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 2023 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 15, 2023. Prospective Graduate Student Visiting Weekend is February 23 - February 25, 2023.

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)
  • Fundamentals of particle formation and evolution, aerosol-cloud-precipitation-climate interactions, solar radiation management, contrail formation and impact of hydrogen fuel aircraft, health effects of particles in the atmosphere (Dr. Yu, Dr. Lance)
ASRC Student Spotlights
Elizabeth McCabe

What is your most recent achievement/award? 

I completed my master’s degree in Atmospheric Science at U Albany in July 2021 – my thesis was titled "Objective Methodology to Identify the Sea Breeze Circulation and Associated Low-Level Jet in the New York Bight".

I have also recently presented my research at a number of conferences, including the NYSM 1st Annual Symposium, the American Clean Power Resource & Project Energy Assessment Virtual Summit 2021, AMS 102st Annual Meeting in the 13th Conference on Weather, Climate, and the New Energy Economy, as well as the AEE Capital Region ETEC Symposium.

What influenced you to study atmospheric sciences?

Learning to sail is when I first became interested in the wind. Knowing the wind speed and direction is integral to sailing, and I was fascinated by being able to connect what I learned about weather in the classroom to being out of on the water.

As I continued through high school and college, I always gravitated towards boundary layer meteorology, because it is observable at the surface and strongly effects our day-to-day lives.

It wasn't until I took a college course in Hawaii studying the varying climates on the Big Island, that I knew I wanted to continue my studies in atmospheric science beyond the undergraduate level.

What is your area of specialty/focus?  

My research focuses on the boundary layer, specifically the sea breeze circulation and the frequently associated low-level jet in the offshore region of the New York Bight and along coastal Long Island. Offshore winds (especially the New York Bight low-level jet) are often not well understood due to limited offshore data availability. A better understanding and improved forecasts of the sea breeze circulation is integral to the development of offshore wind energy in the near future.

What is the current degree are you seeking? 

I am seeking my PhD, Dissertation title TBD.

What do you hope to accomplish in terms of research goals?   

My research goals are to understand the forcing's behind low-level jet formation on sea breeze days, and better model the offshore and inland extent of the circulation. I hope to improve model performance at the land-sea interface (coastlines) and in forecasting the strength and location of the sea breeze and low-level jet.

Who do you aspire to be in the ATM scientific community? 

I hope to contribute to the development of renewable energies through my atmospheric science background and research on offshore wind. I would like to continue to take an interdisciplinary approach and have the opportunity to work with many different people and groups in order to gain a full picture of the problem at hand.

What inspiring message would you share with anyone who is just starting (think K-12) their academic career is the sciences?   

Be open minded! Your research path and interests will evolve with time, and you may end up taking a direction you never expected. Don't try to plan too specifically, instead, try to understand the main concepts and then let your findings, results, and passions guide what you want to do next.