Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate degrees offered


  • M.S.; Ph.D.


A specialization is a well-defined area of study that will appear on your transcript with your degree and major. Specializations are optional in most UNL programs.

Areas of Study
  • Climatology
  • Hydrologic Sciences
  • Meteorology
  • Sedimentary Geology
  • Hydrogeology
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geology
  • Geoscience Education
  • Great Plains Studies
  • Meteorology/Climatology
  • Water Resources Planning and Management (M.S.)
Promo image for Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Contacts for Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Graduate Chair

Dr. Clinton Rowe


Campus Address

214 Bessey Hall

Lincoln NE 68588-0340

Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in GAMES

After you apply, allow one business day for us to establish your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these departmental requirements:

  • Entrance exam(s): GRE
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 79, IELTS 6.5
  • Department application
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three recommendation letters

When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

Application Deadlines for Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
For Financial ConsiderationFall: January 15
OtherwiseFall: March 1 Spring: September 1 Summer: February 1


Researchers in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences examine a wide variety of issues relevant to Earth systems and Earth system history. The primary emphasis is on Earth's atmospheric and hydrological systems and the interaction of these systems with the sedimentary cycle.

Recent graduates have performed research in physical and chemical hydrogeology, hydrogeologic modeling, surficial processes, geomorphology, sedimentology, vertebrate paleontology, micropaleontology, geochemistry, petrology, structure and tectonics, climate change, land/surface atmosphere interactions, physical climatology and meteorology, severe storms, snow and ice studies, surface energy balance modeling, and synoptic meteorology.

Departmental researchers have obtained large grants supporting multidisciplinary research efforts in areas as disparate as Antarctica and the Nebraska Sand Hills. They encourage collaborative work with the University of Nebraska State Museum, the Center for Advanced Land Management and Information Technologies, the School of Natural Resources, and other related University of Nebraska-Lincoln departments.

Recent graduates are employed as faculty by research universities and liberal arts colleges, and as weather forecasters, petroleum geologists, consulting geologists and scientific staff by various governmental agencies.

Courses and More

Students in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences are most likely to take courses in: See also: Course Catalog in the Graduate Bulletin.

Students will work with an advisor to create a Program of Studies or Memorandum of Courses during the first half of their coursework.

Faculty and research

Mark Anderson
Polar Weather and Climate; Weather Analysis and Forecasting; Climate Change and Variability; Remote Sensing; Severe Weather
Leilani Arthurs
Environmental Aqueous Geochemistry; Geocognition and Geoscience Education
Deborah Bathke
Climatology; Drought Monitoring and Management
Caroline Burberry
Deformation and Petroleum Potential of Mountain Belts and their Associated Basins Worldwide, using Satellite Images, Sandbox Modeling, Fieldwork and Integration with Available Depth Data
Kenneth Dewey
Climate Variations; Severe Weather Safety; Climate Assessment and Impacts
Christopher Fielding
Sedimentology; Stratigraphy; Paleoclimatology; Petroleum Geology; Marine Geology
Tracy Frank
Carbonate Sedimentology; Paleoclimatology; Marine Geology; Diagenesis; Stratigraphy
Sherilyn Fritz
Quaternary Environments; Paleoclimatology; Limnology; Climate Change and Variability; Micropaleontology
Ronald Goble
Optical Geochronology; Mineralogy; Geochemistry; Economic Geology
Priscilla Grew
John Griffin
Regional Geologic Problems; Structural Geology
Adjunct Faculty
David Harwood
Micropaleontology; Stratigraphy; Paleoclimatology; Glacial Geology; Marine Geology
Adam Houston
Atmospheric Convection; Mesoscale Processes; Severe Weather; Instrumentation; Climate Diagnostics
Q. Steve Hu
Precipitation Variations; Climatology
Robert Hunt
Vertebrate Paleontology; Stratigraphy
R. Matt Joeckel
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Richard Kettler
Organic Geochemistry; Aqueous Geochemistry; Mineral Deposits; Diagenesis
Merlin Lawson
Climate Change and Reconstruction; Pleistocene and Historical Environments; Dendroclimatology; Remote Sensing
David Loope
Sedimentology; Paleoclimatology; Quaternary Environments
Robert Oglesby
Climate Modeling; Climate Change and Variability; Paleoclimatology; Land-Atmosphere Interactions; Climate Diagnostics
Daryll Pederson
Chemical and Physical Hydrogeology; Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions; Fluvial Geomorphology
Frank Rack
Marine Geology; Sedimentology; Stratigraphy; Paleoclimatology; Land-Atmosphere Interactions
Clinton Rowe
Boundary Layer Dynamics; Mesoscale Processes; Paleoclimatology; Land-Atmosphere Interactions
Ross Secord
Vertebrate Paleontology; Paleoclimatology; Stable isotope geochemistry; Biostratigraphy
Norman Smith
Sedimentology; Geomorphology; Physical Sedimentation
Matthew Van Den Broeke
Severe Weather; Radar Meteorology; Microphysics & Precipitation Processes; Mesoscale Processes; Land-atmosphere Interactions
Jun Wang
Atmospheric Chemistry; Radiative Energy Budget; Remote Sensing; Data Assimilation
David Watkins
Micropaleontology; Marine Geology; Stratigraphy; Paleoclimatology
Vitaly Zlotnik
Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology; Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions; Hydrology; Aquifer Hydraulics

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