The UCLA Department of Meteorology was founded in 1940 by J. Bjerknes, J. Holmboe, and J. Kaplan. At the time, it’s faculty members conducted research in weather and atmospheric dynamics. During WWII, the department trained 1200 meteorologists.
The first Bachelor Degrees were awarded in 1941 and the first Doctoral Degrees were awarded in 1946 to Jules G. Charney and Yale Mintz.
In 1957, it moved to the Math Sciences Building and reached 13 faculty members for 40 undergraduate and 40 graduate students in 1960.
In 1964, the first global circulation model was developed by Yale Mintz and Akio Arakawa.
The Meteorology department is a founding member of National Center of Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
In 1976, it was renamed to Department of Atmospheric Sciences and its research focused mainly in tropical meteorology, atmospheric dynamics, space physics, air pollution, clouds.
In 1990’s, the Department area of focus expanded into Oceanography and Biogeochemistry.
In 2004, it was renamed Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences and was selected as top Atmospheric Sciences Department in the US by the NRC.
As of today, the AOS Department focuses on different areas of Climate Science such as Atmospheric Dynamics & Meteorology, Biogeochemistry, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Upper Atmosphere, Space Physics & Planetary Atmospheres and Oceanography.
The Department is now composed of 32 faculty members, 37 researchers, 121 students and 12 staff member. It offers a Bachelor of sciences program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Mathematics which offers a modern curriculum with an emphasis on active and hands-on learning. The program helps the students to build the scientific understanding needed to assess climate impacts from both human-induced climate change and natural climate variability, find solutions to manage and mitigate climate change and communicate climate information to decision-makers in the public sector, private sector, and non-governmental organizations.
The Department also offer a Master of Sciences and PhD Program that allow the students to build advanced knowledge in a sub-area in AOS acquire professional preparation and skills, learn how to perform and present world-class research. The students get to conduce research in their field of interest and become independent researcher.
Student who graduated from AOS MS and/or PhD :
- continue towards faculty positions at well known universities.
- research at federal laboratories (NASA-JPL, NCAR, …).
- conduce research and build policies at state agencies such as the South Coast Air Quality Air District.
- work in the industry, such as environmental consulting, Wall Street, Google….