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

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After 30 years, AOSS is looking forward to a new name

Posted: June 22, 2015

After 30 years, AOSS is looking forward to a new name Photo Credit: Joseph Xu

The Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences (AOSS) department has been known by that name since 1985. During these thirty years, the department has been involved with landing a rover on Mars, launching MESSENGER to Mercury, and reminding everyone of which year was the coldest. We needed a change to reflect the transformative journey the department has taken over the years.

After thirty years of exciting growth and experience, the department is looking forward to becoming the Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering (Climate & Space or simply CLASP). The new name communicates the broad scope and depth of research, teaching and service in climate and space that is happening in the department.

“Today our faculty and students are on the forefront of the drive to understand climate change and to explore the solar system,” AOSS Chair Jim Slavin explains.

For many years, we have been known as the U-M department involved in “science-driven engineering”. And now, it’s reflected in our name. The addition of “engineering,” will help incoming College of Engineering freshman recognize the many opportunities in Climate & Space for hands-on interdisciplinary science and engineering research, for work on climate and space instrument development and build teams, as well as working with internationally recognized faculty in climate and space sciences and engineering. It also adds to the visibility of Michigan as one of the premier institutions engaged in the study of climate and space issues from a wide variety of perspectives.

The new name reflects shifts in evolving societal needs, such as learning how human activities impact the creation of greenhouse gases, building instruments that can study the atmosphere of other planets and understanding evaporation in the Great Lakes.

“To cite just two examples, one of our faculty members, Professor Chris Ruf, is building a micro-satellite constellation named CYGNSS that will provide the first near-continuous measurements of hurricane wind speed from space. Two others, Professors Susan Lepri and Justin Kasper, are building instruments that will make the first direct measurements of space weather from within the outer layers of the Sun's atmosphere. As you can see, today we are indeed the ‘Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering,’” Slavin says.

The world needs breakthrough engineering. The world needs Climate & Space.

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