Atmospheric Science

 
Program Category: 
Non-Degree Programs
Chair: 
Adam H. Sobel

Members of the Committee on Atmospheric Science:
Mark Cane, Anthony Del Genio, Lisa Goddard, Upmanu Lall, V. Faye McNeill, Ronald Miller, Lorenzo Polvani, Adam Sobel, Mingfang Ting

The Departments of Earth and Environmental Science, Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Earth and Environmental Engineering, and Chemical Engineering cooperate with each other and with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and International Research Institute for Climate and Society in offering a graduate program in atmospheric science. The program supports research on atmospheres and climates in all their aspects.  Each graduate student is enrolled in an academic department and follows the normal procedures of that department regarding admission and progression towards the Ph.D. degree.  However, course offerings have been designed collaboratively with the needs of multiple departments in mind, and advisory committees commonly include faculty from multiple departments.  Relevant seminars and other activities occur in all participating departments and institutes, providing a uniquely broad and stimulating intellectual environment for graduate study.

Students interested in the Atmospheric Science program must apply to and be admitted by one of the following participating departments and must satisfy the requirements of that department: Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Earth and Environmental Engineering, or Chemical Engineering (all in the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science); or Earth and Environmental Sciences (in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences).  Applicants need a strong background in basic physical sciences and mathematics, including advanced calculus and differential equations, and should be aware that, if they are admitted, any deficiencies should be remedied during the first year. Undergraduate courses in atmospheric sciences or earth sciences are helpful but not necessary.

Interested students should contact potential advisors in their area of interest in one of the participating units listed below.  The list of committee members above contains one or more representatives from each unit who can serve as points of initial contact for students who need help identifying potential advisors.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DEES) has research programs in many aspects of modern climate, atmospheric science, and physical oceanography.  It also has major programs in paleoclimate and geochemistry, which complement the study of the modern climate.

The Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics (APAM) has research programs in atmospheric and climate dynamics, focusing on numerical modeling, theory, and diagnostics.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering (DEEE) has research programs in climate particularly through connections to water resources and geochemistry, as well as on engineering responses to the climate change problem.

The Department of Chemical Engineering (CHEN) has research programs in atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric aerosols.

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) is the physical home of graduate research in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and it also has a distinct identity as a major laboratory for earth science.  In addition to the DEES faculty, Lamont employs a staff of Lamont Research Professors, all of whom are potential advisors for PhD students.

The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has research programs in climate modeling, climate change, remote sensing, and atmospheric physics and chemistry.  Graduate students in both DEES and APAM may work with GISS scientists.

The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) has research programs in climate prediction and predictability on all time scales, as well as modeling and regional dynamics studies, societal impacts of climate, and the application of climate science to achieve societal benefit. Graduate students may work with IRI scientists.

Courses
The following is a list of graduate level courses in atmospheric science and related areas.

APPH 4200 Physics of Fluids
APPH 4210 Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
CHEN E4600x Atmospheric aerosols
EAEE E6240x or y Physical hydrology
EESC W4008x Introduction To Atmospheric Science
EESC W4040y Climate thermodynamics and energy transfer
EESC W4400x Dynamics of Climate Variability and Climate Change (MS)
EESC W4401x Quantitative Models of Climate-Sensitive Natural and Human Systems
EESC G4403x. Managing and adapting to climate change
EESC W4404y Regional Climate and Climate Impacts (MS)
EESC 4835 Wetlands and Climate Change
EESC W4924 Introduction To Atmospheric Chemistry
EESC W4925x Principles of Physical Oceanography
EESC W4929x Mixing and Dispersion in the Ocean
EESC W4930y Earth's Oceans and Atmosphere
EESC G6920y Dynamics of Climate
EESC G6921 Atmospheric Dynamics
EESC G6922x Atmospheric Radiation
EESC G6923 Radiative Processes of Climate
EESC G6927 Tropical Oceanography
EESC G6928 Tropical Meteorology
EESC G6929 Numerical Modeling of Geophysical Fluids
EESC G6930x Ocean Dynamics
EESC G9810x and y Mathematical Earth Science Seminar
EESC G9815x and y Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Seminar
EESC G9910x and y Seminar In Atmospheric Science

Special Admissions Requirements: 

A participant in the Atmospheric and Planetary Science Program must apply to and be admitted by one of the following participating departments and must satisfy the requirements of that department: Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics (Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science); Astronomy, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Physics (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences).

A participant needs a strong background in physics and mathematics, including advanced undergraduate courses in mechanics, electromagnetism, advanced calculus, and differential equations. Deficiencies should be remedied during the first year. Undergraduate courses in atmospheric sciences, earth sciences, and astronomy are helpful but not necessary.