Graduate Program in Climate Sciences


Stricto Sensu Graduate Studies



The Graduate Program in Climate Sciences (PPGCC) of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) was approved by Resolution No. 036/2009-CONSEPE (Board of Education, Research and Extension) on April 07, 2009 with the doctoral degree level. In 2011, through Resolution No. 092/2011-CONSEPE, it was approved the creation of the Academic Master’s Degree Program in Climate Sciences, with the subsequent accreditation of the program by CAPES. The creation of the PPGCC was the result of the work of professors from UFRN and researchers from partner institutions, especially the National Institute of Space Research - Northeast Regional Center (INPE-CRN), who combined efforts around the proposal to create the Program. In 2017, the PPGCC underwent its first evaluation in the geosciences committee, having been well evaluated in several aspects and maintaining its grade 4 (master's and doctorate).

The PPGCC has stood out for its ability to attract students from other Brazilian states. The PPGCC received students from the North (Pará, Amapá, Rondônia and Amazonas), Northeast (Paraíba, Pernambuco, Bahia, Ceará and Alagoas), Southeast (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais) and South (Rio Grande do Sul). Currently, about 60% of the students come from other federal states. Although incipiently, the PPGCC also participates in the education/training of students from other countries, namely the education of doctoral students from Bolivia and Peru. The arrival of students from other states (and countries) is mainly the result of the reputation that the PPGCC has been obtaining over the years, in addition to the attractiveness that UFRN has due to its student assistance policies. For example, UFRN has student housing, food allowance and health care for graduate students from other cities and this mechanism has been used by some of the PPGCC students.

The research and teaching activities of the PPGCC have been strengthened by the consolidation of projects that enabled the establishment of laboratories in different areas. The focus of the creation and maintenance of these laboratories is on computing capacity and environmental monitoring. With respect to computing capacity, the PPGCC has two high-performance clusters, purchased through CAPES and CNPQ calls for proposals, and which are used in dynamic and stochastic modeling research. Environmental monitoring is carried out through sophisticated laboratories, such as a LIDAR and micrometeorological towers. Obviously, it is necessary to expand these resources and, over the years, the PPGCC has systematically participated in calls/bidding procedures for this purpose.


With respect to the academic-scientific reputation, it should be noted that the PPGCC was awarded an Honorable Mention in the CAPES Theses Award in 2016, with the Thesis entitled "Statistical modeling and attributions of extreme precipitation events in the Brazilian Amazon" authored by Eliane Barbosa Santos, this award was unprecedented for UFRN. At the same time, the students and teachers of the PPGCC have been systematically awarded at traditional scientific events in the field of Meteorology and Climatology, in particular at the Brazilian Meteorological Congresses (CBMET) and International Symposiums on Climatology (SIC) promoted by the Brazilian Meteorology Society (SBMET). In addition to this is the fact that students and professors of the PPGCC have, over the years, published articles in scientific journals of recognized reputation and a high impact factor in the field of Geosciences.

Scientific partnerships

Another point to highlight is the capacity that the PPGCC has had over time to establish fruitful partnerships with researchers and professors from other institutions at local, regional, national and international level. It is noteworthy that PPGCC students have attended part of their doctoral studies in other countries, namely the United States, Spain and Germany.


The program has stood out, above all, for its:

1) innovative nature, in the education/training of human resources on issues involving climate and environment;
2) strategic nature, for becoming a reference in the Northeast of Brazil, with great emphasis on the studies of vulnerability to environmental and climate changes, whether at the regional or global scale.

The PPGCC is a multidisciplinary program that meets Brazil's critical demand for human resources training for research and development on climate, climate change and extreme weather events, in line with the National Policy on Climate Change created in 2009. It promotes regional development in terms of science, technology and innovation, and covers a region of the country with extreme climatic events (very strong coastal erosion, 85% of the state of Rio Grande do Norte in semi-arid region evolving to desertification, Natal - the Brazilian capital closest to Africa, where one can observe specific oceanographic phenomena of the Atlantic; privileged observation of the ocean-atmosphere interaction; strategic points of environmental monitoring – Barreira do Inferno Launch Center and INPE’s Northeast Regional Center and natural laboratory for international cooperation).

The PPGCC’s faculty currently comprises 12 qualified professors for supervising master’s and doctoral students in all lines of research of the program, with several specific skills such as: remote sensing of the atmosphere, remote sensing of the surface, meteorological instrumentation, paleoclimatology, numerical modeling of the atmosphere (weather and climate), stochastic modeling, demography, oceanography and climatology.

Goals and objectives

The PPGCC’s goals include educate/train highly qualified human resources (master’s and doctoral students) in strategic areas, especially for the Northeast of Brazil, related to climate and environmental changes at different scales: local, regional and global. This education/training is conducted in an interdisciplinary way, involving knowledge of traditional areas such as climatology, meteorology, physical oceanography and extreme events. Thus, the program is focused on the education/training of researchers who shall be able to develop original research on these topics in universities and research centers, and shall be qualified to work together with public managers, collaborating with important decision-making in Public Policies of interest to the country. 

Infrastructure Expansion

It should be noted that it was approved the construction of a second building with 917.16 m² to install the Integrated Laboratory of Complex Systems (LISC). The approved project entitled “Support for Infrastructure for Climate, Energy and Environment Research - SICERAM” aims to improve support to research activities developed in the graduate programs of the Exact and Earth Sciences Center (CCET), in an integrated way, through laboratories and multiuser equipment. Thus, this new structure will enable an integrated, multi and interdisciplinary physical space - the LISC.

The LISC will be composed of 17 (seventeen) laboratories and 2 (two) rooms for visiting researchers in mobility (visiting professors, postdocs, master’s and doctoral students in exchange visits). For the development of basic and common teaching, research and scientific production activities, 3 (three) laboratories are being proposed:

1 Laboratory of numerical analysis;
1 Data assimilation laboratory;
1 Advanced Computing Lab.
The construction of this building has already begun and is expected to be completed in December 2019.

Attached building to CCET

Photo: Attached building to CCET. Date taken: 03/Sept/2018.

Social Presence

An important point of the PPGCC's social presence refers to the growing and constant demand from various sectors of society (governmental and non-governmental) so that PPGCC members collaborate by carrying out studies, consultancy and technical advisory.

It is also important to highlight the role of vocational training in response to a demand of students that is not restricted to the UFRN environment, but includes graduates from other educational institutions in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in the Northeast and North of the country - primarily, but not exclusively. The PPGCC has been standing out for absorbing students from the State of Rio Grande do Norte, but it also receives students from other Northeastern states as well as from other Brazilian Regions. Currently, about 60% of the students are from other federal states. Gradually, the program has also been attracting students from countries lacking human resources in the fields of climate and environment.

Another aspect of social insertion refers to the fact that the PPGCC has contributed greatly to increase knowledge on atmospheric and climate sciences issues that encompasses the integrated knowledge about the various areas of the environment, thus it has a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary nature with opportunities for different types of professionals and researchers. It is also noteworthy that PPGCC members have strengthened their links with other Programs, contributing to expand knowledge about common socio-environmental issues.

Another important perspective of the social insertion is the presentation of the results of the projects developed in the PPGCC in regional (such as the Week of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, held annually by the PPGCC), national and international events in scientific meetings and communications (presentations in scientific events). This activity is considered complementary to the dissemination in scientific journals of the area, participation in these events provides for an exchange of experiences and knowledge, of great importance for strengthening the group's scientific ties with other national and international institutions.

International Presence

The researchers involved with PPGCC have ties to cooperation and scientific exchange programs with several national and international universities and research centers. Some of these partnerships have already been formalized through Research Projects and it is hoped that in the coming years these partnerships will consolidate and the formalization of new partnerships will be expanded. One of the major priorities of the PPGCC is the involvement of students in publishing with partners of international institutions and their students in these various programs in order to provide them with a diversified education. International institutions are being contacted in order to increase the list of possible partner institutions, an initiative that has a great acceptance of PPGCC professors.

Nonetheless, in line with UFRN, the PPGCC is in the process of internationalization. On the one hand, the University sees its teaching and research activities involved in global strategies and, on the other hand, it provides its own contribution to the deepening and consolidation of this internationalization process, takint into account that it is one of the points of the international process of production and dissemination of knowledge.


Text adapted on August 23rd, 2018, from the 2018-2021 Quadrennial Plan, of May 2018



Alternative Address

Program Coordination


    Telephone number: (84) 99167-6505

    Telephone number 2: (84) 3342-2479



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