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South Dakota - School of Mines and Technology PhD in Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences
South Dakota - School of Mines and Technology

PhD in Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences

Rapid City, USA

4 Years


Full time

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Aug 2024

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The atmospheric and environmental sciences (AES) program links expertise in atmospheric sciences, biogeochemistry, geology, and hydrology to address regional and local issues that may also be nationally or globally significant. AES includes the atmospheric sciences, geology and geological engineering, and civil and environmental engineering departments on campus.


  • Enhance interdisciplinary research at South Dakota Mines in atmospheric and environmental topics
  • Combine theory, experiment, and applications to address regional and local issues (that may be globally significant)
  • Link field and laboratory research with larger-scale observations, such as remote sensing
  • Build predictive capabilities, useful in regional resource management and climate-sensitive economic development
  • Generate marketable applications of regional and global significance
  • Create a nationally- and internationally-recognized research program that produces cutting-edge research
  • Prepare students for a lifetime of scholarly and/or entrepreneurial activity with particular emphasis on building teams to solve complex problems


  • Students demonstrate a broad understanding of general scientific knowledge in physics, chemistry, and the geosciences.
  • Students can utilize tools available for measuring, monitoring, visualizing, modeling, and analyzing environmental systems.
  • Students demonstrate specialized, advanced knowledge in atmospheric and/or environmental studies.
  • Students work effectively with teams to identify and develop solutions to problems requiring multidisciplinary approaches.
  • Students achieve familiarity with scientific literature in their area of specialization, including an understanding of the main issues and advances under development.
  • Students demonstrate a scholarly understanding of the milestones and of the key contributors whose work marks the progression of knowledge in their area of focus.
  • Students can frame a fundamental research problem and develop a technically sound research plan to address it.
  • Students can communicate effectively in written standard scientific English.
  • Students can communicate effectively in oral presentations.
  • Students can identify weaknesses of written and oral presentations, and provide tactful, constructive criticism.
  • Students demonstrate intellectual honesty when working with data and ideas. They understand the concepts of attribution and plagiarism, as well as the differences between opinion, consensus, hypothesis, theory, and fact.
  • Students have made an original contribution to science or engineering.
  • Students can define the scope of their contribution and defend the methodology employed based on an understanding of the underlying fundamental concepts.
  • Students demonstrate critical thinking skills: to sift through vast quantities of information, to assimilate knowledge and to identify errors, and to develop logical plans to solve problems.
  • Students demonstrate good work habits, including setting short-term and long-term goals, evaluating their own progress, organizing critical information, and meeting deadlines. Students must be able to discern critical from non-essential tasks and organize their time effectively.


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