The recipient of the inaugural Chancellor's award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity is Dr. Ellen Cowan from the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences.
The recipient of the inaugural Provost's award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity is Dr. Baker Perry from the Department of Geography and Planning.
Dr. Ellen Cowan
Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences
The recipient of the Chancellor's award has had a long and illustrious career at Appalachian. Her main research focus is glacial sedimentology and glacial processes. She studies how glaciers have responded to past climate variations to understand how current changes in climate will affect glaciers. This individual is known as one of the best glacial sedimentologists in the US. In 2018, she was inducted as a fellow to the Geological Society of America, an honor given to only about 1% of the members of the society. Over her distinguished career at Appalachian, she has run an exceptionally successful research program and had numerous high-profile publications. And she has achieved this with no post-docs, no doctoral students, and not even master's students, but rather only with undergraduate research students. To quote from one of her reference letters, "She has been a trailblazer for women in science at Appalachian, has been extremely productive in her scholarly output and in the breadth of her work, and has spread this knowledge to the next generation of Earth scientists".
Dr. Baker Perry
Department of Geography and Planning
The recipient of the Provost's award is a prominent, world-class researcher in the area of climate science. His research interests include precipitation, glacier-climate interactions, and climate change primarily in the mountains, with a focus on the Himalayas, Andes and the Appalachians. He joined the faculty in 2006 and has built a very productive research program that has extensively integrated undergraduate and master's level students as well as the Watauga county K-12 school system. In 2019, this individual was part of the National Geographic Life at the Extremes expedition to Mount Everest where his team installed the world's two highest world-record breaking weather stations on Mt. Everest. Currently, there is very little known about the climate at this altitude. These weather stations will close this gap in our knowledge by providing real-time climate data at these high altitudes and may even save lives by improving weather forcasting on Mt. Everest. To quote from one of his reference letters, this individual has been "blending new science with frontier exploration and adventure. It has engaged millions worldwide in the excitement, drama, and serious environment change to be found on the roof of our planet." I'll end with another quote form the reference letter, "World records are not broken without excellence!"