Graduate Research

Students of the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC), funded through $500,000 in support from the Department of Energy (DOE), works on a buoy-based flux measurement system at Lake George on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. (photo by Patrick Dodson)


Graduate Research Opportunities

The Atmospheric Sciences Research Center has multiple research opportunities and merit-based fellowships for graduate students applying for Fall 2022 admission.

We encourage you to apply if you are an enthusiastic and motivated student with a BS/MS degree in meteorology, atmospheric science, physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics or a related field. We also encourage you to apply if you are from an underrepresented or marginalized community.

The application submission deadline for priority review is January 31, 2022. Prospective graduate student visiting weekend is February 24 - February 26, 2022.

Merit-based Graduate Fellowships

All incoming ASRC-advised doctoral students are eligible to compete for one-year merit-based ASRC Graduate Fellowships that carry a full tuition waiver and stipend.

ASRC's merit-based fellowships for first-year ASRC-advised doctoral students includes full tuition (9 credits per semester) and a research assistantship stipend for a 12-month period. Pending satisfactory academic performance, successful applicants can expect comparable support levels in subsequent years. All first-year doctoral students, domestic and international, interested in being advised or co-advised by an ASRC faculty member are eligible to apply. To receive full consideration for the fellowship, you must submit:

  • An application for admission to the appropriate University at Albany Doctoral Program,
  • A letter requesting fellowship consideration to the ASRC Graduate Fellowship Committee, c/o Dr. Fangqun Yu, [email protected]. The letter of request should be a one page cover letter alerting the committee of the applicant’s research interests and the potential ASRC advisor(s) identified.

You are strongly encouraged to coordinate your application with a faculty member at ASRC prior to submission. We may consider late applications under special circumstances.

Graduate Research Assistantship and Teaching Assistantship

There are many graduate student research opportunities within ASRC and the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences.

Teaching Assistantship

Eligible students can apply for a teaching assistantship. You should indicate you are interested in a teaching assistantship when you submit your application.

Opportunities for individuals from underrepresented groups

If you are an individual from an underrepresented group, we encourage you to contact ASRC faculty members about research opportunities. You may find other opportunities through university or external diversity fellowship programs that will allow you to work with a faculty member to craft a unique research project.

You can email individual faculty members with whom you are interested in working or contact Dr. Sara Lance ([email protected]), Chair of ASRC's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, for more information.

Current Opportunities

NOAA Cooperative Science Center in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (NCAS-M) Graduate Student Fellowship

ASRC hopes to recruit 1-2 underrepresented minority students for two-year NCAS-M Graduate Student Fellowships for the Fall 2022 semester, pending funds availability. You are encouraged to apply if you are a:

  • Graduate student with minimum 3.0 GPA in an academic major that aligns with NOAA’s mission including atmospheric sciences and other STEM and/or social sciences;
  • U.S. citizen.

There are several benefits to becoming a fellow, including:

  • Two-year financial support - full tuition and annual minimum stipend of $27,500 for doctoral students
  • Training in NOAA-mission research and applications
  • Mentorship and engagement with NOAA professionals
  • Professional skills development workshops
Research Areas and Faculty Advisors

ASRC Graduate research students have access to a variety of tools and areas to work with in addition to faculty members to advise them. The following research activities can help guide you to find an ASRC advisor.

  • Development of forecast tools for power outage prediction, improving wind and solar power production forecasting, the effects of climate change on renewable energy resources, and the interaction of wind farms (and their performance) with the atmospheric boundary layer processes (Dr. Freedman)
  • Ground- and satellite-based remote sensing to investigate vegetation-planetary boundary layer interactions, and/or improve subseasonal-to-seasonal hydrologic prediction (Dr. Ferguson)
  • Development of an autonomous, buoy-based system for measuring air-sea interaction from the sea surface to the top of the marine atmospheric boundary layer (Dr. Miller, Dr. Freedman)
  • Coastal-urban systems; modeling, observations, and applications to: weather; climate; energy and air quality (Dr. J. González-Cruz)
  • Dynamics of African easterly waves  and their interactions with Saharan Dust Aerosols (Dr. Thorncroft, Dr. Grogan, Dr. Lu)
  • Utilizing data from a new, densely-distributed network of low-cost air quality sensors deployed in the New York City metropolitan area to determine spatial and temporal patterns, source attribution, and compare measurements with models (Dr. Lu, Dr. Miller)
  • Using data from ground-based surface-atmosphere exchange networks (e.g., New York State Mesonet at regional scale, Ameriflux/Fluxnet at continental/global scale) to evaluate land surface models, land-atmosphere coupling, and planetary boundary layer schemes (Dr. Miller, Dr. Lu)
  • Developing machine-learning models and employing statistical techniques to study variations and sensitivities among climate regions and their influence on predictability as well as to investigate the predictability of winter-weather effects on NY state roadways (Dr. Sulia, Dr. Thorncroft)
  • Atmospheric particles and their environmental and climate impacts, including health effects of particles in the atmosphere and aerosol-cloud-precipitation-climate interactions (Dr. Yu)
ASRC Student Spotlights
Christopher Lawrence

Expected PhD completion date: May 2024
Advised by Dr. Sara Lance

Christopher Lawrence, ASRC student

Research focus: The complicated and understudied role clouds play in the chemical composition in the atmosphere. In particular, the chemical transformations of organic carbon and nitrogen within cloud droplets, and the growing role that wildfires in the Western United States and Canada are having on the organic carbon and nitrogen budgets in New York.

Dissertation title: To be determined

What influenced you to study atmospheric sciences? Climate change has always been a significant concern. Even as a kid, I was interested in becoming a scientist to help find solutions to the environmental problems contributing to climate change. When I entered high school, I became interested in chemistry and physics and was eager to apply what I learned in environmental science framework. Once I learned about the field of atmospheric sciences (and more specifically atmospheric chemistry), I knew this would be a great career path.

Chris Lawrence at Whiteface Mountain Field Station coming out of hatch with weather equipment around him.

What do you hope to accomplish in terms of research goals? My major goal in the research is to gain better insight on the highly uncertain role the aqueous chemistry in cloud droplets in air quality, ecosystem health, and climate change, particularly under significant changes in atmospheric composition due to the Clean Air Act Amendments in the 1990s and increasing importance of wildfire events in North America.

What is your most recent achievement/award? I was recently awarded the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) fellowship. This fellowship will continue to fund my graduate student work for the next 3 years. Read an abstract of the proposal.

Who do you aspire to be in the ATM scientific community? I’m hoping to become a highly interdisciplinary scientist to allow myself to work on a diverse range of topics and help solve highly complex environmental problems.

What inspiring message would you share with young aspiring female scientists who are just starting (think K-12) their academic career in the sciences? Don’t be afraid to try things, even if you make mistakes. Often, you learn more about the world from things that don’t work than from things that do. Work with all kinds of people, especially people outside your discipline. It’s impossible to know everything, so bringing different types of expertise can lead to better and more impactful science.