The Department of Atmospheric Sciences Gets a New Name

The Department of Atmospheric Sciences has a new name: The Department of Climate, Meteorology, & Atmospheric Sciences (CliMAS). The name change was approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees at their meeting on January 18, 2024. The name change takes place immediately. For students, this is a change in department name only, course rubrics and degree names will stay the same.

With courses in various weather-related topics spanning from meteorology and climate to mesoscale dynamics and numerical fluid dynamics, many faculty felt the Atmospheric Sciences name did not convey the many elements, no put intended, offered under the department’s umbrella of studies. So a name change was initiated last year by CliMAS Professor and former Department Head, Jeff Trapp. “It was a lengthy process, which included an informal survey of students about their awareness of our department, as well as a solicitation of support of the formal proposal from department heads, school directors, and college deans across campus.”  

CliMAS Department Head, Professor Stephen Nesbitt, expressed his enthusiasm for the updated moniker. “The department is very excited for this name change, which is intended to clearly communicate our core missions in climate science and meteorology. Prospective students, research collaborators, and the public interested in the critical societal issues of climate change and extreme weather will now be able to better find us on campus.”

Students interested in any of the CliMAS programs, please contact our department at You can also learn more about what the department offers at