Atmospheric and Environmental Science at UAlbany
When you study with the University at Albany Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, you will have access to the New York State Mesonet - a collection of over 100 advanced weather observation stations across New York State, a state-of-the-art map room to display and analyze weather data, and the Albany National Weather Service office right on campus. Our faculty are world leaders in their fields of research and we are the only program with three professors who have won the American Meteorological Society’s Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award.
Our location in the state capital offers many opportunities for internships and exposure to state agencies that deal with environmental issues. Albany is surrounded by a diverse natural environment, and there are many opportunities to apply what you’ve learned at local nature sanctuaries, preserves, and state parks that are only a short drive away.
DAES has undergraduate degree programs in Atmospheric Science and Environmental Science (interdisciplinary studies), an Atmospheric Science masters program, and an Atmospheric Science doctoral program.
The following are research interests of faculty in DAES. Students interested in pursuing research can come up with a project on their own and speak to a faculty member about overseeing the project. Alternatively, students are welcome to approach a faculty member whose research interests match theirs. Then, a project can be developed, so long as the professor has time to dedicate to working with an undergraduate in the given semester. One to three credits of ATM 497 (independent study) or three credits of ATM 499 (Honors research) can be taken and used towards atmospheric science major elective requirements.
Dr. Lance F. Bosart
My interests are in convective scale weather systems (e.g., derechos and convectively driven vortices), mesoscale weather systems (e.g., intense frontal systems and lake- and ocean-effect snowstorms), middle latitude synoptic-scale weather systems (e.g., cyclones and anticyclones), tropical weather systems (e.g., hurricanes and organized rainstorms), large-scale weather systems (e.g., atmospheric blocking and continental weather systems), and planetary-scale teleconnections (e.g., the Arctic Oscillation and the Pacific-North American pattern).
Dr. Kristen Corbosiero
My research interests are the structure and intensity change of tropical cyclones. I have worked on projects involving the rapid intensification of tropical cyclones, lightning in hurricanes, and the origins of tropical cyclone trains with undergraduate students. I am interested in continuing these projects, as well as those concerning lightning more broadly, with interested students.
Dr. Robert Fovell
My research focus is on numerical weather prediction (NWP) and mesoscale dynamics. I use NWP models to understand the dynamics of hurricanes, thunderstorms, and windstorms, and am interested in identifying, understanding, and mitigating model forecast errors.
My research interests are in two main areas: 1) using mineralogy, fluid inclusions, and stable isotope geochemistry of hydrothermal mineral deposits to construct genetic deposit models, and 2) using stable isotope geochemistry of modern and ancient biogenic materials, soils, sediments, and rocks from terrestrial, lacustrine, and marine settings to evaluate global climate and environmental change. Currently, I use equipment in the Department's Fluid Inclusion Laboratory to determine the temperatures and chemical compositions of fluids that have moved through rocks in a variety of geologic settings.
Dr. Daniel Keyser
My research specializations are synoptic-dynamic and mesoscale meteorology. I am interested in designing and advising research projects concerned with the diagnostic application of selected equations from dynamic meteorology to midlatitude weather systems, including fronts, jets, extratropical cyclones, and baroclinic waves. Individual projects will be designed to appeal to undergraduate atmospheric science majors with a strong interest in applying concepts learned and technical skills developed in their mathematics, computer science, and atmospheric dynamics courses to visualize and interpret the structure and evolution of midlatitude weather systems. Projects will be conducted using numerical representations of weather systems in reanalysis and forecast datasets.
Dr. Andrea Lang
My research focuses on understanding the linkages between synoptic scale weather systems and variability in the stratosphere. My work mainly focuses on the cool-season and involves understanding the role of the stratosphere in subseasonal forecasting.
My research interests are in the analysis and predictability of synoptic- and mesoscale phenomena. With students, I’ve worked on case studies and climatologies of midlatitude weather phenomena (e.g., tornadoes, squall lines, lake-effect snow, etc.). I would be happy to work with a student on any of the aforementioned subjects.
Dr. Justin Minder
My research interests include: mesoscale meteorology, mountain weather and climate, regional climate change, lake-effect snow, and environmental issues in the Adirondack Mountains. I am open to working with student interested in studying any of these topics. My research approach uses a combination of mesoscale models, fundamental theory, and data from radars, research aircraft, surface mesonets, and satellites.
Dr. Brian Tang
My primary research interests are in tropical cyclones and severe weather. Possible research topics include case analyses of extreme events and climatological analyses of environmental parameters that affect tropical cyclones and severe weather.
Dr. Oliver Elison Timm
My research interests are in paleoclimate dynamics and future climate change studies. Most of my paleoclimate research concentrates on the glacial cycles in the Quaternary period. I am also conducting research on the Holocene epoch (the last 11,700 year). In the paleoclimate research I conduct climate model experiments, analyze existing paleoclimate model simulations, and compare the model simulations with paleoclimatic proxy data archives in order gain better insight into past climate variability.
My interest in future climate change research is concentrating on the regional impacts of climate change, in particular on scales and processes not resolved by the global climate models. In this type of research I am using statistical downscaling methods to refine the coarse-resolution climate model output to scales relevant for stake holders and decision makers.
Dr. Ryan Torn
My research interests are in synoptic and mesoscale dynamics, predictability and data assimilation. With students, I have worked on case studies to understand why the atmosphere is less predictable and what dynamics are responsible for the lack of predictability. I am willing to work with students in any of these areas.
Dr. June Wang
My research interests are in creation and analysis of climate datasets to study climate changes and variability, Mesonet data quality assurance and analysis, In-situ sounding data quality and technologies, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) measurements and their application to weather and climate studies. I would work with students on using New York State Mesonet Data to analyze special weather events and study climate variability in NYS, and investigating data quality and instrument issues.
Dr. Liming Zhou
My research interests are in the understanding of land-human-climate interactions through a synthetic analysis of surface observations and remotely sensed data with climate modeling. Land surface processes related to land cover/land use change such as deforestation, urbanization, desertification, and renewable energy are my emphases. My latest research projects are focused on environmental impacts of operating wind farms, drought impacts on tropical rainforests, and consequences of global warming on arid and semi-arid ecosystems.
Current research opportunities for graduate students in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany (DAES-UAlbany) appear below. More opportunities are available at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center.
Prospective Graduate Student Visiting Weekend is February 25 - February 27 2021 (click for flyer)
Opportunities for individuals from underrepresented groups
We encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to contact faculty members to discuss research opportunities. In addition to the opportunities below, other opportunities might exist 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 either e-mail individual faculty members with whom you are interested in working, or contact Brian Tang (email@example.com ), Chair of the department's Inclusion and Diversity Committee, for more information.
Dr. Lance F. Bosart
Professor Lance Bosart and Professor Daniel Keyser have submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation entitled “Diagnostic Studies of the Roles of Dynamical and Diabatic Processes on the Evolution of Arctic Cyclones” which contributes to the THINICE field experiment that will investigate the relationship and interactions between Arctic cyclones and sea ice. If this proposal is funded it may be possible to support a new graduate student beginning in Fall 2020
Professor Bosart is a Co-PI on an NSF PREEVENTS Track 2 grant entitled “Collaborative Research: Multi-scale processes impacting the predictability of severe convective weather events“ for which Dr. Glen Romine of NCAR is the lead PI and other NCAR scientists are Co-PIs. There is a small possibility that there will an opening for a new Ph.D. student on this grant in Fall 2020.
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 meteorology, mesoscale meteorology, or tropical meteorology beginning in Fall 2020.
Dr. Kristen Corbosiero
Professor Corbosiero has no funded research positions for new students available at this time.
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) The cause and impact of Arctic enhanced warming and sea-ice loss; (2) Arctic-midlatitude weather and climate interactions; (3) regional climate downscaling and change; (4) Atlantic and Pacific decadal variability; (5) influences of oceanic conditions on climate over South America and other land areas on different time scales; and (6) climate model diagnostics and evaluation. For a list of his publications, please see his Google Profile here or here. Dr. Dai plans to admit 1-2 new students to work on topic No. (1), (2) or (5) in Fall 2021.
Dr. Oliver Elison Timm
There are no grant-supported research positions for new students at this time.
Masters thesis research opportunities are, however available in the following research areas:
Investigating climate-vegetation-ice-sheet interactions during past glacial-interglacial cycles using Earth System models of Intermediate Complexity.
Downscaling of future climate change scenarios with applications to environmental impact studies and emerging infectious diseases. (Focus areas have been the Hawaiian Islands and Northeast US in past research activities.)
Dr. Craig Ferguson
Dr. Ferguson anticipates support for one Ph.D. student to work on the topic of seasonal prediction, with a focus on the role of local-to-long range land-atmosphere interactions in drought and flood evolution. The planned research entails application of satellite remote sensing, a hyper-resolution land surface hydrological model, and WRF. The successful applicant will have a strong background in synoptic-dynamic meteorology and be proficient in scientific coding (Python preferred).
Dr. Lee Harrison
There are no opportunities for new students at this time.
Dr. Sara Lance
Dr. Lance encourages excellent students interested in measurements of multiphase atmospheric chemistry (gas, aerosol, cloud) to apply for a graduate student opening in 2021. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to conduct chemical composition measurements of aerosol, bulk cloud water and cloud droplet residuals using a high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer, in addition to a broad array of other measurements of gases, aerosols, and clouds. Summertime field experiments are anticipated at Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York State.
Dr. Andrea Lang
Professor Lang interests span spatial scales ranging from synoptic to planetary and timescales of days to weeks.
We are currently recruiting a MS student interested in working on research investigating the dynamics and variability of troposphere-stratosphere coupling on synoptic to subseasonal timescales.
Contact Prof. Andrea Lang (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.
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 is conducting research in the following areas:
- Improving field measurement capabilities of surface-atmosphere fluxes
- Air-sea exchange of carbon dioxide
- Lake-atmosphere heat/moisture fluxes leading to lake effect snow
- Mesoscale networks of terrestrial surface atmosphere exchange (momentum, heat, moisture, carbon dioxide)
No funded positions are available at this time.
For more information, please contact Dr. Scott Miller at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Justin Minder
Dr. Justin Minder is conducting research in the following areas:
- The response of lake-effect snow storms to climate variability and change
- Precipitation type in high-impact near-freezing winter storms over the northeastern US
- Improving forecasts of snowpack and streamflow in hydrological models
- The use of stochastic physics in probabilistic simulations of winter precipitation
- Regional climate change over mountainous regions
No funded positions are available at this time. For more information, please contact Dr. Minder at email@example.com
Dr. Paul Roundy
Various projects in large scale organized tropical convection and the global atmospheric circulation.
Dr. Jim Schwab
Dr. Schwab expects an opening for a new graduate student interested in atmospheric chemistry measurements starting in 2020. His group is currently involved in the following projects:
- Aerosol Mass Spectrometer 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, New Particle Formation related measurements at Pinnacle State Park, and the LISTOS project described below. (New student opportunities)
- Long Island Sound Tropospheric Ozone Study: ASRC participated in this multi-organization field study in 2018 to investigate the complex chemistry and transport downwind of NYC influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound. Additional mobile monitoring and fixed site measurements are planned. (New student opportunities)
- ASRC Mobile Laboratory: we operate a 2007 Dodge Sprinter van with 6-8 hours of battery capacity (depending on instrument and air conditioning load). Instruments we have deployed on the lab include the AMS – see above – ozone and nitrogen dioxide monitors, Cloud Condensation Nuclei Counter, a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer, and more. We have used this for projects across New York State and could go beyond. (New student opportunities)
- 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)
For more information, please contact Dr. Schwab at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Kara Sulia
For more information, please contact Dr. Sulia at email@example.com
Dr. Brian Tang
Dr. Tang and Dr. Fovell are looking for a new Masters student to conduct collaborative research with the National Weather Service on severe convection in the Northeast U.S. This research will focus on the effects of complex terrain on severe convection by running high-resolution simulations to focus on boundary-layer physics uncertainties, using New York State Mesonet and other observations to analyze specific cases and to compare against simulation output, and/or conducting field experiments of opportunity to collect surface and sounding data in targeted areas of interest during future severe weather events in the Albany area. Please contact Dr. Tang (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
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 is unlikely to have any funded openings for the Fall 2021 semester; however, things could change between now and Fall 2021. Please contact Professor Torn for more information.
Dr. Mathias Vuille
Dr. Mathias Vuille may have an opening for a new graduate student interested in South American paleoclimate research starting in 2020. For more information on his group's research, please visit the PIRE-CREATE project website
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 is looking for a PhD student or postdoc to study atmospheric particles and their environmental and climate impacts. Dr. Yu´s group is conducting research in the following areas:
- Particle formation and growth processes in the atmosphere.
- Regional and global modeling of size-resolved particle microphysics and chemistry.
- Aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions.
- Aerosol direct/indirect radiative forcing and climate change.
- Health effects of ultrafine particles and co-pollutants.
Students with an interest in one or more of the above topics and with strong modeling and/or data analysis skills are encouraged to apply. For more information, please contact Dr. Fangqun Yu at email@example.com
Dr. Liming Zhou
Professor Zhou is recruiting one PhD student research assistant to study climate variability and change in a warming climate over the subtropical deserts. The focal point is the world's driest Saharan and Arabian deserts, one of the hotspots in terms of climate change and one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in terms of climate impacts from regional to global scales.
This position is funded by the NSF (see more about the project via this link), in collaboration with Prof. Brian Rose, with an emphasis on physical mechanisms controlling the amplified surface warming over the deserts.
For more information about Prof. Zhou’s past and current research projects, visit his website http://www.atmos.albany.edu/facstaff/zhou/lzhou.html. Please contact Prof. Zhou firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
University at Albany Department of Atmospheric & Environmental Science Graduate Student Handbook