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Environmental, Earth & Atmospheric Research

EEAS students and faculty conduct high-impact research in Environmental Geoscience and Atmospheric Sciences. Our research includes global-scale and regional modeling, state-of-the-art laboratory analyses including trace metal and stable isotopes, and field research that engages our students and faculty in countries across the globe.

Climatology, Climate Change, Weather Forecasting and Modelling

The view of North America from space during the 2009 Hurricane season. Photo by NASA

Climatology, Climate Variability, Forecasting and Modeling of Extreme Events (Droughts, Floods, Snow Squalls), Ensemble Modeling, Atmospheric Boundary Layer Structure, Mesoscale Wind Patterns, Synoptic-scale Circulations.

Research Groups:

Geochemistry, Geochronology, and Isotope Geochemistry

Environmental Geochemistry, Petrology, Geochronology,  Isotopic Measurements, Cosmogenic Exposure Dating illustrative photo taken in Maine by Richard Gaschnig. Photo by Richard Gaschnig

Environmental Geochemistry, Petrology, Geochronology, Isotopic Measurements, Cosmogenic Exposure Dating.

Research Groups:

Forensic Geology, Archaeology, and Earth History

Kate Swanger's current research themes focus on the response of Antarctic ice sheets to late Cenozoic climate change, quantifying earth surface processes with rigorous field experiments and numerical modeling, and investigating the role of buried glacier ice in permafrost processes and their potential as climate archives.

Rock Weathering Processes, Blast Petrology, Forensic Geology Cold-based Glacier Processes and Deposits, Buried Ice Geochemical Records, McMurdo Dry Valleys Geology, Tree Ring Studies.

Research Groups:

Environmental Pollution and Chemistry, Biogeochemical Cycles, and Hydrology

Microbiologists may be tasked with sampling the water or food supply for harmful microorganisms. Photo by

Global and Regional Element Cycles, Heavy Metal Contamination, Atmospheric Chemistry, Greenhouse Gas Dynamics, Atmosphere-Surface Flux Exchange, Soil Pollution, Hydrologic Cycle and Hydrogeology.

Research Groups:

Molecular Spectroscopy, Spectral Line Shapes, Planetary Atmospheres

UMass Lowell Prof. Robert Gamache is one of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds,” according to a new ranking.  Gamache – a faculty member in UMass Lowell’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences – was selected for the prestigious list of scientific researchers based on the volume of their published work and how often that research is cited by other researchers in their own efforts. Gamache and others chosen for the ranking have the top 1 percent of the most referenced research published from 2002 to 2012.

Spectral Line Shapes, Planetary Atmospheres, Remote Sensing of the Earth’s Troposphere, Stratosphere, and Ionosphere, Planetary Atmospheres, Ionospheric Modeling and Prediction.

Research Groups:

james heiss

Physical Hydrogeology and links between groundwater dynamics and biogeochemistry in coastal, estuarine, and marine environments.

My research area is hydrogeology with a focus on the exchange of groundwater and surface water across the land-ocean interface from wave to climate time scales. My work involves understanding how geology and hyrdrologic processes interact in the subsurface to impact solute transport and nutrient cycling in coastal aquifers. This involves understanding the role of terrestrial (e.g. recharge, groundwater pumping) and coastal (e.g. waves, tides, currents, storm surge, sea level rise) forcings on affecting groundwater dynamics and salinity. Research projects within these themes typically involve a combination of field work, laboratory experiments, and numerical modeling. 

Russoniello, C.J., J.W. Heiss, and H.A. Michael (2018), Variability in benthic exchange rate, depth, and residence time beneath a shallow coastal estuary, Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans,

Heiss, J. W., V. A. E. Post, T. Laattoe, C. J. Russoniello, and H. A. Michael (2017), Physical controls on biogeochemical processes in intertidal zones of beach aquifers, Water Resources Research, doi:10.1002/2017WR021110.


Kim, K. H., J. W. Heiss, H. A. Michael, W.-J. Cai, T. Laattoe, V. E. A. Post, and W. J. Ullman (2017), Spatial patterns of groundwater biogeochemical reactivity in an intertidal beach aquifer, Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 122,



Heiss, J. W., J. A. Puleo, W. J. Ullman, and H. A. Michael (2015), Coupled surface-subsurface hydrologic measurements reveal recharge and discharge dynamics across the swash zone of a sandy beach, Water Resources Research, 51, doi:10.1002/2015WR017395.