The Graduate Program in Land and Atmospheric Science (LAAS) is an interdisciplinary science program focused on the fundamentals of the Earth-atmosphere system. Master's (MS) and Doctorate (PhD) degree options are offered. Our program has no formal tracks or emphasis areas; students have the option to develop a program based on one of the more traditional areas in atmospheric science or soil science or to design their own interdisciplinary course of study bridging the two disciplines.
LAAS is coordinated through the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate (SWAC), within the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). We are located on the beautiful St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.
Our program has 43 faculty members that advise students and serve on graduate examination committees, and an approximate 4:3 faculty-to-graduate student ratio. Environmental science topics constitute the majority of research conducted in the department, with a core focus on the emerging area of land-atmosphere interactions. The co-Directors of the Graduate Program are Profs. Dylan Millet and Fabián Fernández.
Research topics in Land and Atmospheric Science are diverse and highly interdisciplinary. Graduate students and faculty work together on both applied and basic science problems. Current research is focused on: biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus; climate variability and change; impacts of climate variation on natural and managed ecosystems; the sources, transport, and fate of pollutants in soil, air, and water; environmental and atmospheric chemistry; improving and protecting land, air, and water quality; developing sustainable practices to ensure high quality agricultural products; and modeling the complex interactions between the land and atmosphere.
We encourage prospective students to learn more about the research conducted by LAAS graduate faculty and labs by visiting their webpages, reading their recent publications, and watching their recorded talks.