atoc officialcore faculty wordle v1The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) is an interdisciplinary program that provides an educational and research environment to examine the dynamical, physical and chemical processes in the atmosphere, ocean and land surface, and the manner in which they interact. A major theme is the establishment of a physical basis for understanding, observing and modeling climate and global change.

ATOC’s 15 core faculty members study Earth’s weather and climate from the ocean floor to space, from the tropics to the polar ice sheets, to understand and respond to climate change and improve climate projections in the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere and in the oceans.

ATOC has been fortunate to attract arguably the most outstanding graduate students in the field. Our students receive a significant number of fellowships and nationally recognized awards each year. They provide excellent instruction to CU-Boulder’s undergraduates as teaching assistants. They make scientific advances while conducting innovative research. Our graduates go on to successful careers in academia, national research institutes, and private industry.

Graduate students, research staff, and faculty work together on a wide range of research themes: Atmospheric & Oceanic Dynamics, Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, Chemical & Physical Oceanography, Clouds & Aerosols, Planetary Atmospheres, Radiative Transfer & Remote Sensing, and Regional, Boundary Layer & Wind Energy Meteorology.

Interdisciplinary education and research opportunities exist with the Hydrology Program and the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research Program. Interdisciplinary research opportunities also exist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES), the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), and many other labs in the area.

ATOC has extensive computer facilities and laboratories in remote sensing, chemistry, hydrodynamics, and numerical modeling. The presence of leading laboratories in the environmental sciences in Boulder, including the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL), provides additional opportunities for a rich educational experience. Many opportunities also exist for involvement in field programs.

Word cloud: A visual representation of the collective research interests of the 15 core faculty members, generated with