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Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences Degree

Program Offerings

• Bachelor of science degree in Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences
• Accelerated master’s degree in Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences (earn your bachelor’s and master’s in as little as five years)
• Master of science degree in Atmospheric & Environmental sciences
• Doctor of philosophy degree in Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences
• Minor in Atmospheric Sciences

What is Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences?

Atmospheric and environmental sciences is the study of the complex system of the earth’s atmosphere such as tornadoes, blizzards, climate change, and more. This field of science strives to predict both short-term weather patterns and long-term climate processes.

What does a atmospheric scientist do?

Atmospheric and environmental scientists study the weather and climate and examine how the conditions impact the earth and human beings. Meteorologists forecast tornadoes, blizzards, and other hazardous weather; air quality experts monitor environmental conditions; and climatologists study long-term weather trends and climate change.

Duties that an atmospheric and environmental scientist might undertake include:
• Measure temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, wind speed, dew point, and other properties of the atmosphere
• Use computer models that analyze data about the atmosphere (also called meteorological data)
• Write computer programs to support their modeling efforts
• Conduct research to improve understanding of weather phenomena
• Generate weather graphics for users
• Report current weather conditions
• Prepare long- and short-term weather forecasts by using computers, mathematical models, satellites, radar, and local station data
• Plan, organize, and participate in outreach programs aimed at educating the public about weather
• Issue warnings to protect life and property when threatened by severe weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and flash floods

First-Year Courses

• Intro to atmospheric sciences
• Atmospheric physics
• Biogeochemistry
• Atmospheric Thermodynamics
• Air quality
• Global environmental change
• Radar meteorology

Course Curriculum

Link to Catalog

Internships and Co-ops

77% of Mines students gain real-world experience through internships, co-ops, and research opportunities. Atmospheric and environmental science majors earn competitive internships at:
• NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center
• National Severe Storms Laboratory
• Los Alamos National Laboratory
• Rapid City National Weather Service.

Career Outlook

The average starting salary for Mines atmospheric and environmental graduates is $46,000. The job placement rate for 2017-18 Mines atmospheric and environmental sciences graduates was 89 percent.

Careers

Careers in atmospheric and environmental science might include:
• operational meteorology (weather forecasting)
• atmospheric research
• broadcast meteorology
• environmental consulting
• industrial and commercial forecasting
• air and water quality, pollution
• transportation
• military, emergency response
• agriculture or energy industries

Employers

Potential employers for Mines atmospheric and envrionmental graduates include:
National Weather Service
NASA
Armed Forces
Department of Defense
Private-sector forecasting and consulting
Environmental Protection Agency

Atmospheric and Enviromental Sciences Research

Faculty are actively engaged in research projects involving lightning, severe storms, incident meteorology, fire and its effects on the ecosystem, soil erosion, and other atmospheric and environmental concerns.

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