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 Atmospheric Observations: People
Florian Schwandner's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 233-300
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109

Florian Schwandner

Florian (Max) is an analytical geochemist by training, working on geogenic and biogenic carbon gas emissions, from ground and space based observations. His expertise lies in applied geochemical monitoring techniques in extreme and remote environments (active volcanoes, deserts, arctic permafrost, high alpine sites). He uses satellite-borne sensing techniques as well as ground-based in-situ sampling. He also develops autonomous real-time networks and data management systems, including designing and building his own sensor instrumentation solutions.

  • PhD (Dr. nat. sci.), Geochemistry, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2002)
  • Diplom, Geology (structural geology and petrology), Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany (1997)
  • Geochemistry, University of Washington, Visiting Graduate Scholar (1995-1996)
  • Vordiplom, Geology, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany (1993)

Research Interests
  • Remote sensing of point source CO2 emitters. Feasibility assessment of satellite-borne monitoring of volcanic CO2 emissions
  • Point source target mode observation strategies with earth-observing satellites, vicarious calibration and automation
  • Anomalous aquatic CO2 emission budgets. Volcano monitoring (carbon & sulfur gases) in South-East Asia
  • Autonomous multi-sensor environmental monitoring networks with mesh telemetry. Economic multisensor monitoring package design and network integration
  • Chemical sensor technology and organic mass spectrometry; chemical marker analysis
  • Interdisciplinary environmental databases, and integrated natural hazard assessment
  • Robotic exploration of volcanic vents


CARVE (Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment) Icon CARVE (Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment)
CARVE is an airborne mission to measure CO2 and CH4 fluxes from Alaska.

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.

Megacities Carbon Project Icon Megacities Carbon Project
The Megacities Carbon Project is being established for the megacities of Los Angeles and Paris.

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
  • NPP Senior Fellow, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (since 2013)
    • OCO-2 Science Team (vicarious calibration, volcanoes)
    • CARVE team member (ground stations)
    • GOSAT RA researcher (volcanoes, target-mode optimization)
  • Senior Research Fellow, Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2009-2012)
  • Research Scientist II, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins (2006-2009)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Arizona State University (2004-2006)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2002-2004)

Selected Awards
  • Medal of the Institute of Mineralogy and Petrology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2002)
  • Diplom degree "Mit Auszeichnung" (= cum laude), Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany (1997)

Selected Publications
  1. Bruegge, C.J., Davies, R., Schwandner, F.M., Seidel, F.C. (2014). "Spectrophotometry Applications: Remote Sensing" In: Thomas A. Germer, Joanne C. Zwinkels and Benjamin K. Tsai (Eds.), Spectrophotometry - Accurate Measurement of Optical Properties of Materials. Experimental Methods in the Physical Sciences 46: 457–487.
  2. Schwandner, F.M. (2014). The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 – Opportunities for Deep Carbon Research. Deep Carbon Observatory Newsletter, July 2014 [published online 2014-07-21–-opportunities-deep-carbon-research ). Peer-reviewed solicited strategy article.
  3. Li, Y., Schwandner, F.M., Sewell, H.J., Zivkovich, A., Tigges, M., Raja, S., Holcomb, S., Molenar, J.V., Sherman, L., Archuleta, C., Lee, T., and Collett, J.L. (2013). Observations of ammonia, nitric acid, and fine particles in a rural gas production region. Atmospheric Environment, Atmospheric Environment 83:80-89. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.10.007.
  4. Mazot A., Schwandner F. M., Christenson B., de Ronde C. E.J., Inguaggiato S. , Scott B., Graham D., Britten K., Keeman, J., and Tan, K. (2013). CO2 discharge from the bottom of volcanic Lake Rotomahana, New Zealand. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 15(3): 577-588. doi:10.1002/2013GC004945.
  5. Schwandner, F.M., Oda, T., Duren, R., Carn, S., Maksyutov, S., Crisp, D., Miller, C.E. (2013). Scientific Opportunities from Target-Mode Capabilities of GOSAT-2. JPL White Paper. Public release in March 2013.
  6. Kuze, A., Taylor, T.E., Kataoka, F., Bruegge, C.J., Crisp, D., Harada, M., Helmlinger, M., Inoue, M., Kawakami, S., Kikuchi, N., Mitomi, Y., Murooka, J., Naito, M., O'Brien, D.M., O'Dell, C.W., Ohyama, H., Pollock, H., Schwandner, F.M., Shiomi, K., Suto, H., Takeda, T., Tanaka, T., Urabe, T., Yokota, T., and Yoshida, Y. (2013). Long-Term Vicarious Calibration of GOSAT Short-Wave Sensors: Techniques for Error Reduction and New Estimates of Radiometric Degradation Factors. IEEE 99:1-14. doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2013.2278696
  7. Benedict, K.B., D. Day, F.M. Schwandner, S.M. Kreidenweis, B. Schichtel, W.C. Malm, J.L. Collett, Jr. (2013). Observations of atmospheric reactive nitrogen species in Rocky Mountain National Park and across northern Colorado. Atmospheric Environment 64:66-76. (student author)
  8. Schwandner, F.M., Seward, T.M., Gize, A.P. Hall, Keith, and Dietrich, V.J. (2013). Halocarbons and other trace heteroatomic organic compounds in volcanic gases from Vulcano (Aeolian Islands, Italy). Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 101, 191-221.
  9. D.E. Day, X. Chen, K.A. Gebhart, C.M. Carrico, F.M. Schwandner, K.B. Benedict, B.A. Schichtel, J.L. Collett Jr. (2012). Spatial and temporal variability of ammonia and other inorganic aerosol species. Atmospheric Environment 61:490-498.
  10. Heald, C. L., Collett Jr., J. L., Lee, T., Benedict, K. B., Schwandner, F. M., Li, Y., Clarisse, L., Hurtmans, D. R., Van Damme, M., Clerbaux, C., Coheur, P.-F., and Pye, H. O. T. (2012): Atmospheric ammonia and particulate inorganic nitrogen over the United States. Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. 12, 19455-19498.
  11. Beem, K.B., Raja, S., Schwandner, F.M., Taylor, C., Lee, T., Sullivan, A.P., Carrico, C.M., McMeeking, G.R., Day, D., Levin, E., Hand, J., Kreidenweis, S.M., Schichtel, B., Malm, W.C., and Collett, Jr., J.C. (2010): Deposition of reactive nitrogen during the Rocky Mountain Airborne Nitrogen and Sulfur (RoMANS) study. Environmental Pollution 158(3):862-872. (student author)
  12. Noblitt, S.D., Schwandner, F.M., Hering, S.V., Collett, J.L., Jr., and Henry, C.S (2008): High-sensitivity microchip electrophoresis determination of inorganic anions and oxalate in atmospheric aerosols with adjustable selectivity and conductivity detection. J. Chromatogr. A 1216(9):1503-1510. (student author)
  13. Windman, T, Zolotova, N., Schwandner, F., and Shock, E. (2007): Formate as an Energy Source for Microbial Metabolism in Chemosynthetic Zones of Hydrothermal Ecosystems. Astrobiology 7(6):873-890. (student author)
  14. Schwandner F. M., Seward T. M., Gize A. P., Hall P. A., and Dietrich V. J. (2004): Diffuse emission of organic trace gases from the flank and crater of a quiescent active volcano (Vulcano, Aeolian Islands, Italy). Journal of Geophysical Research D - Atmospheres 109, D04301, 20pp.
Press Coverage
  1. 2014/11/04 “Rethinking Volcanology: Florian Max Schwandner, JPL Senior Fellow” NPP Newsletter 3(1), Oct.2014. URL: News Volume 3, Issue 1.pdf (links from
  2. 2013/09/20 “ JPL studies local fumarole to develop a robotic sensing tool”. The Sheet (Mammoth Lakes, CA).
  3. 2014/02/25 “Waiting for the next Pompeii (It won’t be long)”. DISCOVER magazine online.
  4. 2014/02/19 “Mount Vesuvius is set to explode as star of 'Pompeii' “. USAToday.
  5. 2014/02/22 “Pompeii and Vesuvius volcano”. Interview by Michio Kaku’s radio show ‘Science Fantastic’.

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