Anadarko Air Quality Research Fellowship


The Anadarko Student Research Fellowship is made possible by a generous endowment from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. It funds students to conduct environmental research with scientists at the Bingham Research Center in Utah's Uinta Basin. Help us advance science and improve air quality by applying for this unique opportunity.  If you have any questions, please contact Seth Lyman (click the Our Team tab and then select Team Members).

Application Information 

We are currently looking for students with interest in areas that include (but are not limited to):
• Statistical and manual analysis of weather patterns
• Data visualization design
• Computer programming and modeling; website design
• Creative scientific writing and public communication
• Chemical measurements in the field and laboratory
• Instrument design, construction, and testing:

If you wish to apply, send your resume to Seth Lyman at


Frequently Asked Questions

  • We sometimes solicit applications from students with particular interests or students at a particular level.  If so, we will indicate this above.  In general, however, any current or prospective Utah State University student from any academic department may apply, and sometimes we offer positions to high school students as well.  Students of any background and origin are welcome, including international students, students at any USU campus, etc.  
  • The fellowship is open to undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students, and sometimes high school students, and it can fund research projects spanning multiple years.  

  • We require that applicants have a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  We appreciate that personal hardship and other factors can influence grades, and that student performance can improve over time.  We thus occasionally accept students whose cumulative GPA is less than 3.0 but whose GPA for recent classes is less than 3.0. 
  • The rubric we use for evaluating candidates is available here.  

See the Application Information section above to learn about application dates and deadlines.

Openings for new fellowship recipients occur when funds are available.  See the Application Information section above.

Fellowship recipients will work on environmental research projects, usually focused on the Uinta Basin’s air quality problems. The nature of the research will depend on the recipient’s interests and our current research interests and needs. If an applicant has an idea we are not currently working on, we will be glad to consider it.

The application includes questions about the applicants’ research interests. We encourage applicants to contact scientists at the Bingham Research Center during the application process to find out more about current areas of research. Also, the Application Information section may indicate that we are looking for students to work in a specific area. Our current areas of air quality research include:

  • Atmospheric measurements, including measurements of meteorological parameters and pollutant concentrations at sites around the Uinta Basin. You can see data from some of our sites at our real-time air quality data website.
  • Emissions characterization, including field measurements of what is emitted to the atmosphere from various kinds of oil and gas equipment, natural surfaces, etc., as well as computational analyses and development of inventories for air quality simulations.
  • Air quality modeling, which involves the use of supercomputers to create detailed simulations of the complex meteorology and chemistry that lead to air pollution in the Uinta Basin. Our modeling team are experts in computer science, coding, as well as atmospheric sciences.

If you need a brief overview of the wintertime ozone issue, see this fact sheet.  For detailed and specific information about the nature of the research we conduct, please see our cumulative Uinta Basin air quality research summary or visit our papers and reports page

Our research team is based at USU's Vernal campus. Some types of research require fellowship recipients to be on-site in Vernal, while other projects may be appropriate for students at USU's main (Logan) campus or other USU campuses.  Master’s or doctoral students could finish classes in Logan before relocating to Vernal to focus on thesis or dissertation research.  Other arrangements are possible.  

The fellowship can provide funding for up to about two part-time undergraduates and one master’s or doctoral student at a time.

The duration will vary depending on the type of student (undergraduate or graduate) and the student’s needs. We expect to fund undergraduates for more than one year (and perhaps for the entire duration of their undergraduate studies) and graduate students through the timely completion of their degree.

We don't expect to accept applications every year, and the timing and frequency of calls for applications will vary. We prefer to provide fellowship recipients with multi-year research opportunities, allowing them to learn more from the experience and contribute more to understanding air quality problems in the Uinta Basin.  Thus, new fellowships will be offered when previous fellowship recipients have completed their studies.

Selection of fellowship recipients will be based on three critieria:

  1. Experience relevant to air quality research. This may include coursework, laboratory work, or occupational experience. We understand that prior air quality research experience is unlikely in many cases. However, relevant experience might include science, mathematics, or statistics classes, or coding and industrial experience.  Any kind of work experience, if the applicant demonstrates a strong work ethic and enthusiastic references, is valuable.
  2. Academic promise and commitment. GPA, especially in science or math courses, are important for this criterion, but so are the applicant's interest in excelling in the sciences, pursuing a career that relates to or benefits from the research they carry out, the applicant's demonstration of academic commitment, etc.  We don't expect that fellowship recipients will all pursue careers in atmospheric sciences, but we do expect that applicants will be able to show how they will use the experience gained from the fellowship as a stepping stone on a successful career path.
  3. If two students of equal excellence apply, and one of those two is a current or former resident of the Uinta Basin, we may give preference to the Uinta Basin student, in accordance with our agreement with the funder. We encourage all students, regardless of origin, to apply. Criteria 1 and 2 will be given more weight than criterion 3.

A selection committee, comprised of Bingham Center scientists and others within USU, will review applications and rank them according to a pre-established rubric. The committee will select two or more finalists for phone interviews and/or may elect to invite finalists for in-person interviews. The fellowship is designed to be flexible and may include different arrangements for different recipients. Prior to making an offer to a finalist, the committee will discuss and decide with the finalist how long the fellowship will last, what it will pay for, how funds will be administered, what kind of research it will entail, and any other matters or relevance.  If the applicant is not a current USU student, this discussion will include establishing a path to become one.

For undergraduate students, the fellowship will pay an hourly wage (the amount will depend on the recipient's qualifications and experience). For graduate students, the fellowship will pay for a research assistantship, tuition, and health insurance.

We encourage all current and potential USU students to apply. Recipients must become USU students in order to receive the fellowship.  It may be possible to begin the fellowship before the recipient's classes begin at USU. The fellowship is flexible and can accommodate students beginning classes at any time.

If you have more questions, contact us! We would be glad to help you.


Student Experiences

Two of our students, Makenzie Holmes and Tyler Elgiar, decided on their own to make a video to share their experience working with our team.  Thanks to both of them for doing this, and especially to Makenzie for leading the effort.