Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Laboratory for Atmospheric Research

PhD in Atmospheric Policy

LAR is a place to build a foundation in atmospheric science to launch a satisfying career in research, consulting, higher education, environmental management, or environmental policy. To find your role in forming environmental policy, start with the highly regarded graduate degree program at LAR!

  LAR Atmospheric Policy Trajectory

Description

APT Program Description

The Laboratory for Atmospheric Research (LAR) at Washington State University is implementing a new approach to graduate student education and research training by coupling education and research training with a science and policy internship and classes that offer students a unique opportunity that is significantly enhanced compared to the usual research dissertation experience.

Graduates of this program will have:

  • a strong foundation in atmospheric science through completion of a PhD in an engineering department
  • complementary training in environmental public policy
  • the necessary skills to communicate and work with policy makers


This program will create graduates with the necessary science skills and policy insights to become leaders in industry and government and to undertake the public policy challenges associated with future air quality and climate change.

The Components of the program include the following:

  Expand Me Requirements for a PhD within the Laboratory for Atmospheric Research

Requirements for APT students are consistent with the requirements for a PhD within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (view requirements). For APT students with significant engineering deficiencies, an Engineering Science PhD degree is possible (more). Please contact us for more information and to discuss this option.

  Expand Me Seminar Series with invited Policy Experts

The Policy seminar series will consist of speakers from across the nation who are experts within the environmental policy community. The speakers will be invited to give a talk on policy relevant topics to the entire WSU campus community through the WSU Center for Environmental Research, Education, and Outreach (CEREO). In addition, the speakers will provide a workshop specifically for the APT students in order to allow direct interaction between the speaker and students. During the workshop, the speaker will discuss in detail both their specific expertise and topics of broader interest to the scientific and policy communities, including topics related to career development for young scientists and engineers. The goal of the seminar series is to ensure that APT students are exposed to and continue to consider the policy implications of their research throughout their course of study.

  Expand Me Environmental Policy Analysis Graduate Courses

APT students will be required to enroll in two environmental policy courses, in addition to the required engineering course load. The first course (System Dynamics Models of Environmental Systems, taught by Dr. Andy Ford) is designed to develop understanding and proficiency in the use of computer simulation models to understand the dynamic behavior of environmental systems. Systems concepts (such as information feedback and homeostasis) are useful in wide variety of fields including hydrology, ecology, anthropology, economics, engineering, business, planning, physiology, sociology, etc. Case studies from many of these fields will demonstrate the value of interdisciplinary models, models that reach across disciplinary boundaries to simulate the key feedbacks in the system. This course will help build the foundation for the second environmental policy course and the subsequent policy internship.
     The second environmental policy course required is a quantitative environmental policy analysis course. This course combines LAR's existing expertise in atmospheric modeling with an added expertise in air quality management strategies.  The purpose of such a course is to provide a more quantitative understanding of the linkage between energy emissions and energy policy and consequences for local and global air quality.  The centerpiece of this course are modeling tools to facilitate the quantitative exploration of policy implications of the interactions between air quality and: energy, public lands biomass burning, the built environment, human health, the natural environment, and climate.

  Expand Me Early Career Travel Opportunities

The opportunity to travel to conferences and develop collegial relationships with the professional community is a key motivator for early career graduate students, one that helps them discover where their work fits within the greater context of environmental science and policy. Attending conferences is also an important experiential component of graduate education where communication skills and networking skills are developed. APT students will have the opportunity to attend one scientific conference per year during their tenure as a graduate student.

  Expand Me Student Policy based Internship Opportunity

The internship will be the key capstone experience for APT students. Senior level APT students committed to making quantitative environmental policy analysis a focus of their professional career, will have the financial support to participate in a policy internship opportunity with either a government agency, a nonprofit organization, or a company of their choice. Internships will last approximately four months, during which time APT students will devote their entire effort toward the completion of a policy-themed project under the mentorship of their chosen organization. The results of the project will be included as a chapter in their dissertation. Topical areas that are prime for internship opportunities are those where atmospheric chemistry affects issues of primary concern: energy, public lands biomass burning, the built environment, human health, the natural environment, and climate change. Examples of policy internships include national and regional offices of the EPA and USDA Forest Service, state environmental agencies, national industrial policy and/or trade groups, and corporations, among others.

Contact Us

Request for more information

If you have any questions regarding the program or would like to learn more, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Contact Information:

Dr. Brian Lamb – Director of the APT program
(509) 335-5702
Email: blamb@wsu.edu
Website: http://www.ce.wsu.edu/Faculty_Staff/Profiles/lamb.htm

Dr. Shelley Pressley – Recruitment for Graduate studies and the APT program
(509) 335-5443
Email: spressley@wsu.edu
Website: http://www.ce.wsu.edu/Faculty_Staff/Profiles/pressley.htm

Application Procedure

How to Apply

Application requirements and procedures for this program are identical to the requirements for application to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (visit website).

Please indicate within your statement of purpose why you are interested in the Atmospheric Policy Trajectory program.

For applicants with deficiencies for the engineering graduate program, there is an "Engineering Science" option available. Please contact Drs. Shelley Pressley or Brian Lamb with any questions you may have.

Faculty

Participating Faculty

Bill Budd  

William Budd
Professor
Governmental Studies & Services

 

Phone: (509) 335-8538
Email: budd@wsu.edu
Website: Faculty page

Serena Chung  

Serena Chung
Research Assistant Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering

 

Phone: (509) 335-7114
Email: serena_chung@wsu.edu
Website: Faculty page, LAR homepage

Andrew Ford  

Andrew Ford
Professor
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences

 

Phone: (509) 335-7846
Email: FordA@wsu.edu
Website: Faculty page

Alex Guenther  

Alex Guenther
Senior Scientist
National Center for Atmospheric Research

 

1850 Table Mesa Dr, Boulder, CO 80307
Phone: (303) 497-1447
Email: guenther@ucar.edu
Website: http://acd.ucar.edu/~guenther/

Tom Jobson  

Tom Jobson
Associate Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering

 

Phone: (509) 335-2692
Email: tjobson@wsu.edu
Website: Faculty page, LAR homepage

Brian Lamb  

Brian Lamb
Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering

 

Phone: (509) 335-5702
Email: blamb@wsu.edu
Website: Faculty page, LAR homepage

Fok-Yan Leung  

Fok-Yan Leung
Assistant Research Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering

 

Phone: (509) 335-7805
Email: fyl@wsu.edu
Website: Faculty page, LAR homepage

Nicholas Loverich  

Nicholas Lovrich
Professor
Political Science

 

Phone: (509) 335-4811
Email: faclovri@wsu.edu
Website: Faculty page

George Mount  

George Mount
Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering

 

Phone: (509) 335-3790
Email: gmount@wsu.edu
Website: Faculty page, LAR homepage

Shelley N. Pressley  

Shelley N. Pressley
Assistant Research Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering

 

Graduate Recruitment for Environmental Research
Phone: (509) 335-5443
Email: spressley@wsu.edu
Website: Faculty page, LAR homepage

Timothy VanReken  

Timothy VanReken
Assistant Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering

 

Phone: (509) 335-5055
Email: vanreken@wsu.edu
Website: Faculty page, LAR homepage

Joseph Vaughan  

Joseph Vaughan
Assistant Research Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering

 

Phone: (509) 335-2832
Email: jvaughan@wsu.edu
Website: Faculty page, LAR homepage

Advisory Board

APT Advisory Board

In order to obtain input from policy experts, we have developed an external Advisory council. The council has been selected to represent different policy perspectives and backgrounds. The role of the council will be to provide input for the design and implementation of the program, assessment of the program, and overall feedback for the program.

Council Members

Denny Hunter
Vice President of Technology, Weyerhaeuser Corp.
denny.hunter@weyerhaeuser.com

Doug Pottratz
Manager of Environmental Affairs-Compliance, Avista Corporation
doug.pottratz@avistacorp.com

Robert Elleman
Meteorologist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 10)
Elleman.Robert@epamail.epa.gov

Genene Fisher
Senior Policy Fellow, American Meteorological Society
fisher@ametsoc.org

Eduardo "Jay" Olaguer
Senior Research Scientist, Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC)
eolaguer@harc.edu

Sarah Rees
Program Manager, WA Dept of Ecology/Air Quality
sare461@ecy.wa.gov

Civil & Environmental Engineering, PO Box 642910, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-2910, 509-335-2576