MEAS banner image Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Science banner image Lightning image
Sand banner image MEAS Home Page Map & Contact Search Site Map
About the Department Student Information People Research News and Announcements
Vision and Mission
Facilities & Map
Support MEAS
Prospective Students:
Current Students:
Graduate Student Directory
Phone & Email Directory
Marine Science
Earth Science
Atmospheric Science
Research Centers & Groups
MEAS Newsletter
Seminar Series
Job Opportunities
Student Awards & Fellowships
About the Department banner image

The Department of Marine Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (MEAS) includes approximately 40 faculty, 100 graduate students and 240 undergraduates involved in basic and applied studies of Earth Systems. The department offers BA, BS, MS, and PhD degrees. Our principal concentrations include students/boat/crabs imageweather prediction, air quality, air-sea interactions, storm and climate modeling, hydrology, geochemistry, oceanography, surface processes and regional geology.

The multi-disciplinary nature of our department lends itself to the study of such problems as prediction of severe weather (e.g. hurricanes), coastal erosion, pollution of surface and ground water, and global climate change. While basic research is always important, many of our research projects also have direct application to current issues such as water quality/water supply, seafood harvests, climate change, weather prediction and land use.

MEAS offers degree programs in marine sciences, geology and meteorology. Our programs include many tracks in each of our program areas - and thus provide the opportunity for an education broader than the conventional bachelors degrees in more traditional departments.

Although our faculty are heavily involved in research, all courses in our major are normally taught by regular faculty and all faculty are involved in teaching. Involvement of undergraduates and graduate students in research is a major emphasis. Typical class size for major courses is 20 students or less.

The vision of the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences (MEAS) at NCSU is to be an internationally-recognized hub of excellence in geoscience research and education, to the lasting benefit of our scientific disciplines, our graduates, and all humankind.

Our domain, the geosciences, encompasses the dynamics and history of the solid Earth, its natural sediments, soils, and water systems, its oceans and atmosphere, and its global biodiversity.  Our mission, as a large interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary geosciences department at a major research-oriented Land-Grant University, is:

- to conduct innovative fundamental and applied research in the geosciences in order to open up new understanding of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, and biosphere, and the processes that connect them;

- to educate students who will become leaders in government and industry, and pioneers in the advancement of geoscience knowledge in academia;

- to teach introductory courses that reach hundreds of NCSU non-geoscience majors every year, thereby promoting among NCSU students a broader understanding of processes and critical issues regarding the Earth, oceans, atmosphere, and biosphere;

- to offer guidance, founded in our scientific expertise, on pressing societal issues related to the geosciences (for example, natural hazards, environmental quality, water resources, etc.)

The research challenges and societal importance of the geosciences have never been greater.  Research and teaching in MEAS address some of the most complex and important geoscience issues facing North Carolina and the world, including hurricanes, floods, climate change, water and air pollution, coastal erosion, the sustainability of fisheries, environmental cycles of critical elements (e.g., carbon and nitrogen), and the history of life itself.  There is an urgent need for an informed citizenry and competent leaders to make sound choices concerning many of these issues.  MEAS graduates are well prepared to apply geoscience knowledge to important problems with societal, economic, environmental, and scientific relevance, in a variety of professional career paths in the atmospheric sciences, oceanography, and Earth sciences.

The three main program areas of our department are Atmospheric Sciences (Weather Prediction, Air Quality and Climate Modeling, Physical Meteorology, Air-Sea-Land interactions, and Storm-Scale Modeling), Marine Science (oceanography: monitoring and modeling of the ocean circulation and its effect on marine life) and Geology (hydrology, surface processes, tectonics, petrology and paleontology) program descriptions. Collaborative research with faculty in the colleges of engineering, natural resources, veterinary medicine and agriculture as well as the departments of mathematics, physics and chemistry extends the possibilities of graduate research.

The department is based in Jordan Hall on the main campus of North Carolina State University. A 30,000- square foot addition to Jordan Hall was completed in 2007 called Jordan Addition. In addition to the State Climate Office located in Research III, the department also occupies space in the Varsity Research Building (formerly Flex) and on the coast at our CMAST facility at Morehead City, North Carolina.

Center for Marine Science & Technology

North Carolina State University has an enrollment of approximately 29,000 students and offers degrees in 87 undergraduate fields, 72 Masters and 45 doctoral degree programs. The campus is located in the city of Raleigh, the State Capital. Duke University in Durham and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are within commuting distance. There are over 100,000 college students attending the many colleges and Universities in the area with a consequent array of student oriented activities. The Research Triangle Park, located between the three major universities is the largest research park in the nation with a vast array of high tech industry.

North Carolina State University
Centennial Campus


Many of our research projects involve applied research on locally important issues including weather, climate, water quality, water supplies, coastal erosion, fishery development and education. As a consequence, there is extensive outreach activity within the department, providing much opportunity for public service.

MarECo (Marine Ecology and Conservation)
High School Students and the Blue Crab: Educational outreach program to enhance scientific literacy, and involve teachers and students to have traditionally been underrepresented in hands-on research opportunities, through integration into a field research project on ecology of the blue crab of North Carolina. This project began in 1996 provided employment and hands-on field research experiences for high school students and teachers, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, and provides to coastal county high schools. This research program is funded by the NSF and NC Sea Grant.

Conservation of Nassau grouper: Multi-institutional research and educational outreach program on the ecology and fisheries sustainability of the Nassau grouper in the Bahamas. Nassau grouper is a key ecological and commerical species in tropical marine systems, yet is suffering from intense exploitation throughout its range. Collaborate on research and outreach goals with Bahamas Department of Fisheries, Caribbean Marine Research Center, John G. Shedd Aquarium (Chicago), National Marine Fisheries Service, Miami, NC State University, Department of Zoology, and ION Digital Video Services, NV.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, located in downtown Raleigh and minutes away from campus, offers a chance to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of the natural environment in ways that emphasize the biodiversity of North Carolina and the southeastern United States and relate the region to the natural world as a whole. Two faculty positions in the department are jointly supported by the museum, providing a close link between the academic world and the public.

North Carolina Ocean Sciences Bowl is a quiz bowl open to NC high school students. Each year teams of five students coached by science teachers travel to NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill or UNC-Wilmington to answer questions about the oceans. The bowl raises awareness about marine resources and environmental issues. (National Ocean Sciences Bowl on Facebook)

RiverNet is a project operated through NC State University in which water quality data is continuously collected by monitoring stations that are positioned throughout the Neuse River Basin. The information collected includes depth, water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrate levels, and turbidity. The data is downloaded each day to NC State University where it is checked for analytical quality. The river data and related plots are placed on the web site. The information can then be accessed by the policy makers, scientists, educators, students and the general public.

The Science House is a learning outreach project of NC State University. Our mission is to work in partnership with K12 teachers to increase the use and impact of hands-on learning technologies in mathematics and science.

State Climate Office of North Carolina (SCO) is a Public Service Center for Climate - Environment Interaction that works closely with this department. Its mission is to provide extension services to the citizens of North Carolina and state and federal agencies. Many of our undergraduate and graduate students work in the SCO on research related to weather and climate of North Carolina and the Southeast.


Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
2800 Faucette Drive, Jordan Hall (Map)
Campus Box 8208
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8208
MEAS Main Office Telephone: 919-515-3711

For information on undergraduate programs, contact:
Maggie Puryear
Undergraduate Advisor | tel: 919-513-1093

For more information on graduate programs, contact: | tel: 919-515-7776

College of Sciences home page border image NCSU home page