Graduate Research Opportunities at Purdue - Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences - Purdue University
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Graduate Research Opportunities at Purdue

Atmospheric Science Environmental Geoscience
Geology & Geophysics Planetary Science

Geology and Geophysics

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Professor Marissa Tremblay ( Opportunities to investigate (U-Th)/He systematics in biominerals, develop applications of cosmogenic noble gas paleothermometry to questions in paleoclimate, apply thermochronometry to studies in tectonic geomorphology, or use experimental and theoretical approaches to investigate noble gas diffusion mechanisms in silicates.

Professor Michael Eddy ( Opportunities to apply fieldwork, U-Pb geochronology, and geochemical analyses to study igneous and tectonic processes. Ongoing research projects include constraining the tectonic evolution of western North America, as well as studying the relationship between volcanic and plutonic rocks in Cenozoic magmatic systems.

Professor Doug Schmitt ( Hands-on opportunities in laboratory rock physics and geomechanics, scientific drilling projects around the world, and near-surface seismic investigations with particular applications to unconventional and geothermal energy sources and carbon sequestration.

Professor Lucy Flesch ( Opportunities to learn to use numerical models to investigate the forces responsible for mountain building and deformation within continental areas (the western United States and the Indian/Eurasian collision zone).

Professor Julie Elliott ( Opportunities to use geodetic data and modeling to investigate tectonic processes in southeast Alaska, ice mass change and glacial isostatic adjustment in southeastern Alaska and western Canada, and tidewater glacier dynamics.

Planetary Sciences

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Professor Briony Horgan ( Opportunities to conduct orbital remote sensing studies of the mineralogy of planetary surfaces, including projects to study explosive volcanism and the crustal structure of the Moon and the climate implications of ancient weathering profiles on Mars.

Professor Michelle Thompson ( to study lunar regolith samples via electron beam techniques in order to better understand avalanche and space weathering surface processes on the Moon.

Professor David Minton ( I am seeking a student to use computer modeling to study the early bombardment history of the Moon, and to link the age information inferred from the reset of the U-Pb and K-Ar systems in samples of ancient lunar rocks to answer fundamental questions about the early history of lunar bombardment.

Professor Doug Schmitt ( Opportunities to carry out geophysical field investigations of terrestrial impact structures and laboratory studies of the physical properties of impact-related rocks. 

Environmental Geoscience

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Professor Lisa Welp ( Anticipated opportunities for graduate students and postdoc position to apply light stable isotope tracers to study carbon allocation patterns of deciduous tree species and to study precipitation and glacial melt dynamics in Peru. Spanish language skills desired but not required. Starting as early as spring/summer 2018.

Professor Qianlai Zhuang ( The Ecosystems and Biogeochemical Dynamics Laboratory ( at Purdue University is seeking one/two graduate students starting Fall, 2019, who are interested in (1) modeling feedbacks between the biosphere and atmospheric climate and chemistry and/or (2) modeling water, carbon and nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Students majored in ecosystem sciences, atmospheric sciences, and other related fields with proficient mathematical and computational skills and interests in pursuing PhD programs are preferred. These students will participate in a number of research projects funded by NSF, NASA, DOE, and USGS.

Atmospheric Science

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Professor Robin Tanamachi ( The Weather Radar Research Laboratory (WRRL) opportunities for at least one new M.S. or Ph.D.-level student in 2019 to perform radar studies of mesoscale and microscale atmospheric dynamics, with emphasis on severe convective storms, tornadoes, and boundary layer evolution. Our research group recently installed an X-band weather radar near Purdue campus, enabling new avenues of interdisciplinary and collaborative research on local weather and signal processing. Students will engage in seasonal / opportunistic field work, and train on data analysis techniques and tools specific to radar observations. 

Professor Daniel Cziczo ( Opportunities for laboratory and field studies of aerosol particle chemical composition and the microphysics of droplet and ice nucleation. Projects will center on the development and use of one or more instruments as well as data analysis.

Professor Dan Chavas ( Our group is looking for one Ph.D. student (start Fall 2019) to work in the area of the physics of climate and extreme weather. Applicants with a strong background in physics/math are particularly encouraged to apply. Students/Post-docs that join our group with external funding are welcome to pursue the research topic of their choice.

Professor Dan Dawson ( The Storm and TORnado Modeling (STORM) Laboratory is currently seeking a student interested in the physics, dynamics, and modeling of severe convective storms and tornadoes. Our research team is investigating the microphysical characteristics of potentially tornadic storms in the SE-US, feedbacks to their dynamical and thermodynamical evolution and tornadogenesis potential, and differences from tornadic storms in the U.S. Great Plains. 

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