ESS is actively recruiting graduate students

The Department of Earth System Science at UC Irvine is recruiting Ph.D. students for our fully-funded doctoral program for Fall 2020. The recommended application deadline is December 1st. After that date, applications will be processed on a rolling admissions basis. The final application deadline is March 15.

The UCI Department of Earth System Science (ESS) is the first U.S. university department to carry the name of “Earth System Science” and to be dedicated exclusively to understanding global environmental change: causes, impacts, solutions. Current departmental research is focused on key areas of environmental and climate science including biogeochemistry of the land, ocean and atmosphere, climate dynamics, atmospheric science, glaciology and cryosphere science, and the global water cycle.

As aligned with the mission of UC Irvine's Office of Inclusive Excellence, the Department of Earth System Science is dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment for all. The UC Irvine campus is proud to be a Minority Serving Institution and we are committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion as established through programs such as DECADE. The Department of Earth System Science strongly encourages prospective students with a diverse background to consider applying to our program.

The Department of Earth System Science welcomes applicants from all areas of Earth System Science. We are particularly seeking Ph.D. students in the following subject areas:

Atmospheric chemistry and air/sea gas exchange (Eric Saltzman)
Atmospheric chemistry, climate, and global pollution (Michael Prather)
Atmospheric variability on time scales from weeks to centuries; interactions within the coupled system that improve prediction beyond the weather timescale (Gudrun Magnusdottir)

Biogeochemistry of Arctic tundra (Claudia Czimczik)
Biosphere-atmosphere reactive gas exchange and interactions (Alex Guenther)

Biosphere-atmosphere-human interaction (Saewung Kim)
Climate change impacts on California or boreal ecosystems (Mike Goulden)
Cryosphere and Sea level studies (Isabella Velicogna)
Ecosystem services (Benis Egoh)

El Nino activity; variability in oceans, global monsoons and stormtracks (Jin-Yi Yu)

Food-energy-water nexus (Steven Davis)
Food security and climate change (Nathan Mueller)
Global carbon cycle and ecosystems analysis using satellite observations and earth system models (James Randerson)
Hydrology study using GRACE and other observations (Isabella Velicogna)
Ice-ocean interaction, modeling and remote sensing (Eric Rignot)
Ice-sheet and glacier dynamics, mass balance, and data science (Eric Rignot)

Ice dynamics and interactions with the climate system, using new generation numerical models (Mathieu Morlighem)
Interactions between clouds-turbulence-climate & land-atmosphere; tropical climate dynamics, machine learning, high performance computing, next-gen climate simulation. (Michael Pritchard)

Isotope biogeochemistry of marine organic matter (Ellen Druffel/Brett Walker Lab)
Light-pollution, cryosphere-surface interactions, data science (Charlie Zender)
Management of Human-Impacted ecosystems (Steven Allison and Mike Goulden)
Marine biogeochemistry and phytoplankton biogeography (Katherine Mackey and Adam Martiny)

Microbial and soil carbon modeling (Steven Allison)
Ocean-atmosphere gas exchange (Eric Saltzman)
Ocean biogeochemistry and climate (Katherine Mackey, Adam Martiny, Keith Moore, François Primeau)
Paleoclimate of Mexico and/or Southeast Asia using geochemistry of speleothems (cave formations) (Kathleen Johnson)

Polar ice cores, climate, and atmospheric trace gas histories (Eric Saltzman)

Tropical ecology, forest degradation (Paulo Brando)


November 19, 2019

OMG Project featured in award-winning VICE News Tonight report

GREENLAND — This summer, a chunk of ice the size of lower Manhattan broke off of a glacier in Eastern Greenland. It contained 10 billion tons of ice, making the video of the event an insanely shareable capsule of climate change dread. But for NASA scientists, the spectacle created by these massive calving events is really just the final step in a far more worrisome — and less visible — process.

That's because glacial melt isn’t just the result of our planet’s warming air. The biggest threat to these glaciers’ continued existence resides deep below the water’s surface.

Unlike most other bodies of water, the ocean surrounding Greenland gets warmer with increasing depth. That’s because warm, salty currents from the Atlantic are heavier than fresh glacial water, so those currents end up on the bottom. And that’s what’s got scientists’ attention: our oceans absorb the heat trapped by greenhouse gases, so they’re getting warmer, and as they do, Greenland’s biggest, deepest glaciers are interacting with them — and melting at increasing speeds.

To understand this better, NASA has been sending planes and boats to Greenland in an effort to map the ocean floor. What they're seeing isn't good.

“We'll have to revise our sea level projections upward, and that's scary,” said NASA climate scientist Josh Willis, who cautioned that they're still in the early days of the ocean mapping mission, dubbed “Oceans Melting Greenland” — or "OMG". "If we're reshaping the coastline in a radical way, you know do you want to take out a 30-year mortgage on a house that might be flooded in 30 years? And so it's real and it's time to start dealing with it."

VICE News Tonight travelled to Greenland to visit Eric Rignot, a NASA researcher who sails the iceberg-infested waters in the hopes of figuring out how fast Greenland’s glaciers are melting — and how much trouble we’re really in.

November 13, 2019

Magnusdottir Research Group's paper spotlighted in EOS

Getting the polar stratosphere right is critical in the simulation of North Atlantic climate change, which is shaped by the interaction of Arctic Amplification and tropical upper tropospheric warming.

November 13, 2019

Paulo Brando taking questions live on NSF Twitter

TOMORROW! #NSFfunded researcher Paulo Brando will #takeoverNSF to talk about wildfires and droughts in the Amazon forests at 1 pm ET. Tune in!

September 12, 2019

Isabella Velicogna's research spotlighted in Air & Space Magazine

NASA and other research agencies bring are bringing new tools to the science of geodesy.

September 12, 2019

New Martiny Lab research featured in UCI News

Researchers also find plankton more resilient to nutrient stress than previously though

August 28, 2019

New research by Mike Goulden spotlighted in UCI News

Study warns of threats from future concurrent drought and heat events

July 01, 2019

New Davis Group research highlighted in UCI News

Existing, planned fossil fuel-burning infrastructure must be retired early, replaced

July 01, 2019

Ellen Druffel and Sheila Griffin's paper was spotlighted by EOS

The radiocarbon signal of DOC with depth across the Pacific Ocean basin effectively supports a number of important theories that have been suggested over the years.

June 04, 2019

Druffel Lab research highlighted by AGU

WASHINGTON—Radioactive carbon released into the atmosphere from 20th-century nuclear bomb tests has reached the deepest parts of the ocean, new research finds.

A new study in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the first evidence of radioactive carbon from nuclear bomb tests in muscle tissues of crustaceans that inhabit Earth’s ocean trenches, including the Mariana Trench, home to the deepest spot in the ocean.

May 08, 2019


Elliot McCollum
Department Assistant
(949) 824-8497