Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Science (PhD)

Overview

The Atmospheric Science Programme, jointly sponsored by the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences and the Department of Geography, conducts teaching and research in atmospheric science. It is an interdisciplinary programme, with faculty members coming from not only these two departments, but also from Agricultural Sciences, Chemistry, and Applied Science, with research covering boundary layer and urban meteorology, atmospheric chemistry and air pollution, climate and climate variability, weather and climate prediction, cloud physics, atmosphere-ocean interactions, geophysical fluid dynamics, and interactions between the atmosphere and land (especially vegetation and soil).

What makes the program unique?

The Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at UBC, one of the largest geoscience groups in Canada is composed of over 40 full-time faculty, a staff complement of 30, a total of 40 research associates and postdoctoral fellows.

We engage in fundamental research in atmospheric science, both independently and in co-operation with federal and provincial laboratories and other research groups around the world. The emphasis of the research is on studies of processes and developing physical understanding of the atmosphere. The research commonly involves field or laboratory measurement and observation; data analysis and interpretation; and numerical model construction, modification and validation.

The group is well equipped for research on most characteristics of the atmospheric boundary layer. In addition to conventional meteorological instruments, there are systems for sensing all component fluxes of the radiation and energy budgets, eddy correlation systems for turbulent heat fluxes; two 30 m towers, one fixed and one mobile; mini-sonde, two tethersondes and ozone sondes, and acoustic radar for probing boundary layer structure; and a portable network of ten independently logged anemometers and thermometers. The group is well supplied with analogue and digital data logging systems, micro-computers and facilities for digital image analysis. It also operates its own vehicles.

For computer modelling, there is a "Monster" IBM Linux cluster with 264 processors + 8 itanium processors. There are also two smaller Beowulf clusters, and numerous workstations.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Science
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Atmospheric Science
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Science

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Meet a UBC representative

Virtual Office Hours

webinar
Date: Thursday, 05 September 2019
Time: 14:00 to 15:00
Join us for a short presentation on the application and admissions process, academic requirements, and general overview of graduate studies at UBC, followed by Q&A with Grad Studies staff and graduate student ambassadors. Ask questions in advance when you register. Please note that Virtual Office Hours is not program-specific, and we will not be able to provide answers to questions that involve specific personal information.

Great Grad School Applications

webinar
Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Time: 09:00 to 10:00
Learn about the application process, and general academic and admissions requirements. Develop a timeline for meeting deadlines, scheduling language tests, getting your documents ready, and reaching out to letter writers and supervisors. As well, join us on a virtual tour of the UBC Grad Studies website to point out important resources.

September Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

webinar
Date: Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Time: 10:00 to 11:00
Join our Graduate Student Ambassadors who will be available to answer questions about their experiences at UBC, including topics such as accommodation, moving to a new city/province/country and settling in, making friends, being an international student, and more. This session is open to participants interested in different programs across all faculties at UBC. Please note that we will not be able to provide answers to questions regarding application or admissions policies or any that involve specific personal information.

Research Information

Research Facilities

In 2012 the new Earth Sciences Building was completed. The $75 million facility was designed to inspire collaboration and creativity across disciplines.

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

100
22
22
22
23

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
7.0

GRE required?

Optional

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 January 2020
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2020
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 January 2020
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2020
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2020

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Career Outcomes

12 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; for 3 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 8 graduates:

Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia
University of Calgary
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Norwegian Meteorological Institute
BC Hydro
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
RWDI AIR Inc.
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Researcher
Manager
Science Deputy Director
Technical Director
Research Scientist
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,665.26$2,925.58
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$4,995.78$8,776.74
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications2912112
Offers  6 4
New registrations  6 3
Total enrolment98989

Completion Rates & Times

Based on 5 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 3.66 years and the maximum time is 5.33 years with an average of 4.69 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 23 September 2018].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Allen, Susan Elizabeth (Oceans and Inland Waters, Prediction and Climatic Modeling, physical oceanography, coastal oceanography, forecast models, coupled bio-physics and chem-physics and all three models)
  • Austin, Philip (global climate; climate change; greenhouse effect; global warming; clouds; lightning; storms, Cloud physics, radiative properties of layer clouds, status cirrus formation, global climate, cloug aerosol feedbacks and climate)
  • McKendry, Ian (Air pollution Climatology)
  • Pawlowicz, Richard (Oceans and Inland Waters, ocean physics, properties of seawater, geophysical fluid dynamics, nonlinear waves)
  • Radic, Valentina (Climate Changes and Impacts, Glaciology, Meteorology, Climate Science)
  • Stull, Roland (weather forecasting, meteorology, atmospheric sciences, green energy, wind power, hydro power, weather disasters, natural disasters, storms, forest-fire weather, avalanche weather, wind storms, numerical weather prediction, BC weather, Numerical weather prediction, geophysical disasters)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Noel Patrick Fitzpatrick
    "The ongoing loss of mountain glaciers influences sea level rise and the supply of freshwater to communities and ecosystems. Through observations in the mountains of British Columbia, Dr. Fitzpatrick examined the atmospheric conditions affecting melt rates, and developed methods to better understand the response of glaciers in a changing climate." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Pedro Odon
    "Dr. Ivo Odon completed his research in the field of Atmospheric Sciences. He investigated the behaviour of extreme weather events across BC, and the impacts of climate change on such events. The results of his dissertation are being used by BC Hydro so they can better prepare for peaks in electricity demand and power outages." (May 2019)
  • Dr. David Siuta
    "Dr. Siuta improved wind forecasts in complex terrain through selective model configuration. His work will allow energy planners to trust wind power forecasts, allow for better integration of wind energy into electric grids, and save consumers money. He also improved the representation of wind profiles on mountain tops." (May 2017)
  • Dr. Aranildo Rodrigues Lima
    "Dr. Lima studied the application of machine learning algorithms in environmental sciences. He used artificial neural networks to forecast streamflow, precipitation, and surface air temperature. His research advances the use of model output statistics and extends predictions to variables not computed by the current numerical weather prediction model." (November 2016)
  • Dr. Paul Cottle
    "Dr. Cottle developed a novel algorithm for using single-wavelength, dual polarization, LIDAR to identify aerosol and cloud types. He then employed this algorithm to study multiple instances of medium and long range aerosol transport events." (May 2016)
 
 

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 January 2020
International Applicant Deadline
01 January 2020
 

Supervisor Search

 

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