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Department Overview

The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in atmospheric and oceanic science. The department is ranked among the Top 10 oceanography, atmospheric sciences and meteorology programs by the National Research Council and is the highest ranked program on the entire East Coast. The Department has a National Academy of Engineering and Academia Europaea member on the faculty.

The Department is particularly strong in the areas of Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Pollution, Mesoscale to Global Numerical Weather Prediction, Data Assimilation, Earth Sciences and Climate, Physical Oceanography, Remote Sensing, and Dynamics with Predictability.

These strengths are reinforced by strong collaborations leading to joint research topics with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the Maryland Departments of the Environment and Natural Resources, the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) of the National Weather Service, and the NOAA Satellite (NESDIS) and Air Research Laboratories, all of which are located near the campus.

Interdisciplinary programs with the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center and the Departments of Geology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science, Geographical Sciences, Marine Estuarine Environmental Science, and Civil & Environmental Engineering are also encouraged.

Students and faculty members in the department enjoy access to extensive research facilities. The department operates a network of workstations and PCs, with access to both local (such an 32 node IBM SP2) and remotely accessed supercomputers, allowing state-of-the-art computing and interactive graphics. Real-time 4-km mesoscale forecasts for the region are routinely generated. The Department has an instrumented weather station and is a NOAA cooperative observing station. For air chemistry, surface sites and local flights in an instrumented research aircraft provide data on the composition and chemistry of gaseous and particulate pollution as well as the role of long-range transport. The local office of the state climatologist provides an extensive data collection and research opportunities. In addition, the students enjoy access to the nearby national facilities and their libraries.