Maria Tzortziou

Maria Tzortziou

CESSRST Faculty and Scientists, CESSRST Specialized Leads

Theme I Coordinator , Professor & Director of Bio-Optics Lab at Center for Discovery and Innovation, CCNY

Dr. Maria Tzortziou is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the Center for Discovery and Innovation of The City College of The City University of New York and affiliated Research Scientist with Columbia University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. She is also a Research Scientist in the Science Division of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland, where she currently serves as the Deputy Program Applications Lead for PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem), a strategic NASA satellite mission that will extend key ocean color, aerosol, and cloud data records for Earth system and climate studies.

Dr. Tzortziou's research integrates multidisciplinary datasets, satellite remote sensing observations, and ecosystem models to provide mechanistic insights into the impacts of human and environmental pressures on biogeochemical cycles and ecological processes along the continuum of terrestrial, wetland, estuarine, and open ocean ecosystems. Her research has taken her from the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay wetlands to the North Slope of Alaska and the Arctic coastal ocean, from urbanized coastlines in the Mediterranean and Europe's trans-boundary watersheds to the Asian coastal megacities of Seoul and Busan to the Hindu-Kush Himalayan river basins. Dr. Tzortziou is on the Science Steering Committee for the Ocean Carbon Biogeochemistry Program, on the Science Leadership Board of the North American Carbon Program, and member of the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS). She has served on the Steering Committee and Writing Team for the 2017-2027 NASA Ocean Biology & Biogeochemistry Program Advanced Science Plan, and she was Invited Chapter Author for the Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR-2). Tzortziou is the Deputy Program Applications Lead for NASA's PACE satellite mission and a member of the 2014-2017 NASA PACE Science Team. She also serves as Science Team Member and the Applied Science Lead for NASA's recently selected Earth Venture Instrument-5 Investigation GLIMR (Geostationary Littoral Imaging and Monitoring Radiometer), a new instrument competitively selected by NASA, with an award of $108 million, to provide unique observations of ocean biology, chemistry, and ecology that are critically needed to improve coastal resource management, enhance decision making, and enable rapid response to natural and man-made coastal hazards.

NOAA Key Partners and Collaborators:

  • Paul DiGiacomo, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR 
  • Michael Ondrusek, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR 
  • Christopher Brown, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR 
  • Veronica Lance, NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch 
  • James Murphy, NOAA Fisheries 
  • Robert Foy, NOAA Fisheries 
  • Christopher Loughner, NOAA/ARL 
  • Patrick Campbell, NOAA/ARL 
  • Winston Luke, NOAA/ARL

NOAA Mission Aligned Research Interests:

  • Coastal resilience
  • Improved observations and management of coastal and marine ecosystems and resources
  • Carbon cycling, capture, and storage
  • Food security
  • Climate Equity and Environmental Justice

Honors, Awards, and Grants:

  • Tzortziou is the Lead PI on a number of grants funded by NASA, NSF, EPA, NOAA, and other agencies 
  • Excellence in Research Award, Division of Science, CCNY/CUNY (2021)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for OWLETS Mission: For outstanding achievement conducting multidisciplinary field studies to better understand and predict atmospheric chemistry and complex air flow in coastal areas (2019)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for DISCOVER-AQ Mission: For outstanding achievement conducting airborne field studies to improve the diagnosis of near surface air quality from space (2016)
  • Salute To Scholars - Award for outstanding scholarly achievements and contributions to the creation and transmittal of knowledge (2015, 2016)
  • NASA New Investigator Program Award
  • Marie Curie International Reintegration Fellowship Award
  • Marie Curie Excellence Award


Peer-reviewed journal articles (past 5 years) (*indicates advised/mentored students or post-docs): 

  1. El Serafy, G.Y.H.; Schaeffer, B.A.; Neely, M.-B.; Spinosa, A.; Odermatt, D.; Weathers, K.C.; Baracchini, T.; Bouffard, D.; Carvalho, L.; Conmy, R.N.; Keukelaere, L.D.; Hunter, P.D.; Jamet, C.; Joehnk, K.D.; Johnston, J.M.; Knudby, A.; Minaudo, C.; Pahlevan, N.; Reusen, I.; Rose, K.C.; Schalles, J.; Tzortziou, M. Integrating Inland and Coastal Water Quality Data for Actionable Knowledge. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2899. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13152899
  2. *Shelton S., P. Neale, *A. Pinsonneault, M. Tzortziou (2021) Biodegradation and Photodegradation of Vegetation-Derived Dissolved Organic Matter in Tidal Marsh Ecosystems. Estuaries and Coasts. Accepted 
  3. *Lamb B., M. Tzortziou, K. McDonald (2021) A Fused Radar-Optical Approach for Mapping Wetlands and Deepwaters of the Mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast Regions of the United States. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2495. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13132495
  4. *Grunert B.K, M. Tzortziou, P. Neale, A. Menendez, P. Hernes (2021) DOM degradation by light and microbes along the Yukon River-coastal ocean continuum. Nature Scientific Reports 11, 10236 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-89327-9
  5. *Logozzo L., M. Tzortziou, P. Neale, P. Megonigal (2021). Photochemical and microbial degradation of colored dissolved organic matter exported from tidal marshes, JGR Biogeosciences DOI: 10.1029/2020JG005744 
  6. *Cao F. and M. Tzortziou (2021) Capturing dissolved organic carbon dynamics with Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 in tidally influenced wetland–estuarine systems. Science of the Total Environment, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145910
  7. Cawse-Nicholson K., P. Townsend, … Tzortziou et al (2021), NASA's surface biology and geology designated observable: A perspective on surface imaging algorithms, Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 257, 112349, ISSN 0034-4257, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2021.112349.
  8. Jordan, C. E., Stauffer, R. M., *Lamb, B. T., Hudgins, C. H., Thornhill, K. L., Schuster, G. L., Moore, R. H., Crosbie, E. C., Winstead, E. L., Anderson, B. E., Martin, R. F., Shook, M. A., Ziemba, L. D., Beyersdorf, A. J., Robinson, C. E., Corr, C. A., and Tzortziou, M. A. (2021) New in situ aerosol hyperspectral optical measurements over 300–700 nm – Part 1: Spectral Aerosol Extinction (SpEx) instrument field validation during the KORUS-OC cruise, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 695–713, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-14-695-2021, 2021. 
  9. Jordan, C. E., Stauffer, R. M., *Lamb, B. T., Novak, M., Mannino, A., Crosbie, E. C., Schuster, G. L., Moore, R. H., Hudgins, C. H., Thornhill, K. L., Winstead, E. L., Anderson, B. E., Martin, R. F., Shook, M. A., Ziemba, L. D., Beyersdorf, A. J., Robinson, C. E., Corr, C. A., and Tzortziou, M. A. (2021) New in situ aerosol hyperspectral optical measurements over 300–700 nm – Part 2: Extinction, total absorption, water- and methanol-soluble absorption observed during the KORUS-OC cruise, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 715–736, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-14-715-2021, 2021. 
  10. *Pinsonneault, A.J., Neale, P.J., Tzortziou, M., Canuel, E.A., Pondell, C.R., Morrissette, H., Lefcheck, J.S. and Megonigal, J.P. (2020), Dissolved organic carbon sorption dynamics in tidal marsh soils. Limnol Oceanogr. doi:10.1002/lno.11598 
  11. Ward, Ward, N.D., Megonigal, J.P., Bond-Lamberty, B. V. L. Bailey, D. Butman, E. A. Canuel, H. Diefenderfer, N. K. Ganju, M. A. Goñi, E. B. Graham, C. S. Hopkinson, T. Khangaonkar, J. A. Langley, N. G. McDowell, A. N. Myers-Pigg, R. B. Neumann, C. L. Osburn, R. M. Price, J. Rowland, A. Sengupta, M. Simard, P. E. Thornton, M. Tzortziou, R. Vargas, P. B. Weisenhorn and L. Windham-Myers. Representing the function and sensitivity of coastal interfaces in Earth system models (2020). Nature Communications. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16236-2
  12. Robinson J., A. Kotsakis, F. Santos, R. Swap, K. E. Knowland, G. Labow, V. Connors, M. Tzortziou, N. Abuhassan, M. Tiefengraber, and A. Cede (2020). "Using networked Pandora observations to capture spatiotemporal changes in total column ozone associated with stratosphere-to-troposphere transport". Atmospheric Research, Volume 238, 2020, 104872, ISSN 0169-8095, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2020.104872
  13. Loughner C.P., M. B. Follette-Cook, B. N. Duncan, J. Hains, K. E. Pickering, J. Moy, M. Tzortziou (2020). "The benefits of lower ozone due to air pollution emissions reductions (2002-2011) in the Eastern U.S. during extreme heat", Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. https://doi.org/10.1080/10962247.2019.1694089
  14. Schollaert Uz S., G. Kim, A. Mannino, J. Werdell, M. Tzortziou, 2019. "Developing a community of practice for applied uses of future PACE data to address food security challenges” Journal: Frontiers in Earth Science, 7, 283p. doi: 10.3389/feart.2019.00283 
  15. Thompson A.M., R. M. Stauffer, T. P. Boyle, D. E. Kollonige, K. Miyazaki, M. Tzortziou, J. R. Herman, C. N. Jordan, *B. T. Lamb, B. N. Duncan. 2019. Comparison of Near-surface NO2 Pollution with Pandora Total Column NO2 during the Korea-United States Ocean Color (KORUS OC) Campaign. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. http://doi.org/10.1029/2019JD030765
  16. Duncan B.N., (in alphabetical order) J. B. Abshire, L. Brucker, J. Carton, J. C. Comiso, E. P. Dinnat, B. C. Forbes, A. Gonsamo, W. W. Gregg, D. K. Hall, I. Ialongo, R. Jandt, M. F. Jasinski, R. A. Kahn, A. Karpechko, S. R. Kawa, T. Kumpula, E. Kyrölä, T. V. Loboda, K. C. McDonald, P. M. Montesano, R. Nassar, C. S. R. Neigh, L. E. Ott , C. L. Parkinson, B. Poulter, J.Pulliainen, K. Rautiainen, B. M. Rogers, C. S. Rousseaux, A. J. Soja, N. Steiner, J. Tamminen, M. A. Tzortziou, J. S. Wang, J. D. Watts, D. M. Winker, D. L. Wu. 2019. "Space-Based Observations for Understanding Changes in the Arctic-Boreal System: The Foundation for Coordinated Scientific Research and Informed Decision-Making", Reviews of Geophysics. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019RG000652
  17. *Lamb B., Tzortziou M., McDonald K., 2019. Evaluation of Approaches for Mapping Tidal Wetlands of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. Remote Sensing 11(20):2366; Special Issue on "Satellite-Based Wetland Observation"; DOI: 10.3390/rs11202366 
  18. Herman J., A. Cede, N. Abuhassan, J. Kim, M. Dubey, M. Raponi, M. Tzortziou. 2019. Underestimation of Column NO2 Amounts from the OMI Satellite Compared to Diurnally Varying Ground-Based Retrievals from Multiple Pandora Spectrometer Instruments. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-123
  19. *Clark J.B., P. Neale, M. Tzortziou, *F. Cao , R. R. Hood. 2019. A mechanistic model of photochemical transformation and degradation of colored dissolved organic matter. Marine Chemistry¬ Journal. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marchem.2019.103666
  20. Tzortziou M., *O. Parker, *B. Lamb, J. R. Herman, L. Lamsal, R. Stauffer and N. Abuhassan, 2018. Atmospheric Trace Gas (NO2 and O3) Variability in South Korean Coastal Waters, and Implications for Remote Sensing of Coastal Ocean Color Dynamics. Remote Sens. 10(10), 1587; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101587
  21. *Pitta E., Z. Christina, M. Tzortziou, Rijkenberg M.J.A. 2018. Transformations of dissolved organic matter in the Marmara Sea traced by its optical signature. Journal of Marine Systems, Volume 189, Pages 1-11, ISSN 0924-7963, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmarsys.2018.09.001.
  22. Sullivan J.T, T. Berkoff, G. Gronoff, T. Knepp, M. Pippin, D. Allen, L. Twigg, R. Swap, M. Tzortziou, A. Thompson, R. Stauffer, G. Wolfe, J. Flynn, S. Pusede, L. Judd, W. Moore, J. Al-saadi, T. McGee. 2018. 2018. The Ozone Water-Land Environmental Transition Study (OWLETS): An Innovative Strategy for Understanding Chesapeake Bay Pollution Events. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. BAMS-D-18-0025.
  23. Omar A., M. Tzortziou, O. Coddington, and L. Remer. 2018. Plankton Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) Mission Atmosphere Measurements for Air Quality Applications. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing. Paper Number: JARS 180460SS. 
  24. *Rose, K. C., Neale, P. J., Tzortziou, M. , Gallegos, C. L. and Jordan, T. E., 2018. Patterns of spectral, spatial, and long‐term variability in light attenuation in an optically complex sub‐estuary. Limnol Oceanogr. doi:10.1002/lno.11005. 
  25. Werdell P.J., L. I.W. McKinna, E. Boss, S. G. Ackleson, S. E. Craig, W. W. Gregg, Z. Lee, S. Maritorena, C. S. Roesler, C. S. Rousseaux, D. Stramski, J. M. Sullivan, M. S. Twardowski, M. Tzortziou, X. Zhang. 2018. An overview of approaches and challenges for retrieving marine inherent optical properties from ocean color remote sensing, Progress in Oceanography, Volume 160, Pages 186-212, ISSN 0079-6611, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2018.01.001.
  26. Najjar R., M. Herrmann, R. Alexander, E. W. Boyer, D. Burdige, D. Butman, W.-J. Cai, E. A. Canuel, R. F. Chen, M. A. M. Friedrichs, R. A. Feagin, P. Griffith, A. L. Hinson, J. R. Holmquist, X. Hu, W. M. Kemp, K. D. Kroeger, A. Mannino, S. L. McCallister, W. R. McGillis, M. R. Mulholland, C. Pilskaln, J. Salisbury, S. Signorini, P. St-Laurent, H. Tian, M. Tzortziou, P. Vlahos, Z. A. Wang, and R. C. Zimmerman. 2018. Carbon budget of tidal wetlands, estuaries, and shelf waters of eastern North America. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 32, 389–416. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GB005790.
  27. Muller‐Karger, F. E., Hestir, E. , Ade, C. , Turpie, K. , Roberts, D. A., Siegel, D. , Miller, R. J., Humm, D. , Izenberg, N. , Keller, M. , Morgan, F. , Frouin, R. , Dekker, A. G., Gardner, R. , Goodman, J. , Schaeffer, B. , Franz, B. A., Pahlevan, N. , Mannino, A. G., Concha, J. A., Ackleson, S. G., Cavanaugh, K. C., Romanou, A. , Tzortziou, M. , Boss, E. S., Pavlick, R. , Freeman, A. , Rousseaux, C. S., Dunne, J. , Long, M. C., Klein, E. , McKinley, G. A., Goes, J. , Letelier, R. , Kavanaugh, M. , Roffer, M. , Bracher, A. , Arrigo, K. R., Dierssen, H. , Zhang, X. , Davis, F. W., Best, B. , Guralnick, R. , Moisan, J. , Sosik, H. M., Kudela, R. , Mouw, C. B., Barnard, A. H., Palacios, S. , Roesler, C. , Drakou, E. G., Appeltans, W. and Jetz, W. 2018. Satellite sensor requirements for monitoring essential biodiversity variables of coastal ecosystems. Ecol Appl. . doi:10.1002/eap.1682. 
  28. *Kollonige, D. E., Thompson, A. M., Josipovic, M., Tzortziou, M., Beukes, J. P., Burger, R., D. K. Martins, P. G. van Zyl, V. Vakkari, and L. Laakso. 2018. OMI satellite and ground‐based Pandora observations and their application to surface NO2 estimations at terrestrial and marine sites. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123, 1441–1459. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JD026518.
  29. *Cao F., Tzortziou M, Hu C., Mannino A., Fichot C., R. Del Vecchio, Najjar R., Novak M. 2018. Remote Sensing retrievals of colored dissolved organic matter and dissolved organic carbon dynamics in North American eutrophic estuaries and their margins. Remote Sensing of Environment 205 (2018) 151–165 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2017.11.014.
  30. *Clark B., W. Long, M. Tzortziou, P. J. Neale, R. R. Hood, 2017. Wind Driven Dissolved Organic Matter Dynamics in a Chesapeake Bay Tidal Marsh-Estuary System. 2018. Estuaries and Coasts. 41: 708. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-017-0295-1.
  31. *Nelson, N. G., R. Muñoz‐Carpena, P. J. Neale, M. Tzortziou, and J. Patrick Megonigal . 2017. Temporal variability in the importance of hydrologic, biotic, and climatic descriptors of dissolved oxygen dynamics in a shallow tidal‐marsh creek, Water Resour. Res., 53, 7103–7120, doi:10.1002/2016WR020196.
  32. *Loughner C. P., M. Tzortziou, *S. Shroder, and K. E. Pickering, 2016. Enhanced dry deposition of nitrogen pollution near coastlines: A case study covering the Chesapeake Bay estuary and Atlantic Ocean coastline. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, 14,221–14,238, doi:10.1002/2016JD025571. 
  33. Martins D., R. Najjar, M.Tzortziou, N. Abuhassan, A. Thompson. 2016. Investigation of the Spatial and Temporal variability of Ground and Satellite Column Measurements of NO2 and O3 Over the Atlantic Ocean During the Deposition of Atmospheric Nitrogen to Coastal Ecosystems Experiment. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, 14,175–14,187, doi:10.1002/2016JD024998. 
  34. *Pitta E., Zeri C., M. Tzortziou, G. Mousdis, M. Scoullos. 2016. Seasonal variations in dissolved organic matter composition using absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy in the Dardanelles Straits - North Aegean Sea mixing zone. Continental Self Research, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2016.07.013. 35. Wei J., Z. Lee, M. Ondrusek, A. Mannino, and M. Tzortziou. 2016. Spectral slopes of the absorption coefficient of colored dissolved and detrital material inverted from UV-visible remote sensing reflectance. Journal of Geophysical Research- Oceans. 121, 1953–1969, doi: 10.1002/2015JC011415

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CESSRST Consortium

CESSRST is led by The City University of New York and brings together Hampton University, VA; University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, PR; San Diego State University, CA; University of Maryland Baltimore County, MD; University of Texas at El Paso, TX.