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Dr. Florian Schwandner, Division Chief, Earth Science

Florian M. Schwandner

Division Chief of the Earth Science Division, Ames Research Center

Professional Background

Dr. Florian Schwandner uses ground, airborne, and space-based observations to understand how volcanoes move from quiescence to unrest, and how mass and energy flows between the solid Earth, ecosystems, the hydrosphere, and atmosphere, to enable better and earlier forecasts of drastic change. He is an expert in geochemical field monitoring techniques in extreme and remote environments (volcanoes, deserts, tropical rainforests). A formative experience at Pinatubo volcano in 1996 and an active volcanic crisis response in Greece with a team from ETH Zurich led to the personal mission to use science for the benefit of humankind. Schwandner has since conducted fundamental research in atmospheric and volcanic trace gas and aerosol composition, early volcanic precursors, and astrobiology. He also successfully led and contributed to developing volcanic data information systems and led autonomous real-time sensor networks for volcano monitoring in Southeast Asia. In 2017 he demonstrated for the first time that satellites can detect pre- and syn-eruptive Carbon Dioxide (CO2 ) emissions. In 2015 he initiated and since co-leads a multidisciplinary initiative to investigate volcanology-ecology interactions, recently covered by the Washington Post. After joining the NASA family at JPL in 2013, he engaged in several EV-M, EV-I, and EV-S mission formulation and pre-formulation activities, and provided calibration and science products support for space missions. He joined Ames in 2019.