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Ph.D. student in flash drought and climate

Auburn University
Auburn, Alabama (US)
Closing date
May 25, 2022
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Description: The Climate Analytics Group at Auburn University is looking for Ph.D. students interested in studying flash droughts in a changing climate using data science/machine learning/deep learning and process-based modeling approaches. This position is funded by a project awarded by National Science Foundation (NSF), titled “CAS-Climate: CAREER: Analytical methods for understanding and predicting agricultural flash droughts in a changing climate” (link), with full stipend and tuition waiver support. The student will have the opportunity to work on the following topics: 1) investigate underlying drivers of agricultural flash droughts using machine learning-based causal inference analysis, 2) develop and evaluate agricultural flash drought forecasts at the subseasonal timescale using deep learning approaches, and 3) assess changes in agricultural flash drought under contemporary and future climate based on coupled general circulation models large ensembles, and will also have opportunities to work with stakeholders (e.g., NOAA Climate Prediction Centers, National Integrated Drought Information System, Federal Emergency Management Agency) and international experts in relevant fields. More information about the lab:

Qualifications: Applicants must have a MS or BS in a science or engineering field (such as hydrology, water resources, climatology/meteorology, earth system science, data science, computer science, or related fields) at the time the PhD program begins. Deserving candidates should have a strong motivation to study climate/hydrologic issues using data science, machine learning, process-based models, and multi-dimensional data, have experience with at least one computing language (e.g., Python, R, etc.), and possess or demonstrate a potential for excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Application Deadline Date: Position open until filled; application review begins immediately.

Application: If interested, please send an email to Dr. Di Tian ( with personal statement, CV, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for 3 references. Formal application will be made via Auburn University’s graduate school (link). The students can choose to pursue either the Earth System Science Ph.D. Program or the Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Ph.D. Program.  


Auburn University was established in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, 20 years after the city of Auburn's founding. In 1872, under the Morrill Act, the school became the first land-grant college in the South and was renamed the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1899 the name again was changed, to the Alabama Polytechnic Institute. Finally, in 1960 the name of the school was changed to Auburn University, a title more in keeping with its location, and expressing the varied academic programs and larger curriculum of a major university. Today, Auburn is one of the few universities to carry the torch as a land, sea and space grant university. Our fall 2015 semester enrollment was 27,287. Our students can choose from more than 140 degree options in 13 schools and colleges at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. Auburn University has developed into one of the largest universities in the South, remaining in the educational forefront with its traditional blend of arts and applied science, and changing with the needs of today while living with a respect for the traditions and spirit that are Auburn.
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