Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Susanne Elizabeth Craig

(Scientist III)

Org Code: 616

Mail Code: 616
Greenbelt, MD 20771


Current Projects

PACE Science Lead for System Vicarious Calibration

Remote Sensing


Senior Scientist

NASA GSFC Ocean Ecology Laboratory/USRA - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

March 2018 - Present

Lead for the PACE mission system vicarious calibration (SVC) activities. Ocean color algorithm development, radiative transfer, machine learning, phytoplankton ecology.

Mission Scientist

Canadian Space Agency - St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada

February 2017 - July 2017

Mission Scientist for the Canadian Ocean Colour Imager (COCI) Program, Canadian Space Agency.

Adjunct Professor

Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University - Canada

April 2014 - April 2019

Adjunct Professor

Department of Process Engineering & Applied Science, Dalhousie University - Canada

2013 - Present

Senior Research Associate

Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University - Canada

December 2011 - August 2016

Federal Research Scientist

Bedford Institute of Oceanography - Canada

July 2012 - August 2014


Bedford Institute of Oceanography - Canada

December 2011 - November 2012

Adjunct Research Associate

Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University - Canada

November 2008 - November 2013

Consulting Scientist

Center for Hydro-optics & Remote Sensing (CHORS), San Diego State University - San Diego, CA

July 2007 - July 2009

Consultant Scientist for NASA funded research project, SORTIE, investigating alternative radiometric validation methods for satellite ocean color.

Research Associate

Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University - Canada

November 2005 - November 2010

Research Scientist

Department of Marine Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi - John C. Stennis Space Center, MS

November 2003 - October 2005

Investigating the use of hyperspectral radiometry to detect and assess the dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, as part of the ECOHAB project.

Research Fellow

Department of Civil Engineering, Environmental Health Research, University of Strathclyde - Glasgow, Scotland

April 2000 - October 2000

Leverhulme Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Department of Physics and Applied Physics, University of Strathclyde - Glasgow, Scotland

February 2000 - April 2003

Research Scientist

Department of Physics and Applied Physics, University of Strathclyde - Glasgow, Scotland

August 1999 - March 2000

Research Scientist

Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory - Oban, Scotland

July 1995 - November 1995

Teaching Experience

PhD, Masters Advisor & Highly Qualified Personnel Supervision

Advisor and/or committee member for multiple PhD and MSc degrees in Oceanography and Engineering.

Unless otherwise indicated, personnel are from Dalhousie University

  • Alan Wilson MASc candidate, 2014-2017 Thesis committee
  • Jonathon Lemay MSc candidate, 2015-2016 Thesis committee
  • Yunchen Li MASc candidate, 2016-present Co-supervisor
  • Loay Jabre MASc candidate, 2014-2017 Co-supervisor
  • Rio Yorke, Sean Campbell, Jad Tawill Senior year design project, Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering, 2015 Project Designer & Co-supervisor
  • Haya Qadoumi MASc candidate, 2014-2016 Co-supervisor
  • Alan Wilson MASc candidate, 2014-2016 Thesis committee
  • Thomas Barnett MASc candidate, 2013-2016 Co-supervisor
  • Alex Hayes MASc candidate, 2013-2014 Thesis committee
  • Aaron Outhwaite MASc candidate, 2013-present Thesis committee
  • Monika Woźniak (University of Gdansk/Stockholm University) PhD candidate, 2013-2015, Co-supervisor with Dr. Susanne Kratzer (Stockholm University)
  • Michael Brown MSc candidate, 2011-2014 Co-supervisor
  • Jianwei Wei PhD candidate, 2009-2013 Thesis committee
  • Alison Conley BSc Honours thesis, 2012 Co-supervisor
  • Jessica Wingfield Co-op student, May-Aug. 2010 Supervisor
  • Alison Conley Co-op student, Jan.-Apr. 2010 Supervisor
  • Alison Conley Co-op student, May-Aug. 2009 Supervisor

Graduate Level Teaching

2003 - 2005: Department of Marine Science, University of Southern Mississippi, MS, USA

  • M.Sc. Remote Sensing for Hydrographers, HYD 611
  • M.Sc. Marine Bio-optics, MAR 701-01

Undergraduate Level Teaching

1994-1999: Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Scotland

  • Undergraduate physics laboratories and tutorials, undergraduate seminar courses, student assessments
  • Outreach tutor: science outreach for schools and general public for Women in Science and Engineering events and numerous science education events



PhD Physics, 2000

Department of Physics and Applied Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. Thesis: “Spectral Measurements of Absorption, Scattering and in vivo Fluorescence from Phytoplankton Cultures”.

Supervisors: Dr. Alex Cunningham (University of Strathclyde), Prof. Jim Aiken (National Centre for Earth Observation)

BSc (Hons) Physics, 1995

Department of Physics and Applied Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland

Professional Service

  • Chair Ocean Optics XXIII Conference 2016 Planning Committee
  • (, 2014-2016
  • Member of core writing team Core writer for successfully funded Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) award of $93.7M to establish Dalhousie’s Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), 2016
  • Team member Canadian Space Agency-Naval Research Laboratory-NASA User’s Science Team on the Coastal Ocean Colour Imager (COCI) for the PACE mission, 2016
  • Panelist NASA Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Proposal Review Panel, 2016-present
  • Project Scientist NASA NAAMES (North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study) Project, 2015-present
  • Member NASA Scoping Study Team for Arctic-COLORS (COastal Land Ocean inteRactionS), 2014-present
  • Member & Session Chair Ocean Optics XXII Conference 2014 Planning Committee, 2012-2014
  • Co-chair International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG) Working Group on Coastal Water Algorithm Comparison, 2014-2016
  • Principal Investigator NASA Phytoplankton, Clouds and ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite mission Science Team, 2014-2017
  • Invited lecturer PhD training course on sea-truthing and bio-optical modeling, Stockholm University, Askö Laboratory, Sweden, May 2014
  • Steering Committee Canadian Network on Coastal, Oceans and Lakes Optics Remote sensing (NetCOLOR), 2014-present
  • Panel Member Review panel for The Oceanography Society Jerlov Award, 2014
  • Proposal Reviewer NASA, Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France), National Science Foundation (NSF, USA), Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO), NSERC (Canada), NERC (UK), on going
  • Scientific Advisory Board Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE): Fundy Applied Sensor Technology (FAST), 2012-present
  • Member Writing team for NASA working group on remote sensing of coastal and inland waters, 2012-2014
  • Member Satellite Phytoplankton Functional Type (PFT) Algorithm Intercomparison Project, 2012-present
  • Member International Ocean-Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG) Working Group on phytoplankton functional types, 2006-2014
  • Session Chair Ocean Optics XVIII Conference 2006, In Situ Optics – Session 7
  • Manuscript reviewer Journal of Geophysical Research, Remote Sensing of Environment, Applied Optics, Optics Express, Journal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics, Limnology and Oceanography, Deep-Sea Research, Biogeosciences, Journal of Plankton Research, Harmful Algae, Continental Shelf Research, Journal of Marine Systems, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Water Resources Research, Ocean Science, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters.


Phytoplancton de surface par télédétection satellitaire - Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada - Awarded: 2014-06-01

Dates: 2015-01-01  - 2016-01-01

Amount 45,000

Improved assessment of scallop stock status with remotely sensed phytoplankton community structure information - Strategic Program for Ecosystem-Based Research and Advice (SPERA) – Department of Fisheries & Oceans Canada - Awarded: 2015-10-01

Dates: 2016-01-01  - 2019-01-01

Amount 132,200

Derivation of Inherent Optical Properties from Satellite Top of Atmosphere Measurements in Optically Complex Waters

Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES-2013), A.25: Pre-Aerosol, Cloud, Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) - NASA (NNH13ZDA001N) - Awarded: 2014-07-01

Dates: 2014-10-01  - 2017-09-30

Development of autonomous unmanned aerial platforms for remote sensing of ocean colour

Killam Predoctoral Fellowship - Killam Foundation - Awarded: 2015-02-15

Dates:  - 

Amount 100,000

Development of autonomous unmanned aerial platforms for remote sensing of ocean colour

Nova Scotia Graduate Entrance Scholarship - Faculty of Graduate Studies, Dalhousie University - Awarded: 2015-07-01

Dates:  - 

Developing Remote-sensing Indices of Trophic Availability (RITA) for ecosystem status at appropriate scales

Strategic Program for Ecosystem-Based Research and Advice (SPERA) - Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada - Awarded: 2013-08-01

Dates:  - 

Amount 120,000

An ocean-atmosphere supersite was established on Sable Island in the NW Atlantic to investigate the role of marine biogenic volatile organic compounds in secondary aerosol formation.

Data Display and Source Apportionment of Volatile Organic Compounds on Sable Island - Natural Resources Canada/Environmental Studies Research Fund - Awarded:

Dates: 2012-06-01  - 2017-08-31

Amount 1,000,000

Investigation into the role of phytoplankton in the uptake of atmospheric CO2.

Physical and Phytoplankton Controls of CO2 uptake on the Scotian Shelf - Canadian Foundation for Climate & Atmospheric Science - Awarded:

Dates:  - 

Amount 47,000

Machine Learning Approaches for Predicting Phytoplankton Community Composition from Ocean Color

ROSES-2020, Program Element A.3 Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry - NASA (NNH20ZDA001N-OBB) - Awarded: 2020-11-12

Dates:  - 

Coverage: 0.3

Amount $656,137



Craig, S., and E. Bhatt. 2021. A Short Glossary of Inclusive Language Oceanography 34 (2): [10.5670/oceanog.2021.207]

Vandermeulen, R. A., A. Mannino, S. E. Craig, and P. J. Werdell. 2020. 150 shades of green: Using the full spectrum of remote sensing reflectance to elucidate color shifts in the ocean Remote Sensing of Environment 247 111900 []

Lange, P. K., P. Jeremy Werdell, Z. K. Erickson, et al. G. Dall’Olmo, R. J. Brewin, M. V. Zubkov, G. A. Tarran, H. A. Bouman, W. H. Slade, S. E. Craig, N. J. Poulton, A. Bracher, M. W. Lomas, and I. Cetinić. 2020. Radiometric approach for the detection of picophytoplankton assemblages across oceanic fronts Optics Express 28 (18): 25682 [10.1364/oe.398127]

Gao, M., P.-W. Zhai, B. A. Franz, et al. K. Knobelspiesse, A. Ibrahim, B. Cairns, S. E. Craig, G. Fu, O. Hasekamp, Y. Hu, and P. J. Werdell. 2020. Inversion of multiangular polarimetric measurements from the ACEPOL campaign: an application of improving aerosol property and hyperspectral ocean color retrievals Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 13 3939–3956 [10.5194/amt-13-3939-2020]

Casey, K. A., C. S. Rousseaux, W. W. Gregg, et al. E. Boss, A. P. Chase, S. E. Craig, C. B. Mouw, R. A. Reynolds, D. Stramski, S. G. Ackleson, A. Bricaud, B. Schaeffer, M. R. Lewis, and S. Maritorena. 2020. A global compilation of in situ aquatic high spectral resolution inherent and apparent optical property data for remote sensing applications Earth System Science Data 12 1123-1139 [10.5194/essd-12-1123-2020]

Craig, S. E., Z. Lee, and K. Du. 2020. Top of Atmosphere, Hyperspectral Synthetic Dataset for PACE (Phytoplankton, Aerosol, and ocean Ecosystem) Ocean Color Algorithm Development PANGAEA []

Werdell, P. J., L. I. McKinna, E. Boss, et al. 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, and X. Zhang. 2018. An overview of approaches and challenges for retrieving marine inherent optical properties from ocean color remote sensing Progress in Oceanography 160 186–212 [10.1016/j.pocean.2018.01.001]

Ross, T., S. E. Craig, A. Comeau, et al. R. Davis, M. Dever, and M. Beck. 2017. Blooms and subsurface phytoplankton layers on the Scotian Shelf: Insights from profiling gliders Journal of Marine Systems 172 118-127 [10.1016/j.jmarsys.2017.03.007]

Soja-Woźniak, M., S. Craig, S. Kratzer, et al. B. Wojtasiewicz, M. Darecki, and C. Jones. 2017. A Novel Statistical Approach for Ocean Colour Estimation of Inherent Optical Properties and Cyanobacteria Abundance in Optically Complex Waters Remote Sensing 9 (4): 343 [10.3390/rs9040343]

Walker, S. A., K. Azetsu-Scott, C. Normandeau, et al. D. E. Kelley, R. Friedrich, R. Newton, P. Schlosser, J. L. McKay, W. Abdi, E. Kerrigan, S. E. Craig, and D. W. Wallace. 2015. Oxygen isotope measurements of seawater ( H218O/ H216O): A comparison of cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) and isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 14 (1): 31-38 [10.1002/lom3.10067]

Craig, S. E., H. Thomas, C. T. Jones, et al. W. K. Li, B. J. Greenan, E. H. Shadwick, and W. J. Burt. 2015. The effect of seasonality in phytoplankton community composition on CO 2 uptake on the Scotian Shelf Journal of Marine Systems 147 52-60 [10.1016/j.jmarsys.2014.07.006]

Mouw, C. B., S. Greb, D. Aurin, et al. P. M. DiGiacomo, Z. Lee, M. Twardowski, C. Binding, C. Hu, R. Ma, T. Moore, W. Moses, and S. E. Craig. 2015. Aquatic color radiometry remote sensing of coastal and inland waters: Challenges and recommendations for future satellite missions Remote Sensing of Environment 160 15-30 [10.1016/j.rse.2015.02.001]

Craig, S. E., and I. M. Soto Ramos. 2014. Detection of karenia brevis and Karenia mikimotoi Blooms Reports of the International Ocean-Colour Coordinating Group: Phytoplankton Functional Types from Space. 15

Jones, C. T., S. E. Craig, A. B. Barnett, H. L. MacIntyre, and J. J. Cullen. 2014. Curvature in models of the photosynthesis-irradiance response Journal of Phycology 50 (2): 341-355 [10.1111/jpy.12164]

Georges, A. A., H. El-Swais, S. E. Craig, W. K. Li, and D. A. Walsh. 2014. Metaproteomic analysis of a winter to spring succession in coastal northwest Atlantic Ocean microbial plankton The ISME Journal 8 (6): 1301-1313 [10.1038/ismej.2013.234]

Barnes, B. B., C. Hu, J. P. Cannizzaro, et al. S. E. Craig, P. Hallock, D. L. Jones, J. C. Lehrter, N. Melo, B. A. Schaeffer, and R. Zepp. 2014. Estimation of diffuse attenuation of ultraviolet light in optically shallow Florida Keys waters from MODIS measurements Remote Sensing of Environment 140 519-532 [10.1016/j.rse.2013.09.024]

Teather, K., N. Hogan, K. Critchley, et al. M. Gibson, S. Craig, and J. Hill. 2013. Examining the links between air quality, climate change and respiratory health in Qatar Avicenna (2013): 9 [10.5339/avi.2013.9]

Schmidt, A. L., J. K. Wysmyk, S. E. Craig, and H. K. Lotze. 2012. Regional-scale effects of eutrophication on ecosystem structure and services of seagrass beds Limnology and Oceanography 57 (5): 1389-1402 [10.4319/lo.2012.57.5.1389]

Thomas, H., S. E. Craig, B. J. Greenan, et al. W. Burt, G. J. Herndl, S. Higginson, L. Salt, E. H. Shadwick, and J. Urrego-Blanco. 2012. Direct observations of diel biological CO2 fixation on the Scotian Shelf, northwestern Atlantic Ocean Biogeosciences 9 (6): 2301-2309 [10.5194/bg-9-2301-2012]

Craig, S. E., C. T. Jones, W. K. Li, et al. G. Lazin, E. Horne, C. Caverhill, and J. J. Cullen. 2012. Deriving optical metrics of coastal phytoplankton biomass from ocean colour Remote Sensing of Environment 119 72-83 [10.1016/j.rse.2011.12.007]

Shadwick, E. H., H. Thomas, A. Comeau, et al. S. E. Craig, C. W. Hunt, and J. E. Salisbury. 2010. Air-Sea CO<sub>2</sub> fluxes on the Scotian Shelf: seasonal to multi-annual variability Biogeosciences 7 (11): 3851-3867 [10.5194/bg-7-3851-2010]

Gibson, M. D., M. R. Heal, D. H. Bache, et al. A. S. Hursthouse, I. J. Beverland, S. E. Craig, C. F. Clark, M. H. Jackson, J. R. Guernsey, and C. Jones. 2009. Using Mass Reconstruction along a Four-Site Transect as a Method to Interpret PM10 in West-Central Scotland,United Kingdom Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 59 (12): 1429-1436 [10.3155/1047-3289.59.12.1429]

Craig, S. E., S. E. Lohrenz, Z. Lee, et al. K. L. Mahoney, G. J. Kirkpatrick, O. M. Schofield, and R. G. Steward. 2006. Use of hyperspectral remote sensing reflectance for detection and assessment of the harmful alga, Karenia brevis Applied Optics 45 (21): 5414 [10.1364/ao.45.005414]

Cunningham, A., D. McKee, S. Craig, G. Tarran, and C. Widdicombe. 2003. Fine-scale variability in phytoplankton community structure and inherent optical properties measured from an autonomous underwater vehicle Journal of Marine Systems 43 (1-2): 51-59 [10.1016/s0924-7963(03)00088-5]

McKee, D., A. Cunningham, and S. Craig. 2003. Semi-empirical correction algorithm for AC-9 measurements in a coccolithophore bloom Applied Optics 42 (21): 4369 [10.1364/ao.42.004369]

McKee, D., A. Cunningham, and S. Craig. 2003. Estimation of absorption and backscattering coefficients from in situ radiometric measurements: theory and validation in case II waters Applied Optics 42 (15): 2804 [10.1364/ao.42.002804]

Casey, K. A., C. S. Rousseaux, W. W. Gregg, et al. E. Boss, A. P. Chase, S. E. Craig, C. B. Mouw, R. A. Reynolds, D. Stramski, S. G. Ackleson, A. Bricaud, B. Schaeffer, M. R. Lewis, and S. Maritorena. . In situ high spectral resolution inherent and apparent optical property data from diverse aquatic environments PANGAEA Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science []


Stanley, R. H., T. Thomas, Y. Gao, et al. C. Gaston, D. Ho, D. Kieber, K. Mackey, N. Meskhidze, W. L. Miller, H. Potter, P. Vlahos, P. Yager, B. Alexander, S. R. Beaupre, S. Craig, G. Cutter, S. Emerson, A. A. Frossard, S. Gasso, B. Haus, W. C. Keene, W. M. Landing, R. H. Moore, D. Ortiz-Suslow, J. Palter, F. Paulot, E. Saltzman, D. Thornton, A. Wozniak, L. Zamora, and H. Benway. 2021. US SOLAS Science Report [10.1575/1912/27821]

Craig, S., and E. Karaköylü. 2019. Bayesian Models for Deriving Biogeochemical Information from Satellite Ocean Color Earth ArXiv [10.31223/]

Fuentes-Yaco, C., S. E. Craig, C. Caverhill, E. Head, and W. K. Li. 2016. Remote-sensing Indices of Trophic Availability (RITA) for ecosystem status Canadian Technical Report of Hydrography and Ocean Sciences 3166 (xiii): 87p

Talks, Presentations and Posters


The Global Ocean from Space: Phytoplankton, Fish, and Climate

December 6, 2021

COP26: United Nations Climate Change Conference, Glasgow, UK, Invited NASA Hyperwall presentation, 31 Oct - 12 Nov 2021.