Baker Perry

Baker Perry 

Graduate Program Director & Associate Professor
375 Rankin Science West

B.A., Comparative Area Studies, Duke University, 1996
M.A., Geography, Appalachian State University, 1998
Ph.D., Geography, UNC Chapel Hill, 2006

Curriculum Vitae




My research interests include weather and climate, precipitation (particularly snowfall), and tropical glacier-climate interactions. Mountain regions serve to further define these broader topics, with specific interest in the Tropical Andes and Southern Appalachian Mountains. My current research is organized around three major topics:


1. Multiscale Investigations of Tropical Andean Precipitation: I remain engaged in research, education, and service activities in the tropical Andes of Peru and Bolivia, particularly related to precipitation. Since 2009, I have participated in five major research expeditions in the Cordillera Vilcanota of Peru. In April 2012, I installed two meteorological stations: one at 5,050 m near Laguna Sibinacocha and another at 5,540 m on the Osjollo Anante Icecap.  Research priorities include investigating precipitation patterns and processes across the Andean region, investigating the atmospheric influences on oxygen stable isotopes preserved in high-elevation snowfall, and decoding multi-centennial climate histories from tropical Andean ice cores. I have recently begun a long-term National Science Foundation-funded project to investigate tropical Andean precipitation. Key research questions include: 1) How do the temporal patterns, moisture source regions, and ENSO relationships with precipitation occurrence vary in the tropical Andes? 2) What is the vertical structure (e.g., echo top heights, moist layer depths, melting layer heights) of tropical Andean precipitation and how does it evolve temporally? As part of this project, I have installed comprehensive precipitation monitoring stations on the Quellccaya Icecap in Peru at 5,760 m and at the Chacaltaya Observatory at 5,240 m in Bolivia. In addition, my colleague Dr. Anton Seimon and I have recently initiated a collaboration with Dr. Paul Mayewski at the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine. I have also recently begun to collaborate with the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in Bolivia (UMSA), Universidad Nacional de San Antonio de Abád de Cusco (UNSAAC) in Peru, and the Servicio Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (SENAMHI) of Peru. Recent publications, presentations, and press releases include the following:


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.

Sugg, J., A. Seimon, D. Martin, L.B. Perry, C. Rodda, S. Haines, S. Sneed, P. Mayewki. 2013. Climate-glacier interaction in the tropical Andes: field observations from the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru. Annual meeting of the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers, Roanoke, VA.

Scientists, students, and Quechua community partner to understand climate change. Today, Appalachian State University.

Perry, L.B., A. Seimon, G.M. Kelly. 2010. Precipitation patterns in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru. II International Symposium: Reconstructing Climate Variations in South America and the Antarctic Peninsula over the last 2000 years, Valdivia, Chile.

Seimon, A., L.B. Perry. 2010. Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru precipitation studies: explicit simulation of oxygen stable isotope ratio profiles in seasonal snowfall. II International Symposium: Reconstructing Climate Variations in South America and the Antarctic Peninsula over the last 2000 years, Valdivia, Chile.

Latest updates from the field are available here:

2. Snowfall Patterns and Processes in the Southern Appalachian Mountains: My students and I continue to investigate snowfall patterns and processes in the southern Appalachian Mountains, and have recently begun to employ a multiscale strategy, 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), Laurence Lee (NOAA-NWS), Stephen Keighton (NOAA-NWS), David Hotz (NOAA-NWS) and other members of the Northwest Flow Snowfall Discussion Group are also important partners in this ongoing project. Event summaries from 2006 to 2009 are available on Dr. Yuter’s page. We now have a snow and precipitation monitoring station at 1,875 m asl on Roan Mountain, NC. Johnathan Sugg completed a thesis entitled Satellite Perspectives on the Spatial Patterns of New Snowfall in the Southern Appalachian Mountains in May 2013 and Daniel Martin completed a thesis entitled Snowfall Event Characteristics from a High-Elevation Site in the Southern Appalachian Mountains in December 2013 that analyzed the snowfall events from Roan Mountain, NC, during the 2012-13 snow season. Recent publications include the following:

 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, In Press.

Perry, L.B., S.J. Keighton, L.G. Lee, D.K. Miller, S.E. Yuter, C.E. Konrad, M.T. Bryant. 2013. Synoptic influences on snowfall event characteristics in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Proceedings of the 70th Eastern Snow Conference, In Press.

Perry, L.B., C.E. Konrad, D.G. Hotz, and L.G. Lee. 2010. Synoptic classification of snowfall events in the Great Smoky Mountains, USA. Physical Geography 31: 156-171.

Keighton, S., L. Lee, B. Holloway, D. Hotz, S. Zubrick, J. Hovis, G. Votaw, L.B. Perry, G. Lackmann, S. Yuter, C.E. Konrad, D. Miller, and B. Etherton. 2009. A collaborative approach to better understanding northwest flow snowfall in the southern Appalachians. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, doi:10.1175/2009BAMS2591.1

Yuter, S.E., D.A. Stark, M..T. Bryant, B.A. Colle, L.B. Perry, J. Blaes, J. Wolfe, and G. Peters. 2008. Forecasting and characterization of mixed precipitation events using the MicroRainRadar. Proceedings of the Fifth European Conference on Radar Meteorology and Hydrology.

Perry, L.B., C.E. Konrad, and T.W. Schmidlin. 2007. Antecedent upstream air trajectories associated with northwest flow snowfall in the southern Appalachians, USA. Weather and Forecasting 22: 334-352.

Perry, L.B., and C.E. Konrad. 2006. Relationships between NW flow snowfall and topography in the Southern Appalachians, USA. Climate Research 32: 35-47.

3. Appalachian Atmospheric Interdisciplinary Research (AppalAIR): Along with Dr. Ryan Emanuel (NCSU), Dr. Howie Neufeld (Biology), Dr. James Sherman (Physics and Astronomy), Dr. Rahman Tashakkori (Computer Science) and Dr. Brett Taubman (Chemistry), I am a founding member of AppalAIR. Our mission is to improve understanding of atmospheric properties and processes and the associated impacts on terrestrial ecosystems and climates in the southern Appalachian Mountains. We currently operate meteorological and aerosol monitoring instrumentation on the Appalachian campus and at Grandfather Mountain, Beech Mountain, Poga Mountain, and Bethel Elementary School. Along with B. Taubman (PI) and J. Sherman (co-PI), I recently served as co-PI on a 3-yr, $499,470 NASA grant entitled Climate Action Network through Direct Observations and Outreach (CAN-DOO): Promoting Climate Science Awareness through Public Outreach, STEM Education, and Citizen Science. Our group has also recently been funded by NSF to develop a mobile research tower for intensive field campaigns in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The mobile precipitation sensors are deployed at 6,150 ft on Roan Mountain, NC. Ginger Kelly completed a master’s thesis entitled Aerosol-Precipitation Interactions in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, with two publications from this work:

 Kelly, G.M., B.F. Taubman, L.B. Perry, P.T. Soulé, J.P. Sherman, P. Sheridan. 2012. Relationships between aerosols and precipitation in the southern Appalachian Mountains. International Journal of Climatology, 33: 3016-3028. DOI: 10.1002/joc.3632.

Kelly, G.M., L.B. Perry, B.F. Taubman, P.T. Soulé. 2012. Synoptic classification of 2009-10 precipitation events in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA. Climate Research 55: 1-15. DOI: 10.3354/cr01116.


This year I am teaching Global Climate Change (GHY 1011), World Regional Geography (GHY 1020), Environmental Remote Sensing (GHY 3310), Andean Mountain Geography (GHY 4530/5530), Climate and Tropical Glaciers (GHY 4531/5531), and a graduate seminar entitled Global Climate Change (GHY 5100).

Recent Master’s Theses Supervised:

Martin, D.T. 2013. Snowfall Event Characteristics from a High-Elevation Site in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Committee: L.B. Perry (Chair), D.K. Miller, P.T. Soulé.

Sugg, J.W. 2013. Satellite Perspectives on the Spatial Extent of New Snowfall in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Committee: L.B. Perry (Chair), C.A. Badurek, D.K. Hall.

Kelly, G.M. 2011. Aerosol-Precipitation Interactions in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Committee: L.B. Perry (Chair), B.F. Taubman, P.T. Soulé, B.F. Taubman.


I directed the 2014 Peru Summer Study Abroad program with Mrs. Patience Perry and Dr. Anton Seimon this past July.


In addition to serving on various departmental, college, and university committees, I was the 2014 Program Chair and Vice President for the Eastern Snow Conference. The 71st Annual Meeting was held at Appalachian State from June 3-5, 2014.