Light dusting or full-blown blizzard, snow spurs a chain of actions at Appalachian State University

In this compilation of snow shorts, we look at how a snow event affects Appalachian State University – from meteorological research and the entourage of salt, snowplows and shovels, to clean water advocacy and photographic artistry.

The university’s up-close relationship with Joe Snow is more than delayed classes, wet boots and afternoon sledding.

Geography graduate student Jason Endries studies precipitation patterns and said he drops to his knees to examine the first flakes during even the smallest flurry of snow. His professor is mad for graupel, a specific type of snow crystal.

Biology and geology students and their professors who monitor ground water pollutants ruefully acknowledge the compromise between protecting the water supply and keeping the population safe.

The university’s Physical Plant snow team in concert with the director of environmental health, safety and emergency management, as well as the Town of Boone, coordinate an all-fronts campaign to stay ahead of each weather event.

University Photographer Marie Freeman ’85 produced an award-winning portfolio of complex macro-snowflake images in 2009-10. Years later, she still is captivated by even the tiniest flake that settles on her pea coat.