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David Crisp

Photo of David Crisp


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 233-200

Pasadena, CA 91109



Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Earth Science

Senior Research Scientist


Dr. David Crisp is an atmospheric physicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology. Since receiving his Ph.D. from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program at Princeton University in 1984, his research has focused primarily on the development of instruments and numerical models for analyzing light reflected, emitted, and scattered by atmospheres and surfaces of the Earth and other planets. He has served on the science teams of several missions including the Soviet/French/US VEGA Balloon mission, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field/Planetary Camera-2, and Mars Pathfinder missions, and the European Space Agency (ESA) Venus Express mission. He contributed to NASA's technology programs as the Chief Scientist of the New Millennium Program, NASA's space flight technology demonstration program, from 1997 to 2001. He has continued to participate in NASA's space science programs as a member of the Executive Council of the Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG, 2013-2014) and as the JPL lead for the NASA Nexus for Exoplanet System Science Virtual Planetary Laboratory (NExSS VPL) task.

Dr. Crisp was the Principal Investigator of the Earth System Science Pathfinder (ESSP) Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) mission. This was the first NASA mission designed to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) with the sensitivity, accuracy, resolution, and coverage needed to detect and quantify the sources emitting CO2 into the atmosphere and the natural sinks absorbing it at the surface. He is currently serving as the Science Team Leader for NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and OCO-3 missions and as a member of the Science Team and JPL task lead for the Earth Ventures Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory (GeoCarb). In addition to these responsibilities, Dr. Crisp is serving as NASA's representative on the European Commission/ESA CO2 Monitoring Mission Advisory Group (MAG). He is also serving as the Greenhouse Gas Lead for the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Atmospheric Composition Virtual Constellation (AC-VC).


  • B.S. in Education, Magna Cum Laude, Texas A&M University (1977)
  • M.A. in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Princeton University (1981)
  • Ph.D. in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Princeton University (1984)

Professional Experience


  • NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3): Science Team Leader
  • NASA Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory (GeoCarb): Science Team member and JPL Task Lead
  • NASA Nexus for Exoplanet System Science Virtual Planetary Laboratory (NExSS VPL): JPL Lead
  • Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Atmospheric Composition Virtual Constellation (AC-VC) Greenhouse Gas Lead
  • European Commission/ESA CO2 Monitoring Mission Advisory Group (MAG)
  • 2017: Visiting Scholar, Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 2015-2017: Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist Council
  • 2013-2015: NASA Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG) Executive Council
  • 2011-2015: European Space Agency CarbonSat Mission Advisory Group Member
  • 2002-2014: European Space Agency Venus Express Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) and Planetary Fourier transform Spectrometer (PFS) Science Teams
  • 2009-2013: NASA Atmospheric CO2 Observations from Space (ACOS) Science Lead
  • 2001-2009: NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) Principal Investigator
  • 1997-2001: NASA New Millennium Program: Chief Scientist
  • 1997-1999: Mars Polar Lander Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor: Meteorology Instrument Provider
  • 1997-1998: Mars Pathfinder Atmospheric Structure/Meteorology Facility Instrument Science Team Member
  • 1986-1996: Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Planetary Camera-II Science Team
  • 1984-1986: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. Member, Soviet/French/U.S. VEGA Balloon Science Team.

Community Service

  • 2013-2015: NASA Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG) Executive Council
  • Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Atmospheric Composition Virtual Constellation (AC-VC) Greenhouse Gas Lead

Research Interests

Atmospheric physics, radiative transfer, remote sensing, atmospheric carbon dioxide, carbon cycle, planetary science, exoplanets

Selected Awards

  • NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal for exceptional service to the Planetary and Earth remote sensing communities, most recently as the Science Team Leader for Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2.
  • NASA Exception Service Medal for outstanding service to NASA and JPL as a research scientist, a technology innovator, a flight investigator and Chief Scientist for the New Millennium Program.
  • Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Certificate of Appreciation for the Atmospheric CO2 Observations from Space (ACOS) task, NASA, for contributions to achievements of the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite, "Ibuki" (GOSAT).
  • NASA Certificates of Recognition:
  • Accuracy of the Correlated-k Method.
  • Mapping Transformations for Broadband Atmospheric Radiation Calculations.
  • High Performance Miniature Hygrometer.
  • Particle Scattering in the Resonance Regime: an efficient exact model for axisymmetric particles.
  • Micro Machined Force Balanced Anemometer.
  • NASA Group Achievement Awards:
  • Venus Balloon Experiment.
  • Wide Field/Planetary Camera-II Calibration Team.
  • Wide Field/Planetary Camera-II Science Team.
  • Mars Pathfinder Project Atmospheric Structure Meteorology Instrument Science Advisory Team.
  • JPL Certificates of Recognition
  • Strategic Leadership in the selection of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory
  • Magellan Award for Outstanding Senior JPL Management for scientific leadership of the OCO-2 Mission
  • Ranger Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Development of the OCO Reflight project.
  • U.S. Patent 5364185: High Performance Miniature Hygrometer and Method Thereof, 1994

Selected Publications

  • Taylor, T. E., Eldering, A., Merrelli, A., Kiel, M., Somkuti, P., Cheng, C., Rosenberg, R., Fisher, B., Crisp, D., Basilio, R., Bennett, M., Cervantes, D., Chang, A., Dang, L., Frankenberg, C., Haemerle, V. R., Keller, G. R., Kurosu, T., Laughner, J. L., Lee, R., Marchetti, Y., Nelson, R., O'Dell, C., Osterman, G., Pavlick, R., Roehl, C., Schneider, R., Spiers, G., To, C., Wells, C., Wennberg, P. O., Yelamanchili, A., Yu, S.: OCO-3 early mission operations and initial (vEarly) XCO2 and SIF retrievals., Remote Sensing of Environment, 251, 112032, 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2020.112032.
  • G. Janssens-Maenhout, Pinty B., Dowell M., Zunker H., Andersson E., Balsamo G., Bézy J.-L., Brunhes T., Bösch H., Bojkov B., Brunner D., Buchwitz M., Crisp D., Ciais P., Counet P., Dee D., Denier van der Gon H., Dolman H., Drinkwater M., Dubovnik O., Engelen R., Fehr T., Fernandez V., Heimann M., Holmlund K., Houweling S., Husband R., Juvyns O., Kentarchos A., Landgraf J., Lang R., Löscher A., Marshall J., Meijer Y., Nakajima M., Palmer P.I., Peylin P., Rayner P., Scholze M., Sierk B., Tamminen J., Veefkind P., 2020: Towards an operational anthropogenic CO2 emissions monitoring and verification support capacity, BAMS, BAMS-D-19-0017, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0017.1.
  • Hakkarainen, J., Ialongo, I., Maksyutov, S., and D. Crisp: Analysis of Four Years of Global XCO2 Anomalies as Seen by Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, Remote Sens., 11, 850, 2019. doi:10.3390/rs11070850.
  • Crowell, S., Baker, D., Schuh, A., Basu, S., Jacobson, A., Chevallier, F., Liu, J., Deng, F., Feng, L., McKain, K., Chatterjee, A., Miller, J., Stephens, B., Eldering, A., Crisp, D., Schimel, D., Nassar, R., O'Dell. C., Oda, T., Sweeney, C., Palmer, P., and Jones, D.: The 2015-2016 Carbon Cycle As Seen from OCO-2 and the Global In Situ Network. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 7347-7376, 2019. doi:10.5194/acp-19-7347-2019.
  • Bruegge , C. J., Crisp, D., Helmlinger, M. C., Kataoka, F., Kuze , A., Lee , R. A., McDuffie, J. L., Rosenberg, R. A., Schwandner, F. M., Shiomi, K., and Yu, S.: Vicarious Calibration of Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience And Remote Sensing, 57, 5135 - 5145, 2019. doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2019.2897068.
  • Robinson, Tyler D. and Crisp, D., Linearized Flux Evolution (LiFE): A technique for rapidly adapting fluxes from full-physics radiative transfer models, J. Quant. Spect. Radiat. Trans. 211, 78-95, 2018.
  • Lincowski, A. P., Meadows, V. S., Crisp, D., Robinson, T. D., Luger, R., Lustig-Yaeger, J., and Arney, G. N.: Evolved Climates and Observational Discriminants for the TRAPPIST-1 Planetary System, Astrophysical Journal, 867, 1-34, doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/aae36a, 2018.
  • O'Dell, C. W., Eldering, A., Wennberg, P. O., Crisp, D., Gunson, M. R., Fisher, B., Frankenberg, C., Kiel, M., Lindqvist, H., Mandrake, L., Merrelli, A., Natraj, V., Nelson, R. R., Osterman, G. B., Payne, V. H., Taylor, T. E., Wunch, D., Drouin, B. J., Oyafuso, F., Chang, A., McDuffie, J., Smyth, M., Baker, D. F., Basu, S., Chevallier, F., Crowell, S. M. R., Feng, L., Palmer, P. I., Dubey, M., García, O. E., Griffith, D. W. T., Hase, F., Iraci, L. T., Kivi, R., Morino, I., Notholt, J., Ohyama, H., Petri, C., Roehl, C. M., Sha, M. K., Strong, K., Sussmann, R., Te, Y., Uchino, O., and Velazco, V. A.: Improved retrievals of carbon dioxide from Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 with the version 8 ACOS algorithm, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 6539-6576, doi: 10.5194/amt-11-6539-2018, 2018.
  • Crisp, D., Pollock, H. R., Rosenberg, R., Chapsky, L., Lee, R. A. M., Oyafuso, F. A., Frankenberg, C., O'Dell, C. W., Bruegge, C. J., Doran, G. B., Eldering, A., Fisher, B. M., Fu, D., Gunson, M. R., Mandrake, L., Osterman, G. B., Schwandner, F. M., Sun, K., Taylor, T. E., Wennberg, P. O., and Wunch, D.: The On-Orbit Performance of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) Instrument and its Radiometrically Calibrated Products, Atmos. Meas. Tech. 10, 59-81, 2017, doi:10.5194/amt-10-59-2017.
  • Liu, J., Bowman, K., Schimel, D., Parazoo, N., Jiang, Z., Lee, M., Bloom, A., Wunch, D., Gurney, K., Menemenlis, D., Girerach, M., Crisp, D., and Eldering, A.: Contrasting carbon cycle responses of the tropical continents to the 2015-2016 El Niño. Science 358, eaam5690 (2017). doi: 10.1126/science.aam5690.
  • Chatterjee, A., M. Gierach, A. Sutton, D. Crisp, A. Eldering, R. A. Feely, M. Gunson, C. W. O'Dell, B. B. Stephens, D. Schimel: Influence of El Niño on atmospheric CO2 over the tropical Pacific Ocean: Findings from NASA's OCO-2 mission. Science 358, eaam5776 (2017). doi:10.1126/science.aam5776.
  • Nassar, R., T. G. Hill, C. A. McLinden, D. Wunch, D. B.A. Jones, and D. Crisp: Quantifying CO2 emissions from individual power plants from space. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 2017. doi:10.1002/2017GL074702.
  • Eldering, A., P.O. Wennberg, D. Crisp, D. Schimel, M.R. Gunson, A. Chatterjee, J. Liu, F. Schwandner, Y. Sun, C.W. O'Dell, C. Frankenberg, T. Taylor, B. Fisher, G.B. Osterman, D. Wunch, J. Hakkarainen, J. Tamminen: The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 early science investigations of regional carbon dioxide fluxes., Science 358, 188, 2017. eaam5745. doi:10.1126/science.aam5745.
  • Lorenz, R.D., Crisp, D., and Huber, L., Venus Atmospheric Structure and Dynamics from the VEGA lander and balloons: New Results and PDS Archive, Icarus, 305, 277-283, 2018. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.12.044.
  • Arney, G., V. Meadows, D. Crisp, S. J. Schmidt, J. Bailey, and T. Robinson, Spatially resolved measurements of H2O, HCl, CO, OCS, SO2, cloud opacity, and acid concentration in the Venus near-infrared spectral windows, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 119, 1860-1891, 2014, doi:10.1002/2014JE004662.
  • Kuze, A, T. E. Taylor, F. Kataoka, C. J. Bruegge, D. Crisp, M. Harada, M. Helmlinger, M. Inoue, S. Kawakami, N. Kikuchi, Y. Mitomi, J. Murooka, M. Naitoh, D. M. O'Brien, C. W. O'Dell, H. Ohyama, H. Pollock, F. M. Schwandner, K. Shiomi, H. Suto, T. Takeda, T. Tanaka, T. Urabe, T. Yokota, and Y. Yoshida, Long-Term Vicarious Calibration of GOSAT Short-Wave Sensors: Techniques for Error Reduction and New Estimates of Radiometric Degradation Factors, IEEE Transactions On Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 52, 3991-4004, 2014, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2013.2278696.
  • Peter Gao, P., X. Zhang, D. Crisp, C. G. Bardeen, and Y. L. Yung, Bimodal Distribution of Sulfuric Acid Aerosols in the Upper Haze of Venus, Icarus, 231, 83-98, 2014.
  • Crisp, D., B. M. Fisher, C. O'Dell, C. Frankenberg, R. Basilio, H. Bösch, L. R. Brown, R. Castano, B. Connor, N. M. Deutscher, A. Eldering, D. Griffith, M. Gunson, A. Kuze, L. Mandrake, J. McDuffie, J. Messerschmidt, C. E. Miller, I. Morino,V. Natraj, J. Notholt, D. M. O'Brien, F. Oyafuso, I. Polonsky, J. Robinson, R. Salawitch, V. Sherlock, M. Smyth, H. Suto, T. E. Taylor, D. R. Thompson, P. O. Wennberg, D. Wunch, and Y. L. Yung: The ACOS CO2 retrieval algorithm--Part II: Global XCO2 data characterization, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 687-707, 2012, doi:10.5194/amt-5-687-2012.
  • Crisp, D., C. E. Miller, P. L. DeCola, NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory: measuring the column averaged carbon dioxide mole fraction from space, J. Appl. Remote Sens., 2, 023508, 2008; doi:10.1117/1.2898457.
  • Crisp D., R. M. Atlas, F.-M. Breon, L. R. Brown, J. P. Burrows, P. Ciais, B. J. Connor, S. C. Doney, I. Y. Fung, D. J. Jacob, C. E. Miller, D. O'Brien, S. Pawson, J. T. Randerson, P. Rayner, R. J. Salawitch, S. P. Sander, B. Sen, G. L. Stephens, P. P. Tans, G. C. Toon, P. O. Wennberg, S. C. Wofsy, Y. L. Yung, Z. Kuang, B. Chudasama, G. Sprague, B. Weiss, R. Pollock, D. Kenyon, S. Schroll, The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) Mission, Adv. Space. Res., 34 (4), 700-709, 2004.