Graduate Research Opportunities

Some Current Research Opportunities for Graduate Students in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany (DAES-UAlbany). More opportunities are available at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center

 

Prospective Graduate Student Visiting Weekend is March 1-3 2018
(click for flyer)

 

Dr. Lance F. Bosart

Professor Bosart has an NSF grant that may be able to support one new graduate student in Fall 2018 to work on cool season extreme rainstorms associated with cutoff cyclones over the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean.

Professor Bosart and Professor Daniel Keyser have a pending proposal with the Office of Naval Research entitled: “Phenomenological and Predictability Studies of the Structure and Evolution of Arctic Cyclones, Polar Lows, and Tropopause Polar Vortices.” This proposal, if funded, will be able to support one new Ph.D. student beginning in Fall 2018.

Professor Bosart might have support from the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at UC San Diego-Scripps to support a new graduate student to investigate the structure and evolution of large-scale weather regimes associated with California drought beginning in Fall 2018.

Professor Bosart is also open to working with a new graduate student who is a recipient of an externally funded fellowship in any area of synoptic-dynamic or mesoscale meteorology beginning in Fall 2018.

Dr. Kristen Corbosiero

Professor Corbosiero and Professor Brian Tang are looking for one new graduate student to research the interactions between tropical cyclones (TCs) and the environments in which they are embedded. With funding from NSF and NASA, this research will seek to improve our understanding of how ventilation, the process by which vertical wind shear interacts with a TC to inject environmental air into the storm, affects TCs at all stages of development. This study will be conducted through the use of idealized numerical experiments or through the examination of NASA field campaign data, depending the interests of the student. Please contact Prof. Corbosiero at kcorbosiero@albany.edu and Prof. Tang at btang@albany.edu for more details.

Dr. Aiguo Dai

Depending on availability of external funding, support for new PhD students to study climate variability and change may be available. Dr. Dai's projects focus on how and why the climate, in particular the global water cycle, precipitation, and drought, has changed in the recent past and how it may change in the future as global warming continues. His current research includes 1) Regional climate downscaling and change; 2) unforced natural climate variations vs. externally forced long-term changes; 3) influences of oceanic conditions on climate over land on different time scales; 3) Arctic sea-ice loss and polar amplification of surface warming; 4) Arctic-midlatitude climate interactions; and 5) climate model diagnostics and evaluation. For a list his publications, please visit http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/adai/publication-dai.html or https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=qYIJJ1AAAAAJ&hl=en

Dr. Oliver Elison Timm

New graduate student research opportunity within a research project  “Projecting near-term climate variability and change for the main Hawaiian  Islands  to  actionable  climate  information  to  resource  managers and decision makers “ (pending funding approval).
Excepted start date: summer (fall) 2018.

The scientific research questions studied under this project include:

  1. What impacts do natural modes of tropical and extratropical variability have on the precipitation over the central subtropical Pacific around Hawaii?
  2. What types of regional extreme precipitation anomalies can be expected in the near-term (years 2020-2040) climate projections for the Hawaiian Islands?
  3. What controls the dipole-type precipitation anomaly pattern in the historical observed rainfall data and those found in downscaled (dynamical, statistical) future climate change projections?    

Qualifications:
The ideal candidate for our atmospheric science program and for this project already has graduate-level (or outstanding undergraduate-level) research experience with reanalysis data products or CMIP-based climate model data; ability to perform statistical data analysis using a programming language (Python, R, FORTRAN or similar). Experience with regional climate modeling (WRF model) or use of regional model simulation data for process studies is desirable, but not mandatory.  Strong interdisciplinary communication skills are required (e.g., for product development and collaboration with researchers studying the impacts of climate change on hydrology and ecosystems in Hawaii).
Notes: Student are expected to present their research results at national conferences and to participate at a regional workshop/conference in Hawaii.
     

Dr. Craig Ferguson

There are no opportunities for new students at this time.

Dr. Lee Harrison

There are no opportunities for new students at this time.

Dr. Sara Lance

The Lance Lab will be hiring a graduate student to support experimental investigation of multiphase chemical reactions, especially relevant to the formation of organic aerosol within haze and cloud droplets. This research will include deployment of cloud and aerosol instruments to the Whiteface Mountain (WFM) Summit Research Laboratory and evaluation of measurements obtained during the 2017 WFM pilot study 'Chemical Processing of Organics within Clouds' (CPOC). Other ongoing research projects include laboratory studies of cloud water composition using a High Resolution Time of Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-TOF-AMS) and development of an electrodynamic balance and/or optical trap to better characterize the timescale of physical and chemical changes single-particles undergo when exposed to different environmental conditions.

For more information about the CPOC pilot study, see: https://www.asrc-research.com/single-post/2017/08/29/WFM-Pilot-Study

Other focus areas within the Lance Lab include experimental investigation of:
1. ice nucleation and cloud phase transitions
2. the role of sea spray aerosol as Giant Cloud Condensation Nuclei (GCCN) and effects on cloud properties

Applicants interested in any of the above projects should contact Dr. Sara Lance at smlance@albany.edu.

Priority will be given to applications received before Jan 15, 2018

Dr. Andrea Lang

Professor Lang will have one (potentially two) project(s) on that span synoptic-scale and stratospheric dynamics. The first project considers the role of major synoptic events as precursors to stratospheric variability from a reanalysis perspective. This projected also considers stratospheric forecast skill and assess synoptic dynamics and model set up as sources of uncertainty in operational NWP models during troposphere-stratosphere coupling events. There is a potential for a second project (given availability of funding) that focus on troposphere-stratosphere coupling in the Arctic region at subseasonal timescales. These projects are open to both MS and PhD candidates interested. Ideal candidates would have a strong background in dynamics (not necessarily stratospheric dynamics) and experience with NCL or python. If you would like more information about this project, please contact Prof. Andrea Lang (alang@albany.edu).

Dr. Jiping Liu

Dr. Liu is looking for a graduate student to improve seasonal predictability and prediction of Arctic sea ice and associated feedbacks on mid- and high-latitude climate in NCEP climate forecast system. This serves as an important incremental step toward achieving improved operational prediction system. The successful applicant is likely to have some previous experience working with large data sets, and some knowledge of statistics.

Dr. Cheng-Hsuan (Sarah) Lu

There are no opportunities for new students at this time.

Dr. Scott Miller

Dr. Miller has support for a graduate student for a field project focused on the measurement of air-sea carbon dioxide exchange from mobile platforms (e.g., buoys).

Students with strong technical skills and interest in field work, instrumentation, geophysical fluid mechanics and surface-atmosphere interaction are especially encouraged to apply.

For more information, please contact Dr. Scott Miller at smiller@albany.edu.

Dr. Qilong Min

Dr. Min’s research interests encompass the combination of passive/active instrumentation and modeling to improve the understanding of the physics of the atmosphere, land-atmosphere interactions, and atmosphere-climate interactions. Ongoing projects in his group are:

1. Advancing the WRF-solar model to improve solar irradiance forecast for renewable energy applications

2. Integrating multi-platform observations and WRF simulations to understand the feedback mechanisms associated with the water and energy cycles

3. Establishing innovative remote sensing techniques through the synthesis of visible, infrared, and microwave passive and active measurements for retrieving aerosol and cloud optical properties, vegetation properties, and precipitation and latent heat

4. Developing novel instrumentation for applications in weather, climate, air quality, and renewable energy

For more information, please contact Dr. Qilong Min at qmin@albany.edu.

Dr. Justin Minder

There are no funded openings for new students at this time.

Dr. John Molinari

I anticipate 1-2 new openings for new grad students in Fall 2018. Topics include secondary eyewall cycles and study of the tropical cyclone outflow layer.

Dr. Paul Roundy

Various projects in large scale organized tropical convection and the global atmospheric circulation.

Dr. Jim Schwab

Dr. Schwab may have an opening for a new graduate student interested in atmospheric chemistry measurements starting in 2018. His group is currently involved in the following projects:

  1. Reactive Oxidized Nitrogen: This project involves the measurement of a range of gaseous and aerosol oxidized nitrogen-containing species. Understanding the detailed chemical transformation mechanisms of this family of compounds has been shown to be extremely critical to atmospheric chemistry. (funded)
  2. Marine Boundary Layer transformations of oxidized nitrogen: This project involves intensive field campaigns of one month each in Bermuda and on a scientific research cruise of the North Atlantic. (proposed)
  3. New Particle Formation and Growth: Measurements and Modeling. This is a collaborative project involving Dr. Schwab and ASRC colleague Dr. Fangqun Yu. Our group will be responsible for two year-long campaigns measuring particle size distributions at an urban and a rural location in New York State. Dr. Yu’s group will use their modeling tools to describe these measurements and improve the performance of models in this important area. (funded)
  4. Accountability and Air Pollution–Using long–term measurements to assess progress in air pollution reduction, or other projects involving "mining" the extensive archive of ASRC (and NYS) measurement data. (funded)
  5. Aerosol Mass Spectrometry measurements: Our group has a high resolution Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer that we have recently used in support of cloud chemistry related measurements at Whiteface Mountain, and New Particle Formation related measurements at Pinnacle State Park. New projects are envisioned using this powerful tool. (planned)

For more information, please contact Dr. Schwab at jschwab@albany.edu

Dr. Kara Sulia

For more information, please contact Dr. Sulia at ksulia@albany.edu

Dr. Brian Tang

Professor Brian Tang and Professor Corbosiero are looking for one new graduate student to research the interactions between tropical cyclones (TCs) and the environments in which they are embedded. With funding from NSF and NASA, this research will seek to improve our understanding of how ventilation, the process by which vertical wind shear interacts with a TC to inject environmental air into the storm, affects TCs at all stages of development. This study will be conducted through the use of idealized numerical experiments or through the examination of NASA field campaign data, depending the interests of the student. Please contact Prof. Corbosiero at kcorbosiero@albany.edu and Prof. Tang at btang@albany.edu for more details.

Dr. Chris Thorncroft

My research is mainly focused on improving our understanding of the West African monsoon and how it impacts Atlantic tropical cyclone variability. The research spans a wide range of timescales from diurnal to multidecadal. At the weather scale my research is focused on understanding the physical processed that impact the nature and variability of African easterly waves (AEWs). This includes a special emphasis on how AEWs interact with the ubiquitous mesoscale convective systems and ultimately how this affects the probability that AEWs will help spawn tropical cyclones. Recent work at the weather scale has also emphasized the role of convectively coupled equatorial Kelvin waves on the West African monsoon and Atlantic tropical cyclogenesis frequency. At the climate scale I am interested in better understanding the annual cycle of the West African monsoon as well as the processes that impact interannual to decadal variability and predictability of Sahel rainfall. Depending on the availability of external funding I would be interested in advising students in any of these areas.

Dr. Ryan Torn

Professor Torn could advise a student who is offered a teaching assistant for the Fall 2018 semester. The student can work with Professor Torn to develop a research project related to prediction and/or dynamics of tropical cyclones or midlatitude weather. Please contact him for more information. If a separate proposal is funded, Professor Torn may have a Research Assistant position available looking at the predictability of Arctic cyclones.

Dr. Mathias Vuille

Two fully funded PhD positions are available in Dr. Vuille’s research group. The students will work in two projects, both focused on climate reconstruction over tropical South America, combining proxies (natural archives such as tree rings and speleothems), observations, and climate model results for the past millennium. The PhD topics are part of two larger international NSF-funded projects, so the students are expected to collaborate and interact with colleagues at other institutions in the US, Brazil and/or Argentina. Willingness to travel, good quantitative and computing skills are essential. More information on the project is available here: https://www.albany.edu/news/81709.php?source=image Interested students should contact Prof. Mathias Vuille mvuille@albany.edu. .

Dr. Wei-Chyung Wang

A PhD student is needed to use observations and climate model simulations to study weather extremes over Northeastern United States and East Asia. Potential future changes in these weather extremes under global climate changes are also the focus of the graduate research.

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 fyu@albany.edu

Dr. Liming Zhou

There are no opportunities for new students at this time.