SAEREG membership is made up of an affiliation of researchers at Appalachian State University and their collaborators along with outreach specialists within the RIEEE. SAEREG 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 SAEREG 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 SAEREG members.

SAEREG 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. SAEREG 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 SAEREG is involved with.