Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

Concentration :: Geoscience and Remote Sensing

Admission Eligibility

Please Note: If you are interested in this concentration, you should apply to the Climate & Space PhD program and discuss the options with Professor Chris Ruf.

Admission to the GRS concentration is open to any student admitted to the graduate programs of the Climate & Space department with the consent of one of the three GRS Advisors (Climate & Space, CEE or EECS). The usual course of action for students is to enter the GRS concentration at the beginning of their graduate career. However, students may enter the program at any time in their graduate program with consent of one of the GRS Advisors, provided they have fulfilled the requirements for satisfactory progress in the GRS concentration. The interdisciplinary graduate concentration in Geoscience and Remote Sensing leads to a degree with designated combined specialties in "Atmospheric Science and Electrical Engineering", "Space Science and Electrical Engineering", or "Environmental Science and Electrical Engineering."

Concentration Advisor

Christopher Ruf
Climate & Space Professor and Director, Space Physics Research Laboratory

Relevant Research in Climate & Space

  • Designing, building, testing and operating remote sensing instruments and analyzing their data from ground, airborne, and space based platforms.
  • Land Surface Process/Radiobrightness (LSP/R) models which link the surface fluxes of energy and moisture to soil moisture and to the natural radio emission detected by microwave remote sensing instruments.
  • Micro and macro physical cloud and precipitation formation and evolution
  • Numerical inversion algorithms for the estimation of geophysical state variables from electromagnetic emission and scattering signatures.
  • Collaborating with major governmental and industrial aerospace instrument developers to design, test and operate spaceborne remote sensing platforms.

The Climate & Space Space Physics Research Laboratory (SPRL) is one of the leading institutions in the research of the atmospheres, ionospheres and plasma environments of Earth and other solar system bodies. It has more than 50 years of experience in experimental and theoretical investigations of the space environment. Climate & Space research is supported by an annual sponsored research budget of about $18 million, with projects ranging from "small science" through intermediate size projects, to multimillion dollar per year endeavors.

Click here for more information about geoscience and remote sensing research in Climate & Space.


Below are course expectations for the GRS Program. Click here for general Climate & Space PhD program expectations and requirements.

Departmental Core Courses

551 Advanced Fluid Dynamics (4 credits)
532 Radiative Transfer (4 credits)
747, 749 Seminar (1 credit, 4 terms)

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Core Courses

411 Cloud & Precipitation Processes
585 Remote Sensing and Inversion Theory

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Elective Courses

EECS 501 Probability and Random Processes
EECS 530 Electricity and Magnetism
EECS 532 Microwave Remote Sensing
Math 571, 572: Numerical Methods

Please Note:  Courses are subject to change. Please consult with your advisor.