(College of Agricultural & Environmental
William Horwath, Chairperson (Land, Air
& Water Resources)
Department Office. 1110 Plant & Environmental
Sciences Building; 530-752-1130;
The Major Program
Atmospheric science is the study of the air that surrounds the planet. It includes all weather phenomena and climate including global and regional climate change, the chemistry of trace constituents and cloud and particle formation, interactions between ecosystems and the atmosphere, as well as quantitative studies of climate extremes and severe weather, including droughts, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. The study of the impacts of human and other biotic activity on the quality of the air we breathe are important topics in the major.
The Program. Modern atmospheric science is a quantitative science that is reflected in the major's curriculum. In addition to the study of daily weather events, the program deals with fundamental dynamical and physical processes that involve the general circulation of the atmosphere; turbulent mass and energy transfer at the planetary surface as well as within the free atmosphere; the transfer of solar and terrestrial radiation throughout the atmosphere; atmospheric interaction with the biosphere; climate variations; and developments in remote sensing using satellites with modern meteorological instrumentation. In addition, the program has significant expertise in the areas of air quality and its related atmospheric chemistry. As well as providing a broad background in meteorology, the major includes an informal minor area to be chosen from mathematics, computer science, environmental studies, resource management or a physical or biological science. For more information, see http://atm.ucdavis.edu.
Internships and Career Opportunities. Atmospheric science students have participated in internships with the California Air Resources Board, various county Air Pollution Control Districts, the National Weather Service, and performing research. Job opportunities include: national weather services, weather forecasting for broadcast media or private forecasting firms, environmental consulting firms (such as environmental impact reports, wind farm siting), government agencies at all levels from local (air quality districts, planning departments, etc.) to state (Air Resources Board) to national (NOAA), and companies whose operations are impacted by weather (such as airlines, futures markets). About half of our graduates continue their education by seeking the M.S. or Ph.D. degree in atmospheric science or related areas.
Note. Alternative options for students who are interested in atmospheric science are to minor in ATM or to major in ESM choosing the climate change and air quality track. However, both the ATM minor and the ESM climate change and air quality track do not meet the Federal civil service requirements for meteorologists.
Graduate Study. You can specialize in particular areas of atmospheric science through graduate study and research leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. For details, see Atmospheric Science (Graduate Group) and Graduate Studies.
Related Courses. See ESP 150A; PHY104A, 104B; ESM 131.
Major Advisor. Erwan Monier
Advising Center for the major, is located in 1150 Plant & Environmental Sciences Building in Land, Air & Water Resources Teaching Center; 530-752-1603.
Atmospheric Science Advisor. Lacole Brooks; firstname.lastname@example.org.