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Richard Ferrare (NASA)

Title: Research Scientist
Technical Focus Area: Atmospheric Composition, Lidar Science, Airborne Science
Study Topics: aerosols


Dr. Ferrare has over thirty years of experience in lidar remote sensing of atmospheric aerosols and water vapor. Starting in 1985 at NASA Goddard, he investigated aerosol optical and physical properties using satellite data and ground based lidar measurements. He led retrievals of aerosol backscattering and extinction profiles from the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Southern Great Plains Raman Lidar, was Chair of the ARM Aerosol Working Group (2000-2004) and remains a member of the ARM Climate Research Facility Science Board. Dr. Ferrare served as PI on NASA and DOE ARM projects related to lidar measurements of aerosols and water vapor and is a past member of the CALIPSO science team. Dr. Ferrare has flown on NASA hurricane and severe weather research missions and designed flight strategies to acquire science measurements for these missions. He led deployment of the LaRC airborne HSRLs in multiple national and international field missions, and served as flight scientist for NASA aircraft during airborne field campaigns SEAC4RS (2013), ORACLES (2016), and ACEPOL (2017). He chaired the Aerosol Working Group for the future NASA Aerosol-Clouds-Ecosystem (ACE) satellite mission and is a member of the Science and Applications Leadership Team (SALT) on the Aerosol, Clouds, Convection, and Precipitation (ACCP) Mission Study.

Publication Bibliography:

Select Publications:

  • Thorsen, T. J., R. A. Ferrare, S. Kato, and D. M. Winker, 2020: Aerosol Direct Radiative Effect Sensitivity Analysis. J. Climate, 33, 6119–6139,

  • Thorsen, T., R. Ferrare, et al., 2017: The impact of lidar detection sensitivity on assessing aerosol direct radiative effects, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 9059–9067, doi:10.1002/ 2017GL074521.

  • McComiskey, A. and R.A. Ferrare, 2016: Aerosol Physical and Optical Properties and Processes in the ARM Program. Meteorological Monographs, 57, 21.1–21.17, doi: 10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-15-0028.1.

  • Turner, D.D., J.E. Goldsmith, and R.A. Ferrare, 2016: Development and Applications of the ARM Raman Lidar. Meteorological Monographs, 57, 18.1–18.15, doi: 10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-15-0026.1.

  • Burton, S. P., R. A. Ferrare, et al. “Aerosol classification from airborne HSRL and comparisons with the CALIPSO vertical feature mask.” Atm. Meas. Techn. 6: 1397-1412, 2013.

  • Burton, S. P., R. A. Ferrare, C. A. Hostetler, J. W. Hair, R. R. Rogers, M. D. Obland, C. F. Butler, A. L. Cook, D. B. Harper, and K. D. Froyd, Aerosol Classification of Airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidar Measurements – Methodology and Examples, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 5(1), 73-98, doi: 10.5194/amt-5-73-2012, 2012.

  • Burton, S.P., R.A. Ferrare, C.A. Hostetler, J.W. Hair, C. Kittaka, M.A. Vaughan, M.D. Obland, R.R. Rogers, A.L. Cook, D.B. Harper, and L. A. Remer, Using Airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidar Data to Evaluate Combined Active Plus Passive Retrievals of Aerosol Extinction Profiles, J. Geophys. Res., 115, doi:10.1029/2009JD012130, 2010.

  • Hair, J. W., C. A. Hostetler, A. L. Cook, D. B. Harper, R. A. Ferrare, T. L. Mack, W. Welch, L. R., Izquierdo, F. E. Hovis, 2008: Airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidar for Profiling Aerosol Optical Properties, Applied Optics, 47,doi: 10.1364/AO.47.006734

  • Ferrare, R., G. Feingold, S. Ghan, J. Ogren, B. Schmid, S. E. Schwartz, and P. Sheridan, Preface to special section: Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program May 2003 Intensive Operations Period examining aerosol properties and radiative influences, J. Geophys. Res., 111, D05S01, doi:10.1029/2005JD006908, 2006.

  • Ferrare, R.A., D. D. Turner, L.A. Heilman, W. Feltz, O. Dubovik, and T. Tooman, Raman Lidar Measurements of the Aerosol Extinction-to-Backscatter Ratio Over the Southern Great Plains, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 20333-20347, 2001.

  • Ferrare, R.A.,et al., Comparisons of LASE, aircraft, and satellite measurements of aerosol optical properties and water vapor during TARFOX, J. Geophys. Res., 105, 9935-9947, 2000.

  • Ferrare, R.A., S.H. Melfi, D.N. Whiteman, K.D. Evans, and R. Leifer, Raman Lidar Measurements of Aerosol Extinction and Backscattering – Part 1: Methods and Comparisons, J. Geophys. Res., 103, No. D16, 19,663-19,672, 1998.


  • NASA Distinguished Service Medal (2013)
  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal (2008)
  • NASA Center Team Awards (2007- 2010)
  • 6 NASA Group Achievement Awards (1999-2016)


  • Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Maryland (Advisor: R. Hudson), 1992-1997
  • M.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin (Advisors: J. Weinman, E. Eloranta), 1984-1986
  • B.S. Physics, Penn State University, 1978-1982

Professional Memberships:

  • AGU
  • AMS



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