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Welcome to the Southern Appalachian Environmental Research and Education Center (SAEREC) Webpage, a member center of Appalachian State University’s Research Institute for Environment, Energy and Economics (RIEEE).

As Director of the Southern Appalachian Environmental Research and Education Center, known as SAEREC, I would like to welcome you to our webpage. SAEREC is the newest addition to the Research Institute for the Environment, Economics and Energy (RIEEE) and is one of three Centers located within the Institute. The others are the Center for Economic Research and Policy Analysis and the Appalachian Energy Center. 

SAEREC membership is made up of an affiliation of researchers at Appalachian State University and their collaborators along with outreach specialists within the RIEEE. SAEREC addresses a broad range of research issues concerned with environmental issues facing the Southern Appalachian Mountains, ranging from biodiversity and conservation, ecological restoration, air quality, land use change, and regional climate change impacts. Research is initiated by individual researchers, and involves both faculty, graduate and undergraduate students. Collaborations with faculty at other institutions are encouraged, as well as with government institutions. For example, we currently have adjunct faculty affiliated with SAEREC from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Asheville. In addition, there are collaborations with researchers at NASA, NOAA, the EPA and Boyce Thompson Research Institute involving the study of various environmental aerosols and ozone on air quality. In addition, research involving biological conservation of endangered mussels in southeastern stream systems and the impacts of invasive plants on the landscape are also being researched by SAEREC members.
SAEREC currently has nearly $1 million in active grants and contracts that it is administering (see our Research page). It is also heavily involved in outreach through a NASA grant that brings climate science research to students in elementary and middle schools. The principal investigators of this grant, which is called the Climate Action Network through Direct Observations and Outreach, or CAN-DOO, have developed an interactive exhibit on climate change at the Nature Museum on Grandfather Mountain, where they are also involved with educating environmental instructors on various aspects of climate research. SAEREC is also interacting with the Biology Department and ASU Physical Plant to inventory all the trees on the ASU campus, an example of local environmental issues that SAEREC is involved with.
Please take a moment to explore our webpages. You can click on the buttons either on the left side or the top to see who is currently involved with SAEREC, their research efforts, and descriptions of their projects. Anyone interested in collaborating with our researchers, or who would like to become a member of SAEREC, is encouraged to contact me, Dr. Howard Neufeld, for more information.