Graduate Research Opportunities

Merit-based first-year graduate fellowships available

All incoming (2017-2018) ASRC-advised graduate students are eligible to compete for one-year merit-based graduate fellowships that carry a full tuition waiver and a stipend. Several research opportunities are highlighted below, however, interested applicants should not hesitate to inquire with other ASRC faculty members regarding potential research opportunities. See the full announcement below.

The University at Albany´s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC), Albany, NY, USA, is pleased to announce merit-based first-year fellowships for new ASRC-advised doctoral students. A first-year fellowship includes full tuition (9 credits per semester) and a research assistantship stipend for a 12-month period beginning in late August 2017. All first-year graduate students, domestic and international, interested in being advised or co-advised by an ASRC faculty member are eligible to apply. ASRC is a world-class research center with fourteen full-time faculty focused on all aspects of the atmospheric sciences and spanning the full spectrum from measurement science to coupled modeling. ASRC operates a premier mountaintop observation facility on Whiteface Mountain, NY and co-directs the new, 125-site New York State Mesonet. ASRC is recruiting applicants in the areas of: ice microphysics; wind energy; aerosol-cloud radiation interactions; air-sea interactions; remote sensing; land-atmosphere interactions; air pollution and atmospheric chemistry; and regional and global air pollution and climate modeling. To be considered for a first-year fellowship, applicants must submit by February 01, 2017: (1) an application for admission to the appropriate University of Albany doctoral program and 2) a letter requesting fellowship consideration to the ASRC Graduate Fellowship Committee, c/o Dr. Kara Sulia The letter of request should be a 1-2 page "cover letter" to their doctoral program application alerting the committee of research interests of the applicant and the potential ASRC advisor(s) identified.

While UAlbany´s doctoral program in Atmospheric Science will be an appropriate choice for most applicants, ASRC is also interested in proposals to conduct interdisciplinary research leading to degrees in other areas, including but not limited to: physics, chemistry, environmental health, computer science, information science/geographic information science (GIS), and biology. In most cases, pending satisfactory academic performance, successful applicants can expect comparable support levels in subsequent years. Applicants are strongly encouraged to coordinate their application with a faculty member at ASRC.

Graduate Student Opportunities at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center

There are current or planned graduate student opportunities in the following areas for 2017-18:

Dr. Jeffrey Freedman

Dr. Freedman´s main research areas are renewable energy and the atmospheric boundary layer. He has recently acquired a Leosphere Windcube 100s scanning LiDAR. More specific topics of interest include:

  1. Reliability of short-term (0 - 6 hr) wind forecasting
  2. Detecting trends in the wind and solar resource
  3. Effects of wind farms on the local and regional climate
  4. Potential influence of climate change on the distribution of renewable energy resources
  5. Using LiDAR in wind energy and boundary layer applications including a recent deployment at Cranberry Lake in the Adirondacks

Depending upon support, for the immediate future Dr. Freedman will be looking to focus on wind farm effects on local climate, very short term (0 - 1 hr) wind forecasting, and identifying trends and potential climate change influences on the renewable energy (wind and energy) resource, on regional and CONUS scales.

For more information, please contact Dr. Freedman at

Dr. Sara Lance

Dr. Lance is currently looking for a graduate student to support experimental investigation of multi-phase chemical reactions with aqueous micro-droplets, pertaining to the formation of secondary organic aerosol within clouds. The advertised position includes instrument development of an optical trap for highly controlled single-particle experiments with levitated micro-droplets. This work will take place within the laboratory at the ASRC. In conjunction with the laboratory work, summertime deployment of cloud and aerosol instruments to the Whiteface Mountain summit research station is being planned, including measurements of the physical and chemical properties of cloud condensation nuclei and cloud droplet residuals.

Another opportunity for graduate or postdoctoral work related to the spatiotemporal evolution and transport of large sea spray particles that act as giant cloud condensation nuclei, may be available by Fall of 2017. This position will require evaluation of remote sensing and in-situ aerosol and cloud observational datasets from multiple remote locations within the North and South Pacific and Atlantic, and will also provide an opportunity to work with regional and global climate model output.

If interested in either of these opportunities, please inquire with Dr. Sara Lance at

Dr. Cheng-Hsuan Lu

Dr. Lu is seeking two graduate students to participate in the following research projects:

  1.  Regional air quality -- monitoring and forecasting of particulate matters in northeast US.  This project will utilize numerical model, satellite and ground based observations, and statistical tools.
    Students with the interest in regional air quality modeling and applications are encouraged to apply.
  2. Global aerosol modeling and data assimilation -- forecasting of 3-dimensional aerosol distribution considering various atmospheric processes.   Students with the interest in chemical weather forecasting, aerosol data assimilation, and aerosol-cloud-radiation interaction are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please contact Dr. Sarah Lu at

Dr. Scott Miller

Dr. Miller´s field-based research is focused on surface exchange processes — the transfer of heat, momentum, moisture, and trace gases (e.g., CO2) between the earth´s surface and the atmosphere:

  1. Air-sea interaction — fluxes of momentum, sensible and latent heat, and carbon dioxide between ocean and atmosphere (e.g., from ships or buoys), including Arctic and Antarctic environments;
  2. Lake-atmosphere exchange — field studies of the movement of carbon dioxide within freshwater bodies and it´s exchange with the atmosphere;
  3. Forest-atmosphere exchange — carbon and energy exchange between forests and atmosphere, and the effects of disturbance
  4. Research routinely involves collaborations with physical and chemical oceanographers, ecologists, biologists, hydrologists, limnologists, and atmospheric scientists. Students with an interest in geophysical fluid mechanics, turbulence, and boundary and surface layer processes are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please contact Dr. Scott Miller at

Dr. Qilong Min

Currently, his research interests encompass the combination of passive/active instrumentation and modeled data to improve understanding of the physics of the atmosphere, land-atmosphere interactions, and atmosphere-climate interactions. Ongoing projects in his group fall into one of three areas:

  1. Integrating multi-platform observations and WRF simulations to understand the feedback mechanisms associated with the water and energy cycles, such as hurricane forecasting, aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions, and atmosphere-terrestrial exchanges
  2. Establishing innovative remote sensing techniques through the synthesis of visible, infrared, and microwave measurements for retrieving aerosol and cloud optical properties, vegetation properties, and precipitation and latent heat
  3. Developing novel instrumentation for applications in weather, climate, air quality, and renewable energy

Please contact Dr. Min at for additional information regarding these opportunities and our research group; he encourages dialogue regarding interest in his group´s projects.

Dr. Fangqun Yu

Dr. Yu´s research is focused on the following topics:

1. Multiple-component nucleation processes: Quantum calculation, theoretical
development, and application.

 2. Regional (with WRF-Chem and GEOS-Chem nested) and global (with GEOS-Chem and
CESM-CAM5) modeling of size-resolved particle microphysics; oxidation aging of organic
species and particle growth; Atmospheric chemistry and particulate pollution.

3. Aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions; Aerosol direct/indirect radiative forcing and
climate change.

Students with an interest in one or more of the above topics are encouraged to apply. For more information, please contact Dr. Fangqun Yu at