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 Tropospheric Composition: People
Robert  Herman's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-401
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109

Robert Herman

  • B.A. in Chemistry, University of Chicago, with general honors (1991)
  • M.S. in Geochemistry, California Institute of Technology (1993)
  • Ph.D. in Geochemistry, California Institute of Technology (1998)

Research Interests
  • Measurement of water, water isotopologues, and other long-lived atmospheric gases from satellite and aircraft platforms
  • Investigating the water cycle using measurements of water vapor and its isotopes
  • Relative humidity and its role in ice cloud microphysical processes such as nucleation, growth, and evaporation
  • Distribution and transport of atmospheric water, and its role in climate change
  • Physics and chemistry of aircraft condensation trails and rocket plumes
  • Validation of tropospheric measurements from TES and AIRS


TES (Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer) is one of four science instruments aboard NASA's Aura satellite, which was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on July 15, 2004.

JPL Laser Hygrometer Icon JPL Laser Hygrometer

The JPL Laser Hygrometer measures in-situ water vapor from NASA aircraft platforms in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, including the NASA ER-2, WB-57, DC-8, and Global Hawk.

Professional Experience

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1998-present)

  • Aura science team member (2005-present)
  • Proposal Manager (2016-present)
  • Principal Investigator, JPL Laser Hygrometers (1999-present)
  • Research Scientist, Atmospheric Laser Spectroscopy Group (2001-present)
  • Scientist, Atmospheric Laser Spectroscopy Group (1999-2001)
  • Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar (1998-1999)

Community Service
  • Reviewer for journal articles (Nature Communications, Applied Physics B, IEEE, Atmos. Phys. Chem., Atmos. Meas. Tech., J. Geophys. Res.)
  • Reviewer for grant proposals (various U.S. and European federal agencies)

Selected Awards
  • NASA Group achievement award, Aura Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer Team (2014)
  • NASA Group achievement award, Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) (2014)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Mid-latitude Airborne Cirrus Properties Experiment (2012)
  • NASA Group Achievement Awards (six) for aircraft and balloon field missions

Selected Publications

Publications and presentations are automatically updated at:

  1. Herman, R. L., Worden, J., Noone, D., Henze, D., Bowman, K., Cady-Pereira, K., Payne, V. H., Kulawik, S., and Fu, D.: Comparison of optimal estimation HDO/H2O Retrievals from AIRS with ORACLES measurements, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 13, 1825–1834, 2020
  2. Jiang, J. H., Yue, Q., Su, H., Kangaslahti, P., Lebsock, M., Reising, S., Schoeberl, M., Wu, L., and Herman, R. L., “Simulation of remote sensing of clouds and humidity from space using a combined platform of radar and multifrequency microwave radiometers”, Earth and Space Science, 6, 2019,
  3. Worden, J. R., Kulawik, S. S., Fu, D., Payne, V. H. , Lipton, A. E., Polonsky, I., He, Y., Cady-Pereira, K., Moncet, J.-L., Herman, R. L., Irion, F. W., and Bowman, K. W., “Characterization and Evaluation of AIRS-Based Estimates of the Deuterium Content of Water Vapor”, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 12, 2331-2339, 2019,
  4. Fu, D., Kulawik, S. S., Miyazaki, K., Bowman, K. W., Worden, J. R., Eldering, A., Livesey, N. J., Teixeira, J., Irion, F. W., Herman, R. L., Osterman, G. B., Liu, X., Levelt, P. F., Thompson, A. M., and Luo, M., “Retrievals of Tropospheric Ozone Profiles from the Synergism of AIRS and OMI: Methodology and Validation”, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 5587-5606, 2018,
  5. Herman, R. L., Ray, E. A., Rosenlof, K. H., Bedka, K. M., Schwartz, M. J., Read, W. G., Troy, R. F., Chin, K., Christensen, L. E., Fu, D., Stachnik, R. A., Bui, T. P., and Dean-Day, J. M., "Enhanced Stratospheric Water Vapor over the Summertime Continental United States and the Role of Overshooting Convection," Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 1-12, 2017,
  6. Kuai, L., Bowman, K. W., Worden, H. M., Herman, R. L., Kulawik, S. S., "Hydrological controls on the tropospheric ozone greenhouse gas effect," Elem. Sci. Anth. 2017; 5:10. DOI:
  7. Herman, R. L., Ray, E. A., Rosenlof, K. H., Bedka, K. M., Schwartz, M. J., Read, W. G., Troy, R. F., Chin, K., Christensen, L. E., Fu, D., Stachnik, R. A., Bui, T. P., and Dean-Day, J. M.: Enhanced Stratospheric Water Vapor over the Summertime Continental United States and the Role of Overshooting Convection, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1065, in review, 2016.
  8. R. L. Herman, J. E. Cherry, J. Young, J. M. Welker, D. Noone, S. S. Kulawik, and J. Worden, “Aircraft validation of Aura Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer retrievals of HDO / H2O,” Atmos. Meas. Tech., 7, 3127-3138, doi:10.5194/amt-7-3127-2014, 2014.
  9. D. W. Fahey, R.-S. Gao, O. Möhler, H. Saathoff, C. Schiller, V. Ebert, M. Krämer, T. Peter, N. Amarouche, L. M. Avallone, R. Bauer, Z. Bozóki, L. E. Christensen, S. M. Davis, G. Durry, C. Dyroff, R. L. Herman, S. Hunsmann, S. Khaykin, P. Mackrodt, J. Meyer, J. B. Smith, N. Spelten, R. F. Troy, H. Vömel, S. Wagner, F. G. Weinhold, “The AquaVIT-1 Intercomparison of Atmospheric Water Vapor Measurement Techniques,” Atmos. Meas. Tech., 7, 3177-3213, doi:10.5194/amt-7-3177-2014, 2014.
  10. M. Luo, W. Read, S. Kulawik, J. Worden, N. Livesey, K. Bowman, and R. Herman, “Carbon monoxide (CO) vertical profiles derived from joined TES and MLS measurements,” J. Geophys. Res., 118, 1–13, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50800, 2013.
  11. T. LeBlanc, et al., “Measurements of Humidity in the Atmosphere and Validation Experiments (MOHAVE)-2009: overview of campaign operations and results,” Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 2579-605, doi: 10.5194/amt-4-2579-2011, 2011.
  12. K. D. Froyd, D. M. Murphy, P. Lawson, D. Baumgardner, and R. L. Herman, "Aerosols that form subvisible cirrus at the tropical tropopause," Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 209-18, 2010.
  13. I. V. Gensch, H. Bunz, D. G. Baumgardner, L. E. Christensen, D. W. Fahey, R. L. Herman, P. J. Popp, J. B. Smith, R. F. Troy, C. R. Webster, E. M. Weinstock, J. C. Wilson, T. Peter and M. Kramer, "Supersaturations, microphysics and nitric acid partitioning in a cold cirrus observed during CR-AVE 2006: An observation-modeling intercomparison study," Environ. Res. Lett., 3 035003 (9pp), doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/3/3/035003, 2008
  14. M. W. Shephard et al., "Comparison of Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer nadir water vapor retrievals with in situ measurements," J. Geophys. Res., 113, D15S24, doi: 10.1029/2007JD008822, 2008.
  15. Lopez, J.P., A.M. Fridlind, H.-J. Jost, M. Loewenstein, A.S. Ackerman, T.L. Campos, E.M. Weinstock, D.S. Sayres, J.B. Smith, J.V. Pittman, A.G. Hallar, L.M. Avallone, S.M. Davis, R.L. Herman, CO signatures in subtropical convective clouds and anvils during CRYSTAL-FACE: An analysis of convective transport and entrainment using observations and a cloud-resolving model," J. Geophys. Res., 111, D09305, doi:10.1029/2005JD006104, 2006.
  16. Gao, R.S., D.W. Fahey, P.J. Popp, T.P. Marcy, R.L. Herman, E.M. Weinstock, J.B. Smith, D.S. Sayres, J.V. Pittman, K.H. Rosenlof, T.L. Thompson, P.T. Bui, D.G. Baumgardner, B.E. Anderson, G. Kok, A.J. Weinheiner, "Measurements of relative humidity in a persistent contrail," Atmos. Env., 40, 1590-1600, 2006.
  17. Richard, E. C., A. F. Tuck, K. C. Aikin, K. K. Kelly, R. L. Herman, R. F. Troy, S. J. Hovde, K. H. Rosenlof, T. L. Thompson, D. M. Murphy and E. A. Ray, "High Resolution Airborne Profiles of CH4, O3 and Water Vapor near Tropical Central America in Late January - Early February 2004," J. Geophys. Res., 111, D13304, doi:10.1029/2005JD006513, 2006.
  18. Popp, P.J., T.P. Marcy, E.J. Jensen, B. Kaercher, D.W. Fahey, R.S. Gao, T.L. Thompson, K.H. Rosenlof, E.C. Richard, R.L. Herman, E.M. Weinstock, J.B. Smith, R.D. May, H. Voemel, J.C. Wilson, A.J. Heymsfield, M.J. Mahoney, A.M. Thompson, "The observation of nitric acid-containing particles in the tropical lower stratosphere," Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discus., 6, 601-11, 2006.
  19. Heymsfield, A.J., A. Bansemer, S. Durden, T.P. Bui, and R.L. Herman, "Ice Microphysical observations in Hurricane Humberto: comparison with non-hurricane ice cloud layers," J. Atmos. Sci., 63(1), 288-308, 2006.
  20. Garrett, T.J., B.C. Navarro, C.H. Twohy, E.J. Jensen, D.G. Baumgardner, P.T. Bui, H. Gerber, R.L. Herman, A.J. Heymsfield, P. Lawson, P. Minnis, L. Nguyen, M. Poellot, S.K. Pope, F.P.J. Valero, E.M. Weinstock, "Evolution of a Florida cirrus anvil," J. Atmos. Res., 62, 2353-72, 2005.
  21. Jensen, E., J.B. Smith, L. Pfister, J.V. Pittman, E.M. Weinstock, D.S. Sayres, R.L. Herman, R.F. Troy, K. Rosenlof, T.L. Thompson, A. Fridlind, P. Hudson, D.J. Cziczo, A.J. Heymsfield, C. Schmitt, and J.C. Wilson, "Ice Supersaturations Exceeding 100% at the Cold Tropical Tropopause: Implications for Cirrus Formation and Dehydration," Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discus., 4, 7433-62, 2004.
  22. A. Gettelman, E.M. Weinstock, E. Fetzer, W.F. Irion, A. Eldering, E.C. Richard, K.H. Rosenlof, T.L. Thompson, J.V. Pittman, C.R. Webster, and R.L. Herman, "Validation of Aqua satellite data in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere with in-situ aircraft," Geophys. Res. Lett., 31(22), L22107, doi: 10.1029/2004GL020730, 2004.
  23. Gao, R.-S., P.J. Popp, D.W. Fahey, T.P. Marcy, R.L. Herman, E.M. Weinstock, D.G. Baumgardner, T. J. Garrett, K.H. Rosenlof, T.L. Thompson, P.T. Bui, B.A. Ridley, S.C. Wofsy, O.B. Toon, M.A. Tolbert, B. Kaercher, T. Peter, P.K. Hudson, A.J. Weinheimer, A.J. Heymsfield, "Evidence That Nitric Acid Increases Relative Humidity in Low-Temperature Cirrus Clouds," Science, 303, 516-20, 2004.
  24. Herman, R.L., and A.J. Heymsfield, "Aircraft icing at low temperatures in Tropical Storm Chantal (2001)," Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(18), doi:10.1029/2003GL017746, 2003.
  25. Herman, R.L., K. Drdla, J.R. Spackman, D.F. Hurst, P.J. Popp, C.R. Webster, P.A. Romashkin, J.W. Elkins, E.M. Weinstock, B.W. Gandrud, G.C. Toon, M.R. Schoeberl, H.-J. Jost, E.L. Atlas, and T.P. Bui, "Hydration, dehydration, and the total hydrogen budget of the 1999-2000 winter Arctic stratosphere," J. Geophys. Res., 108(D5), doi:10.1029/2001JD001257, 2003.
  26. Danilin, M.Y. P.J. Popp, R.L. Herman, M.K.W. Ko, M.N. Ross, C.E. Kolb, D.W. Fahey, L.M. Avallone, D.W. Toohey, B.A. Ridley, O. Schmid, J.C. Wilson, D.G. Baumgardner, R.R. Friedl, T.L. Thompson, and J.M. Reeves, "Quantifying Uptake of HNO3 and H2O by Alumina Particles in Athena-II Rocket Plume," J. Geophys. Res., 108(D4), doi:10.1029/2002JD002601, 2003.
  27. Gates, A.M., L.M. Avallone, D.W. Toohey, A.P. Rutter, P.D. Whitefield, D.E. Hagen, A.R. Hopkins, M.N. Ross, P.F. Zittel, T.L. Thompson, R.L. Herman, and R.R. Friedl, "In situ measurements of carbon dioxide, 0.37 - 4.0 µm particles, and water vapor in the stratospheric plumes of small rockets," J. Geophys. Res., 107(D22), doi: 10.1029/2002JD002121, 2002.
  28. Weinstock, E.M., E.J. Hintsa, D.B. Kirk-Davidoff, J.G. Anderson, A.E. Andrews, R.L. Herman, C.R. Webster, M. Loewenstein, J.R. Podolske, and T.P. Bui, "Constraints on the seasonal cycle of stratospheric water vapor using in situ measurements from the ER-2 and a CO photochemical clock," J. Geophys. Res., 106(D19), 22707-24, 2001.
  29. Flocke, F.,  R.L. Herman, R.J. Salawitch, E. Atlas, C.R. Webster, S.M. Schauffler, R.A. Lueb, R.D. May, E.J. Moyer, K.H. Rosenlof, D.C. Scott, D.R. Blake, and T.P. Bui, "An examination of chemistry and transport processes in the tropical lower stratosphere using observations of long-lived and short-lived compounds obtained during STRAT and POLARIS," J. Geophys. Res., 104(D21), 26625-42, 1999.
  30. Scott, D.C., R.L. Herman, C.R. Webster, R.D. May, G. J. Flesch, and E.J. Moyer, "Airborne Laser Infrared Absorption Spectrometer (ALIAS-II) for in situ atmospheric measurements of N2O, CH4, CO, HCl, and NO2 from balloon or remotely piloted aircraft platforms," Applied Optics, 38(21), 4609-22, 1999.
  31. Herman, R.L., C.R. Webster, R.D. May, D.C. Scott, H. Hu, E.J. Moyer, P.O. Wennberg, T.F. Hanisco, E.J. Lanzendorf, R.J. Salawitch, Y.L. Yung, J.J. Margitan, and T.P. Bui, "Measurements of CO in the Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere," Chemosphere: Global Change Science, 1, 173-83, 1999.
  32. Herman, R.L., D.C. Scott, C.R. Webster, R.D. May, E.J. Moyer, R.J. Salawitch, Y.L. Yung, G.C. Toon, B. Sen, J.J. Margitan, K.H. Rosenlof, H.A. Michelsen, and J.W. Elkins, "Tropical entrainment time scales inferred from stratospheric N2O and CH4 observations," Geophys. Res. Lett., 25(15), 2781-4, 1998.

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