Atmospheric Science Careers

Learn more about what atmospheric science professionals do for their jobs.

Astronomy

Scientist peers through solar telescope (DI00885).  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Astronomy

The branch of science that deals with the physics, chemistry, and evolution of celestial objects, and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth.

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Astrophysics

Sunspot (DI02414) Image by Matthias Rempel. Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Astrophysics

The branch of astronomy concerned with the physical nature of celestial bodies, and the application of physics to the interpretation of astronomical observations.

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Atmospheric chemistry

Measuring the carbon dioxide content of aspen leaves (DI00669).  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Atmospheric chemistry

The study of the chemical composition and transformations occurring in the atmosphere.

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Atmospheric dynamics

Hurricane Katrina at landfall, water vapor band (DI01933) Image generated by Jeff Weber.  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Atmospheric dynamics

Study of observations and theory dealing with all motion systems of meteorological importance, such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, and global-scale circulations.

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Biogeochemistry

Pollution: biomass burning (DI00043) Photo by Patrick Zimmerman. Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Biogeochemistry

Study of the chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes and reactions that govern the composition of the natural environment.

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Climatology

 Earth's climate system (DI02467) Image courtesy Gary Strand.  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Climatology

Study of climate variability and meteorological conditions over a specified period of time.

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Computer science

STEPS researcher at computer (DI00782). Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Computer science

The study and design of computers and computational processes that emphasizes an understanding of information transfer and transformation.

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Education

 Climate Discovery exhibit (DI01061).  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Education

A field concerned with sharing science content and process with individuals not traditionally considered part of the scientific community.

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Emergency management

Snowstorm (DI01176) Photo by Carlye Calvin. Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Emergency management

A managerial function charged with creating the framework within which communities reduce vulnerability to hazards and cope with disasters.

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Engineering

 IBM field engineer checks bluefire (DI01811). Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Engineering

The application of scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge in order to invent, design, build, and improve structures, machines, systems, and processes.

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Engineering, aerospace

The DC-8 NASA aircraft (DI02757).  Ccopyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Engineering, aerospace

The branch of engineering concerned with the research, design, development, construction, testing, science and technology of aircraft and spacecraft.

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Engineering, civil

 Destruction of flood-damaged bridge (DI02635) Photo by Carlye Calvin. Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Engineering, civil

The branch of engineering that  designs, constructs, and maintains the physical and naturally built environment, including roads, bridges, dams, and buildings.

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Engineering, environmental

River near Anchorage, Alaska (DI02458) Photo by Carlye Calvin.  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Engineering, environmental

The branch of engineering that uses science to improve the natural environment and provide healthy water, air, and land for human habitation and for other organisms.

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Engineering, mechanical

 Sunrise launch vehicle and telescope gondola (DI01642).  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Engineering, mechanical

The branch of engineering dealing with the design, construction, and use of machines.

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Engineering, software

REAL during T-REX (DI01534). Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Engineering, software

Software engineering is the study and application of engineering to the design, development, and maintenance of software.

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Environmental science

 Methane research: logging (DI00049) Photo by Patrick Zimmerman.   Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Environmental science

Study of the interactions between the physical, chemical, and biological components of the environment, including their effects on all types of organisms.

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Geography

Beetle kill near Granby, CO, Photo by Carlye Calvin (DI01747).  Copyright  University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Geography

The study of the physical features of the earth and its atmosphere, including changes due to human activity.

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Geology

 Geologic hot spot (DI00738) Photo by Charles Meertens.  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Geology

Study of the earth's physical structure and substance, its history, and the processes that act on it.

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Hydrology

Marjorie Glacier (DI02144) Photo by Kate Sorensen. Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Hydrology

The study of water and its relation to the effects of precipitation and evaporation upon the occurrence and character of water in streams, lakes, and on or below the surface.

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Hydrometeorology

 Monitoring for flash floods (DI02497).  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Hydrometeorology

A branch of meteorology and hydrology that studies the transfer of water and energy between the land surface and the lower atmosphere.

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Land-use planning

 Iquique, Chile (DI01822). Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Land-use planning

Branch of urban planning encompassing various disciplines which seek to order and regulate land use in an efficient and ethical way.

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Mathematics

Switching from coal to natural gas (DI02696).  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Mathematics

The abstract science of number, quantity, and space. Mathematics may be studied in its own right, or as it is applied to other disciplines such as physics and engineering.

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Meteorology

Roof-mounted anemometer (DI01996). Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Meteorology

The study of the physics, chemistry, and dynamics of the earth's atmosphere, including the related effects at the air-earth boundary over both land and the oceans.

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Meteorology, agricultural

Hail damage to corn field (DI00340).  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Meteorology, agricultural

Meteorology and micrometeorology as applied to specific agricultural systems and of agriculture as applied to specific atmospheric conditions.

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Meteorology, global-scale

Tracking data for storms within the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins is taken from the National Hurricane Center and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's Northeast and North Central Pacific hurricane database.  Wikimedia Commons.

Meteorology, global-scale

The study of weather patterns related to the transport of heat from the tropics to the poles and of very large scale oscillations.

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Meteorology, mesoscale

Cumulonimbus over Mitchell Lake on the day of the Big Thompson flood, 1976 (DI02637) Photo by Bob Maddox.  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Meteorology, mesoscale

The study of atmospheric phenomena with typical spatial scales between 10 and 1000 km, including phenomena such as thunderstorms and gap winds.

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Meteorology, microscale

NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.

Meteorology, microscale

A part of meteorology that deals with observations and processes in the smallest scales of time and space, approximately smaller than 1 km and less than a day.

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Meteorology, physical

 DC3 airborne and ground-based instruments (DI02629).  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Meteorology, physical

A subfield of meteorology restricted to that part of meteorology not explicitly devoted to atmospheric motions, such as optical, electrical, and thermodynamic phenomena.

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Meteorology, satellite

Truck equipped for the Vortex2 field project (DI02768).  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Meteorology, satellite

The use of artificial earth-orbiting satellites for the purposes of imaging the atmospheric, land, and oceanic systems; providing atmospheric profiling; and collecting and relaying environmental data.

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Meteorology, synoptic-scale

By The original uploader was Gopher backer at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Meteorology, synoptic-scale

Synoptic meteorology has traditionally been concerned with the analysis and prediction of large-scale weather systems, such as extratropical cyclones and their associated fronts and jet streams.

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Oceanography

Ocean wave (DI01578), Photo by Carlye Calvin.  Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Oceanography

The study of the sea, embracing and integrating all knowledge pertaining to the sea's physical boundaries, the chemistry and physics of seawater, and marine biology.

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Physics

Lightning, Granby, Colorado (DI00301). Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Physics

The branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy, including mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms.

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Sociology

Indigenous people of Africa (DI00058) Photo by Patrick Zimmerman.  Copyright University Center for Atmospheric Research.

Sociology

The study of human social relationships and institutions, including analyzing social stability and radical change in whole societies.

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Weather forecasting

Spectacular storm clouds during the Vortex2 field project (DI02781). Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Weather forecasting

Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere for a given location.

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