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Kevin Sanchez (NASA)

Title: Research Physical Scientist
Technical Focus Areas: Atmospheric Composition, Lidar Science, Air Quality & Weather, Airborne Science
Study Topics: Aerosol-cloud interactions, atmospheric composition, air quality, airborne science, AI for contrail cloud detection
Mission/Project/Groups: ACCDAM, ACTIVATE


Dr. Kevin Sanchez completed two post-doctoral fellowships – the first with Scripps collecting cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) on the Southern Ocean Clouds, Radiation, Aerosol Transport Experimental Study (SOCRATES) field campaign, and the second here at NASA Langley. As an NPP, Kevin conducted analyses of the North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES) dataset identifying how ocean-atmosphere interactions influence upwind aerosol and cloud properties. Kevin recently won an Atmospheric Composition Campaign Data Analysis and Modeling (ACCDAM) award for his proposal entitled “Validation and Comparisons of Satellite Cloud Condensation Nuclei Retrieval Methods with In-situ Measurements from Aircraft-Based Observations in the Marine Boundary Layer” where he is currently focusing much of his current effort. Kevin is also studying machine learning techniques to automate contrail cloud detection for model validation and continuously monitoring coverage.

Publication Bibliography:


  1. Sanchez, K.J., et al., (2022) North Atlantic Ocean SST-gradient-driven variations in aerosol and cloud evolution along Lagrangian cold-air outbreak trajectories”, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics,
  2. Sanchez, K.J., et al., (2021) “Linking marine phytoplankton emissions, meteorological processes and downwind particle properties with FLEXPART”, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics,
  3. Sanchez, K. J., et al., (2021). Measurement report: Cloud processes and the transport of biological emissions affect southern ocean particle and cloud condensation nuclei concentrations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21(5), 3427-3446.
  4. Sanchez, K. J., et al., (2020). “Measured constraints on cloud top entrainment to reduce uncertainty of nonprecipitating stratocumulus shortwave radiative forcing in the Southern Ocean”, Geophysical Research Letters,
  5. Saliba, G., et al., (2020). “Organic composition of three different size ranges of aerosol particles over the Southern Ocean”, Aerosol Science and Technology,
  6. Calmer, R., et al., (2019), “Aerosol–cloud closure study on cloud optical properties using remotely piloted aircraft measurements during a BACCHUS field campaign in Cyprus” Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,
  7. Sanchez, K. J., et al., (2018), “Substantial Seasonal Contribution of Observed Biogenic Sulfate Particles to Cloud Condensation Nuclei”, Scientific Reports,
  8. Ovadnevaite, J., et al., (2017), “Surface Tension Prevails Over Solute-Effect in Organic-Influenced Cloud Droplet Activation”, Nature,
  9. Sanchez, K. J., et al., (2017), “Top-down and Bottom-up aerosol-cloud-closure: towards understanding sources of uncertainty in deriving cloud radiative flux”, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,
  10. Sanchez, K. J., et al., (2016), Meteorological and aerosol effects on marine cloud microphysical properties, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos.,
  11. .

Notable Awards:

  • Chateaubriand Fellowship 2016
  • E.W. Scripps Associates Fellowship 2012

Professional Memberships:

  • American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR)
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • American Meteorological Society (AMS)

Education or Professional Experience:

  • Research Physical Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center, 2021-present
  • NASA Postdoctoral Research Fellow, NASA Langley Research Center, 2019-2021
  • Ph.D., Earth Science, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2017
  • M.S., Earth Science, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2014
  • B.S., Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, 2008