Atmospheric Sciences in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences include study of the circulation, composition, and physical and chemical processes of the atmosphere. Timescales studied range from hours to millennia. Studies include the fundamental processes of the atmosphere as well as its interactions with the oceans, hydrological cycle, cryosphere and biosphere, and the role of the atmosphere in anthropogenic climate change. Atmospheric Science faculty use observational data from routine observations, remote sensing and field campaigns as well as numerical models to study tropical convection and dynamics, global modes of variability, air quality and contaminant transport, storm tracks, jet streams, stratosphere-troposphere coupling, tropical cyclones, severe storms and coupling between radiative, chemical and dynamical processes. Strong connections are maintained with the Departments of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Earth and Environmental Engineering, and Chemical Engineering, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society enabling a broad and deep graduate program in atmospheric science.
Each graduate student is enrolled in an academic department and follows the normal procedures of that department regarding admission and progression towards their degree. However, course offerings have been designed collaboratively with the needs of multiple departments in mind, and advisory committees commonly include faculty from multiple departments. Relevant seminars and other activities occur in all participating departments and institutes, providing a uniquely broad and stimulating intellectual environment for graduate study.
The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DEES) includes several sub-fields within atmospheric sciences including atmospheric dynamics, planetary atmospheres, atmospheric radiation, atmospheric chemistry, and climate impacts. Closely related DEES research programs include modern and future climate and physical oceanography. It also has major programs in paleoclimate and geochemistry, which complement the study of atmospheric science.
The Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics (APAM) has research programs in atmospheric and climate dynamics, focusing on numerical modeling, theory, and diagnostics.
The Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering (DEEE) has research programs in climate particularly through connections to water resources and geochemistry, as well as on engineering responses to the climate change problem.
In the Department of Chemical Engineering (CHEN) has research programs in atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric aerosols.
The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) is the physical home of graduate research in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, but also has a distinct identity as a major laboratory for earth science. In addition to the DEES faculty, Lamont employs a staff of Lamont Research Professors, all of whom are potential advisors for PhD students.
The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has research programs in climate modeling, climate change, remote sensing, and atmospheric physics and chemistry. Graduate students in both DEES and APAM may work with GISS scientists.
The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) has research programs in climate prediction and predictability on all time scales, as well as modeling and regional dynamics studies, societal impacts of climate, and the application of climate science to achieve societal benefit. Graduate students may work with IRI scientists.