Other Opportunities

Graduate Fellowship Opportunities at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center

News (10/30/2015): Merit-based first-year graduate fellowships available

All incoming (2016-2017) ASRC-advised graduate students are eligible to compete for one-year merit-based graduate fellowships that carry a full tuition waiver and a stipend. Several research opportunities are highlighted below, however, interested applicants should not hesitate to inquire with other ASRC faculty members regarding potential research opportunities. See the full announcement below.

Downloadable PDF version of this announcement

The University at Albany´s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC), Albany, NY, USA, is pleased to announce merit-based first-year fellowships for new ASRC-advised doctoral students. A first-year fellowship includes full tuition (9 credits per semester) and a research assistantship stipend for a 12-month period beginning in late August 2016. All first-year graduate students, domestic and international, interested in being advised or co-advised by an ASRC faculty member are eligible to apply. ASRC is a world-class research center with fourteen full-time faculty focused on all aspects of the atmospheric sciences and spanning the full spectrum from measurement science to coupled modeling. ASRC operates a premier mountaintop observation facility on Whiteface Mountain, NY and co-directs the new, 125-site New York State Mesonet. ASRC is recruiting applicants in the areas of: ice microphysics; wind energy; aerosol-cloud radiation interactions; air-sea interactions; land-atmosphere interactions; air pollution and atmospheric chemistry; and regional and global air pollution and climate modeling. To be considered for a first-year fellowship, applicants must submit by February 15, 2016: (1) an application for admission to the appropriate University of Albany doctoral program and 2) a letter requesting fellowship consideration to the ASRC Graduate Fellowship Committee, c/o Dr. Kara Sulia ksulia@albany.edu The letter of request should be a 1-2 page "cover letter" to their doctoral program application alerting the committee of research interests of the applicant and the potential ASRC advisor(s) identified.

While UAlbany´s doctoral program in Atmospheric Science will be an appropriate choice for most applicants, ASRC is also interested in proposals to conduct interdisciplinary research leading to degrees in other areas, including but not limited to: physics, chemistry, environmental health, computer science, information science/geographic information science (GIS), and biology. In most cases, pending satisfactory academic performance, successful applicants can expect comparable support levels in subsequent years. Applicants are strongly encouraged to coordinate their application with a faculty member at ASRC.

For specific information on faculty, research areas and affiliations, and the application process, please see the student opportunities below.

Graduate Student Opportunities at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center

There are current or planned graduate student opportunities in the following areas for 2015-16:

Dr. Craig Ferguson
Dr. Ferguson´s research opportunities include:

1. Applications of satellite remote sensing data to monitor and diagnose hydrometeorological variability and extremes.
2. Advanced data visualization of multi-scale land-atmosphere interactions.
3. Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) modeling of regional hydrologic extremes.

For more information, please contact Dr. Ferguson at crferguson@albany.edu

Dr. Jeffrey Freedman
Dr. Freedman´s main research areas are renewable energy and the atmospheric boundary layer. He has recently acquired a Leosphere Windcube 100s scanning LiDAR. More specific topics of interest include:

1. Reliability of short-term (0 - 6 hr) wind forecasting
2. Detecting trends in the wind and solar resource
3. Effects of wind farms on the local and regional climate
4. Potential influence of climate change on the distribution of renewable energy resources
5. Using LiDAR in wind energy and boundary layer applications including a recent deployment at Cranberry Lake in the Adirondacks

Depending upon support, for the immediate future Dr. Freedman will be looking to focus on wind farm effects on local climate, very short term (0 - 1 hr) wind forecasting, and identifying trends and potential climate change influences on the renewable energy (wind and energy) resource, on regional and CONUS scales.

For more information, please contact Dr. Freedman at jfreedman@albany.edu

Dr. Sara Lance
Dr. Lance´s studies aerosol-cloud interactions within the earth´s atmosphere. Over the next several years, the following research areas will be emphasized:

  • 1. Cloud processing of aerosol (e.g. aqueous formation of organic aerosol within haze and cloud droplets)
  • 2. Ice nucleation and cloud phase transitions (e.g. formation of ice within orographic clouds and Arctic stratus)

  • Dr. Lance is currently looking for a graduate student to support experimental investigation of multiphase chemical reactions with levitated micro-droplets, pertaining to the formation of secondary organic aerosol within clouds. The advertised position includes instrument development of an optical trap for highly controlled single-particle experiments, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder. This work will take place within the laboratory at the ASRC. Deployment of cloud and aerosol instruments to the Whiteface mountain summit research station is also planned for summer 2017, including measurements of the physical and chemical properties of cloud condensation nuclei and cloud droplet residuals. The graduate student taking this position will be responsible for much of the data analysis from the planned 2017 field project

For more information, please contact Dr. Sara Lance at slance@mit.edu

Dr. Cheng-Hsuan Lu
Dr. Lu´s research is focused on the following topics:

  • 1. Aerosol Processes
  • 2. Chemical Weather Forecasting
  • 3. The impacts of aerosols on weather/climate

  • Dr. Lu has opportunities for graduate study in the following areas: aerosol modeling, aerosol-cloud-interaction, regional air quality modeling, and aerosol data assimilation.

For more information, please contact Dr. Sarah Lu at clu4@albany.edu

Dr. Scott Miller
Dr. Miller´s field-based research is focused on surface exchange processes — the transfer of heat, momentum, moisture, and trace gases (e.g., CO2) between the earth´s surface and the atmosphere:

  • 1. Air-sea interaction — fluxes of momentum, sensible and latent heat, and carbon dioxide between ocean and atmosphere (e.g., from ships or buoys), including Arctic and Antarctic environments;
  • 2. Lake-atmosphere exchange — field studies of the movement of carbon dioxide within freshwater bodies and it´s exchange with the atmosphere;
  • 3. Forest-atmosphere exchange — carbon and energy exchange between forests and atmosphere, and the effects of disturbance

  • Research routinely involves collaborations with physical and chemical oceanographers, ecologists, biologists, hydrologists, limnologists, and atmospheric scientists. Students with an interest in geophysical fluid mechanics, turbulence, and boundary and surface layer processes are encouraged to apply.

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

Dr. Qilong Min
For 2016, Dr. Min is seeking two or three students to participate in any of the three following funded projects.:

  • 1. Satellite cloud retrievals for the NASA DSCOVR mission, the newest NASA satellite;
  • 2. Synergetic retrieval algorithm development, combining both active and passive sensors;
  • 3. Development of a WRF-SBM model for cloud microphysical processes and aerosol-cloud interactions.

  • Currently, his research interests encompass the combination of passive/active instrumentation and modeled data to improve understanding of the physics of the atmosphere, land-atmosphere interactions, and atmosphere-climate interactions. Ongoing projects in his group fall into one of three areas:

    1. Integrating multi-platform observations and WRF simulations to understand the feedback mechanisms associated with the water and energy cycles, such as hurricane forecasting, aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions, and atmosphere-terrestrial exchanges
    2. Establishing innovative remote sensing techniques through the synthesis of visible, infrared, and microwave measurements for retrieving aerosol and cloud optical properties, vegetation properties, and precipitation and latent heat
    3. Developing novel instrumentation for applications in weather, climate, air quality, and renewable energy

Please contact Dr. Min at qmin@albany.edu for additional information regarding these opportunities and our research group; he encourages dialogue regarding interest in his group´s projects.

Dr. James Schwab
Dr. Schwab does not anticipate any openings for new graduate students starting in 2016. His group is currently working on 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. (proposed)
  • 2. Measurement Tools for Responding to Wood Smoke and Other Air Pollution Complaints: This is also a measurement based project, involving construction of portable air quality monitoring kits to assess wood smoke or other localized pollution problems. Deployment of these assemblies and data analysis are also included as part of the project.
  • 3. 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
Dr. Sulia´s research is focused on the microphysical and precipitation processes within clouds. Topics include testing and simulating models with a microphysics scheme that focuses on the realistic representation of ice crystals. This work entails using the scheme within WRF with the ability to simulate polarimetric radar variables. Potential student opportunities for the 2016-2017 academic year include:

  • 1. Modeling ice–ice aggregation: This research includes using an Ice Particle and Aggregation Simulator to develop a method of aggregation for an adaptive habit ice growth model to be used in WRF.
  • 2. Development of a bin ice microphysics method to be combined with a detailed aerosol microphysical model.
  • 3. Investigations of ice-graupel interactions in the production of lightning.

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

Dr. Wei-Chyung Wang
Dr. Wang´s research is focused on the following topics:

  • 1. Aerosol–cloud interactions.
  • 2. Climate–chemistry interactions
  • Current research:
    To use observations, and regional and global climate models to study the effects of anthropogenic aerosols on clouds and climate.

For more information, please contact Dr. Wang at wcwang@albany.edu

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 at fyu@albany.edu