Atmospheric Science

atmospheric science
doppler radar

Atmospheric Science

Atmospheric Science is the study of the structure, behavior, and evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere, and the phenomena that occur within the atmosphere. The ULM Atmospheric Sciences program, within the School of Sciences, is unique in that it offers the only degree in atmospheric science or meteorology in Louisiana. For more than a decade, the program has been designated as a Program of Unique Excellence by the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors. The program offers an innovative STEM degree with career options that continue to expand across the country. The program’s primary areas of focus are: operational weather forecasting, broadcast meteorology, radar & satellite meteorology, severe local storms, tropical meteorology, atmospheric chemistry, global climate change, and environmental science.

The ULM Atmospheric Science program is dedicated to providing a transformative STEM education that prepares students to compete, succeed, and contribute in the atmospheric sciences and related fields. This is accomplished through experiential classroom instruction, providing student research opportunities to expand their knowledge beyond the classroom, and opportunities for students to serve their local community and the broader atmospheric science community. We have graduates across the country working as forecasters in the National Weather Service (NWS) and private sector weather companies, broadcast meteorologists, environmental consultants, K-12 math or science teachers, and researchers.

Cost of Attendance & More

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Atmospheric Science in Photos

students releasing weather balloon
atmospheric science student on the field
doppler radar

What sets us apart?

Doppler weather radar and state-of-the-art instruments

The ATMS program owns and operates an impressive collection of instrumentation which rivals that of larger programs. We’re the only undergraduate specific program in the nation with a polarimetric S-band Doppler weather radar. The radar fills an important coverage gap in the NWS radar network across northeastern Louisiana. Other instruments include a pick-up truck mounted Doppler wind lidar, weather balloon systems, a microwave radiometer, PARSIVEL disdrometer, and surface instrumentation. This instrumentation supports cutting edge education that students cannot receive anywhere else in the country, and cutting edge research that are vital to the region’s and state’s interest.


More information on the radar is available at


Live data from our instruments is available at

Undergraduate weather balloon team

A student run group who launch weather balloons from ULM’s campus when severe and hazardous weather threatens the region. Weather balloon data is transmitted to the NWS in Shreveport and Jackson, and the Storm Prediction Center, who use the ULM balloon data to make forecasting and nowcasting decisions across the area.

Excellent track record of job and graduate school placement

The ATMS program has a long history of successful job placement and/or students moving onto top graduate programs. The vast majority of meteorologists working at regional NWS offices are graduates of our program. Approximately 90% of graduates over the last decade are working in atmospheric science (or in a related area), or in graduate school. The majority of our recent graduates have secured positions in the private sector, or were accepted into top graduate programs such as the University of Oklahoma, University of Miami, Colorado State University, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Significant student research opportunities

Students regularly collaborate with program faculty on research projects through the ULM Emerging Scholars program or externally funded research grants. Using the meteorological instrumentation noted above, our students are actively involved in taking measurements from the field. Students are given opportunities to present their research at local, regional, and national conferences. Our students have been successful in obtaining paid summer research internships and experiences through NOAA and NSF.

Small class sizes

Classes in the ATMS program maintain small class sizes which foster 1-on-1 interaction between students and faculty. We also foster a familial atmosphere in the program, where faculty and senior students take on leader- and mentorship roles with other students.

State-of-the-art forecast laboratory using NWS softener

The program’s infrastructure includes a dedicated teaching laboratory with state-of-the-art hardware and software to facilitate cutting edge education and research. Students have access to weather software commonly used in NWS forecast offices across the country.

Job Options

  • Meteorologist for the National Weather Service
  • Broadcast Meteorologist
  • Meteorologist for private weather companies
  • Research positions at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD), and Department of Agriculture (DOA).
  • Weather analyst or consultant for traditional energy companies, airlines, or insurance companies
  • Emergency management and decision support (regional and state EMA or FEMA)
  • Public or private sector environmental analyst or consultant (e.g., Department of Environmental Quality or the Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Climatologist and seasonal forecasting for regional, state, and federal governments, or private companies
  • Reinsurance industry (risk management for natural disasters)
  • Meteorologist for alternative energy companies (e.g., wind power, solar power)
  • Hydrologist
  • Military weather officer
  • Attend graduate school
  • Math and/or physical science secondary education teacher
  • Shape weather, climate, or environmental policy at the local, state, or federal levels
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) analyst 


The Atmospheric Science program curriculum was designed to satisfy all basic requirements for federal employment as a meteorologist (GS-1340 series) and followed recommended guidelines set by the American Meteorological Society for an undergraduate degree program. For more information see

Students majoring in or with interests in weather are invited to join our student organization, the ULM student chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). The student AMS chapter strives to promote and foster the development of operational meteorology and research in the Ark-La-Miss region. The ULM student AMS chapter was awarded “Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year” at the national AMS annual meeting in January 2017 for their dedicated service related to the devastating 2016 Louisiana floods.

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