SAEREC is an affiliation of researchers at Appalachian State University, their collaborators within the RIEEE, and their external collaborators. In addressing a broad range of environmental research issues facing the Southern Appalachian Mountains, SAEREC seeks to lead fundamental research and problem solving related to biodiversity and conservation, ecological restoration, air quality, land use change, environmental health, and regional climate change impacts. In addition, SAEREC seeks to be highly involved in environmental education research and practice. Specific research projects are initiated by individual faculty researchers or small collaborative groups; both graduate and undergraduate students are integral to these research efforts. SAEREC also supports development of collaborations with faculty at other educational institutions, state agencies, federal government institutions, and private enterprises.