Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate programs offered

Earn a Graduate Degree

  • MS in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (30 cr, Option I only) with optional specialization:
  • PhD in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (90 cr) with optional specialization:
  • Minor in College STEM Education with any graduate degree program, subject to approval (apply to degree program, add minor after enrolling)
Areas of Study

These informal areas of focus may help to shape your course of study but they will not appear on transcripts.

  • Climatology
  • Hydrological Sciences
  • Meteorology
  • Sedimentary Geology

Online and Distance Opportunities

Some online coursework may be available for your program; contact dept. for details.

Contacts for Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

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Other Ways to Connect

On the Web
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Graduate Chair
Dr. Cara Burberry

Campus Address
214 Bessey Hall
Lincoln NE 68588-0340
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Application checklist and deadlines

1. Required by Graduate Studies

2. Required by Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

  • 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, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

Application Deadlines for Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • For Financial Consideration: January 15 for Fall.
  • Otherwise: March 1 for Fall. September 1 for Spring. February 1 for Summer.

Application/admission is for entry in a specific term and year. Our academic year is divided into 3 terms: Fall (August-December), Spring (January-May), and Summer (multiple sessions May-August). Some programs accept new students only in certain terms and/or years.


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.

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Courses and More

Faculty and research

Where available, names link to bios or homepages and contact card icons () link to directory listings with address, phone, and email.

Mark Anderson

Polar Weather and Climate; Weather Analysis and Forecasting; Climate Change and Variability; Remote Sensing; Severe Weather

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

Lynne Elkins

Igneous petrogenesis; Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry; Uranium-Series Isotopes, Mid-Ocean Ridge Processes; Divergent Boundaries, Hotspot-Ridge Interactions

Christopher Fielding

Sedimentology; Stratigraphy; Paleoclimatology; Petroleum Geology; Marine Geology

Irina Filina

Applied Geophysics; Seismology; Potential Fields; Integrative Geophysical Analysis; Crustal Architecture and Tectonics; Petroleum Systems; Basin Analysis

Tracy Frank

Carbonate Sedimentology; Paleoclimatology; Marine Geology; Diagenesis; Stratigraphy

Sherilyn Fritz

Quaternary Environments; Paleoclimatology; Limnology; Climate Change and Variability; Micropaleontology

Erin Haacker

Groundwater; Surface Water; Irrigation Demand; Hydrologic Modeling; Statistics and Data Mining

David Harwood

Micropaleontology; Stratigraphy; Paleoclimatology; Glacial Geology; Marine Geology

Adam Houston

Atmospheric Convection; Mesoscale Processes; Severe Weather; Instrumentation; Climate Diagnostics

Qi (Steve) Hu

Precipitation Variations; Climatology

R.M. (Matt) Joeckel

Sedimentology and StratigraphyEmeritus

Richard Kettler

Organic Geochemistry; Aqueous Geochemistry; Mineral Deposits; Diagenesis

Dawn Kopacz

Atmospheric Science Education Research; Climate Change and Variability; Polar Weather Climate; Climate Diagnostics

Clinton Rowe

Boundary Layer Dynamics; Mesoscale Processes; Paleoclimatology; Land-Atmosphere Interactions

Mindi Searls

Planetary Geomorphology; Geophysics; Discipline-Based Education Research

Ross Secord

Vertebrate Paleontology; Paleoclimatology; Stable isotope geochemistry; Biostratigraphy

Matthew Van Den Broeke

Severe Weather; Radar Meteorology; Microphysics & Precipitation Processes; Mesoscale Processes; Land-atmosphere Interactions

Peter Wagner

Quantitive Phylogenetics for Paleontology; Assessing Rates of Anatomical Evolution among Fossil Groups; Assessing Speciation Patterns with Paleontological Data; Relationship between Macroevolution and Paleoecology & Macroecology

David Watkins

Micropaleontology; Marine Geology; Stratigraphy; Paleoclimatology

Karrie Weber

Environmental Microbiology; Microbial Physiology; Molecular Biology; Microbial Ecology; Geomicrobiology, Virology, and Biogeochemistry

Vitaly Zlotnik

Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology; Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions; Hydrology; Aquifer Hydraulics

This summary page is maintained by Graduate Studies.
For additional details check out the dept./program website: Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Departments: Have an update for this summary? Contact Kurt Mueller.