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. 

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. Sujata Murty

My research interests are in examining climate and ocean dynamics of the past, present and future using corals, observations and models. I use coral paleoclimate records to examine changes in climate and ocean circulation over the past few centuries. I then synthesize these coral records with high-resolution ocean models and coupled climate model simulations to understand the mechanisms driving changes in climate and ocean systems. I am open to working with students on coral paleoclimate reconstructions, analyzing model simulations, or a synthesis of both.

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

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 24 - February 26 2022 (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 protected] ), Chair of the department's Inclusion and Diversity Committee, for more information.

 

Dr. Lance F. Bosart

Professor Bosart has retired. He still has several graduate students and externally-funded research grants, but he is not accepting any new graduate students. Professor Bosart remains open to co-advising a new graduate student as a secondary advisor.

 

Dr. Kristen Corbosiero

Depending on availability of external funding, Dr. Corbosiero may be recruiting one or two new graduate students. Dr. Corbosiero's current research projects include:

  1. The diurnal cycle of clouds and convection in tropical cyclones
  2. The ways vertical wind shear and dry air affect tropical cyclone structure and intensity
  3. The extratropical transition of eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones

Dr. Corbosiero is also interested in lightning in hurricanes, secondary eyewall formation, heavy precipitation from tropical moisture sources, and using machine learning techniques to improve forecasting in areas of complex terrain.

 

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; and (5) influences of oceanic conditions on climate over South America and other land areas on different time scales. For a list of his publications, please see his Google Profile here. Depending on funding, Dr. Dai may admit 1 new student to work on topic next fall. 

 

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 is recruiting one Ph.D. student with a BS or MS (preferred) in Atmospheric Science that is interested in applying ground- and satellite-based remote sensing to investigate vegetation-planetary boundary layer interactions, and/or improve subseasonal-to-seasonal hydrologic prediction. The successful applicant will contribute to NASA- and NOAA-funded research activities focused on drought in the central U.S. and in other global hotspots of land-atmospheric coupling. Applicants should have strong analytical skills and be proficient in scientific coding (Python preferred).

Email Dr. Ferguson to inquire about this opportunity by January 1, 2022.

 

Dr. Robert Fovell

Dr. Fovell does not have opportunities for new graduate students at this time.

Please email Dr. Fovell at [email protected] for more information.

 

Dr. Jeffrey Freedman

 

As part of the Boundary Layer Group here at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, my main research focus is on energy/renewable energy and atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) processes. This includes work on developing 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 ABL. A principal tool for my observational work is a Leosphere Windcube 100S scanning LiDAR.

Research topics I am currently focusing on include:

        • Power outage prediction tools integrating modeling, observations, and machine learning tools;    
        • using remote sensing measurement systems (LiDAR and SoDAR) for renewable energy and boundary layer studies; and
        • Effects of climate change on the renewable energy resource.

In addition, in collaboration with Dr. Miller, I have support for a graduate student focused on the 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.

I also have funded support for work on using observations to improve modeling applications for offshore wind energy.

Please email Dr. Freedman for more information.

 

Dr. Dustin Grogan

Graduate Fellowship in Atmospheric Dynamics at the University of Albany:
We are recruiting one graduate student for a Doctoral level in Atmospheric Science to study the dynamics of African easterly waves (AEWs) and their interactions with Saharan Dust Aerosols. The project is in collaboration with Dr. Chris Thorncroft and Dr. Sarah Lu from ASRC. The fellowship provides funding for 3 years starting Fall Semester, 2022, but can start earlier.
The successful candidate will conduct numerical simulations using models that are radiatively coupled to aerosols to determine:
1.    The role of wind, temperature, and dust on modulating dust radiative effects that operate on AEWs.
2.    The duration of AEW-dust interactions and their dependency on the wave’s lifecycle and the wave’s proximity to dust source regions over North Africa.
3.    The utility of analytical frameworks on AEW-dust interactions for real AEW cases.
4.    The impact of dust model uncertainties on AEWs.
Enthusiastic and motivated students with BS/MS degrees in meteorology, atmospheric science, physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, or related fields, are encouraged to apply. We also encourage applications from candidates who are members of underrepresented or marginalized communities. Experience with coding languages (i.e., C++, FORTRAN, Python, etc.) and running weather models (i.e., WRF, CESM, UFS, etc.) is preferred.

Please email Dr. Grogan at [email protected] for more information.

Dr. Aubrey Hillman

Dr. Hillman does not have opportunities for new graduate students at this time.

Please email Dr. Hillman at [email protected] for more information.

 

Dr. Andrea Lang

Professor Lang interests span spatial scales ranging from synoptic to planetary and timescales of days to weeks.

At this time, Prof. Lang is not recruiting for funded graduate student research positions. Check back for updates.

Contact Prof. Andrea Lang ([email protected]) for more details.

 

Dr. Jiping Liu

Dr. Liu does not have opportunities for new graduate students at this time.

Please email Dr. Liiu at [email protected] for more information.
 

 

Dr. Cheng-Hsuan (Sarah) Lu

Dr. Lu is conducting research in aerosol modeling and data assimilation, regional air quality, and process-level understanding of numerical prediction models. She has current and pending MS or PhD graduate research opportunities focused on:

  1. Assimilating observations taken from NYS Mesonet (NYSM) surface and profiler sites and assessing the impact of NYSM observations on high-impact weather forecasts. This project is a collaboration with scientists at NOAA NWS Weather Forecast Office.
  2. Characterizing spatial and temporal distributions of pollutants in NYS using multi-platform observations, numerical models, and machine learning algorithms. This project is a collaboration with researchers at University of Wisconsin at Madison, National Center for Atmospheric Research, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research.
  3. Evaluating and improving global-scale atmospheric constituent forecasts through exploiting satellite observations. This project is a collaboration with researchers at University of Wisconsin at Madison, Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation, National Center for Atmospheric Research, and NOAA centers (National Centers for Environmental Prediction and Air Resources Laboratory).
  4. Developing an observation-based and process-oriented diagnostics tool to evaluate physically-based parameterization schemes and to provide physical insight into model biases, with a focus on cloud and precipitation. This project is a collaboration with Dr. Grogan at ASRC and researchers at National Center for Atmospheric Research, and NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

Dr. Lu is a PI with Dr. Dustin Grogan and Dr. Chris Thorncroft on an Easterly Waves and Dust project. Please see Dr. Grogan's section for more info. She is also a PI with Dr. Scott Miller on an air quality monitoring project using low cost sensors.  Please see Dr. Miller’s section for more info.

For more information, please contact Dr. Lu at [email protected].

Dr. Scott Miller

Dr. Miller is conducting research in air-sea exchange of carbon dioxide, buoy-based air-sea momentum/heat/moisture fluxes, and mesoscale sensor networks (meteorology, surface-atmosphere fluxes, low-cost air quality). He has current and pending MS or PhD graduate research opportunities focused on

  1. 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. This capability will support basic studies of air-sea interaction physics and applied fields such as offshore wind energy. Highly-motivated students with a strong background in engineering, oceanography, atmospheric sciences, wind energy, or other technical fields with an interest in field work, instrumentation, geophysical fluid mechanics, and surface-atmosphere interaction are encouraged to apply. This project is a collaboration with Dr. Freedman at ASRC.
  2. 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. Depending on their interest and skill set, the graduate student could also participate in field operations. Highly-motivated students with a strong background in engineering, atmospheric sciences, chemistry or other technical fields with an interest in novel approaches to studying air quality are encouraged to apply. This project is a collaboration with Dr. Lu at ASRC and Dr. Aynul Bari in UAlbany Environmental and Sustainable Engineering. 
  3. Developing a framework for 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. This project is a collaboration with Dr. Lu at ASRC and researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. 
     

For more information, please contact Dr. Scott Miller at [email protected].

 

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 [email protected].

 

Dr. Justin Minder

Dr. Minder is seeking a student to work on studies of precipitation-type predictability in high-impact near-freezing winter storms over the northeastern US. Research will likely involve analysis of:

  1. Mesoscale numerical simulations
  2. Field project observations
  3. New York State Mesonet data

For more information, please contact Dr. Minder at [email protected].

 

Dr. Sujata Murty

Dr. Sujata Murty has an opening for a new graduate student interested in Indo-Pacific coral paleoclimate reconstructions and synthesis with climate and ocean model simulations. This project will involve the integration of paleoclimate, physical oceanography and climate modeling perspectives to examine Indo-Pacific climate and ocean dynamics from seasonal to centennial timescales. The regional focus of the project is to be determined but may include corals from the Red Sea, southwest Indian Ocean or central Indian Ocean.

Please contact Dr. Sujata Murty at [email protected] for more information.

 

Dr. Brian Rose

Dr. Rose is recruiting at least one new PhD student for a funded position to work on the theory of land-atmosphere interaction, primarily understanding the amplified warming of arid desert regions under climate change. This work will apply hierarchies of climate models to study the interactions between local arid-surface processes and large-scale climate dynamics. This will be an interdisciplinary team effort in collaboration with Prof. Liming Zhou. The student will receive advanced training at the intersection of theoretical climate dynamics, numerical modeling, remote sensing, data analysis, and open-source scientific software.

Please visit the Rose group website to learn more about our group’s current research topics and our approach to the science.

 

Dr. Paul Roundy

Dr. Roundy is looking for graduate students for the following areas of interest:

  1. How do Kelvin waves in the tropical atmosphere influence the atmospheric circulation patterns associated with the Madden-Julian Oscillation?
  2. Statistical methods to reconstruct the diurnal and annual cycles of surface temperature on Mars
  3. Statistical post-processing of forecast model data to increase forecast skills, using eigenvectors of model error derived from reforecast datasets

 

Dr. Jim Schwab

Dr. Schwab’s research group has no opportunities for new students at this time.

 

Dr. Kara Sulia

The newly formed NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography (AI2ES) is an NSF funded AI Institute that brings together universities, government, and private industry to develop trustworthy AI for environmental science. AI2ES will uniquely benefit humanity by developing novel, physically based AI techniques that are demonstrated to be trustworthy, and will directly improve prediction, understanding, and communication of high-impact environmental hazards. For more information on AI2ES, please visit www.ai2es.org.

The University at Albany (UA) Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC) in Albany, NY seeks one Ph.D. graduate research associate with background in machine learning and/or the physical sciences (preferably atmospheric science).

RESEARCH TOPICS

1. Regional Sensitivity to Winter Weather. The student will perform NY state holistic winter weather analysis, with focus on variations and sensitivities among climate regions and their influence on predictability. The student will be responsible for developing machine-learned models and employing other statistical techniques to identify patterns and pattern variability in winter weather events and impacts across the state. Forecast, reanalysis, and ensemble products (e.g., GFS, GEFS, NAM, HRRR) along with data from the NYS Mesonet, will serve as inputs, with the goal of assessing regional winter-weather predictability hours to days.

2. The Impact of Winter Weather on Roadways. The student will investigate the predictability of winter-weather effects on NY state roadways. The student will be responsible for developing machine-learned models and employing statistical techniques to identify patterns in meteorological (e.g., NYS Mesonet) and non-meteorological (e.g., traffic flow) datasets. The student will also be responsible for the visualization of results actionable to the end-user. Collaboration with NY State transportation sectors are expected, as well as emergency managers and decision makers.

For more information, contact Dr. Kara Sulia ([email protected]) and/or Dr. Christopher Thorncroft ([email protected]).

 

Dr. Brian Tang

Professor Tang has no funded research positions for new students available at this time.

 

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. Thorncroft is also PI with Dr. Kara Sulia on the ai2es.org project. Please see Dr. Sulia's section above for more info.

 

Dr. Ryan Torn

Professor Torn does not have any funded research opportunities available for Fall 2022 at this time, but this could change, depending on current and future grant applications. In addition, Professor Torn is willing to advise students who have fellowship funding and are interested in numerical modeling, predictability, synoptic-dynamic, and mesoscale meteorology.

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 2022. For more information on his group's research, please visit the PIRE-CREATE project website.

 

Dr. Wei-Chyung Wang

Dr. Wang's current research interests include:

  1. Modeling and observational studies of climate change and extreme weather
  2. Cloud-radiation interactions
  3. Aerosol-precipitation interactions
  4. Use of deep learning in short-term weather prediction

For more information, please email Dr. Wang.

 

Dr. Fangqun Yu

Depending on availability of external funding, support for new PhD student(s) to study atmospheric particles and their environmental and climate impacts may be available. 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.

For more information, please contact Dr. Fangqun Yu at [email protected].

 

Dr. Liming Zhou

Professor Zhou has no positions for new students available 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 [email protected] for more details.

Graduate Student Handbook

University at Albany Department of Atmospheric & Environmental Science Graduate Student Handbook