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

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
  • Volcano-Ecology; Enhanced levels of emissions in volcanically active tropical ecosystems; sUAS mapping of above-canopy volcanically enhanced CO2 fields
  • 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


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...

ABoVE (Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment ) Icon ABoVE (Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment )
The Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) is a proposed NASA field campaign focusing on understanding the Arctic-Boreal environment.

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).

The Cloud, Aerosol and Monsoon Processes Philippines Experiment (CAMP2Ex)

Habitability of Hydrocarbon Worlds: Titan and Beyond Icon Habitability of Hydrocarbon Worlds: Titan and Beyond
NASA Astrobiology Institute

HyspIRI Mission Study Icon HyspIRI Mission Study
The Hyperspectral Infrared Imager or HyspIRI mission will study the worlds ecosystems and provide critical information on natural disasters.

Professional Experience
  • Member of several scientific boards and steering committees.
  • Associate Editor (Volcanology), Geoscience Letters
  • AOGS (Asia Oceania Geoscience Society), Solid Earth section president-elect / vice president

  • Project Scientist IV (JIFRESSE-UCLA), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (since 2016)
    • TO-18 SBG Study Team (geological hazards, volcanology)
    • ASTER Science Team (volcanic gases)
    • OCO-2 Science Team (vicarious calibration, volcanic gases)
    • GOSAT RA researcher (volcanoes, target-mode optimization)
    • TCCON Philippines Team Member
    • HyspIRI Science Team (validation, volcanic gases)
  • NPP Senior Fellow, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (2013-2015)
  • 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
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, OCO-2 Science Team, named (2018)
  • NASA Ames Team Excellence Honor Award (VEREX team), for pioneering the safe and effective use of UAVs to measure volcanic emissions in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for HyspIRI (2017)
  • JPL Appreciation award for contributions to the successful launch & operations of OCO-2 (2014)
  • 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., Crisp, D., Helmlinger, M.C., Kataoka, F., Kuze, A., Lee, R., McDuffie, J., Rosenberg, R., Schwandner, F.M., Shiomi, K., Yu, S. Vicarious Calibration of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) at Railroad Valley. IEEE Trans Geosci Remote Sens., 57(7), 5135 - 5145. DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2019.2897068.
  2. Bogue, R.R., Schwandner, F.M., Fisher, J.B., Pavlick, R., Magney, T.S., Famiglietti, C.A., Cawse-Nicholson, K., Yadav, V., Linick, J.P., North, G.B., and E. Duarte (2018). Plant responses to volcanically-elevated CO2 in two Costa Rican Forests. Biogeosciences 16, 1343-1360. DOI: 10.5194/bg-16-1343-2019.
  3. Cawse-Nicholson, K., Fisher, J.B., Famiglietti, C.A., Braverman, A., Schwandner, F.M., Lewicki, J.L., Townsend, P.A., Schimel, D.S., Pavlick, R., Bormann, K.J., Ferraz, A., Kang, E.L., Ma, P., Bogue, R.R., Youmans, T., and D.C. Pieri (2018). Ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 using airborne remote sensing at Mammoth Mountain, California. Biogeosciences, 15: 7403-7418. DOI: 10.5194/bg-15-7403-2018.
  4. Kataoka, F., Crisp, D., Taylor, T.E., O'Dell, C.W., Kuze, A., Shiomi, K., Suto, H., Bruegge, C., Schwandner, F.M., Rosenberg, R., Chapsky, L., Lee, R.A.M. (2017). The cross-calibration of spectral radiances and cross-validation of CO2 estimates from GOSAT and OCO-2. In: Special Issue "Remote Sensing of Greenhouse Gases", Remote Sensing, 9(11), 1158; doi:10.3390/rs9111158.
  5. Schwandner, F.M., Gunson, M.R., Miller, C.E., Carn, S.A., Eldering, A.E., Krings, T., Schimel, D.S., Nguyen, H.M., Crisp, D., O’Dell, C.W., Osterman, G.B., Iraci, L.T., and J.R. Podolske (2017). Space-Borne Detection of Localized Carbon Dioxide Sources. SCIENCE, October 13, 2017, 358 (6360), eaam5782, p. 192, DOI: 10.1126/science.aam5782.
  6. Eldering, A., Wennberg, P., Crisp, D., Schimel, D., Gunson, M.R., Chatterjee, A., Liu, J., Schwandner, F.M., Sun, Y., O'Dell, C.W., Frankenberg, C., Taylor, T., Fisher, B., Osterman, G.B., Wunch, D., Hakkarainen, J., and J. Tamminen (2017). Evaluating the flux of carbon dioxide to and from the atmosphere: The Orbiting Carbon Observatory. SCIENCE, October 13, 2017, 358 (6360), eaam5745, DOI: 10.1126/science.aam5745.
  7. Velazco, V. A., I. Morino, O. Uchino, N. M. Deutscher, B. Bukosa, D. A. Belikov, Y. Oishi, T. Y. Nakajima, R. C. Macatangay, T. Nakatsuru, S. Maksyutov, F. M. Schwandner and D. W. T. Griffith (2016). TCCON Philippines: Toward Quantifying Atmospheric Carbon in Southeast Asia, Climate, Disaster and Development Journal, 2(2): 1-12. DOI: 10.18783/cddj.v002.i02.a01.
  8. 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 D.Wunch. (2016). The On-Orbit Performance of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) Instrument and it Radiometrically Calibrated Products. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 10: 59-81. DOI: 10.5194/amt-2016-281.
  9. Eldering, A., O'Dell, C., Wennberg, P., Crisp, D., Gunson, M. Viatte, C., Avis, C., Braverman, A., Castano, R., Chang, A., Chapsky, L., Cheng, C., Connor, B., Dang, L., Doran, G., Fisher, B., Frankenberg, C., Fu, D., Granat, R., Hobbs, J., Lee, R., Mandrake, L., McDuffie, J., Miller, C., Myers, V., Natraj, V., O'Brien, D., Osterman, G., Oyafuso, F., Payne, V., Pollock, H., Polonsky, I., Roehl, C., Rosenberg, R., Schwandner, F., Smyth, M., Tang, V., Taylor, T., To, C., Wunch, D., and J. Yoshimizu (2016), The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2: First 18 months of Science Data Products. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques,10: 549-563. DOI: 10.5194/amt-2016-247.
  10. Dietrich, V.J., J. Fiebig, G. Chiodini and F.M. Schwandner (2016), Fluid Geochemistry of the Hydrothermal System. In: V.J. Dietrich, E. Lagios, O. Bachmann (Eds.), "Nisyros Volcano", Springer, Berlin, ISBN 978-3-319-55458-7.
  11. 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. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-3860.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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) DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.08.066.
  18. 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. DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2012.10.004.
  19. 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. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.06.045.
  20. 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. DOI: 10.5194/acp-12-10295-2012.
  21. 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) DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2009.09.023.
  22. 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) DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2008.12.084.
  23. 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) DOI: 10.1089/ast.2007.0127.
  24. 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. DOI: 10.1029/2003JD003890.
Press Coverage
  1. 2019/08/07 “Volcanoes blow smoke rings. Now we know how they do it.” National Geographic.
  2. 2019/05/21 “Climate Change is almost too big a problem to study. The solution? Volcanoes.” Massive Science.
  3. 2018/02/07 "NASA Partners With Black Swift Technologies to Study Volcanoes via Drone". The Drive.
  4. 2018/02/07 "Black Swift Technologies and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) demonstrate effective use of sUAS for Volcano research". sUAS News.
  5. 2018/02/07 "Black Swift Technologies and NASA JPL Demonstrate UAS Volcano Research". Zummo Flight Technologies.
  6. 2017/10/14 "Watching the Earth 'Breathe'", BBC World Service,
  7. 2017/10/13 "NASA Satellite Reveals Source of El Niño-Fueled Carbon Dioxide Spike", Scientific American,
  8. 2017/10/13 "Measuring Volcanic Emissions from Space",,
  9. 2017/10/13 "NASA probe reveals power plants pollute more than volcanoes", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
  10. 2017/10/13 "Will a Nasa satellite predict when the Yellowstone supervolcano will erupt?", International Business Times,
  11. 2017/10/12 "Some Power Plants Pollute Worse Than Volcanoes", Bloomberg,
  12. 2017/10/12 "New Insights From OCO-2 Showcased in Science", JPL News Release,
  13. 2017/10/12 "New Insights From OCO-2 Showcased in Science", NASA press release,
  14. 2017/10/12 "This NASA Satellite Is 'Sounding' Our Atmosphere to Understand Fossil Fuel Emissions", Motherboard/Vice,
  15. 2017/10/12 "A NASA satellite that monitors CO2 is revealing the inner workings of our planet", The Verge,
  16. 2017/10/12 "How NASA tracks carbon emissions from space to better understand - and deal with - climate change", L.A. Times,
  17. 2017/04/20 "From the Ground Up: Building an Earth Science Satellite (HyspIRI Hawaii, Part 4)", NASA TV (NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center)
  18. 2017/03/23 "NASA estudia los bosques ticos - Investigan las emisiones del Volcán Turrialba"
  19. 2017/03/23 "Vulcanólogos se unen a trabajo de científicos de la NASA - Investigan las emisiones del volcán Turrialba"
  20. 2016/12/15 “Scientists detect volcanic carbon dioxide from space”
  21. 2016/11/25 “Gas changes signal eruptions” Science.
  22. 2016/11/21 “Volcanic fumes warn of imminent eruptions” Science News.
  23. 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
  24. 2013/09/20 “ JPL studies local fumarole to develop a robotic sensing tool”. The Sheet (Mammoth Lakes, CA).
  25. 2014/02/25 “Waiting for the next Pompeii (It won’t be long)”. DISCOVER magazine online.
  26. 2014/02/19 “Mount Vesuvius is set to explode as star of 'Pompeii' “. USAToday.
  27. 2014/02/22 “Pompeii and Vesuvius volcano”. Interview by Michio Kaku’s radio show ‘Science Fantastic’.

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