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Michael A. Mischna

Photo of Michael Mischna


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 183-601

Pasadena, CA 91109





Member of:



  • B.S. (Honors) in Atmospheric Science, Cornell University (1997)
  • M.S. in Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University (1999)
  • M.S. in Geophysics and Space Physics, UCLA (2002)
  • Ph.D. in Geophysics and Space Physics, UCLA (2004)

Professional Experience

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2004-present)
    • Deputy Chief Scientist, Planetary Science Directorate (present)
    • Deputy Chief Scientist, Solar System Exploration Directorate (2015-present)
    • Entry, Descent and Landing Team, Mars 2020 Mission (2014-present)
    • Entry, Descent and Landing Team, InSight Mission (2014-2019)
    • Supervisor, Planetary and Exoplanetary Atmospheres Group (2010-present)
    • Co-Investigator, Mars Science Laboratory (2011-2016)
    • Investigation Scientist, Nadir and Occultation for Mars Discovery (NOMAD), ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (2011-2012)
    • Entry, Descent and Landing Team, Mars Science Laboratory (2007-2012)
    • Entry, Descent and Landing Team, Mars Phoenix Mission (2005-2008)

Community Service

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
    • Planetary Sciences Section President-Elect 2019-2020; President 2021-2022
    • Planetary Sciences Section Secretary 2016-2018
    • Fall Meeting Program Committee, 2017-2019
    • Planetary Sciences Outstanding Student Presentation Award Coordinator, 2017-present
    • Cowen Award Committee, 2008-2010, Chair 2015-2017
    • Committee Member, Sullivan Award, 2010-2012, Chair, 2013-2015
    • Eos Editorial Advisory Board, Planetary Sciences, 2013-2017

Research Interests

  • Martian Climate: Climate evolution, orbital cycles, surface ice distribution through time, surface/regolith interactions, present climate
  • Atmospheric Evolution: Giant Impacts, volatile contribution/retention following impacts, origin and evolution of Earth's early atmosphere, differences between terrestrial atmospheres
  • Planetary Atmospheres: Planetary weather and climate, radiative transfer, photochemistry, comparative climatology, spacecraft observations of weather

Selected Awards

  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Extended Mission-1 Science and Operations Team (2017)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Next Generation EDL Research and Development Team (2016)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Prime Mission Science and Operations Team (2015)
  • NASA Early Career Achievement Medal (2014)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Entry, Descent and Landing Team (2013)
  • Lew Allen Award for Excellence (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL DAN Instrument Development and Science Team (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Project Operations Team (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL REMS Instrument Development and Science Team (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Science Office Development and Operations Team (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award (Phoenix Development/Mission Team)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award (Phoenix Entry, Descent & Landing Team)

Selected Publications

  1. Kite, E.S., M.A. Mischna, P. Gao, Y.L. Yung, and M. Turbet, Methane release on early Mars by atmospheric collapse and atmospheric reinflation, Planet. Space Sci., 181, 104820, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2019.104820, 2020
  2. Mischna, M.A. and S. Piqueux, The role of atmospheric pressure on Mars surface properties and early Mars climate modeling, Icarus, 342, 113496, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2019.113496, 2020
  3. Meyer, M., A. Wang, A. Spry, B. Pug, C. Conley, C. Neal, C. Bakermans, D. Beaty, D. Bernard, F. Raulin, I. Feustel, J. Rummel, K. Junge, L. Hays, M. Mischna, M. Mellon, M. Schulte, N. Yee, N. Rennó, P. Boston, P. Stabekis, R. Gough, R. Quinn, R. Lindberg, T. Glotch, and V. Chevrier, Report on the joint workshop on induced special regions, Life Sci. Space Res., 23, 50-59, doi:10.1016/j.lssr.2019.09.002, 2019
  4. Tate, C., A. Kozyrev, A. Malakhov, A. Vostrukhin, A. Sanin, B. Ehresmann, C. Zeitlin, C. Hardgrove, D. Lisov, D. Golovin, D. Hassler, F. Fedosov, I. Mitrofanov, I. Jun, J. Moersch, K. Harshman, M. Litvak, M. Mischna, N. Cagle, P. Bellutta, R. Starr, S. Nikiforov, and W. Boynton, Mars Science Laboratory Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons passive mode data and results from sols 753 to 1292:  Pahrump Hills to Naukluft Plateau, Icarus, 330, 75-90, doi:10.1016/ j.icarus.2019.04.029, 2019.
  5. Temel, O., Ö. Karatekin, E. Gloesener, M. Mischna, and J. van Beeck, Atmospheric transport of subsurface, sporadic, time-varying methane releases on Mars, Icarus, 325, 39-54, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2019.02.014, 2019.
  6. Newman, C.E., C. Lee, M.A. Mischna, M.I. Richardson, and J.H. Shirley, An initial assessment of the impact of postulated orbit-spin coupling on Mars dust storm variability in fully interactive dust simulations, Icarus, 317, 649-668, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2018.07.023, 2019.
  7. Shirley, J.H., C.E. Newman, M.A. Mischna, and M.I. Richardson, Replication of the historic record of martian global dust storm occurrence in an atmospheric general circulation model, Icarus, 317, 197-208, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2018.07.024, 2019.
  8. Stamenković, V., L.M. Ward, M. Mischna, and W.W. Fischer, Aerobic environments on Mars: Annual averages and recent secular variation, Nature Geosci., 11, 905-909, doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0243-0, 2018.
  9. Yung, Y.L., P. Chen, K. Nealson, S. Atreya, P. Beckett, J. Blank, B. Ehlmann, J. Eiler, G. Etiope, J.G. Ferry, F. Forget, P. Gao, R. Hu, A. Kleinböhl, R. Klusman, F. Lefèvre, C. Miller, M. Mischna, M. Mumma, S. Newman, D. Oehler, M. Okumura, R. Oremland, V. Orphan, R. Popa, M. Russell, L. Shen, B. Sherwood-Lollar, R. Staehle, V. Stamenković, D. Stolper, A. Templeton, A.C. Vandaele, S. Viscardy, C. Webster, P.O. Wennberg, M. Wong, and J. Worden, Methane on Mars: Challenges and Responses, Astrobio., 18, 1-22, doi:10.1089/ast.2018.1917, 2018.
  10. Lee, C., M. Richardson, C. Newman and M. Mischna, The sensitivity of solsticial pauses to atmospheric ice and dust in the MarsWRF general circulation model, Icarus, 311, 23-34doi:10.1016.j.icarus.2018.03.019, 2018.
  11. Mansfield, M., E. Kite and M.A. Mischna, Effect of Mars Atmospheric Loss on Snow Melt Potential in a 3.5-Gyr Mars Climate Evolution Model, J. Geophys. Res. accepted, doi:10.1002/2017JE005422, 2018.
  12. Shirley, J.H. and M. Mischna, Orbit-spin coupling and the interannual variability of global-scale dust storm occurrence on Mars, Planet. Space Sci., 139, 37-50, 2017.
  13. Mischna, M and J.H. Shirley, Numerical modeling of orbit-spin coupling accelerations in a Mars general circulation model: Implications for global dust storm activity, Planet. Space Sci., 141, 45-72, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2017.04.003, 2017.
  14. Mischna, M.A., V. Baker, R. Milliken, M. Richardson and C. Lee, Effects of Obliquity and Water Vapor/Trace Gas Greenhouses in the Early Martian Climate, J. Geophys. Res., 118, doi:10.1029/2012JE004200, 2013.
  15. Mischna, M.A., C. Lee and M. Richardson, Development of a Fast, Accurate Radiative Transfer Model for the Martian Atmosphere, Past and Present, J. Geophys. Res., 117, E10009, doi:10.1029/2012JE004110, 2012.
  16. Mischna, M.A., M. Allen, M.I. Richardson, C.E. Newman and A.D. Toigo, Atmospheric modeling ofMars methane surface releases, Planet. Space Sci., 59, 227-237, 2011.
  17. Mischna, M.A., et al., Atmospheric Science Research Priorities for Mars, White Paper submitted to NRC Decadal Survey, 2011-2020.
  18. Johnson, S.S., A.A. Pavlov and M.A. Mischna, The fate of SO2 in the ancient martian atmosphere: Implications for transient greenhouse warming, J. Geophys. Res. doi:10.1029/2008JE003313, 2009.
  19. Mischna, M.A., S. Lee, M. Allen and R.J. Terrile, Use of evolutionary computation for isolating surface emissions from orbit, Proceedings of the IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, 2009.
  20. Johnson, S.S., M.A. Mischna, T.L. Grove and M.T. Zuber, Sulfur-induced greenhouse warming on early Mars, J. Geophys. Res. 113 E08005, doi:10.1029/2007JE002962, 2008.
  21. Mischna, M. A. and M. I. Richardson, A reanalysis of water abundances in the martian atmosphere at high obliquity, Geophys. Res. Lett. 32 L03201, doi:10.1029/2004GL021865, 2005.
  22. Richardson, M. I. and M. A. Mischna, The long-term evolution of transient liquid water on Mars, J. Geophys. Res. 110 E03003, doi:10.1029/2004JE002367, 2005.