Sciences and Exploration Directorate

John R Moisan



Org Code: 616

Mail Code: 610.W
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: NASA

Brief Bio

Dr. John Moisan is an oceanographer working at the Wallops Island Flight Facility, the coastal research facility of the Earth Science Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center which is located on the Eastern Shore of VA.   While at NASA he has been involved in a wide range of ocean science projects including: Analysis and Modeling of Physical and Biological Interactions in Marine Ecosystems, 2. Coupled Physical-Biological Models, Ocean Surface Mixed-Layer Processes, 3. Radiative Transfer in the Ocean, 4. Response of the Ocean Mixed-Layer and Heat Budget to Bio-Optical Processes, 5. Analysis of sea surface height variability in coastal regions, 6. Development of in-situ Ocean Instruments and Autonomous Surface Vehicle. 
His present focus is in developing a Genetic Programming capability for modeling ocean global ecosystems and microbial diversity.  This is a joint effort between NASA and The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


Teaching Assistant

University of New England - Biddeford, Maine

October 1979 - June 1983


Research Assistant

University of New England - Biddeford, Maine

October 1981 - October 1983


Research Assistant

CCMP, Bigelow Laboratories - Boothbay, Maine

June 1987 - September 1987


Graduate Research Assistant

Texas A&M University - College Station, TX

October 1987 - September 1989


Graduate Research Assistant

Old Dominion University - Norfolk, VA

October 1989 - March 1993


Postgraduate Research Oceanographer

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD - La Jolla, CA

March 1993 - April 1998


Assistant Professor of Physical Oceanography

Long Island University - Southampton, NY

February 1998 - July 2000


Visiting Scientist

Scripps Institution of Oceanography - La Jolla, CA

June 1999 - September 1999


Guest Scientist

Brookhaven National Laboratory - Brookhaven, NY

October 1999 - 1999


Visiting Scientist (on leave from LIU)

Scripps Institution of Oceanography - La Jolla, CA

February 2000 - July 2000


Adjunct Assistant Professor

University of MD, Center for Environmental Science - Cambridge, MD

July 2003 - July 2005



NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA

July 2000 - Present


Teaching Experience

I have taught courses in Physical Oceanography and Marine Operations and Research. I have taught classes in the following subjects: 1. General Biology Laboratory, 2. Mathematical Modeling of Marine Ecosystems, 3. Physical Oceanography, 4. Fluid Dynamics, 5. Numerical Methods, and 6. Optical Oceanography and Remote Sensing. Coordinated Seminar Series for the Physical Oceanography Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (1997-1998).


B.S. (Marine Biology), University of New England, 1983
Ph.D. (Oceanography), Old Dominion University, 1993
Post-Doctoral Experience, Scripps Inst. of Oceanography, 1993-1998

Professional Societies

American Geophysical Union

1987 - Present

Professional Service

• NASA/GSFC Contracting Officer Tech. Rep. for SBIR program (since 2005) and HBSL (Since 2010).
• Member of GeoCAPE Interdisciplinary Science Working Group.
• Assistant Editor, JGR-Oceans, 2003-2007
• Proposal Review Panels: NASA EOS, Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry, and Physical Oceanography Programs.
• Manuscript Reviewer for: Deep-Sea Res., JGR-Oceans, J. Marine Systems, J. Climate, J. Physical Oceanography, J. Remote Sensing, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Sci., Dyn. Atm. and Oceans, and Remote Sensing of Environment.
• Proposal Reviewer for: NSF, NO AA, NASA, DOE, ONR, NASA SBIR
• Founding Member of Mid-Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Assoc. (MACOORA)
• Reviewer for UNESCO IOC Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) Report
• Invited speaker Workshop on Biogeochemical Impacts of Climate and Land-Use Changes on Marine Ecosystems, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy, 11/1/2009-11/11/2009.
• Subtopic Manager for NASA/GSFC SBIR Program


1988: U.S. Antarctic Service Medal, U.S. Dept. of the Navy and The National Science Foundation, 1988.

2006: HBSL Peer Award for Outreach and Education

2007: R&D 100 Award for Adaptive Sensor Fleet Software



Friedland, K. D., N. R. Record, D. E. Pendleton, et al. W. M. Balch, K. Stamieszkin, J. R. Moisan, and D. C. Brady. 2023. Asymmetry in the rate of warming and the phenology of seasonal blooms in the Northeast US Shelf Ecosystem ICES Journal of Marine Science [10.1093/icesjms/fsad007]

Friedland, K. D., J. R. Moisan, A. A. Maureaud, et al. D. C. Brady, A. J. Davies, S. J. Bograd, R. A. Watson, and Y. Rousseau. 2021. Trends in phytoplankton communities within large marine ecosystems diverge from the global ocean Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 78 (11): 1689-1700 [10.1139/cjfas-2020-0423]

Wang, G., and J. Moisan. 2021. Remote Sensing of Phytoplankton Pigments Plankton Communities [Working Title] [10.5772/intechopen.95381]

Friedland, K. D., R. E. Morse, N. Shackell, et al. J. C. Tam, J. L. Morano, J. R. Moisan, and D. C. Brady. 2020. Changing Physical Conditions and Lower and Upper Trophic Level Responses on the US Northeast Shelf Frontiers in Marine Science 7 [10.3389/fmars.2020.567445]

Muller-Karger, F. E., E. Hestir, C. Ade, et al. K. Turpie, D. A. Roberts, D. Siegel, R. J. Miller, D. Humm, N. Izenberg, M. Keller, F. Morgan, R. Frouin, A. G. Dekker, R. Gardner, J. Goodman, B. Schaeffer, B. A. Franz, N. Pahlevan, A. G. Mannino, J. A. Concha, S. G. Ackleson, K. C. Cavanaugh, A. Romanou, M. Tzortziou, E. S. Boss, R. Pavlick, A. Freeman, C. S. Rousseaux, J. Dunne, M. C. Long, E. Klein, G. A. McKinley, J. Goes, R. Letelier, M. Kavanaugh, M. Roffer, A. Bracher, K. R. Arrigo, H. Dierssen, X. Zhang, F. W. Davis, B. Best, R. Guralnick, J. Moisan, H. M. Sosik, R. Kudela, C. B. Mouw, A. H. Barnard, S. Palacios, C. Roesler, E. G. Drakou, W. Appeltans, and W. Jetz. 2018. Satellite sensor requirements for monitoring essential biodiversity variables of coastal ecosystems Ecological Applications 28 (3): 749-760 [10.1002/eap.1682]

Moisan, T. A., K. M. Rufty, J. R. Moisan, and M. A. Linkswiler. 2017. Satellite Observations of Phytoplankton Functional Type Spatial Distributions, Phenology, Diversity, and Ecotones Frontiers in Marine Science 4 [10.3389/fmars.2017.00189]

Moisan, T. A., J. R. Moisan, and M. A. Linkswiler. 2013. Algorithm development for predicting biodiversity based on phytoplankton absorption Continental Shelf Research 55 17-28 [10.1016/j.csr.2012.12.011]

Moisan, J. R., T. A. Moisan, and M. A. Linkswiler. 2011. An inverse modeling approach to estimating phytoplankton pigment concentrations from phytoplankton absorption spectra J. Geophys. Res. 116 (C9): C09018 [10.1029/2010JC006786]

Moisan, J. R. 2010. Coupled circulation/biogeochemical models to estimate carbon flux Carbon and Nutrient Fluxes in Continental Margins: A Global Synthesis 539-559 [10.1007/978-3-540-92735-8_12]

Miller, A. J., A. J. Gabric, J. R. Moisan, et al. F. Chai, D. J. Neilson, D. W. Pierce, and E. Di Lorenzo. 2007. Global Change and Oceanic Primary Productivity: Effects of Ocean-Atmosphere-Biological Feedbacks (Chapter 2) Global Climate Change and Response of the Carbon Cycle in the Equatorial Pacific and Indian Oceans and Adjacent Land Masses 27-63

Gruber, N., H. Frenzel, S. C. Doney, et al. P. Marchesiello, J. C. McWilliams, J. R. Moisan, J. J. Oram, G.-K. Plattner, and K. D. Stolzenbach. 2006. Eddy-resolving simulation of plankton ecosystem dynamics in the California Current System Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 53 (9): 1483-1516 [10.1016/j.dsr.2006.06.005]

Fennel, K., J. Wilkin, J. O'Reilly, et al. J. Levin, J. R. Moisan, and D. Haidvogel. 2006. Nitrogen cycling in the Middle Atlantic Bight: Results from a three-dimensional model and implications for the North Atlantic nitrogen budget Global Biogeochem Cycles 20 (GB3007): 14 pp [10.1029/2005GB002456]

Moisan, J. R., A. J. Miller, E. Di Lorenzo, and J. Wilkin. 2005. Modeling and Data Assimilation (Chapter 10) Remote Sensing of Coastal and Aquatic Environments 73 229-257

White, W. B., D. R. Cayan, P. P. Niiler, et al. J. R. Moisan, G. Lagerloef, F. Bonjean, and D. Legler. 2005. The seasonal cycle of diabatic heat storage in the Pacific Ocean Progress in Oceanography 64 (1): 1-29 [10.1016/j.pocean.2004.06.012]

Di Lorenzo, E., A. J. Miller, D. J. Neilson, B. D. Cornuelle, and J. R. Moisan. 2004. Modelling observed California Current mesoscale eddies and the ecosystem response International Journal of Remote Sensing 25 (7-8): 1307-1312 [10.1080/01431160310001592229]

Miller, A. J., F. Chai, S. Chiba, J. R. Moisan, and D. J. Neilson. 2004. Decadal-Scale Climate and Ecosystem Interactions in the North Pacific Ocean Journal of Oceanography 60 (1): 163-188 [10.1023/B:JOCE.0000038325.36306.95]

Niiler, P., J. R. Moisan, and D.-K. Lee. 2004. Observed mechanisms of El Nino SST evolution in the Pacific J Marine Res 62 771-786

Moisan, J. R., T. A. Moisan, and M. R. Abbott. 2002. Modelling the effect of temperature on the maximum growth rates of phytoplankton populations Ecol Model 153 197-215

Spitz, Y. H., J. R. Moisan, M. R. Abbott, and J. G. Richman. 2001. Configuring an ecosystem model using data from the Bermuda Atlantic Time Series (BATS) Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 48 (8-9): 1733-1768 [10.1016/S0967-0645(00)00159-4]


Nagchaudhuri, A., M. Mitra, L. Zhang, et al. G. Bland, T. K. Miles, J. R. Moisan, R. Wescott, T. Teays, and R. Henry. 2013. AIRSPACES: Air-propelled Instrumented Robotic Sensory Platform(s) for Assateague Coastline Environmental Studies - A Multidisciplinary Experiential Learning and Research Project at a Minority Serving Land Grant Institution Frontiers in Education Conference, 2013 IEEE 1623-1625 [10.1109/FIE.2013.6685112]

Higinbotham, J., J. R. Moisan, C. Schirtzinger, et al. M. A. Linkswiler, J. K. Yungel, and P. Orton. 2008. Update on the development and testing of a new long duration solar powered autonomous surface vehicle OCEANS 2008 1 -10 [10.1109/OCEANS.2008.5152048]

Higinbotham, J., P. Hitchener, and J. R. Moisan. 2006. Development of a New Long Duration Solar Powered Autonomous Surface Vehicle OCEANS 2006 1 - 6 [10.1109/OCEANS.2006.306874]

Campbell, B., T. Riley, T. A. Moisan, and J. R. Moisan. 2006. CoastalObs III at Work in the Chesapeake Bay ORION Newsletter Summer 2006 3-4