Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Brief Bio


Dr. Zhong Liu is a research professor at the Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems (CSISS), George Mason University. He is also a member of NASA GES DISC, providing science and data support for NASA-JAXA TRMM, GPM, GPCP-3 and other global precipitation data sets and applications (e.g., USDA Crop Explorer). Over the years, Dr. Liu has worked on data services and tools for easy access to NASA's high-volume data products. He was the lead developer for the NOAA/NESDIS Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS, still in operation) project. He initiated and developed the TRMM Online Visualization and Analysis System (TOVAS), the very first member of the NASA Goddard Giovanni family. He was the lead developer of the Hurricane Data Analysis Tool (HDAT) at the GES DISC Hurricane Portal. He was the principal investigator for "Integrating IPWG Validation Algorithms into TRMM Online Visualization and Analysis System (TOVAS)" and a co-investigator for several NASA projects such as "Integrating NASA Earth Science Enterprise Data into Global Agricultural Decision Support Systems" as the lead developer of the global agriculture information system. At the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting, he initiated and chaired an inaugural session entitled Data and Information Services for Interdisciplinary Research and Applications in Earth Science to better understand interdisciplinary data challenges and identify new opportunities and solutions. This session has become one of the most popular sessions at AGU Earth and Space Science Informatics. He has chaired the Information Quality Cluster of the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) since 2022. He contributes to AGU Eos magazine and NASA@Work. 

Research Interests


Satellite remote sensing; Precipitation research (uncertainty, inter-comparison, etc.) and applications; Earth interdisciplinary data and information services; Interdisciplinary research; TRMM/GPM service development and user support

Earth Science: Remote Sensing

Current Projects


NASA GES DISC GIOVANNI; TRMM, GPM, GPCP-3, USDA Crop Explorer, NASA Dust Project, Valley Fever

Precipitation

Positions/Employment


Research Professor

CSISS, George Mason University - 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA

July 1999 - Present

A contract scientist at the NASA GSFC Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC).


Senior Research Scientist

SMART, Inc. - Lanham, MD

July 1997 - July 1999

A contract scientist at the NOAA NESDIS.


Research Associate

Byrd Polar Research Center at the Ohio State University - Columbus, Ohio

September 1995 - July 1997

Worked on Antartic boundary layer meteorology (katabatic wind) and sea ice.

Education


  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, PhD, Atmospheric Sciences (David Bromwich, Jeffery Rogers)
  • South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, SD, MS, Meteorology (Paul Smith)
  • Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China, BS, Marine Meteorology

Professional Societies


AMS, AGU and International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG)

1991 - Present

Professional Service


Reviewer for Nature, Harvard Data Science Review, Nature-Climate Change, J. Climate, JGR, J. Hydrometeorology, Atmospheric Research, Climate, JSTAR, etc. Reviewer for NASA, NSF, and NOAA research programs (PMM, ACCESS, NASA NPP, etc.).

Awards


  • NASA Group Achievement Awards – Earthdata Forum Team (2021)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for Innovative Multi-mission Data Services (2009)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for Earth Science Data Search, Exploration and Access Implement Team (Giovanni and Mirador) (2009)
  • NASA GSFC Robert H. Goddard Honor Award for Engineering (2008)
  • NASA GSFC Robert H. Goddard Honor Award for Outreach (2008)
  • Quarterly Customer Service Excellence Award from NASA GSFC (2001)
  • Customer Service Excellence Award from NASA GSFC (2001)
  • Antarctic Service Medal issued by National Science Foundation
  • Antarctic Service Medal issued by U.S. Navy

Grants


Precipitation is difficult to measure and predict. Each year droughts and floods cause severe property damages and human casualties around the world. Accurate measurement and forecast are important for mitigation and preparedness efforts. Significant progress has been made over the past decade in satellite precipitation product development. In particular, products’ spatial and temporal resolutions as well as timely availability have been improved by blended techniques. Their resulting products are widely used in various research and applications. However biases and uncertainties are common among precipitation products and an obstacle exists in quickly gaining knowledge of product quality, biases and behavior at a local or regional scale, namely user defined areas or points of interest. Current online inter-comparison and validation services have not addressed this issue adequately. To expedite the use of satellite precipitation products, the obstacle needs to be removed.

We have developed a Technology Readiness Level 7 (TRL-7) prototype (http://disc2.nascom.nasa.gov/Giovanni/tovas/rain.ipwg.shtml) in the TRMM Online Visualization and Analysis System (TOVAS) to address this issue (Liu et al. 2009, IPWG Special Issue in Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology). Despite its limited functionality and datasets, users can use this tool to generate customized plots within the United States for 2005. In addition, users can download customized data for further analysis, e.g. comparing their gauge data.

To meet increasing demands, we propose to integrate IPWG (International Precipitation Working Group) Validation Algorithms/statistics into TOVAS, allowing users to generate customized plots and data. In addition, we will expand the current coverage from the United States to global for daily, monthly and their climatology products. Whenever the TRMM science team changes their product version number, users would like to know the differences by inter-comparing both versions of TRMM products in their areas of interest. Making this service available to users will help them to better understand associated changes. We plan to implement this inter-comparison in TRMM standard monthly products with the IPWG algorithms. Monthly precipitation and their climatology products are important for many applications. Knowing differences among them will help researchers and application users. We plan to expand the existing monthly products and services.

The proposed additions will complement and accelerate the existing and ongoing validation activities in the community as well as enhance data services for TRMM and the future Global Precipitation Mission (GPM).

Project Publications:

Liu, Z. 2016, Comparison of Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) and TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) Monthly Precipitation Products: Initial Results, Journal of Hydrometeorology; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-15-0068.1; in press.

Satya Prakash, Ashis K. Mitra, Amir AghaKouchak, Zhong Liu, Hamidreza Norouzi, D.S. Pai. (2016) A preliminary assessment of GPM-based multi-satellite precipitation estimates over a monsoon dominated region. Journal of Hydrology. Online publication date: 1-Jan-2016.

Liu, Z. 2015, Evaluation of Precipitation Climatology Derived from TRMM Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) Monthly Product over Land with Two Gauge-Based Products. Climate , 3, 964-982, http://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/3/4/964

Mantas, V.M. Mantas, Z. Liu, C. Caro, A.J.S.C. Pereira. (2015) Validation of TRMM multi-satellite precipitation analysis (TMPA) products in the Peruvian Andes. Atmospheric Research 163, 132-145.

Mantas, V.M., Z. Liu, A.J.S.C. Pereira. (2015) A web service and android application for the distribution of rainfall estimates and Earth observation data. Computers & Geosciences 77, 66-76.

Liu, Z., 2015, Comparison of precipitation estimates between Version 7 3-hourly TRMM Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) near-real-time and research products. Atmospheric Research, Volume 153, February 2015, Pages 119-133, Online: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169809514003081

Liu, Z., 2015, Comparison of Versions 6 and 7 3-Hourly TRMM Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) Research Products. Atmospheric Research, in press, Online: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169809515000046

Liu, Z., Ostrenga, D., Teng, W., Kempler, S., Milich, L., 2014, Developing GIOVANNI-based online prototypes to intercompare TRMM-related global gridded-precipitation products, Computers & Geosciences, volume 66, issue , year 2014, pp. 168 - 181

Liu, Zhong, Dana Ostrenga, William L. Teng, and Steven J. Kempler, 2013. Implementing the International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG) Validation Statistics in Online Tools to Inter-compare and Characterize Satellite-derived Global Precipitation Products. 2013 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco, 9-13 December 2013.

Ostrenga, Dana; Zhong Liu, Steven J. Kempler, Bruce Vollmer, and William L. Teng, 2013. Preparing Precipitation Data Access, Value-added Services and Scientific Exploration Tools for the Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG). 2013 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco, 9-13 December 2013.

Liu, Z., D. Ostrenga, W. Teng, and S. Kempler, 2013: Online Tools to Inter-compare TRMM Precipitation Products, 93nd AMS Annual Meeting, Jan 6-10, Austin, TX

Liu, Z., D. Ostrenga, D. W. Teng, and S. Kempler, 2012, Utilizing Satellite-derived Precipitation Products in Hydrometeorological Applications (Invited), American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2012 Fall Meeting. December 3-7, 2012, San Francisco, CA

Liu, Z., D. Ostrenga, W. Teng, S. Kempler, 2012, Online Inter-comparison of Satellite-derived Global Precipitation Products, Sixth Workshop of the International Precipitation Working Group, 15-19 October 2012, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

Liu, Z, 2012, International Training on Satellite-derived Global Precipitation Products and Services, Sixth Workshop of the International Precipitation Working Group, 15-19 October 2012, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

Liu, Z., D. Ostrenga, W. Teng, S. Kempler, 2012, TRMM Data Services at the NASA GES DISC, New and Emerging Technologies, Sensors, and Datasets for Precipitation at the Sixth Workshop of the International Precipitation Working Group, 15-19 October 2012, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

Liu, Zhong, 2012. Developing Online Tools to Assess Uncertainty in Satellite-derived Global Precipitation Products. Climate Informatics 2012, Boulder, Colorado (selected for a partial travel fellowship support).

Liu, Z, and D. Ostrenga, W. Teng, and S. J. Kempler, 2012, Online Assessment of Satellite-Derived Global Daily Precipitation Products, 92nd AMS Annual Meeting, Jan 22-26, New Orleans, LA

Liu, Z, and D. Ostrenga, W. Teng, and S. J. Kempler, 2011, Online Evaluation of Satellite-Derived Global 3-Hourly Precipitation Products, American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2011 Fall Meeting. December 5-9, 2011, San Francisco, CA


 

Integrate IPWG Validation Algorithms into TRMM Online Visualization and Analysis System (TOVAS) - George Mason University (NNH10ZDA001N-ESDRERR) - Awarded: 2011-07-01


Dates:  - 

Other Professional Information


Chairing the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) information quality cluster (2022 - present)

Special Experience


Three field trips to Antarctica to study katabatic winds.

Publications


Refereed

Mantas, V., J. Wei, Z. Liu, and M. Jin. 2023. Preface: Embracing interdisciplinary earth science: Advancing through open science, collaboration, and innovation Computers & Geosciences 179 105436 [10.1016/j.cageo.2023.105436]

Peng, G., R. Downs, H. K. Ramapriyan, et al. M. Parsons, D. Moroni, Z. Liu, S. Khalsa, C. Mears, Y. Wei, B. Ramachandran, and S. Smith. 2023. AN OVERVIEW OF COMMUNITY FAIR PRACTICES – NASA O’FAIR WG INCEPTION REPORT Earthdata Wiki [https://doi.org/10.5067/DOC/ESCO/ESDSWG-0001V1]

Liu, Z., Y. Wen, V. Mantas, and D. Meyer. 2023. We Need a Better Way to Share Earth Observations Eos 104 [10.1029/2023eo230190]

Liu, Z., C. L. Shie, S. Shen, et al. J. G. Acker, A. W. Li, J. C. Wei, and D. J. Meyer. 2023. Improving NASA’s Earth Satellite and Model Data Discoverability for Interdisciplinary Research, Applications, and Education Data Science Journal 22 (1): p. 9 [https://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2023-009]

Liu, Z., D. Ostrenga, A. K. Savtchenko, et al. W. L. Teng, B. Vollmer, J. C. Wei, and D. J. Meyer. 2022. NASA Global Near-Real-Time and Research Precipitation Products for Flood Monitoring, Modeling, Assessment, and Research Flood Handbook 519-540 [https://doi.org/10.1201/9780429463938]

Hills, D., J. Damerow, B. Ahmmed, et al. N. Catolico, S. Chakraborty, T. Y. Chen, C. Coward, R. Crystal-Ornelas, W. Duncan, L. Goparaju, C. Lin, Z. Liu, M. Mudunuru, Y. Rao, R. Rovetto, Z. Sun, B. Whitehead, L. Wyborn, and T. Yao. 2022. Earth and Space Science Informatics Perspectives on Integrated, Coordinated, Open, Networked (ICON) Science Earth and Space Science [10.1029/2021EA002108]

Liu, Z., C.-L. Shie, A. J. Ritrivi, et al. G.-D. Lei, G. T. Alcott, M. Greene, J. Acker, J. C. Wei, D. J. Meyer, A. Li, and A. F. Al-Jazrawi. 2022. Developing Metrics for NASA Earth Science Interdisciplinary Data Products and Services Data Science Journal 21 [10.5334/dsj-2022-005]

Neto, R. M., C. A. Santos, R. M. da Silva, et al. C. A. dos Santos, Z. Liu, and N. W. Quinn. 2021. Geospatial cluster analysis of the state, duration and severity of drought over Paraíba State, northeastern Brazil Science of The Total Environment 149492 [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149492]

Liu, Z., D. Tong, J. Wei, and D. Meyer. 2021. Integrating Data to Find Links Between Environment and Health Eos 102 [10.1029/2021eo158802]

Liu, Z., D. Ostrenga, A. Savtchenko, et al. W. Teng, B. Vollmer, J. Wei, and D. Meyer. 2021. Global Satellite‐Based Precipitation Products Handbook of Water Harvesting and Conservation 153-175 [10.1002/9781119478911.ch11]

Liu, Z., C.-L. Shie, A. Li, and D. Meyer. 2020. NASA Global Satellite and Model Data Products and Services for Tropical Meteorology and Climatology Remote Sensing 12 (17): 2821 [10.3390/rs12172821]

Liu, Z., V. Mantas, J. Wei, M. Jin, and D. Meyer. 2020. Creating Data Tool Kits That Everyone Can Use Eos 101 [10.1029/2020eo143953]

Liu, Z., J. Wang, S. Pan, and D. Meyer. 2020. Improving Reproducibility in Earth Science Research Eos 101 (2): 16-17 [10.1029/2019eo136216]

Liu, Z., D. Meyer, C.-L. Shie, and A. Li. 2019. NASA Global Satellite and Model Data Products and Services for Tropical Cyclone Research Current Topics in Tropical Cyclone Research [Working Title] [10.5772/intechopen.89720]

Wei, Y., H. K. Ramapriyan, R. R. Downs, et al. C.-L. Shie, Z. Liu, D. Moroni, T. Habermann, S. Khalsa, and B. Peters. 2019. Comprehensive Data Quality Recommendations for Data Producers and Distributors, Technical Note ESDS-RFC-033 NASA ESDIS Standard Office (ESO) pp. 1-81

Liu, Z., H. K. Ramapriyan, Y. Wei, et al. C.-L. Shie, D. Moroni, R. R. Downs, T. Habermann, D. Scott, G. J. Huffman, and D. Smith. 2019. High-Priority Data Quality Recommendations for Data Producers and Distributors, Technical Note ESDS-RFC-034 NASA ESDIS Standard Office (ESO) pp. 1-17

Ramapriyan, H. K., D. Scott, E. Armstrong, et al. C. DiMiceli, R. R. Downs, C. Gacke, S. Gluck, G. J. Huffman, Z. Liu, D. Moroni, C.-L. Shie, D. Smith, and Y. Wei. 2019. Data Management Plan Template for DAACs, Technical Note ESDS-RFC-031 NASA ESDIS Standard Office (ESO) pp. 1-11

Ramapriyan, H. K., D. Scott, E. Armstrong, et al. C. DiMiceli, R. R. Downs, C. Gacke, S. Gluck, G. J. Huffman, Z. Liu, D. Moroni, C.-L. Shie, D. Smith, and Y. Wei. 2019. Data Quality Working Group Recommendations for the Data Management Plan Template for Data Producers, Technical Note ESDS-RFC-032 NASA ESDIS Standard Office (ESO) pp. 1-7

Liu, Z., M. Jin, J. Liu, et al. A. Li, W. L. Teng, B. E. Vollmer, and D. J. Meyer. 2019. Global Satellite Observations for Smart Cities

Prakash, S., A. K. Mitra, A. AghaKouchak, et al. Z. Liu, H. Norouzi, and D. Pai. 2018. A preliminary assessment of GPM-based multi-satellite precipitation estimates over a monsoon dominated region Journal of Hydrology 556 865-876 [10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.01.029]

Liu, Z., and J. Acker. 2017. Giovanni: The Bridge Between Data and Science Eos 98 [10.1029/2017eo079299]

Liu, Z., D. Ostrenga, B. Vollmer, S. , and W. Teng. 2017. NASA global satellite-based precipitation products and services for drought monitoring activities in Handbook of Drought and Water Scarcity CRC Press, Taylor and Francis 1 (Chapter 22): [10.1201/9781315404219]

Liu, Z., D. Ostrenga, B. Vollmer, et al. B. Deshong, K. Macritchie, M. Greene, and S. Kempler. 2017. Global Precipitation Measurement Mission Products and Services at the NASA GES DISC Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 98 (3): 437-444 [10.1175/bams-d-16-0023.1]

Liu, Z., D. Ostrenga, W. Teng, and S. Kempler. 2017. Developing Online Visualization and Analysis Services for NASA Satellite-Derived Global Precipitation Products during the Big Geospatial Data Era CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group 312

Liu, Z. 2016. Comparison of Integrated Multisatellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) and TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) Monthly Precipitation Products: Initial Results Journal of Hydrometeorology 17 (3): 777-790 [10.1175/jhm-d-15-0068.1]

Liu, Z. 2015. Evaluation of Precipitation Climatology Derived from TRMM Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) Monthly Product over Land with Two Gauge-Based Products Climate 3 (4): 964-982 [10.3390/cli3040964]

Mantas, V., Z. Liu, C. Caro, and A. Pereira. 2015. Validation of TRMM multi-satellite precipitation analysis (TMPA) products in the Peruvian Andes Atmospheric Research 163 132-145 [10.1016/j.atmosres.2014.11.012]

Liu, Z. 2015. Comparison of versions 6 and 7 3-hourly TRMM multi-satellite precipitation analysis (TMPA) research products Atmospheric Research 163 91-101 [10.1016/j.atmosres.2014.12.015]

Mantas, V., Z. Liu, and A. Pereira. 2015. A web service and android application for the distribution of rainfall estimates and Earth observation data Computers & Geosciences 77 66-76 [10.1016/j.cageo.2015.01.011]

Liu, Z. 2015. Comparison of precipitation estimates between Version 7 3-hourly TRMM Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) near-real-time and research products Atmospheric Research 153 119-133 [10.1016/j.atmosres.2014.07.032]

Liu, Z., D. Ostrenga, W. Teng, S. Kempler, and L. Milich. 2014. Developing GIOVANNI-based online prototypes to intercompare TRMM-related global gridded-precipitation products Computers & Geosciences 66 168-181 [10.1016/j.cageo.2013.12.012]

Liu, Z., D. Ostrenga, W. L. Teng, and S. Kempler. 2012. Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Precipitation Data and Services for Research and Applications Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society [https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00152.1]

Liu, Z., D. Ostrenga, and G. Leptoukh. 2011. Online Visualization and Analysis of Global Half-Hourly Infrared Satellite Data Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 92 (4): 429-432 [10.1175/2010bams2976.1]

Liu, Z., S. Kempler, W. Teng, et al. H. Rui, L. S. Chiu, and L. and Milich. 2010. Global Agriculture Information System and its Applications In Advanced Geoinformation Science CRC Press Taylor & Francis

Liu, Z., H. Rui, W. Teng, et al. L. Chiu, G. Leptoukh, and S. Kempler. 2009. Developing an Online Information System Prototype for Global Satellite Precipitation Algorithm Validation and Intercomparison Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 48 (12): 2581-2589 [10.1175/2009jamc2244.1]

Chiu, L. S., Z. Liu, J. Vongsaard, et al. S. Morain, A. Budge, P. Neville, and C. Bales. 2006. Comparison of TRMM and water district rain rates over New Mexico Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 23 (1): 1-13 [10.1007/s00376-006-0001-x]

Zhang, X., M. A. Friedl, C. B. Schaaf, A. H. Strahler, and Z. Liu. 2005. Monitoring the response of vegetation phenology to precipitation in Africa by coupling MODIS and TRMM instruments Journal of Geophysical Research 110 (D12): D12103 [10.1029/2004jd005263]

Sun, D., Z. Liu, L. Chiu, et al. R. Yang, R. P. Singh, and M. Kafatos. 2004. Anomalous cold water detected along Mid-Atlantic Coast Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union 85 (15): 152 [10.1029/2004eo150003]

Bromwich, D., Z. Liu, A. N. Rogers, and M. L. Van Woert. 1998. Winter Atmospheric Forcing of the Ross Sea Polynya Antarctic Research Series 101-133 [10.1029/ar075p0101]

Carrasco, J. F., D. H. Bromwich, and Z. Liu. 1997. Mesoscale cyclone activity over Antarctica during 1991: 1. Marie Byrd Land Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 102 (D12): 13923-13937 [10.1029/97jd00905]

Carrasco, J. F., D. H. Bromwich, and Z. Liu. 1997. Mesoscale cyclone activity over Antarctica during 1991: 2. Near the Antarctic peninsula Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 102 (D12): 13939-13954 [10.1029/97jd00904]

Hines, K. M., D. H. Bromwich, and Z. Liu. 1997. Combined global climate model and mesoscale model simulations of Antarctic climate Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 102 (D12): 13747-13760 [10.1029/97jd00792]

Liu, Z., and D. H. Bromwich. 1997. Dynamics of the Katabatic Wind Confluence Zone near Siple Coast, West Antarctica Journal of Applied Meteorology 36 (2): 97-118 [10.1175/1520-0450(1997)036<0097:dotkwc>2.0.co;2]

Bromwich, D. H., and Z. Liu. 1996. An Observational Study of the Katabatic Wind Confluence Zone near Siple Coast, West Antarctica Monthly Weather Review 124 (3): 462-477 [10.1175/1520-0493(1996)124<0462:aosotk>2.0.co;2]

Liu, Z., and D. H. Bromwich. 1993. Acoustic Remote Sensing of Planetary Boundary Layer Dynamics near Ross Island, Antarctica Journal of Applied Meteorology 32 (12): 1867-1882 [10.1175/1520-0450(1993)032<1867:arsopb>2.0.co;2]

Bromwich, D. H., J. F. Carrasco, Z. Liu, and R.-Y. Tzeng. 1993. Hemispheric atmospheric variations and oceanographic impacts associated with katabatic surges across the Ross ice shelf, Antarctica Journal of Geophysical Research 98 (D7): 13045 [10.1029/93jd00562]

Smith, P. L., Z. Liu, and J. Joss. 1993. A Study of Sampling-Variability Effects in Raindrop Size Observations Journal of Applied Meteorology 32 (7): 1259-1269 [10.1175/1520-0450(1993)032<1259:asosve>2.0.co;2]