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Atmospheric Science|College of Engineering and Applied Science

Department Information

Al Rodi, Department Head

The Department of Atmospheric Science does not have an undergraduate program, and compared to a handful of big atmospheric sciences programs around the country, our graduate students form a rather small group. The result is a small student-to-faculty ratio, yielding small class sizes, a more personalized education, and easier, more frequent interaction with the faculty. The core coursework offers a strong basis of knowledge in atmospheric sciences, and elective courses (accounting for about one-third of the curriculum) cover a range of atmospheric science topics.

During its 33 years of existence, the Department of Atmospheric Science has been able to financially support all of its graduate students (except a few who came with a scholarship or other source of funding). Graduate research assistantships (GAs) are provided by faculty through their funded research projects. The GA stipend allows you to live comfortably as a student, although not luxuriously. A GA includes the cost of tuition and fees. Our GA stipends are very competitive, and the stipend level depends on the student's educational background, research experience, and progress made.

The Department's research is known for its observational focus: state-of-the-art instrumentation, often pioneered within the Department, is used on aircraft, balloons, or a mountaintop observatory to better understand physical, chemical or dynamic processes in the atmosphere. Theoretical models, including numerical weather prediction models, are used locally, but primarily to interpret the observations.Clouds during a storm

The Department of Atmospheric Science has received an average of $2.3 million per year in external funding during the last 3 years. Funded research projects include topics in atmospheric dynamics, cloud and precipitation physics, cloud chemistry, stratospheric ozone and the ozone hole, and air pollution. The departmental funding level and the range of research opportunities are likely to increase further during the next 3 years as several new research proposals have been submitted.

The University of Wyoming is the only university in the state of Wyoming, but has over 11,000 students. Laramie is a small but vibrant college community with ready access to the Snowy Range and the Rockies. It has the dual advantage of being close to the metropolitan areas of the Colorado Front Range, but without the high cost of living, traffic jams, and the hustle & bustle of the Front Range.

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