Michael King

Michael King

Hagler Institute for Advanced Study Faculty Fellow

Atmospheric Radiative Transfer, Remote Sensing of Clouds and Aerosols


  (303) 704-5414

  University of Colorado Boulder


Prof. King’s research experience incudes conceiving, developing, and operating multispectral scanning radiometers from a number of aircraft platforms in field campaigns ranging from arctic stratus clouds to smoke from the Kuwait oil fires and biomass burning in Brazil and Africa. He has also developed inversion algorithms for deriving aerosol size distribution and refractive index from ground-based sun/sky radiometers.

He has developed algorithms for deriving the cloud optical thickness and effective radius of both liquid water and ice clouds using spectral reflectance of solar radiation, both from aircraft and satellites, which has been used by the European Space Agency, Japanese Space Agency, and NASA. He is currently the team leader of the MODIS science team on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites, and has led the development of 5 science algorithms run routinely to process MODIS data.


Ph.D., 1977, Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona

M.S., 1973, Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona

B.A., 1971, Physics, Colorado College


2019 - William T. Pecora Award, Terra Team, US Dept. of the Interior and NASA
2015 - Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
2015 - Selected as Faculty Fellow, Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University
2014 - Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
2010 - Award of Excellence, Society for Technical Communication, International Technical Publications Competition, for ‘Our Changing Planet: The View from Space’
2006 - Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Senior Professional
2006 - Space Systems Award, American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics
2006 - Fellow of the American Geophysical Union
2003 - Member, National Academy of Engineering
2001 - William Nordberg Memorial Award for Earth Science, Goddard Space Flight Center
2001 - NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal
2000 - Verner E. Suomi Award, American Meteorological Society
1995 - Doctor of Science honoris causa, Colorado College
1993 - Transaction Prize Paper Award, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society
1992 - NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal
1990 - Fellow of the American Meteorological Society
1985 - NASA Exceptional Service Medal<

Additional Information

Senior Research Scientist, April 2008–present, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado

Earth Observing System (EOS) Senior Project Scientist, August 1992–April 2008, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) Project Scientist, January 1983–August 1992, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Research Scientist, January 1978–April 2008, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Visiting Professor, August 1986-July 1987, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington

Visiting Professor, November – December 2000, Department of Physics, Colorado College

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