Sciences and Exploration Directorate

David Matthew Giles


David Matthew Giles's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.6596
Org Code: 619
Mail Code 619
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. David Giles has worked on site at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for over 22 years in support of the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) project of globally distributed Sun/sky/lunar radiometers. During rapid network expansion in the early 2000s, he was integral in leading the effort to adapting web-based tools and synergizing AERONET data displays for improving public dissemination of many near real-time and quality assured data sets. Later, Dr. Giles worked to lead a team to improve algorithms for automatic aerosol optical depth (AOD) cloud screening and implement automatic quality controls in near real-time that once required mostly manual data analysis for hundreds of AERONET sites annually for quality assurance. Dr. Giles developed methods to identify common aerosol types using retrieved aerosol properties based on data collected at AERONET sites within distinct aerosol type regimes. During his tenure with the project, he participated in multiple domestic (U.S.A.) and international air quality and remote sensing field campaigns at land and sea to broaden understanding of aerosol characterization, aerosol and cloud interactions, and implications on human health.

For more than a year, Dr. Giles has been the Atmosphere Observing System (AOS) mission Science Data System (SDS) Science Lead. The AOS mission strives to address answering key questions on Aerosols, Clouds, Convection and Precipitation (ACCP) based on the 2017 Decadal Survey. Dr. Giles is the liaison between the SDS and the Science Team. He provides expertise and active participation in a number of AOS domestic and international working groups including Algorithm Coordination, Program of Record, DAACs and several mission-specific working groups. Dr. Giles develops and contributes to key mission documents regarding science data processing, system design, interfaces, and science impact including interpretation and implementation of NASA's Open-Source Science objectives.

Research Interests


Earth Science: Remote Sensing

  • Evaluating suborbital and orbital data aerosol characteristics in complex environments.
  • Improving measurements of aerosol optical depth in anomalous conditions.

Aerosols, Clouds, Convection and Precipitation

Earth Science: Aerosols & Clouds

  • Developing methods to facilitate aerosol, cloud, convection, precipitation and radiation science algorithms to data production.
  • Synergizing orbital and suborbital Earth observations with the program of record to produce new products.
  • Employing Machine Learning tools to further understand of Earth Science observables and high impact events systematically.

Data Systems

Earth Science: Technology & Missions

  • Develop and test science algorithms within the SDS production system for multiple NASA and international missions.

Current Projects

Atmosphere Observing System (AOS) Science Data System (SDS)

Earth's Atmosphere

Previous Projects






AOS Science Data Systems (SDS) Science Lead

Science Systems and Applications, Inc - NASA GSFC

February 2023 - Present

Research Scientist SME Supervisor (AERONET Task Technical Lead)

Science Systems and Applications, Inc - NASA GSFC

April 2021 - January 2023

Chief Research Scientist- Supervisor (AERONET Task Technical Lead)

Science Systems and Applications, Inc. - NASA GSFC

December 2020 - April 2021

Chief Research Scientist (AERONET Task Technical Lead)

Science Systems and Applications, Inc. - NASA GSFC

December 2014 - November 2020

Support Scientist - Principal (AERONET Task Technical Lead)

Sigma Space Corporation - NASA GSFC

August 2013 - November 2014

Support Scientist - Chief (AERONET Task Technical Lead)

Sigma Space Corporation - NASA GSFC

August 2009 - July 2013

Research Scientist

Science Systems and Applications, Inc. - NASA GSFC

January 2007 - July 2009


Science Systems and Applications, Inc. - NASA GSFC

June 2001 - January 2007


Raytheon Information Technology and Scientific Services (ITSS) - National Weather Service Sterling Test and Evaluation Center, Sterling, VA

May 1997 - May 2001


Ph.D., 2012: Atmospheric and Ocean Science, University of Maryland – College Park

– Advisers Russell Dickerson and Anne Thompson; Dissertation: A Study of Remotely Sensed Aerosol Properties from Ground-based- Sun and Sky Scanning Radiometers

M.S., 2006: Atmospheric and Ocean Science, University of Maryland – College Park

– Advisers: Russell Dickerson and Anne Thompson; Scholarly Paper: Utilizing a New Aerosol Data Display and Dissemination Tool to Analyze Aerosols over the Northern Indian Subcontinent Region

B.S., 1997: Meteorology, Pennsylvania State University – University Park

Professional Societies

American Geophyscial Union (AGU)


2001 - Present

American Meteorological Society (AMS)


1997 - Present

Professional Service

  • Aerocenter/CPC Committee (2013-2023)
  • The Pennsylvania State University Alumni Association (Life Member)
  • University of Maryland Alumni Association (Life Member)


  • NASA Group Achievement Award–FIREX-AQ Team, 2020.
  • NASA Group Achievement Award–ORACLES Team, 2019.
  • NASA GSFC Hydrosphere, Biosphere, and Geophysics Peer Award–AERONET Team, 2018.
  • NASA Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Annual Award, 2015: “For exceptional technical and scientific support in the growth and development of the AERONET program.”
  • NASA Langley Peer Award–DISCOVER-AQ Team, 2013: “For your willingness to reach out to the next generation as tour hosts while on the busy DISCOVER-AQ Houston deployment.”
  • SSAI Publication Award, June 2009: “Aerosol Optical Properties Measured on the Mesoscale During the TIGERZ Campaign in the Indo-Gangetic Plain Region of Kanpur, India”–AGU Fall 2008 Poster.
  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival Certificate of Appreciation, July 2008.
  • SSAI Achievement Award, June 2005–BAMGOMAS Project.
  • NASA GSFC Group Achievement Award, March 2005–AERONET Project Team.
  • Morehouse College Certificate of Appreciation, August 2004–Strategic Preparedness Advancing Careers in Engineering (SPACE) Program at NASA GSFC.
  • Raytheon Information Technology and Scientific Services Team Achievement Award, April 2000.
  • Raytheon Information Technology and Scientific Services Peer Award, March 1999. 



2023. "The extreme forest fires in California/Oregon in 2020: Aerosol optical and physical properties and comparisons of aged versus fresh smoke." Atmospheric Environment 119798 [10.1016/j.atmosenv.2023.119798] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Relationship between the sub-micron fraction (SMF) and fine-mode fraction (FMF) in the context of AERONET retrievals." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 16 (4): 1103-1120 [10.5194/amt-16-1103-2023] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX‐AQ)." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 128 (2): [10.1029/2022jd037758] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Augmenting Heritage Ocean-Color Aerosol Models for Enhanced Remote Sensing of Inland and Nearshore Coastal Waters." Frontiers in Remote Sensing 3 [10.3389/frsen.2022.860816] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Nighttime smoke aerosol optical depth over U.S. rural areas: First retrieval from VIIRS moonlight observations." Remote Sensing of Environment 267 112717 [10.1016/j.rse.2021.112717] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Wildfire Smoke Particle Properties and Evolution, From Space-Based Multi-Angle Imaging II: The Williams Flats Fire during the FIREX-AQ Campaign." Remote Sensing 12 (22): 3823 [10.3390/rs12223823] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Influence of cloud, fog, and high relative humidity during pollution transport events in South Korea: Aerosol properties and PM2.5 variability." Atmospheric Environment 232 117530 [10.1016/j.atmosenv.2020.117530] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "The AERONET Version 3 aerosol retrieval algorithm, associated uncertainties and comparisons to Version 2." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 13 (6): 3375-3411 [10.5194/amt-13-3375-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "The SMART‐s Trace Gas and Aerosol Inversions: I. Algorithm Theoretical Basis for Column Property Retrievals." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 125 (7): [10.1029/2019jd032088] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "AERONET Remotely Sensed Measurements and Retrievals of Biomass Burning Aerosol Optical Properties During the 2015 Indonesian Burning Season." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 124 (8): 4722-4740 [10.1029/2018jd030182] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Advancements in the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) Version 3 database – automated near-real-time quality control algorithm with improved cloud screening for Sun photometer aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 12 (1): 169-209 [10.5194/amt-12-169-2019] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Observations of the Interaction and Transport of Fine Mode Aerosols with Cloud and/or Fog in Northeast Asia from Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) and Satellite Remote Sensing." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres [10.1029/2018JD028313] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "An overview of mesoscale aerosol processes, comparisons, and validation studies from DRAGON networks." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 18 (2): 655-671 [10.5194/acp-18-655-2018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Vertical Distribution and Columnar Optical Properties of Springtime Biomass-Burning Aerosols over Northern Indochina during 2014 7-SEAS Campaign." Aerosol and Air Quality Research 15 2037-2050 [10.4209/aaqr.2015.05.0310] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Intercomparison of aerosol single-scattering albedo derived from AERONET surface radiometers and LARGE in situ aircraft profiles during the 2011 DRAGON-MD and DISCOVER-AQ experiments." J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119 (12): 7439–7452 [10.1002/2013JD021166] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Latitudinal variation of aerosol properties from Indo-Gangetic Plain to central Himalayan foothills during TIGERZ campaign." J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119 (8): 4750–4769 [10.1002/2013JD021040] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Observations of rapid aerosol optical depth enhancements in the vicinity of polluted cumulus clouds." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 14 11633-11656 [10.5194/acp-14-11633-2014] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Current and Future Perspectives of Aerosol Research at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society early view [10.1175/ BAMS-D-13-00153.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "A seasonal trend of single scattering albedo in southern African biomass-burning particles: Implications for satellite products and estimates of emissions for the world's largest biomass-burning source." J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 118 (12): 6414-6432 [10.1002/jgrd.50500] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Analysis of AERONET aerosol absorption properties and characteristics from representative aerosol source locations." J. Geophys. Res. 117 17203 [doi: 10.1029/ 2010JD018127] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Assessment of error in aerosol optical depth measured by AERONET due to aerosol forward scattering." Geophysical Research Letters 39 (23): L23806 [10.1029/2012GL053894] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Fog- and cloud-induced aerosol modification observed by the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET)." J Geophys Res 117 (D7): D07206 [10.1029/2011JD016839] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Cloud droplet size and liquid water path retrievals from zenith radiance measurements: examples from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program and the Aerosol Robotic Network." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 12 (21): 10313-10329 [10.5194/acp-12-10313-2012] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Maritime aerosol network as a component of AERONET – first results and comparison with global aerosol models and satellite retrievals." Atmos Meas Tech 4 (3): 583-597 [10.5194/amt-4-583-2011] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "Profiling transboundary aerosols over Taiwan and assessing their radiative effects." J. Geophys. Res. 115 (D7): D00K31 [10.1029/2009JD013798] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "Climatological aspects of the optical properties of fine/coarse mode aerosol mixtures." J. Geophys. Res. 115 (D19): D19205 [10.1029/2010JD014002] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "AERONET, airborne HSRL, and CALIPSO aerosol retrievals compared and combined: A case study." J Geophys Res 115 (D4): D00H21 [10.1029/2009JD012389] [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "AERONET-OC: A Network for the Validation of Ocean Color Primary Products." J Atmos Ocean Technol 26 (8): 1634-1651 [10.1175/2009JTECHO654.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "Maritime Aerosol Network as a component of Aerosol Robotic Network." J. Geophys. Res. 114 (D6): D06204 [10.1029/2008JD011257] [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "Optical properties of boreal region biomass burning aerosols in central Alaska and seasonal variation of aerosol optical depth at an Arctic coastal site." J. Geophys. Res. 114 (D11): D11201 [10.1029/2008JD010870] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Spatial and temporal variability of column-integrated aerosol optical properties in the southern Arabian Gulf and United Arab Emirates in summer." J. Geophys. Res. 113 (D1): D01204 [10.1029/2007JD008944] [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "Ship-based aerosol optical depth measurements in the Atlantic Ocean: Comparison with satellite retrievals and GOCART model." Geophys Res Lett 33 (14): L14817 [10.1029/2006GL026051] [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "A network for standardized ocean color validation measurements." Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union 87 (30): 293–297 [10.1029/2006EO300001] [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "Variability of aerosol optical layer of the atmosphere in South Atlantic, Basic Researches of Oceans and Seas." Book 1 [Article in Book]

2005. "Comparison of aerosol optical thickness measurements by MODIS, AERONET sun photometers, and Forest Service handheld sun photometers in southern Africa during the SAFARI 2000 campaign." Int J Remote Sens 26 (19): 4169-4183 [10.1080/01431160500113104] [Journal Article/Letter]

2005. "Comparison of aerosol optical thickness measurements by MODIS AERONET sun photometers and Forest Service handheld sun photometers in southern Africa during the SAFARI 2000 campaign." Inter J Rem Sens 26 (19): 4169-4183 [Journal Article/Letter]

2005. "Columnar aerosol optical properties at AERONET sites in central eastern Asia and aerosol transport to the tropical mid-Pacific." J. Geophys. Res. 110 (D6): D06202 [10.1029/2004JD005274] [Journal Article/Letter]

2005. "Ship-based aerosol optical depth measurements in the Atlantic Ocean." Geophys Res Abstracts 7 2 pp [Journal Article/Letter]


2006. "Aeronet's Version 2.0 quality assurance criteria." Proc .SPIE 6408, Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Clouds 6408Q [10.1117/12.706524] [Other]