Graduate Programs

We train world-class scientists. But more than this, we foster leaders in science that will go on to solve some of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.

Check out our graduate programs!

We offer M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs in the graduate field of atmospheric science and M.Eng., M.S., and Ph.D. degree programs in the graduate field of geological sciences.

Faculty members in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences also participate in several interdisciplinary graduate programs, such as Earth Energy SystemsBiogeochemistryUpper Atmosphere and Ionosphere, and the interdisciplinary graduate minor program in Sustainable Energy.

Current Research Opportunities

We are seeking Ph.D. students to work on the following projects to begin in the Fall of 2021 in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University.  Please contact the faculty listed below for more information.  Details on applying to Cornell are available through the Graduate School website.

Atmospheric Hazards

Professor Sara C Pryor is seeking students interested in atmospheric hazards particularly those associated with risks to the energy system (extreme winds, wind gusts, hail) and use of either machine learning or numerical modeling to enhance predictability.

Atmospheric Sciences

Professor Natalie Mahowald is seeking students interested in the modeling of the interactions of insoluble particles (dust, ash) with climate and biogeochemistry.

Precipitation, Extreme Events, and Climate Change 

Professor Angeline Pendergrass is seeking at least one PhD student to join her team working on the Earth's hydrological cycle, climate dynamics, variability and change in the field of atmospheric sciences.

Climate Science

Professor Flavio Lehner is looking for at least one PhD student to work on global to regional climate variability and change using global climate models and observations, with an eye on understanding large-scale drivers of impact-relevant phenomena such as heatwaves, drought, wildfires or compound events.

Geospace Science

Professor David Hysell is seeking multiple students to work on theory and observations of phenomena in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere related to space weather. Projects will involve the use of large international facilities as well as instruments made in our lab together with numerical simulations and forecast models.


Professors Patrick Fulton, Jefferson Tester, Teresa Jordan and others seek PhD students to participate in geoscience and geothermal engineering projects based on an exploratory borehole to be drilled in 2021 at Cornell. The borehole data and ongoing monitoring data and analyses will underpin refinement of plans to develop a deep geothermal heat-extraction well field, and to investigate basic hydrogeological and mechanical features of the crust. A broad range of geosciences and geothermal engineering student opportunities exist, spanning hydrogeology, geomechanics, seismology, reactive transport chemistry, and heat-chemical-mechanical-fluid interactions. (Contact;; or for more information). 

Environmental Biogeochemistry

Professor Matthew Reid is seeking a PhD student to examine impacts of sea level rise and storm surges on sulfur speciation in estuarine and coastal wetlands, with a focus on couplings between cycling of organic sulfur and elements including arsenic and selenium.

Evolution of Southern Hemisphere Paleofloras

Professor Maria A. Gandolfo is looking for a student interested in working on K-Pg paleofloras from Patagonia. For further information, please contact Professor Gandolfo.

Experimental Petrology/Geochemistry 

Potential areas of research include investigations of planetary redox, trace element thermobarometry and diffusion speedometry. For more information, please contact Professor Megan Holycross.

Seismology and Rock Mechanics 

Professor Greg McLaskey is looking for a PhD student to work on the mechanics of earthquakes and the generation of seismic waves by means of large-scale laboratory experiments.  


Professor Geoff Abers is seeking a PhD student interested in imaging and earthquake processes in subduction zones, integrating many recently-collected onshore and offshore datasets in Alaska, Japan, Cascadia and elsewhere. 

Geophysics, Volcanology, and Remote Sensing 

Professor Rowena Lohman is seeking a Ph.D. student to work on satellite observations of ground surface change, including innovative measurements of soil moisture from space. 

Professor Matt Pritchard is looking for a Ph.D. student to work on combined ground and satellite observations of volcanic activity involving potential fieldwork in Bolivia and/or Chile and developing an inter-disciplinary global synthesis of volcano remote sensing observations.