Skip Navigation

Graduate Student Position in Convection, Chemistry, and Aerosols

Skip Side Navigation
October 5, 2020

Graduate Student Position in Convection, Chemistry, and Aerosols

Job Description: The Center for Autonomous Sensing and Sampling (CASS) at the University of Oklahoma (OU) has a graduate student position to examine the relationship between aerosol concentrations in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL), thermodynamic and kinematic state of the pre-convective ABL, and complex airmass boundaries as a part of the TRacking Aerosol Convection interactions ExpeRiment (TRACER) field experiment.

This project will utilize data collected from remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) to supplement data collected by a host of in situ (piloted aircraft, sondes, tethered balloons, etc.) and remote (Lidars, radar, radiometer, etc.) instrument systems to better understand processes that lead to the formation of deep convective clouds. The successful candidate with work with the atmospheric chemistry and boundary layer dynamics research thrusts of the Center for Autonomous Sensing and Sampling, led by Dr. Liz Pillar-Little and Dr. Phil Chilson, respectively. The student will also have opportunities to present their work at national conferences and to travel to Boulder, Colorado to work with collaborators at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and CU-Boulder and mentor undergraduate research assistants as a part of the project. 

Starting Date: Graduate Research Assistantship Funding is available for entry to the program in January 2021 or August 2021.

Stipends: Current stipends start at approximately $27,000 per year for new MS Students and $29,000 for students with a completed MS degree (and increase as PhD milestones are met). Tuition is waived, but students are responsible for fees each semester. 

Qualifications: The student should have an interest in atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, convection, and observation systems (such as remotely piloted aircraft systems, radiosondes, remote sensors, etc.) and a bachelor’s or master’s degree in any related field (including but not limited to meteorology, atmospheric science, geoscience, chemistry, physics, environmental science, etc.). Previous experience with programing (e.g. Python, MATLAB) is recommended but not required. As this position will require participation in the TRACER Intensive Operations Period (IOP) period in Houston, TX currently planned for June – Sept 2021, an interest in field work is also preferred. 

Location: The School of Meteorology resides in the National Weather Center (NWC), located on the Norman campus of the University of Oklahoma. In addition to the School of Meteorology, the NWC houses state and federal organizations on weather and climate related research and operational programs. In line with our commitments to diversity, inclusion, access, and equity we strongly encourage applications from candidates who are members of underrepresented or marginalized communities.

The University of Oklahoma is committed to achieving a diverse, equitable, and inclusive university community by embracing each person’s unique contributions, background, and perspectives. The University of Oklahoma recognizes that fostering an inclusive environment for all, with particular attention to the needs of historically marginalized populations, is vital to the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of our institutional mission. This enhances the OU experience for all students, faculty, and staff and for the communities we engage.  The University of Oklahoma is in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, sex, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures.

How to Apply: Formal applications to the School of Meteorology/University of Oklahoma graduate program for Fall 2021 entry are due December 1 and do not require GRE scores.

Prior to a formal application, students interested in working on this funded project should initially contact Dr. Liz Pillar-Little ( and include in a single document (e.g., a Word or pdf file):

  1. A cover letter explaining the interest in the project and pursuing graduate education
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Unofficial Transcripts
  4. A list of three references and their email addresses

For any inquiry about this position, please contact Dr. Liz Pillar-Little ( or Dr. Phil Chilson (