Lourdes B. Avilés
Director of the Computational, Applied, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences Academic Unit
Program Coordinator for Meteorology, Physics, and Climate Studies
Professor of Meteorology
Dr. Avilés directs the Computational, Applied, Mathematical and Physical Sciences Academic Unit, which includes the disciplines of atmospheric sciences, computer science, and mathematics and she is the coordinator for meteorology, physics, and climate studies.
She received B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences form the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her areas of expertise include historical, physical, dynamical, and tropical meteorology, as well as air quality, interdisciplinary connections of meteorological phenomena, and public communication about severe weather science and safety.
She teaches both undergraduate courses for the B.S. in Meteorology and the general education program, and graduate courses for the M.S. in Applied Meteorology. She also teaches introductory and capstone seminars for the B.S. Meteorology and B.S. Climate Studies degrees. Other courses in her current rotation are University Physics, Atmospheric Physics, Dynamic Meteorology, Severe and Hazardous Weather, and Air Quality.
Dr. Avilés is currently a Trustee of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and over the years has served in various national committees and boards in the field of atmospheric and related sciences. She was most recently the chair of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) History Committee and the AMS liaison to the American Institute of Physics (AIP) History Committee. She has also served as member of the AMS Board on Higher Education, and liaison to the AMS Board of Women and Minorities (now the AMS Board for Representation, Accessibility, Inclusivity, and Diversity), and as Plymouth State representative to UCAR, as well as a member of the UCAR membership and nominating committees. She is also an Academic Ambassador for the AMS Committee for Hispanic and Latinx Advancement (CHALA). At Plymouth State, she has served as Faculty Speaker, chair of the Faculty Steering Committee, and member of the General Education Committee, as well as leader of the Exploration and Discovery Integrated Cluster, and the Science and Technology Academic Unit. She was the 2020 recipient of the PSU Faculty Excellence in Service award.
Dr. Avilés currently conducts interdisciplinary research on atmospheric science, integrating the various aspects of the history and science of a variety of atmospheric phenomena and weather events. She has published a book about the science and history of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 (that earned the 2014 History Choice award of the Atmospheric Science Librarians International) and is currently working on a book on the science and history of atmospheric optics. She has many times presented and spoken about the 1938 Hurricane and other topics in technical conferences and public venues, as well as a variety of media (podcasts, radio, TV, newspaper, YouTube, FB Live). In the past she has also been involved in research on tropical cyclone formation from African easterly waves, air quality forecasting methods, and the in the development of AMS curricular guidelines for undergraduate atmospheric science and meteorology programs.