SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Taylor Foote '19, Physics and Astronomy

SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Taylor Foote '19, Physics and Astronomy 

Taylor Foote was an undergraduate student from Roxboro, N.C.

Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) fund recipient

Project: "Seasonal Dependence of Column-averaged and Near-surface Aerosol Optical Properties Measured at Appalachian State University"

Through SAFE funding, Foote was able to attend the Global Monitoring Annual Conference (GMAC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Boulder, Colorado to present her research with her mentor, Dr. James Sherman, professor, Physics and Astronomy. This grant specifically helped fund Foote’s airfare and housing for the trip. Without the grant, Foote says this trip would not have been possible for her. 

Foote’s research involved integrating the NOAA network aerosol measurements with new measurements made by the Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer. These new measurements were used to further investigate her hypotheses regarding aerosol particles at the campus research site.

Through the conference, Foote and her colleagues were able to gain knowledge about the NOAA system at their own site by attending workshops that helped provide a better understanding of the instruments used in their research. Additionally, they were able to create connections with other professionals attending the conference from other NOAA aerosol sites. Foote also attended instrument training workshops to receive advanced training on the NOAA instruments that are used in research like her own.

“I was able to meet other people in my field of research who gave me insight and new ways of thinking about my research. This was one of the most important conferences someone in my field could attend, and I am very glad I was able to go,” said Foote.


About The SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:

About the Department of Physics and Astronomy
The Department of Physics and Astronomy’s curriculum has an applied nature that includes a core of fundamental physics courses and laboratory experiences. The department prepares graduates for a variety of scientific, teaching or engineering professions, as well as future educational endeavors. Learn more at

Compiled and written by Barclay Ann Blankenship and Ellen Gwin Burnette
Nov. 12, 2020

Taylor Foote in Colorado to after presenting her research at the Global Monitoring Annual Conference of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Photo submitted
Published: Nov 12, 2020 12:57pm