Photo of Santiago Gasso

Santiago Gassó
Research Associate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Contact Information:
Phone: 301.614.6244

Dr. Gassó specializes in observational studies of aerosols, clouds and their interactions 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 is an University of Washington graduate in geophysics (Atmospheric Science track) with thesis work on in-situ observations of aerosols, their optical properties in relation to remote sensing and evaluation of the first versions of the MODIS aerosol algorithm. In his post-doctoral work, he acquired aerosol global modeling experience with the design of a (currently operational) module of the optical and radiative aerosol properties in the Navy Aerosol Assimilation Prediction System (NAAPS) model. Then, 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. Also, he has participated as aerosol scientist in the NPOESS Preparatory Project science team (2005-08) . Since 2008, he is an Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) science team and a member of the OMI aerosol remote sensing group led by Dr. Omar Torres. During 2009 to 2011, he lead 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.

In addition to the operational aspects of remote sensing retrievals, his research interests include study of dust at high latitudes. In particular, characterization of its production and long range transport as well as its impacts in biogeochemical and paleo-climate studies. This is an activity he has carried out for the last 15 years. He has been a collaborator and Co-I in internationally funded projects to survey and monitor dust activity in Patagonia. He made the first 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 obtained NSF funding and had an attendance 60 participant (~20 international). Between 2010 and 2013, he participated as 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 since then. Since 2014, he is part of the High Latitude Dust and Cold Environment Network, a working group supported by The Leverhulme Trust (UK). He has authored or co-authored 23 peer-reviewed journal articles many on the subject of dust transport at high latitudes as characterized by satellite, model and surface observations.

Also, he developed an interest in studying volcanoes through a discovery he made in 2006. He found that low levels volcanic activity (non-explosive passive degassing activity VEI<2) can be detected in cloudy conditions by studying the change in properties in nearby water clouds. The discovery provides an excellent opportunity for studying aerosol-cloud interactions as well as provides a way to detect volcanic activity in cloudy conditions.