Lourdes B. Avilés
Program Coordinator B.S. Meteorology, Professor of Meteorology
BS, MS, University of Puerto Rico; PhD, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
About Professor Avilés
Dr. Avilés received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and 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. Her current courses include atmospheric physics, dynamic meteorology, climate dynamics, tropical meteorology, and air quality.
She 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 meteorology. 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, 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 Lantinx Committee. 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 and its Computational, Applied, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences sub-group. She is also the current Coordinator for the Meteorology and Physics discipline. She was the 2020 recipient of the PSU Faculty Excellence in Service award.
Dr. Avilés currently conducts research on historical meteorology. 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 presented and spoken about the 1938 Hurricane and other topics in many technical conference and public venues, as well as types of media (podcasts, radio, TV, newspaper, YouTube videos). 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.