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 Earth Science: People
David  Crisp's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-501
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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David Crisp
Senior Research Scientist

Dr. David Crisp is a Senior Research Scientist and the leader of the NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) Science Team. Dr. Crisp is an atmospheric physicist. 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 radiative transfer algorithms for remote sensing and climate models of Venus, Earth, and Mars. During his 30+ year career at JPL, Dr. Crisp has served as an instrument provider and science team member for several flight projects including the Soviet/French/U.S. Venus VEGA Balloon Mission, the NASA Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), Mars Pathfinder Lander Atmospheric Structure Instrument, and the ESA Venus Express Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) and Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC). He pioneered the use of ground-based near infrared observations of the Venus night side for studies of the sub-cloud atmosphere. He contributed to NASA technology programs by developing in situ atmospheric structure and meteorological instruments for Mars and by serving as the Chief Scientist of the NASA New Millennium Program from 1998 to 2001. He also contributes to the NASA Astrobiology Program as a member of the Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL) Team. Dr. Crisp was the Principal Investigator of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) mission, NASA's first dedicated carbon dioxide measurement mission. He has also served as NASA's primary interface to the Japanese Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) mission as the Science Lead of the NASA Atmospheric CO2 Observations from Space (ACOS) team.

  • 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)


OCO-2 - Orbiting Carbon Observatory Icon OCO-2 - Orbiting Carbon Observatory
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) is a mission designed to make precise, time-dependent global measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) from an Earth orbiting satellite.

GOSAT Project Icon GOSAT Project
The Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) Project is a joint effort promoted by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE).

Professional Experience
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (1986-Present)
    • Principal Investigator, Earth System Science Pathfinder Orbiting Carbon Observatory Mission
    • Senior Research Scientist, Science Division (1999-Present)
    • Deputy PI, NASA Astrobiology Institute Virtual Planetary Laboratory (2001-2006)
    • Discovery Mars NetLander: U.S. Atmospheric Science Instrument System Lead (1999-2003)
    • Chief Scientist, NASA New Millennium Program (1998-2001)
    • CloudSat Science Team, Profiling A-Band Spectrometer Provider (1999-2000)
    • Mars 98 Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor: Science Team, Met Instrument Provider (1997-1999)
    • Mars Pathfinder Atmospheric Structure/Meteorology Facility Instrument Science Team (1997-1998)
    • Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Planetary Camera Science Team (1986-1996)
  • California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (1984-1990)
    • Institute Visiting Associate, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Member Stratospheric 2D Modeling Team (1986-1990)
    • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Member of the Soviet/French/US VEGA Balloon Science Team (1984-1986)
  • Research Associate, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (1983-1984)

Selected Awards
  • JPL Level A Bonus Award for Strategic Leadership: PI of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (2004)
  • NASA Exceptional 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 (2002)
  • 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.
  • NASA Graduate Student Research Fellowship (1981-1983)

Selected Publications
  1. Halthore RN, Crisp D, Schwartz SE, Anderson GP, Berk A, Bonnel B, Boucher O, Chang FL, Chou MD, Clothiaux EE, Dubuisson P, Fomin B, Fouquart Y, Freidenreich S, Gautier C, Kato S, Laszlo I, Li Z, Mather JH, Plana-Fattori A, Ramaswamy V, Ricchiazzi P, Shiren Y, Trishchenko A, Wiscombe W, Intercomparison of shortwave radiative transfer codes and measurements J. Geophys. Res-Atmospheres 110 (D11): Art. No. D11206 JUN 3 2005.
  2. Crisp D, Johnson C, The orbiting carbon observatory mission, ACTA ASTRONAUTICA 56 (1-2): 193-197 JAN 2005.
  3. Meadows V, Crisp D, The Virtual Planetary Laboratory: Towards characterization of extrasolar terrestrial planets, BIOASTRONOMY 2002: LIFE AMONG THE STARS IAU SYMPOSIA (213)129-138 2004.
  4. 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. Yung11, 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)
  5. Crisp D., Pathare A., Ewell R. C., The performance of gallium arsenide/germanium solar cells at the Martian surface, Acta Astronautica, 54(2), 83-101 (2004)
  6. Segura A, Krelove K, Kastings JF, Sommerlatt D, Meadows V, Crisp D, Cohen M, Mlawer E, Ozone concentrations and ultraviolet fluxes on Earth-like planets around other stars, ASTROBIOLOGY, 3(4), 689-708 (2003)
  7. Crisp, D. et al., Divergent Evolution Among Earth-like Planets: The Case for Venus Exploration, THE FUTURE OF SOLAR SYSTEM EXPLORATION, 2003-2013, Community Contributions to the NRC Solar System Exploration Survey, ASP Conference Series, vol. 272, 5-34 (2002)
  8. Kuang ZM, Margolis J, Toon G, Crisp D, Yung Y, Spaceborne measurements of atmospheric CO2 by high-resolution NIR spectrometry of reflected sunlight, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29 (15): art. no. 1716 (2002)
  9. Crisp, D., Planetary Science - The nightside of Venus, Science, 291, 444-445 (2001)
  10. May R. D., Forouhar S., Crisp D., Woodward W. S., Paige D. A., Pathare A., Boynton W. V., The MVACS tunable diode laser spectrometers, J. Geophys. Res, 106, 17673-17682 (2001)
  11. Clifford SM, Crisp D, Fisher DA, Herkenhoff KE, Smrekar SE, Thomas PC, Wynn-Williams DD, Zurek RW, Barnes JR, Bills BG, Blake EW, Calvin WM, Cameron JM, Carr MH, Christensen PR, Clark BC, Clow GD, Cutts JA, Dahl-Jensen D, Durham WB, Fanale FP, Farmer JD, Forget F, Gotto-Azuma K, Grard R, Haberle RM, Harrison W, Harvey R, Howard AD, Ingersoll AP, James PB, Kargel JS, Kieffer HH, Larsen J, Lepper K, Malin MC, McCleese DJ, Murray B, Nye JF, Paige DA, Platt SR, Plaut JJ, Reeh N, Rice JW, Smith DE, Stoker CR, Tanaka KL, Mosley-Thompson E, Thorsteinsson T, Wood SE, Zent A, Zuber MT, Zwally HJ, The state and future of Mars polar science and exploration, ICARUS, 144, 210-242 (2000)
  12. Polkko J, Harri AM, Siili T, Angrilli F, Calcutt S, Crisp D, Larsen S, Pommereau JP, Stoppato P, Lehto A, Malique C, Tillman, The NetLander atmospheric instrument system (ATMIS): description and performance assessment, Planetary and Space Science, 48, 1407-1420 (2000)
  13. Crisp, D., Chapter 11.23. Thermal emission by the atmosphere, Allen's Astrophysical Quantities, (A. N. Cox, Ed.), 270-271 (2000)
  14. Crisp, D., Chapter 11.22. Absorption by atmospheric gases at visible and infrared wavelengths, Allen's Astrophysical Quantities, (A. N. Cox, Ed.), 268-270 (2000)
  15. Crisp, D., Chapter 11.21. Atmospheric scattering and continuum absorption, Allen's Astrophysical Quantities, (A. N. Cox, Ed.), 265-268 (2000)

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