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Michael Garay

Photo of Michael Garay


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 169-237

Pasadena, CA 91109





Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Aerosols And Clouds


I am a member of the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) science team leading the development and testing of aerosol retrievals. I also work on cloud and wind retrievals from MISR. I am a co-investigator on the Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) proposal to study particulate matter (PM) types from space that was recently selected as part of NASA's Earth Ventures Instrument program. I am also a member of the Airborne Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager (AirMSPI) team and participate in field campaigns with this instrument that flies on the NASA ER-2 high-altitude research aircraft. Previously, I worked on a number of projects at JPL including automatic image classification using support vector machines, multi-instrument and multi-platform data fusion, sensor webs, and feature identification and tracking. I have expertise in remote sensing, 1- and 3-dimensional polarimetric radiative transfer, and data visualization and analysis using a variety of satellite, airborne, and ground-based instruments.


  • M.S., Atmospheric Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles (2004)
  • B.S., Physics, University of Toledo, Ohio (1995)
  • B.A., English Literature (with Honors), University of Toledo, Ohio (1995)

Professional Experience

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Research Technologist III (2011 – Present)
  • Raytheon Company, Senior Physics Engineer I (2007 – 2011)
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Academic Part Time Intern (2003 – 2007)
  • Department of Atmospheric Sciences, UCLA, Graduate Teaching Assistant (2002 – 2003)

Community Service

Peer reviewer for a wide variety of academic publications

Research Interests

  • 1-dimensional and 3-dimensional polarized radiative transfer
  • Satellite remote sensing of clouds and aerosols and related physical processes
  • Multi-instrument data fusion and multi-platform sensor webs
  • Machine learning techniques, including support vector machines
  • Data analysis and visualization

Selected Awards

  • NASA Group Achievement Awards (2017, 2014)
  • JPL Team Award (2016)
  • NASA Space Act Board Award (2008)

Selected Publications

  1. M. L. Witek, D. J. Diner, M. J. Garay, F. Xu, M. A. Bull, and F. C. Seidel, "Improving MISR AOD retrievals with low-light-level corrections for veiling light," IEEE Transactions of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 56, 1251-1268, doi:10.1009/TGRS.2017.2727342, 2018.
  2. B. H. Holben, J. Kim, I. Sano, S. Mukai, T. F. Eck, D. M. Giles, J. S. Shafer, A. Sinyuk, I. Slutsker, A. Smirnov, M. Sorokin, B. E. Anderson, H. Che, M. Choi, J. H. Crawford, R. A. Ferrare, M. J. Garay, U. Jeong, M. Kim, W. Kim, N. Knox, Z. Li, H. S. Lim, Y. Liu, H. Maring, M. Nakata, K. E. Pickering, S. Piketh, J. Redemann, J. S. Reid, S. Salinas, S. Seo, F. Tan, S. N. Tripathi, O. B. Toon, and Q. Xiao, "An overview of mesoscale aerosol processes, comparisons, and validation studies from DRAGON networks," Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18, 655-671, doi:10.5194/acp-18-655-2018, 2018.
  3. M. L. Witek, M. J. Garay, D. J. Diner, M. A. Bull, and F. C. Seidel, "New approach to the retrieval of AOD and its uncertainty from MISR observations over dark water," Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 11, 429-439, doi:10.5194/amt-11-429-2018, 2018.
  4. X. Meng, M. J. Garay, D. J. Diner, O. V. Kalashnikova, J. Xu, and Y. Liu, "Estimating PM2.5 speciation concentrations using prototype 4.4 km-resolution MISR aerosol properties over Southern California," Atmospheric Environment, 181, 70-81, doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2018.03.019, 2018.
  5. W. Li, H. El-Askary, K. P. ManiKandan, M. A. Qurban, M. J. Garay, and O. V. Kalashnikova, "Synergistic use of remote sensing and modeling to assess an anomalously high chlorophyll-a even during Summer 2015 in the South Central Red Sea," Remote Sensing, 9, 778, doi:10.3390/rs9080778, 2017.
  6. M. Franklin, O. V. Kalashnikova, and M. J. Garay, "Size-resolved particulate matter concentrations derived from 4.4 km-resolution size-fractionated Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) aerosol optical depth over Southern California," Remote Sensing of Environment, 196, 312-323, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2017.05.002, 2017.
  7. M. G. Tosca, J. Campbell, M. Garay, S. Lolli, F. C. Seidel, J. Marquis, and O. Kalashnikova, "Attributing accelerated summertime warming in the Southeast United States to recent reductions in aerosol burden: Indications from vertically-resolved observations," Remote Sensing, 9, 674, doi:10.3390/rs9070674, 2017.
  8. L. Wu, H. Su, O. V. Kalashnikova, J. H. Jiang, C. Zhao, M. J. Garay, J. R. Campbell, and N. Yu, "WRF-Chem simulation of aerosol seasonal variability in the San Joaquin Valley," Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 17, 7291-7309, doi:10.5194/acp-17-7291-2017, 2017.
  9. B. Zhao, J. H. Jiang, Y. Gu, D. Diner, J. Worden, K.-N. Liou, H. Su, J. Xing, M. Garay, and L. Huang, "Decadal-scale trends in regional aerosol particle properties and their linkage to emissions changes," Environmental Research Letters, 12, 054021, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa6cb2, 2017.
  10. M. J. Garay, O. V. Kalashnikova, and M. A. Bull, "Development and assessment of a higher-spatial-resolution (4.4 km) MISR aerosol optical depth product using AERONET-DRAGON data," Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 17, 5095-5106, doi:10.5194/acp-17-5095-2017, 2017.
  11. K. J. Mueller, D. L. Wu, Á. Horváth, V. M. Jovanovic, J.-P. Muller, L. Di Girolamo, M. J. Garay, D. J. Diner, C. M. Moroney, and S. Wanzong, "Assessment of MISR Cloud Motion Vectors (CMVs) relative to GOES and MODIS Atmospheric Motion Vectors (AMVs)," Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 56, 555-572, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-16-0112.1, 2017.
  12. M. J. Garay, A. B. Davis, and D. J. Diner, "Tomographic reconstruction of an aerosol plume using passive multiangle observations from the MISR satellite instrument," Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 12,590-12,596, doi:10.1002/2016GL071479, 2016.
  13. M. L. Witek, D. J. Diner, and M. J. Garay, "Satellite assessment of sea spray aerosol productivity: Southern Ocean case study," Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121, 872-894, doi:10.1002/2015JD023726, 2016.
  14. Y. Yu, M. Notaro, O. V. Kalshnikova, and M. J. Garay, "Climatology of summer Shamal wind in the Middle East," Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121, 289-305, doi:10.1002/2015JD024063, 2016.
  15. F. Xu, O. Dubovik, P.-W. Zhai, D. J. Diner, O. V. Kalashnikova, F. C. Seidel, P. Litvinov, A. Bovchaliuk, M. J. Garay, G. van Harten, and A. B. Davis, "Joint retrieval of aerosol and water-leaving radiance from multispectral, multiangular and polarimetric measurements over ocean," Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 9, 2877-2907, doi:10.5194/amt-9-2877-2016, 2016.
  16. H. Lee, O. V. Kalashnikova, K. Suzuki, A. Braverman, M. J. Garay, and R. A. Kahn, "Climatology of the aerosol optical depth by components from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) and chemistry transport models," Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16, 6627-6640, doi:10.5194/acp-16-6627-2016, 2016.
  17. M. G. Tosca, D. J. Diner, M. J. Garay, and O. V. Kalashnikova, "Human-caused fires limit convection in tropical Africa: First temporal observations and attribution," Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 6492-6501, doi:10.1002/2015GL065063, 2015.
  18. Y.-C. Chen, M. W. Christensen, D. J. Diner, and M. J. Garay, "Aerosol-cloud interactions in ship tracks using Terra MODIS/MISR," Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 120, 2819-2833, doi:10.1022/2014JD022736, 2015.
  19. S. Li, R. Kahn, M. Chin, M. J. Garay, and Y. Liu, "Improving satellite-retrieved aerosol microphysical properties using GOCART data," Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 8, 1157-1171, doi:10.5194/amt-8-1157-2015, 2015.