Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Sampa Das


Sampa Das's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.6041
Org Code: 614
Mail Code 614
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Sampa Das is an ESSIC/UMD research scientist at the NASA GSFC Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory (code 614). She obtained her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from Purdue University in 2018. Her dissertation work involved, (1) assessing the simulations of long-range transport and vertical distribution of southern African biomass burning aerosols in multiple global atmospheric models and (2) quantifying the impact of transported aerosols on stratocumulus clouds and regional energy budget using NASA GEOS (Goddard Earth Observing System) model. Following her Ph.D., she joined GSFC as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow. Here, she continues to utilize her experience in global aerosol modeling to diagnose and improve the representation of aerosol-related processes and properties in the GEOS Earth System model using observations from a combination of satellites, aircraft, and ground-based instruments.


Research Interests

Global Aerosol Modeling; Aerosol-Cloud-Radiation Interactions; Pyrocumulonimbus (PyroCb) Modeling

Earth Science: Aerosols


Assistant Research Scientist

Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), University of Maryland - College Park, MD

May 2023 - Present

(Visiting) Assistant Research Scientist

Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), University of Maryland - College Park, MD

May 2021 - April 2023

NASA Postdoctoral Fellow

NPP Program, Universities Space Research Association (USRA) - Columbia, MD

May 2018 - April 2021


2012 – 2018 Ph.D. (Atmospheric Science), Purdue University, Indiana

Dissertation: The Influence of Biomass Burning Aerosols on Stratocumulus Clouds over the South-east Atlantic.

2010 – 2012 MS (Chemical Engineering), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, India

Thesis: Data Assimilation using Optimal Interpolation: correcting model predictions with satellite observations.

2006 – 2010 BS (Chemical Engineering), West Bengal University of Technology, India


PI: Investigating the Role of Wildfire Smoke on Stratospheric Chemistry and Composition using an Aerosol-Chemistry Coupled Global Model

ACMAP (Atmospheric Composition and Modeling Analysis Program) - NASA ROSES - Awarded: 2023-01-27

Dates:  - 

Co-I: Understanding Model Biases to Diagnose the Role of Biomass Burning Aerosol in the Southeast Atlantic

ACCDAM (Atmospheric Composition Campaign Data Analysis and Modeling) - NASA ROSES - Awarded: 2021-04-11

Dates:  - 

Science PI: Using OMI Radiances in Combination with Field Measurements to Obtain Observational Constraints on Aerosol Absorption in Climate

Aura Science Team - NASA ROSES - Awarded: 2020-02-14

Dates:  - 


  • 2023 Robert H. Goddard Award for excellence in Science, NASA GSFC
  • 2021 Best Senior Author Paper Award from 610 AT (Earth Science Division, Atmospheres), NASA GSFC
  • 2018 NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Fellowship
  • 2018 Research Associateship Programs (RAP) Fellowship (declined)
  • 2017 Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship, Purdue University
  • 2017 Graduate Teaching Award, Purdue Teaching Academy

Selected Publications


2024. "Improved simulations of biomass burning aerosol optical properties and lifetimes in the NASA GEOS Model during the ORACLES-I campaign." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 24 (7): 4421-4449 [10.5194/acp-24-4421-2024] [Journal Article/Letter]

2024. "Benchmarking GOCART-2G in the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS)." Geoscientific Model Development 17 (3): 1443-1468 [10.5194/gmd-17-1443-2024] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Dynamical perturbation of the stratosphere by a pyrocumulonimbus injection of carbonaceous aerosols." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 22 (17): 11049-11064 [10.5194/acp-22-11049-2022] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "The long-term transport and radiative impacts of the 2017 British Columbia pyrocumulonimbus smoke aerosols in the stratosphere." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 21 (15): 12069-12090 [10.5194/acp-21-12069-2021] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Description of the NASA GEOS Composition Forecast Modeling System GEOS‐CF v1.0." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 13 (4): [10.1029/2020ms002413] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Differences in the Evolution of Pyrocumulonimbus and Volcanic Stratospheric Plumes as Observed by CATS and CALIOP Space-Based Lidars." Atmosphere 11 (10): 1035 [10.3390/atmos11101035] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Stratospheric Injection of Massive Smoke Plume from Canadian Boreal Fires in 2017 as seen by DSCOVR‐EPIC, CALIOP and OMPS‐LP Observations." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres [10.1029/2020jd032579] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "The Influence of Elevated Smoke Layers on Stratocumulus Clouds over the SE Atlantic in the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) Model." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres [10.1029/2019jd031209] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Biomass burning aerosol transport and vertical distribution over the South African-Atlantic region." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 122 (12): 6391-6415 [10.1002/2016jd026421] [Journal Article/Letter]