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Issues, Topics and Careers in Atmospheric Sciences

Issues, Topics and Careers in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology

The following is an example of the types of issues and topics students will study within the Atmospheric Sciences specialization.

Weather forecasting

  • Satellite images
  • Radar
  • Model output
  • Reporting

Severe weather

  • Thunderstorms
  • Tornadoes
  • Hail
  • Hurricanes


  • Urban heat island
  • Dust devils
  • Radiation budgets
  • Surface effects
  • Pollution

Global climate change

  • Human influence
  • Impacts
  • Detection


  • Drought and floods
  • Classification

Atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics

Acquired skill sets

Students can expect to acquire and perform the following skills sets within this specialization. Students also should have a solid background in mathematics and the physical science

  • Critical thinking
  • Critical writing
  • Research
  • Strong organizational skills

Technical skills

  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Graphic communication (including map reading and development)
  • Synoptic and mesoscale weather forecasting

Career opportunities

Geographers can find career opportunities in many fields both within and outside the field of geography. Below is a partial listing of careers that students within the Atmospheric and Climatic Studies specialization are well-suited and where previous graduates have found employment.

  • Meteorologist (national weather service, television, radio, private firm)
  • Climatologist
  • Air quality analyst
  • Outdoor parks service guide
  • Professional storm chaser / weather guide
  • Environmental specialist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Environmental monitor
  • Researcher (U.S. Geological Survey, National Resource and Conservation Departments Center for Atmospheric Research, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, etc.)
  • Risk analyst (insurance industry)