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Fall 2024 Graduate Research Assistantships – Multiple - University of Alabama in Huntsville

The University of Alabama in Huntsville Atmospheric and Earth Science
Huntsville, Alabama (US)
Closing date
Feb 17, 2024

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Atmospheric Sciences
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

Fall 2024 Graduate Research Assistantships – Multiple Disciplines

University of Alabama in Huntsville, Department of Atmospheric and Earth Science

The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s (UAH) Atmospheric and Earth Science (AES) Department is seeking graduate student applicants at the MS and PhD level to conduct research in several areas. For each research area, potential Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) support is available, which covers graduate tuition and an annual stipend. Please contact the specific faculty below for more information about each GRA opportunity.

  • Dr. John Mecikalski (Email: - Convective Cloud Controls. Combined analysis of high-temporal resolution GOES-16 satellite and ground-based Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) ARM Mobile Facility-3 (AMF3) datasets of convective clouds toward understanding land surface and boundary layer controls on cumulus cloud evolution in advance of storm development. Analysis would focus on convective clouds in humid summertime regimes, and could also involve the use of high-resolution cloud resolving models. The student would gain experience in using a number of AMF3 surface and GOES-16 satellite observational datasets, and would collaborate with investigators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and within the DoE. PhD-level applicants are preferred.
  • Dr. Sundar Christopher (Email: – Satellite Remote Sensing of the Earth-Atmosphere System.  Dr. Christopher’s Group is seeking motivated graduate students to conduct research on satellite remote sensing of aerosols to assess their role on the earth-atmosphere system. A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in atmospheric science or related field, with strong analytical and computing skills is required. For more information visit
  • Dr. Xiaomin Chen (Email: - Hurricanes. The GRA is expected to contribute to one of the following two research topics: 1) boundary layer transition during hurricane landfalls and 2) hurricane intensification under vertical wind shear. For 1), synergistic analyses of turbulence-resolving modeling and field campaign data will be involved to understand the boundary-layer structure evolution as well as the formation of strong surface gusts during hurricane landfalls. The GRA will have the opportunity to participate in the field campaign of landfalling hurricanes. For 2), thermodynamic and dynamic processes contributing to hurricane intensification under strong vertical wind shear will be analyzed. The GRA will gain experience in analyzing output data from the next-generation hurricane forecast model. PhD-level applicants are preferred.
  • Dr. Shanhu Lee (Email: - Wildfire Atmospheric Chemistry.  The UAH Atmospheric Chemistry Group is seeking a talented and motivated graduate student to perform research on the chemical analysis of air pollutants emitted from prescribed wildfires using high resolution mass spectrometers (HrTOF-CIMS or CI-APi-TOF; LC-ESI Orbitrap mass spectrometer). A BS or MS degree (in chemistry, atmospheric science, or chemical/environmental engineering), strong experimental and computing skills, and prior research experiences are required.                                                                         
  • Dr. Sean Freeman (Email: - Convective Cloud Modeling and Tracking. The GRA will employ both high-resolution numerical modeling and cloud tracking of existing ground-based and remote sensing observations to quantify how changes to the environment modify convective clouds and storms. This research is being performed in the context of the new Department of Energy (DoE) Atmospheric Radiation Mission (ARM) Mobile Facility - 3 (AMF-3), which is located nearby in North Alabama. The student would develop knowledge in convective clouds and storms, including their environmental controls in the context of a changing climate, and gain experience in running numerical models, novel cloud tracking techniques, and both observational and numerical modeling data from a variety of sources. MS or PhD-level applications are welcome.                                                                       
  • Dr. Michael Newchurch (Email: Atmospheric Chemistry. GRA opportunity for an aspiring PhD candidate. This position is centered around our prestigious Atmospheric Chemistry Program, focusing on research within the Tropospheric Ozone Lidar Network (TOLNet, ) and its collaboration with the geostationary satellite, TEMPO (Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution: ). As a part of this national program, the candidate will delve into state-of-the-art measurement technologies that provide critical insights into the 4-dimensional morphology of air-quality gases and aerosols. The primary research area will include the atmosphere above Huntsville, various field campaign locations, and an expansive coverage over North America. This comprehensive approach aims to enhance our understanding of atmospheric dynamics and pollution patterns, contributing significantly to environmental science and public health. Key Responsibilities of the GRA: 1) Mastering and maintaining a range of atmospheric trace-gas measurement instruments including the TOLNet/RO3QET ozone lidar. 2) Actively engaging in field work, which includes deploying, operating, and troubleshooting equipment in diverse locations. 3) Conducting rigorous research, data analysis, and contributing to scientific publications and presentations using TOLNet and TEMPO measurements.

Prior undergraduate research experience is preferred for applicants at the MS-level.  Applicants at the PhD level should have a MS degree in a relevant field prior to the start of the UAH GRA, and have demonstrated prior experience in research and the writing of peer-reviewed journal papers.  Programming experience in computer languages such as Python or Matlab is preferred. These GRA opportunities are available beginning in the Fall 2024 semester at UAH.


Interested GRA candidates should apply for admission to the relevant graduate degree program (MS or PHD) in the Department of Atmospheric and Earth Science by following the process at  During the graduate admissions process, applicants should specify the relevant research area, GRA opportunity and responsible faculty in their personal statement.  Review of applications will continue until the positions are filled.  The successful GRA candidate must meet the admittance criteria for UAH’s Graduate School and the Department of Atmospheric and Earth Science.


Information about graduate degree programs and faculty research at UAH AES can be found at  For questions about the graduate application process, please contact Dr. Lawrence Carey at, or the Department’s Administrative Assistant at The University of Alabama in Huntsville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer of minorities, females, veterans, and the disabled.

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