Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Research Opportunities and Funding

Cruise-Related Student Scientific Research Innovation Awards Announcement


Gradate Research Assistantship opportunity with Robert Kennedy


Atmospheric Sciences

The Atmospheric Sciences group in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences has openings for Masters and PhD students starting each Fall. Students interested in aerosols, clouds, ocean-atmosphere interaction, climate variability and change, and atmospheric boundary layer processes are encouraged to apply. Funding is available in the form of Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, and Fellowships.

Biological Oceanography

  • Arctic Freshwater Microbial Ecology. The goal of this project is to understand the ecological mechanisms controlling temporal and spatial biogeographic patterns in bacterial community composition in tundra ecosystems on the North Slope of Alaska. The student will conduct independent research on key topics in Microbial Ecology with opportunities for field sampling at the Toolik Lake Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in Northern Alaska, and access to ample resources and expertise for laboratory analyses including a suite of molecular and genomic techniques. Ideal candidates will have a BS or MS degree, experience with PCR and other molecular techniques, physical ability to work under taxing conditions on the tundra, and ability to work productively with a team. The successful applicant may receive a Graduate Research Assistantship that includes a monthly stipend, tuition remission, and health insurance subsidy. (Crump)

Geology and Geophysics

  • 3D seismic imaging of the source region of a megathrust earthquake. Funding is available to support 3 years of a graduate research assistantship to develop a 3D P-wave velocity models of the source region of the M8.22 Pisagua/Iquique earthquake, which occurred on April 1, 2014 offshore northern Chile. Airgun source data recorded on 65 ocean-bottom seismometers will be acquired during a 45-day cruise on the R/V Marcus Langseth during April-June, 2016. Student will be responsible for processing and modeling the data using existing software as well as with original software developed to expand existing capabilities. PhD preferred, although highly motived MS students are encouraged to apply. Availability for participation in the cruise is also desirable, but not required. For further information, please contact Anne Tréhu.
  • Earthquakes and seismic wave propagation. Three PhD/MS Graduate Assistantships are available for seismological studies in the eastern Pacific Ocean and in the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau. The studies focus on earthquakes and seismic wave propagation in the Earth crust and upper mantle. For further information contact John Nabelek.

Marine Resource Management

The MRM Program works with applicants to connect their research interests with the interests of our diverse faculty from OSU, state & federal agencies, nonprofits, and other universities. Most MRM students are funded through a combination of Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Graduate Research Assistantship, scholarships and fellowships.
  • Marine Education and Engagement. One Graduate Teaching Assistantship may be available for Fall and Winter terms where the recipient is responsible for coordinating Oregon State University's "Salmon Bowl." The Salmon Bowl is a tournament-style academic competition designed to challenge and recognize students' knowledge of math, science, and social science in the context of the oceans. This GTA includes tuition remissions, monthly stipend and health insurance.

Physical Oceanography

The Physical Oceanography group at the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences has openings for Masters and PhD students starting in the Fall. Students interested in all areas of ocean physics, including turbulence, waves, coastal circulation, large-scale circulation, and air-sea interaction and climate, are encouraged to apply. Funding is available in the form of Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, and Fellowships. Some possible projects include (but are not limited to) the following:
  • Turbulence and internal waves over a Hawaiian reef. Internal tides transport nutrients and larvae in shallow waters, and drive turbulent exchanges as the shoal and waves break. In this project, we investigate how these exchanges occur using new turbulence sensors cabled to shore at the Kilo Nalu nearshore observatory south of Oahu. (Nash)
  • Ocean dynamics and climate. On horizontal scales of hundreds to thousands of kilometers, the ocean circulation is a complex, fluctuating mixture of distinct, interacting flow features. These features include: propagating, nonlinear eddy disturbances; vast, slow, coherent gyres; narrow, intense boundary currents; coupled ocean-atmosphere modes. These eddies, gyres, currents, and modes transport heat and matter on global scales, and play essential roles in Earth's climate system. We investigate their intrinsic dynamics and interactions with the climate system using a wide variety of methods, including satellite remote-sensing measurements, and numerical simulation with high-performance computing systems (Chelton, Matano, Miller, Samelson, Strub).
  • Coastal ocean modeling and data assimilation. The coastal ocean is a unique environment that supports highly productive ecosystems and fisheries, and is heavily impacted by human activities. We use high-resolution numerical simulations to study the dynamics and thermodynamics of coastal ocean circulation including its interaction with larger-scale ocean circulation, sea-floor topography, and estuarine and terrestrial systems. We develop and use advanced data assimilation methods, similar to those used in numerical weather prediction, to test dynamical hypotheses about errors in models and to construct and analyze systems for the numerical forecasting of coastal ocean conditions. (Kurapov, Lerczak, Miller, Samelson)

Fellowships and Funding