Charles Gatebe, Assoc. Dir., GESTAR & Sr. Research Scientist

Charles Gatebe


NASA Goddard
Bldg 33, Room A321
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Phone: 301-614-6228
Fax: 301-614-6307 or 301-614-6420
Personal Url:


The primary objective for my research is to advance the knowledge of clouds aerosols, ecosystem structure and function, albedo, and feedbacks to climate. We are working towards a well-calibrated, atmospherically corrected and feature-rich airborne dataset for calibration and validation of satellite sensors. We conduct elaborate experiments and develop new methods to define important surface and atmosphere radiative transfer functions, and improve remote sensing retrievals of aerosols and clouds using laboratory, ground-based, airborne and satellite remote sensing. We also develop instruments and technologies for new measurements in support of future Earth observing missions.


Dr. Gatebe works with the Universities Space Research Association based at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Climate and Radiation Laboratory. He’s a group lead and the principal investigator of the CAR instrument. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in atmospheric sciences from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa in 1999. Dr. Gatebe has over 16 years experience in airborne measurement and analysis of surface bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF), that are needed to study and advance the knowledge of clouds, aerosols, ecosystem structure and function, albedo, and feedbacks to climate. In addition, he has experience in calibration of scanning radiometers, and has led the development of a new instrument (CANS) and BACAR, which is under development. He has participated in many in-field experiments, including SAFARI-2000 (southern Africa, 2000), CLAMS (USA, 2001), INTEX-B (Mexico, 2006), CLASIC (USA, 2006), ARCTAS (Canada, Greenland and USA, 2008) and DISCOVER-AQ (USA, 2014). Dr. Gatebe has received many awards: 2013 Robert H. Goddard Award for Outreach "for founding, implementing, and continuing to lead the spectacularly successful "Maniac" series of talks at NASA Goddard" and the World Meteorological Organization Young Scientist Award in 2000. He has also received other honors: in 2007 by NASA GSFC's Climate and Radiation Branch for his outstanding scientific leadership in conducting airborne measurements and NASA's Group Achievements awards in 2008 and 2009 for participating in the INTEX-B and ARCTAS field experiments, respectively.