Prospective Students

Atmospheric and Environmental Science at UAlbany

Atmospheric Science students on Whiteface Mountain

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.

Undergraduate Student Resources
Undergraduate Research Opportunities

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.  

Steve Howe

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.

Ross Lazear

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.

Graduate Student Resources
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 February 27 - February 29 2020 (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 (btang@albany.edu ), 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, in collaboration with Professor Andrea Lang, Dr. Nick Bassill, and Ross Lazear, is looking for a new Masters student to conduct collaborative research with the National Weather Service on high-impact weather in the Northeast U.S.. This NOAA-funded work (see www.albany.edu/news/91922.php) will develop real-time data fusion products combining convection-allowing model output with New York State Mesonet observations to highlight areas of enhanced forecast uncertainty during warm-season convective and cold-season mixed precipitation events. Please contact Prof. Corbosiero at kcorbosiero@albany.edu for more information.

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 (and potentially ONR), 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, including rapid intensification. This study will be conducted through the use of idealized numerical experiments or through the examination of NASA field campaign data, depending on 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 of 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

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

The Lance Lab will be recruiting a PhD student to conduct measurements of aerosol and cloud water composition using a high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer, for the study of multiphase chemistry (between gases, aerosols and cloud droplets). Summertime field experiments are anticipated at Whiteface Mountain (WFM) in the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York State and potentially also in the greater NYC Metro area.

Applicants interested in the above opportunity should contact Dr. Sara Lance at smlance@albany.edu for more information. Additional information can be found at the Lance Lab research website and the WFM cloud water monitoring website.

 

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 (alang@albany.edu) 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:

  1. Improving field measurement capabilities of surface-atmosphere fluxes
  2. Air-sea exchange of carbon dioxide
  3. Lake-atmosphere heat/moisture fluxes leading to lake effect snow
  4. 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 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

Dr. Justin Minder is conducting research in the following areas:

  1. The response of lake-effect snow storms to climate variability and change
  2. Precipitation type in high-impact near-freezing winter storms over the northeastern US
  3. Improving forecasts of snowpack and streamflow in hydrological models
  4. The use of stochastic physics in probabilistic simulations of winter precipitation
  5. Regional climate change over mountainous regions

No funded positions are available at this time. For more information, please contact Dr. Minder at jminder@albany.edu

 

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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  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)

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 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, including rapid intensification. This study will be conducted through the use of idealized numerical experiments or through the examination of NASA field campaign data, depending on the interests of the student. Please contact Prof. Corbosiero at kcorbosiero@albany.edu and Prof. Tang at btang@albany.edu for more details.

Additionally, Professor Brian Tang and Professor Robert Fovell are looking for one new graduate student to research tropical cyclone rapid intensification. The project, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, will explore environmental factors, mesoscale processes, and multiscale interactions that contribute to the onset of rapid intensification. This study will be conducted through the use of observations, reanalysis, and/or high-resolution modeling. The graduate student would also possibly participate in a future field campaign on tropical cyclones. Please contact Prof. Tang at the above email address and Prof. Fovell 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 has a teaching assistant position for Fall 2020 admission to study the sensitivity of tropical cyclone track and intensity forecasts to features at earlier times using operational ensemble forecast output. Sensitive regions are indicative of where to take observations using either aircraft or supplemental rawinsondes that can reduce the uncertainty in the forecast. This project is part of a NOAA Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT) and involves work with the National Hurricane Center. 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:

  1. Particle formation and growth processes in the atmosphere.
  2. Regional and global modeling of size-resolved particle microphysics and chemistry.
  3. Aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions.
  4. Aerosol direct/indirect radiative forcing and climate change.
  5. 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 fyu@albany.edu

 

Dr. Liming Zhou

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

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 lzhou@albany.edu for more details.

Graduate Student Handbook

University at Albany Department of Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences Graduate Program Guide