There are eight teaching faculty EOAS faculty members that are associated with Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS), along with 20 research scientists and post-docs. The number of graduate and undergraduate students varies year-to-year; currently, we have 11 graduate students, and six undergraduate students. While most of our students have or are working on advanced degrees at COAPS, our cohort of undergraduate students are working on honors projects.
COAPS is closely aligned with EOAS, as much of the Center’s work relates to EOAS’ fields of study, including meteorology, geology, and oceanography. COAPS offers a strong graduate program that provides students with skills and practical contact that will prepare them for success in academia, private industry, government agencies, or non‐governmental organizations. Students gain hands-on experience in a research institution setting, coupled with close mentorship by scientists whose research interests and expertise correspond with their own. While at COAPS, students are encouraged to present and publish their work. They also have opportunities to attend and participate in national/international conferences. COAPS undergraduate research scholars receive training in meteorological analysis, Geographic Information System (GIS) applications or map making, web design, and computer graphics. All COAPS students receive training in the many computer software applications and programming that form the backbone of the research performed at the Center. Most COAPS students are supported by research grants, teaching assistantships, or university fellowships.
The research at COAPS performs interdisciplinary research in ocean-atmosphere-land-ice interactions to increase our understanding of the physical, social and economic consequences of climate variability. Much of the work is computer-driven and the research topics include climate studies, satellite studies, alternative energy, and even agriculture. Many COAPS researchers develop models that analyze the interplay between earth, sea and air over time to predict climate patterns in the future. Areas of interest cover theoretical modeling, analysis of in situ observations, satellite-based observations, flux coupling for ocean and atmospheric models, and analysis of spatial/temporal variability in key variables coupling the Earth system, such as rainfall, evaporation, surface stress, and ocean heat content. Remote sensing activities at COAPS typically relate to earth orbiting satellites; we use these satellites to study the ocean and atmospheric variability. COAPS research also makes some use of weather radar observations that have a variety of applications including weather forecasting, marine safety, commercial fishing, El Niño prediction and monitoring, and medium term climate studies. COAPS scientists also study risk assessment in three main categories; storm surge, freeze forecasting, and wildfire risk.