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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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Curriculum Vitae:

David Crisp
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 Planetary 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 Astrobiology Institute Virtual Planetary Laboratory (NAI 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) mission 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 the Science Definition Team co-lead for the NASA Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Days, Nights, and Seasons (ASCENDS) mission concept, and as a member of CO2 Task Force convened by ESA and the European Commission to study a future operational CO2 mission. 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)

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


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).

HST (Hubble Space Telescope) Icon HST (Hubble Space Telescope)
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope was launched April 24, 1990, on the space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

OCO-3 - Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 Icon OCO-3 - Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3, or OCO-3, is a future space instrument designed to investigate important questions about the distribution of carbon dioxide on Earth as it relates to growing urban populations...

Professional Experience
  • NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and OCO-3: Science Team Leader
  • NASA Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory (GeoCarb): Science Team member and JPL Task Lead
  • NASA Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Days, Nights, and Seasons (ASCENDS), Science Definition Team co-lead
  • NASA Astrobiology Institute Virtual Planetary Laboratory (NAI VPL): JPL Lead
  • Visiting Scholar, Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Atmospheric Composition Virtual Constellation (AC-VC) Greenhouse Gas Lead
  • European Space Agency (ESA)/European Commission (EC) CO2 Task Force Member
  • 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

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
    1. Crisp, D. and A. T. Young, Vertical extent of the zonal winds on Venus, Icarus, 35, 182-188, 1978.
    2. Crisp, D., S. B. Fels and M. D. Schwarzkopf, Approximate methods for finding CO2 15 micron band transmission in the atmospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars, J. Geophys. Res., 91, 11851-11866, 1986.
    3. Crisp, D., Radiative forcing of the Venus mesosphere I: Solar fluxes and heating rates, Icarus, 67, 484-514, 1986.
    4. Crisp, D., Radiative forcing of the Venus mesosphere II: Thermal fluxes, cooling rates and radiative equilibrium temperatures, Icarus, 77, 391-431, 1989.
    5. Crisp, D., Two-Dimensional Intercomparison of Stratospheric Models: Comparison of thermal infrared cooling rates, NASA Conference Publication, 3042, 89-105, 1989
    6. Crisp, D., A. P. Ingersoll, C. E. Hildebrand, and R. A. Preston, VEGA Balloon meteorological measurements, Advanc. Space Res., 10, 109-124, 1990.
    7. West, R., D. Crisp, and L. Chen, Mapping transformations for broadband atmospheric radiation calculations, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 43, 191-199, 1990.
    8. Crisp, D., Infrared radiative transfer in the dust-free Martian atmosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 95, 14577-14588, 1990.
    9. Crisp, D., D. A. Allen, D. H. Grinspoon, and J. B. Pollack, The dark side of Venus: Near-infrared images and spectra from the Anglo Australian Observatory, Science, 253, 1263-1266, 1991.
    10. Crisp, D., S. McMuldroch, S. K. Stephens, W. M. Sinton, B. Ragent, K.-W. Hodapp, R. G. Probst, L. R. Doyle, D. A. Allen, and J. Elias, Ground-based near-infrared imaging observations of Venus during the Galileo Encounter, Science, 253, 1538-1541, 1991.
    11. Santee, M. L. and D. Crisp, The thermal structure and dust loading of the Martian atmosphere during late southern summer: `Mariner 9 revisited, J. Geophys. Res., 98, 3261-3279, 1993.
    12. Crisp, D., W. J. Kaiser, T. R. VanZandt, M. E. Hoenk, and J. E. Tillman, Micro weather stations for Mars, Acta Astronautica 35, 407-415, 1995.
    13. Gerstell, M. F., J. Crisp, and D. Crisp, Radiative forcing of the stratosphere by SO2 gas, silicate ash, and H2SO4 aerosols, shortly after the 1982 eruption of El Chichon, J. Climate 8, 1060-1070, 1995.
    14. Meadows, V. S. and D. Crisp, Impact Plume Composition from Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, Proceedings of the European SL-9/Jupiter Workshop, R. M. West and H. Boehnhardt, eds., pp 239-244.
    15. Crisp, D., V. S. Meadows, B. Bezard, C. de Bergh, J.-P. Maillard, and F. P. Mills, Ground-Based Near-Infrared Observations of the Venus Night Side: 1.27m O2(1) Airglow from the Venus Upper Atmosphere, J. Geophys. Res. 101, 4577-4593, 1996.
    16. Meadows, V. S. and D. Crisp, Ground-Based Near-Infrared Observations of the Venus NightSide: The Thermal Structure and Water Abundance near the Surface, J. Geophys. Res. 101, 4595-4622, 1996.
    17. Crisp, D., Absorption of sunlight by water vapor in cloudy conditions: A partial explanation for the cloud absorption anomaly, Geophys. Res. Lett., 24, 571-574, 1997.
    18. Crisp, D. Planetary Science - The nightside of Venus, Science, 291, 444-445, 2001.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. Meadows V, D. Crisp, The Virtual Planetary Laboratory: Towards characterization of extrasolar terrestrial planets, BIOASTRONOMY 2002: LIFE AMONG THE STARS IAU SYMPOSIA (213)129-138 2004.
    22. Crisp D, C. Johnson, The Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission, Acta Astronautica, 56 (1-2): 193-197 JAN 2005.
    23. Savijarvi H, Crisp D, Harri AM, Effects of CO2 and dust on present-day solar radiation and climate on Mars, Quarterly Journal Of The Royal Meteorological Society, 131(611):2907-2922, Part A, Oct 2005.
    24. 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.
    25. 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.
    26. 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

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