Interdepartmental PhD Emphasis in Climate Sciences and Climate Change


Interdepartmental PhD Emphasis in Climate Sciences and Climate Change

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PARTICIPATING DEPARTMENTS, SCHOOLS & PROGRAMS

  • The Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
  • Earth Science
  • Economics
  • Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science (IGPMS)
  • Geography (host)
  1. Rationale for this PhD Emphasis

Climate Sciences is the study of the physical processes that control climate on Earth including variations and interactions among the atmosphere, oceans, land and hydrosphere. Climate variations and changes are known to occur on broad ranges of spatial and temporal scales, ranging from decades, centuries, millennia and millions of years. Climate science can also inform the study of climate change, which is broadly defined as changes to the baseline of mean conditions and variability over long periods. Climate change since the beginning of the industrial revolution is one of the major issues affecting the environment and the future of humanity.

Anthropogenic influences on climate are already detectable and expected to continue into the future; examples of the impacts of climate change include extreme precipitation, droughts, heat waves, sea level rise, loss of habitats, food and water insecurity, economic and political stability to name just a few. Mitigation and Adaptation might involve economic regulations such as cap-and-trade or carbon tax, which put a price on carbon emissions.

Research in Climate Sciences and Climate Change requires specialized training in specific disciplines such as Atmospheric Sciences, Oceanography, Geology, Geography, Ecology, Economics, as well as interdisciplinary education across different areas. UCSB has a long tradition for carrying out research in Climate Sciences and Climate Change impacts. This research includes the study of the fundamental physical processes controlling climate on Earth and its response to human activities as well as the impacts of climate on humans and the environment. Research and teaching at UCSB is highly specialized as well as interdisciplinary.

This Interdepartmental PhD Emphasis in Climate Sciences and Climate Change provides doctoral students a broader understanding of the physical principles governing climate on Earth, climate changes associated with natural variability and anthropogenic forcings, and the impacts of climate change on the environment and society. The PhD emphasis provides graduate students with both core-training opportunities to gain access to methodological expertise across UCSB as well as to interact with Faculty, Researchers and graduate students in disciplines other than their own. The Emphasis is administered in the Department of Geography. The PhD Emphasis formally acknowledges and builds upon existing collaborations among the departments and the Bren School listed herein.

 

  1. Program of Study

Participation in this emphasis is optional and independent of the doctoral curriculum and degree requirements established by the student’s home department.

Admission to the Emphasis

Applications to the PhD Emphasis are accepted at any time during a graduate student’s academic tenure at UCSB. It is expected that most students will apply for admission between their first and third year of graduate study. Application materials consist of:

  1. Application form
  2. Student’s letter including research interests in climate sciences and climate change, expectations related to the emphasis and career goals
  3. Letter of support from PhD Advisor

The Director of the PhD Emphasis (see Faculty roster) reviews applications on a routine basis and informs applicants the outcome of their applications. Criteria for admission will include:

  1. Admission into a PhD program at UCSB
  2. Good academic standing
  3. Recommendation and strong support from the student’s PhD Advisor

Required Coursework

All students enrolled in this PhD Emphasis need to fulfill the following requirements:

I) Core seminar course: Students are required to enroll and successfully pass a one-quarter, 4 Unit seminar course: GEOG 287 Seminar in Climate Sciences and Climate Change. The instructor for this course will be one of the Faculty participating in the Emphasis. This course covers key concepts and research methods related to climate, climate variability and change and impacts. Lectures consist of guest seminars primarily from Faculty participating in the Emphasis; the course serves as a venue to foster interaction among graduate students participating in the Emphasis, Researchers and Faculty.

 

II) Two elective courses in physical sciences: Students are required to take two courses from the following list:

Geography

  • GEOG 266 Introduction to Atmospheric Sciences Units: 4 – Prerequisite: graduate standing
  • GEOG 263 Introduction to Physical Oceanography Units: 4 – Prerequisite: graduate standing
  • GEOG 276 Geographical Time Series Analysis Units: 3 – Prerequisite: GEOG 172
  • GEOG 213 Polar Environments Units:4 – Prerequisite: GEOG 3 or Geog4, ES 1 or 2, or EARTH1
  • GEOG 243 Vegetation-Atmosphere Interactions Units: 4 – Prerequisite: graduate standing
  • GEOG 246 Advanced Hydrologic Modeling Units: 4 – Prerequisite: GEOG 112 and 116
  • GEOG 267 Chemical Oceanography Units: 4 (cross-listed with EARTH 276) – Prerequisite: CHEM 1C and graduate standing

Earth Science

  • EARTH 205 Earth’s Climate: Past and Present Units: 3 – Prerequisite: graduate standing
  • EARTH 206 Introduction to Climate Modeling Units: 4 – Prerequisite: graduate standing
  • EARTH 266 Chemical Oceanography Units:4 (cross-listed with GEOG 267) – Prerequisite: CHEM 1C and graduate standing
  • EARTH 276 Geological Oceanography Units: 4 – Prerequisite: graduate standing

Bren School

  • ESM 203 Earth System Science Units: 4 – Prerequisite: GEOG 3 or equivalent

IGPMS

  • EARTH 266/GEOG 267 Chemical Oceanography Units: 4 – Prerequisite: CHEM 1C and graduate standing
  • GEOG 263 Introduction to Physical Oceanography Units: 4– Prerequisite: graduate standing
  • EARTH 276 Geological Oceanography Units: 4 – Prerequisite: graduate standing

 

III) Two elective courses in Social Sciences: The total number of units will vary depending on which courses are selected from this list:

Geography

  • Geog 244 Society and Hazards Units: 4 – Prerequisite: graduate standing
  • Geog 254 Demography Units: 4 – Prerequisite: graduate standing

Bren School

  • ESM 229 Economics and Policy of Climate Change Units: 4 – Prerequisite: ESM 204
  • ESM 237 Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Units: 4 – Prerequisite: graduate standing

Economics

  • ECON 260A Natural Resources Units: 4 – Prerequisite: graduate standing
  • ECON 260B Environmental Economics Units: 4 – Prerequisite: ECON 210A-B

 

IV) Research presentation in the Climate Meetings (Units: 2): Students are required to enroll and present their research in the GEOG 280 Geography Climate Research Meetings, which are a forum for researchers and students to discuss research topics in Climate Sciences and Climate Change. The meeting is held in the Earth Research Institute (ERI). Students are required to enroll in the Climate Research Meetings for a minimum of three quarters as a way to foment their participation in climate research topics.

 

V) Dissertation Requirements

The PhD dissertation of students participating in this Emphasis needs to have a strong focus in Climate Sciences and/or Climate Change. Furthermore, a member of the student’s PhD committee needs to be a member of the core Faculty participating in the Emphasis in Climate Sciences and Climate Change. No other limitations are set for the other members of the PhD committee.

 

  • Faculty Roster

The Faculty participating in this optional PhD Emphasis are listed below.

  • Leila Carvalho, Geography
  • Kelly Caylor, Geography/Bren School
  • Olivier Deschenes, Economics
  • Timothy DeVries, Geography/IGPMS
  • Qinghua Ding, Geography/IGPMS
  • Steve Gaines, Bren School
  • Kostas Goulias, Geography
  • Charles Jones, Geography – Director of the Emphasis
  • David Lea, Earth Science/IGPMS
  • Lorraine Lisiecki, Earth Science/IGPMS
  • Hugo Loaciga, Geography
  • David Lopez-Carr, Geography
  • Joe McFadden, Geography
  • Kyle Meng, Bren School/Economics
  • Andrew Plantinga, Bren School
  • Samantha Stevenson, Bren School
  • Stuart Sweeney, Geography, Chair
  • Naomi Tague, Bren School
  • Anna Trugman, Geography
  • Syee Weldeab, Earth Science/IGPMS
  • Dave Siegel, Geography/IGPMS

 

Additional information

Professor Charles Jones cjones@eri.ucsb.edu

Consuelo Rivera grad_assistant@geog.ucsb.edu