Dr Christopher S Potter

Dr Christopher S Potter
NASA/Ames Research Center
Ecosystem Science & Technology Branch
Mail Stop 242-4
Moffett Field
Fields of interest
ecosystem modeling, carbon cycle, biogeochemistry
Description of scientific projects
The principal aim of global ecosystem studies at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, is to better understand the controls on biogenic trace gas fluxes and the ecosystem processes that regulate these gases. The research combines analysis of multi- year global data sets derived mainly from satellite observations with simulation models of terrestrial ecosystem processes on local to regional or global scales. The study approach includes analysis of past and present changes in the biosphere's carbon and nitrogen cycles driven by climate and land use. The research scope also includes studies of Earth's ecosystems as analogs to life on other planets, as part of the NASA program in Astrobiology. Global ecosystem studies at NASA Ames are coordinated with interdisciplinary research in land use change, tropospheric chemistry, climate modeling, and information technology at NASA research centers, universities, and non-profit research centers around the world. Computer simulations are being developed in collaboration with NASA's Center of Excellence of Information Technology located at Ames Research Center. One of the main research tools at NASA Ames is a global simulation model that combines multi-year satellite, climate, and other land surface data bases to estimate biosphere-atmosphere exchange of energy, water, and trace gases from plants and soils. Fluxes of all major biogenic "greenhouse" gases and reactive tropospheric gasesare simulated using the NASA-CASA Model.