
Perry, L.B., A. Seimon, M. Andrade-Flores, J.L. Endries, S.E. Yuter, F. Velarde, S. Arias, M. Bonshoms, E.J. Burton, R. Winkelmann, C.M. Cooper, G. Mamani, M. Rado, N. Montoya, N. Quispe. 2017. Characteristics of precipitating storms in glacierized tropical Andean cordilleras of Peru and Bolivia. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 107: 309–322. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2016.1260439
Kronenberg, M., S. Schauwecker, C. Huggel, N. Salzmann, F. Drenkhan, H. Frey, C. Giráldez, W. Gurgiser, G. Kaser, I. Juen, W. Suarez, J.G. Hernández, J.F. Sanmartín, E. Ayros, L.B. Perry, M. Rohrer. 2016. The projected precipitation reduction over the Central Andes may severely affect Peruvian glaciers and hydropower production. Energy Procedia 97: 270-277. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2016.10.072
Burton, E.J., L.B. Perry, M. Bonshoms, A. Seimon, N. Quispe, G. Mamani. 2015. Vertical structure, melting layer heights, and antecedent upstream air trajectories associated with precipitation events during the 2014-15 wet season in the central Andes of Peru. Proceedings of the 72nd Eastern Snow Conference, 181-190.
Poremba, R., L.B. Perry, A. Seimon, D.T. Martin, A. Tupayachi. 2015. Meteorological characteristics of heavy snowfall in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru. Proceedings of the 72nd Eastern Snow Conference, 167-180.
Perry, L.B., A. Seimon, G.M. Kelly. 2014. Precipitation delivery in the tropical high Andes of southern Peru: New findings and paleoclimatic implications. International Journal of Climatology 34: 197-215. DOI: 10.1002/joc.3679.
Video highlighting our Andes research and partnership with the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation: https://youtu.be/ISmN0MPR83U
Media on research and education activities in Peru and Bolivia: https://today.appstate.edu/2019/03/15/peru
3. Snowfall Patterns and Processes in the Southern Appalachian Mountains: Research activities include investigation of multiscale atmospheric processes influencing snowfall formation, from the hemispheric (e.g., Arctic Oscillation and El Niño-Southern Oscillation) to the cloud microphysical (e.g., snow particle type and degree of riming, moist layer temperature and thickness). Dr. Sandra Yuter (NCSU), Dr. Douglas Miller (UNCA), Stephen Keighton (NOAA-NWS), and the Northwest Flow Snowfall Discussion Group are important partners in this ongoing project. A comprehensive snow and precipitation monitoring station was installed at 1,875 m asl on Roan Mountain, NC, in 2012. Recent publications include the following:
Eck, M.E., L.B. Perry, P.T. Soulé, J.W. Sugg, D.K. Miller. 2019. Winter climate variability and change in the southern Appalachian Mountains: 1910-2017. International Journal of Climatology, 39: 206-217. DOI: 10.1002/joc.5795
Sugg, J.W., C.M. Fuhrmann, L.B. Perry, D.K. Hall, C.E. Konrad. 2017. Sub-regional snow cover distribution across the southern Appalachian Mountains. Physical Geography DOI: 10.1080/02723646.2016.1162020
Keighton, S., D.K. Miller, D.G. Hotz, P.D. Moore, L.B. Perry, L.G. Lee, D.T. Martin. 2016. Northwest flow aspects of Superstorm Sandy in the Central and Southern Appalachian Mountains. Weather & Forecasting 31: 173-195. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/WAF-D-15-0069.1
Martin, D.T., L.B. Perry, P.T. Soulé, D.K. Miller. 2015. Snowfall event characteristics from a high-elevation site in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Climate Research 63: 171-190. doi: 10.3354/cr01291
Sugg, J.W., L.B. Perry, D.K. Hall, G. Riggs, C.A. Badurek. 2014. Satellite perspectives on the spatial extent of new snowfall in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Hydrological Processes 28: 4602-4613. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10196.
Dr. Baker Perry inspires students to reach new heights in Appalachian Today
2022-23 Academic Year Courses
Global Climate Change (GHY 1011)
Research Themes in Geography (GHY 5000)
Information on the 2023 Peru Summer Study Abroad Program coming soon! Tentative dates are
7 to 23 July 2023. Contact Dr. Perry for more information.
Recent Master’s Theses Supervised
O’Neill, A. 2021. Analytical Hierarchical Modeling of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood Potential in the Khumbu Region, Nepal. Committee: L.B. Perry (Chair), M. Sugg, S. Shu.
Ita Vargas, T. 2019. Synoptic Patterns Associated with Wet Season Onset in the Tropical High Andes of Southern Peru and Bolivia. Committee: L.B. Perry (Chair), M. Sugg, I. Moreno.
Jonaitis, J. 2018. Spatiotemporal Patterns of ENSO-Precipitation Relationships in the Tropical High Andes of Southern Peru and Bolivia. Committee: L.B. Perry (Chair), A. Seimon, P.T. Soulé, C.S. Thaxton.
Guy, H. 2018. Identification of a Regionally Coherent Subseasonal Signal of Stable Isotopes in Tropical Andean Precipitation. Committee: L.B. Perry (Chair), A. Seimon, B. Konecky.
Eck, M.A. 2017. Winter Climate Variability in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, 1910-2017. Committee: L.B. Perry (Chair), P.T. Soulé, J.W. Sugg, D.K. Miller.
Endries, J.L. 2017. Radar-Observed Characteristics of Precipitation in the Tropical High Andes of Southern Peru and Bolivia. Committee: L.B. Perry (Chair), S.E. Yuter, A. Seimon.
Selected Media Links
Department: Geography and Planning
Email address: Email me
Phone: (828) 262-7597
Office addressRankin Science West 296
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