Professional photo of Kathy Sherman-Morris, wearing a black shirt and gray blazer against a blue background.
Kathy Sherman-Morris: Professor, Meteorology & Climatology

Kathy Sherman-Morris

Professor, Meteorology & Climatology

301G Hilbun Hall
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Dr. Kathy Sherman-Morris is a Professor in the Department of Geosciences. Originally from the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania, Dr. Sherman-Morris received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Education from Mansfield University. Her graduate education includes a Master’s degree in Geosciences from Mississippi State University with a concentration in Broadcast Meteorology, and a Ph.D. in Geography from Florida State University.  At Florida State, her dissertation research examined the one-sided friendship individuals develop with their local broadcast meteorologist and the influence it has on their response to warning communication.

Since returning to Mississippi State in 2003, Dr. Sherman-Morris’s research has continued to focus on communication of weather information and the response of individuals during extreme weather. She has also studied perceptions of science activities, careers, and majors among teachers and students, with the goal of enhancing diversity in Geoscience fields. Her teaching primarily consists of graduate courses in hazards, weather, climate and society.  She has been a member of the Arts & Sciences Senate, the University Committee on Courses and Curricula and the Robert Holland Faculty Senate.  Outside of the university, Dr. Sherman-Morris has served as secretary for the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers, Councilor/Board member and President of the National Weather Association, state coordinator for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, chair of the COMET advisory panel, and chair of the American Meteorological Society Board on Societal Impacts.


  • Ph.D., Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL (April, 2006). PhD in Geography. Doctoral Dissertation: A Place for PSI: Finding a role for Parasocial Interaction in Hazards Research.
  • M.S., Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS (May, 1999). Master of Science in Geosciences. Concentration in Broadcast Meteorology. Masters Thesis: Perceptions of El Niño: The Effect of Media on Public Perception.
  • B.S.E, Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA (May, 1997). Bachelor of Science in Education, Social Studies. Concentration and minor in Geography. Honors Thesis: Fin de Siècle Vienna.


  • Assistant Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, 2021 - present
  • Administrative Faculty Fellow, College of Arts & Sciences, 2020 - 2021
  • Professor, Mississippi State University, Fall 2019 - present
  • Director, Geoscience Distance Learning Programs, Fall 2012 - 2019
  • Associate Professor, Mississippi State University, Fall 2013 - 2019

Research Interests

  • Communication of weather information, Hazard risk perception and response, Hazards and companion animals, Diversity in science education

Teaching Areas

  • GR 8813 Advanced Hazards and Disasters
  • GR 8833 Weather and Society
  • GR 8553 Research Methods
  • GR 4613 Applied Climatology

Recent Publications

  • Elcik, C.*, Fuhrmann, C., Sheridan, S., Mercer, A., Sherman-Morris, K. (2020) Relationship between synoptic weather type and emergency department visits for different types of pain across the triangle region of North Carolina. International Journal of Biometeorology. 46(11) 1815-1823.
  • Sherman-Morris, K. Pechacek*, T. Griffin, D, Senkbeil, J (2020) Tornado warning awareness, information needs and the barriers to protective action of individuals who are blind. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • Sherman-Morris, K., Poe, P. S., Nunley, C.*, and Morris, J. A. (2020) Perceived Risk, Protective Actions and the Parasocial Relationship with the Local Weathercaster: A Case Study of Hurricane Irma. Southeastern Geographer. 60(1) 23-47.
  • Nunley*, C.L., and Sherman-Morris, K. (2020) What People Know About the Weather, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Early online release:
  • Sherman-Morris , K., Houston, B, and Subedi, J (2018) Theoretical Matters: On the Need for Hazards and Disaster Theory Developed through Interdisciplinary Research. Risk Analysis.
  • Sherman-Morris, K. and McNeal, K (2016). Understanding Perceptions of the Geosciences among Minority and Non-Minority Undergraduate Students, Journal of Geoscience Education. 64 (2). 147-156
  • Sherman-Morris, K., Antonelli, K., Williams, C. (2015). Measuring the effectiveness of the graphical communication of hurricane storm surge threat. Weather, Climate and Society 7(1): 69-82.
  • Sherman-Morris, K. (2013) The public response to hazardous weather events: 25 years of research. Geography Compass (invited) 7(10): 669-685.
  • Sherman-Morris, K. and M. E. Brown (2012) Experiences of Smithville, Mississippi Residents with the 27 April 2011 Tornado, National Weather Digest. 36: 93-101.
  • Sherman-Morris, K., Schumacher, A., Drobot, S., McNeal, K. S. (2010) Hurricane Preparedness and Response among Pet Care Providers along the Gulf Coast: An Investigation of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike." International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. 28(3): 345-367
  • Sherman-Morris, K. (2005) Tornadoes, Television and Trust—A Closer Look at the Influence of the Local Weathercaster during Severe Weather. Environmental Hazards. 6(4): 201-210  

Kathy Sherman-Morris's C.V.

A copy of Kathy Sherman-Morris's C.V. is available to download.

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