Jana Kolassa, Scientist II

Jana Kolassa


NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center
Building 33, Room G119
Greenbelt , MD 20771

Phone: (301) 614-6592


My main research interest is the role of soil moisture and vegetation in modulating the interactions between the land surface and the atmosphere through the water, energy and carbon cycle. This includes the development of new machine learning techniques to retrieve soil moisture estimates from satellite observations (such as those provided by the Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission), the implementation of data assimilation systems to merge model information and satellite observations, and an assessment of the impact of improved satellite observations on model prediction capabilities.



1/2017 - Present
Research Scientist
Universities Space Research Association / Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research, Columbia, MD
- Calibration of the NASA Catchment-CN model parameters to improve modeled vegetation phenology and physiology

- Joint assimilation of SMAP soil moisture and MODIS vegetation information into the NASA Catchment-CN land surface model for the generation of improved hydrological fields and surface flux estimates

1/2015 - 1/2017
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (NASA Postdoctoral Program, NPP)
Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, MD
- Development of Neural Network soil moisture retrieval algorithm for the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission

- Investigation of new bias correction techniques for the assimilation of SMAP soil moisture observations into the NASA Catchment model

1/2014 - 1/2015
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Columbia University, Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, New York, NY
- Development of a Neural Network based microwave only soil moisture retrieval product from AMSR-E and ASCAT observations


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Environmental Science and Remote Sensing

Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6), Paris, France

Thesis: Soil moisture retrieval from multi-instrument satellite observations

Supervisors: Dr. Filipe Aires, Dr. Catherine Prigent

Master of Science (MSc)

Space Science and Technology

Luleå University of Technology, Kiruna Sweden

September 2008 - June 2010

Thesis: Investigation of cloud ice water content retrieval from active satellite observations

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

Aerospace Engineering

Technical University Delft, Delft, The Netherlands

September 2005 - June 2008

Thesis: Design of an advanced space-based interferometer at 22 GHz