Santiago Gassó, Associate Research Scientist

Santiago Gassó


NASA Goddard
Bldg 33, Room C310
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Phone: 301-614-6244
Fax: 301-614-6420


Remote sensing of absorbing (e.g., smoke, dust) and non-absorbing (e.g., sulfate and sea-salt or "marine" dominated) aerosols
Transport studies of dust originating at high latitudes such as from Patagonia desert and Alaska glaciers


Dr. Gassó specializes in observational studies of atmospheric aerosols (such as smoke, dust or marine particulates) using a combination of satellite detectors. He has extensive knowledge of the aerosol retrieval algorithms of the detectors MODIS and OMI and their performance. He has participated as aerosol scientist in the NPOESS Preparatory Project science team (2005-08) and he is an Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) science team member. From 2009 to 2011, he led the Aerosol-Ocean interactions working group, one of the science working groups for the Aerosol, Clouds and Ecosystems (ACE) mission, a proposed NASA mission to fulfill the NRC Decadal Survey requirements. He has aerosol global modeling experience through his postgraduate work with the design of an optical and radiative aerosol properties module in the Navy Aerosol Assimilation Prediction System model. He was awarded a NASA grant to evaluate NAAPS model outputs and compare with satellite retrievals of mass concentration and then an ONR grant to evaluate sulfate emission inventories in NAAPS. More recently he has become a regular user of the Hysplit dispersion model and used it in his recent publications. He is a member of the OMI aerosol remote sensing group at GSFC, led by Dr. Omar Torres. His current OMI-related activities include 1) combining MODIS and OMI aerosol products to improve OMI aerosol retrievals, 2) study the differentiation of organic and black carbon aerosols using a combined satellite and surface remote sensing approach and 3) improving OMI retrievals by combining with data from the Cloud and Aerosol Instrument onboard of the GOSAT satellite.

In addition to the operational aspects of aerosol remote sensing retrievals, his research interests include the study of dust long range transport at high latitudes and its dust impacts in marine biology, an activity he has carried out for the last 10 years. He has been a collaborator and co-investigator in internationally funded projects to survey and monitor dust activity in Patagonia. He made the first (and published) dedicated satellite and model studies of dust activity in Patagonia. In 2007, he chaired and organized the Multidisciplinary Workshop on Southern South American Dust held in Puerto Madryn, Argentina, 2007 for which he obtained NSF funding and had an attendance of 60 participants (~20 international). Since 2010, he has been a Co-I in a NASA-IDS funded project to characterize dust transport from Alaska glaciers and has been monitoring the area with remote sensing tools. He is currently doing satellite observations of dust off the coast of Iceland and actively seeking funding to organize an international workshop of high latitude dust with collaborators in the UK and Iceland. He has authored or co-authored 22 peer-reviewed journal articles, many on the subject of dust transport at high latitudes.