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Atmospheric Sciences/Meteorology

(Interdisciplinary Sciences)

What is an atmospheric scientist?

Atmospheric scientists study the complex and often chaotic system that is Earth's atmosphere. Meteorologists forecast tornadoes, blizzards, and other hazardous weather, air quality experts monitor environmental conditions, and climatologists study long-term weather trends and climate change.

Mines faculty and students have long been at the forefront of atmospheric research, using observational systems, models, and senior capstone projects to study severe thunderstorms, cloud physics, fire weather, lightning, numerical weather prediction, aircraft observations, and global environmental change.

Salary Information Not Available, IS-Atmospheric Science Graduates Go On To:

  • National Weather Service
  • NASA, Airlines
  • Armed Forces
  • Department of Defense
  • Private-sector forecasting, consulting
  • EPA, News
  • *Listed are potential employers


  • 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

Internships & Co-ops

75% of Mines students gain real-world experience through internships, co-ops, and research opportunities at an average salary of over $17 an hour at 240 employers in 39 states.  Atmospheric and environmental science majors earn competitive internships at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, the National Severe Storms Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory and conduct co-ops at the Rapid City National Weather Service.

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Global Experiences

Experience the adventure of international travel with Engineers & Scientists Abroad or the extreme weather right in Mines' own backyard. The world record for fastest temperature change was set in the Black Hills, and local conditions from lightning strikes to legendary blizzards regularly make their way into the classroom.

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Not just academic experts, faculty and advisors in the Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences Program consult with industry and government on important regional, national and global projects.

An Accelerated Master's Degree Program is available. The Accelerated Master’s Degree program enables a student to complete both the BS and MS degrees in as little as 5 years.


More information is provided by the SD Mines Atmospheric Sciences Program:

Note: Undergraduates first pursue an Interdisciplinary Sciences BS degree, and can then go on to graduate studies in Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences.

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