Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Maria A. Tzortziou

Research Associate Professor


Phone: +1 301 614 6048
Primary College/Department: CMNS-Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center
Employer: University of Maryland


Res. Assoc. Professor Maria Tzortziou leads a multidisciplinary research and teaching program in land-ocean-atmosphere interactions and exchanges, air-quality (aerosols and trace gases), coastal and estuarine biogeochemistry, impacts of coastal urbanization and climate extremes on nearshore ecosystem processes and natural resources. A central aspect in her research is the integration of enhanced remote sensing tools with sophisticated models for assessing coastal vulnerability and predicting ecosystem responses, feedbacks and resilience to environmental change. Dr Tzortziou’s research has taken her from the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay wetlands to the Tanana Valley in Alaska, from urbanized coastlines in the Mediterranean and Europe's trans-boundary river watersheds to the Asian coastal megacities of Seoul and Busan, to the Hindu-Kush Himalayan river basins. This research program has  been supported by NASA, NOAA, NSF, the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the European Commission. Dr Tzortziou is the recipient of a number of competitive awards, including the Marie Curie Excellence Award, the Marie Curie International Fellowship Award, the National Academies National Research Council Research Associate Award, and the NASA New Investigator Program Award that endorses excellence and innovation in research and educational activities in Earth Sciences.


Student Opportunities

Prospective graduate students and postdoctoral researchers

If you are interested in joining my research group, please send me your CV and a message describing your research interests and experience. You can find more information about ESSIC and AOSC on the graduate program website. Opportunities exist for collaborations with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA GSFC), the NOAA Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center (NOAA/CREST) of The City University of New York (CUNY), the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), and the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of the Columbia University.


Prospective undergraduate interns

Research internship opportunities are available for enthusiastic undergraduate students to be involved in interdisciplinary ecosystem research and participate in fieldwork activities and laboratory experiments. Students will receive interdisciplinary training in the fields of optics, remote sensing, ocean color, atmospheric processes, estuarine ecology, coastal water processes, biogeochemistry and photobiology, and will build skills in a wide variety of field and laboratory techniques, data analysis and the use of analytical instruments. This is an opportunity for undergraduate students with a strong interest in environmental science to get hands-on experience outside the classroom, broaden the knowledge obtained in courses, and develop skills in critical analysis, problem solving and communication of findings. If you are interested in joining my research group, please send me your CV and a message with your research interests and background. You can also check the University of Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research (MCUR) for listed opportunities.


Return to ESSIC – University of Maryland website

Return to AOSC – University of Maryland website


Selected feature articles highlighting research by Tzortziou's research group


"Tzortziou plays multifaceted role in preparation for NASA’s GEO-CAPE mission"- Appeared on University of Maryland-Featured at ESSIC. By science writer Lauren Kirkwood; January 2014.

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"Cruising the Chesapeake"- Appeared on NASA's "Global Climate Change - Vital Signs of the Planet". By science writer Patrick Lynch and NASA's Earth Science News Team; September 2011.

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"NOAA-CREST students in action: Cruising waters for evaluation of satellite retrievals" - Appeared on NOAA/CREST's website Success Stories

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"The Satellite That Could Save the Coasts" - Appeared on the Smithsonian's "Shorelines" homepage. By science writer Kristen Minogue; September 2011.

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"Cruising the Chesapeake for Water and Air Quality"-Appeared on NASA's "News & Features - Looking at Earth". By science writer Patrick Lynch and NASA's Earth Science News Team; September 2011.

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"GEO-CAPE Chesapeake Bay Oceanographic campaign with DISCOVER AQ (CBODAQ)" Appeared on NASA's "Ocean Ecology Science Research Portal". NASA Official: Charles R. McClain; October 2011.

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"Sun Bleaching the Marshes" - SERC Quarterly Newsletter. By science writer Kimbra Cutlip; May 2007.

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"Attenuating Circumstances" - SERC Quarterly Newsletter. By science writer Kimbra Cutlip; October 2006. Website Link:


Research Interests

Land-ocean-atmosphere interactions and exchanges, air-quality (aerosols and trace gases),

coastal wetland and estuarine biogeochemical cycles, impacts of coastal urbanization

and climate extremes on nearshore ecosystem processes and natural resources.


Peer-Reviewed Publications

(*involving advised/mentored students and post-docs)

Tzortziou M., J. R Herman, Z. Ahmad, *C.P. Loughner, N. Abuhassan, A. Cede. 2014. "Atmospheric NO2 Dynamics and Impact on Ocean Color Retrievals in Urban Nearshore Regions", Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans (Accepted for publication on May 24, 2014).

Zeri C., * E. Pitta, M. Tzortziou, E. Dimitriou, V. Paraskevopoulou, E. Dassenakis, M. Scoullos. 2014. "The role of dissolved organic matter cycling in E. Mediterranean rivers experiencing multiple pressures. The case of the transboundary river Evros", Mediterranean Marine Science (Accepted for publication).

Tzortziou M., Zeri C., E. Dimitriou, Y. Ding, R. Jaffé, E. Anagnostou, *E. Pitta, A. Mentzafou, (In Review). CDOM optical signature and insights on carbon dynamics, water quality and anthropogenic influences in a major transboundary river and its Ramsar protected coastal wetland. Limnology and Oceanography.

*Loughner C.P., M. Tzortziou, M. Follette-Cook, K. E. Pickering, D. Goldberg, A. Weinheimer, J. H. Crawford, D. J. Knapp, D. D. Montzka, G. B. Diskin, and R. R. Dickerson, 2014. Impact of bay breeze circulations on surface air quality and boundary layer export, Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, In Press, DOI: 10.1175/JAMC-D-13-0323.1.

*Goldberg DL,* CP Loughner, M Tzortziou, JW. Stehr, KE Pickering, L Tambaoga Marufu, and R Dickerson, 2014, Higher surface ozone concentrations over the Chesapeake Bay than over the adjacent land: Observations and models from the DISCOVER-AQ and CBODAQ campaigns, Atmospheric Environment 84, 9-19.

Zeri C., Besiktepe S., Giannakourou A., Krasakopoulou E., Tzortziou M., *Tsoliakos D., Pavlidou A., Mousdis G., *Pitta, E., Scoullos M., Papathanassiou E., 2013, "Chemical properties and fluorescence of DOM in relation to biodegradation in the interconnected Marmara-North Aegean Seas", In-Press, Journal of Marine Systems. Available Online at ScienceDirect:

Tzortziou M., J. R Herman, *C. P Loughner, A.Cede, N. Abuhassan, *S. Naik, 2013, "Spatial and temporal variability of ozone and nitrogen dioxide over a major urban estuarine ecosystem", Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, Special Issue PINESAP, DISCOVER-AQ, DOI: 10.1007/s10874-013-9255-8.

*He H., *CP Loughner, JW Stehr, HL Arkinson, L Brent, M Follette-Cook, M Tzortziou, KE Pickering, A Thompson, DK Martins, GS Diskin, BE Anderson, JH Crawford, AJ Weinheimer, P Lee, JC Hains, and R Dickerson, 2013, "An elevated reservoir of air pollutants observed over the Mid-Atlantic States during the 2011 DISCOVER-AQ campaign: a case study from airborne measurements and numerical simulations", In-Press, Atmospheric Environment.

*Reed A., A. M. Thompson, D. E. Kollonige, D. K. Martins, M. Tzortziou, J. R. Herman, T. A. Berkoff, N. K. Abuhassan, A. Cede, 2013, "Effects of Local Meteorology and Aerosols on Ozone and Nitrogen Dioxide Retrievals from OMI and Pandora Spectrometers in Maryland, USA during DISCOVER-AQ 2011", Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, Special Issue PINESAP, DISCOVER-AQ, DOI: 10.1007/s10874-013-9254-9.

Tzortziou M., Herman J.R., Cede A., Abuhassan N., 2012, “High precision, absolute total column ozone measurements from the Pandora spectrometer system: Comparisons with data from a Brewer double monochromator and Aura OMI”, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, D16303, DOI:10.1029/2012JD017814

Fishman J, LT Iraci, (co-authors in alphabetical order), J Al-Saadi, P Bontempi, K Chance, F Chavez, M Chin, P Coble, C Davis, P DiGiacomo, D Edwards, A Eldering, J Goes, J Herman, C Hu, D Jacob, C Jordan, S R Kawa, R Key, X Liu, S Lohrenz, A Mannino, V Natraj, D Neil, J Neu, M Newchurch, K Pickering, J Salisbury, H Sosik, A Subramaniam, M Tzortziou, J Wang, M Wang, 2012, “The United States' Next Generation of Atmospheric Composition and Coastal Ecosystem Measurements: NASA's Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events (GEO APE) Mission”, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. DOI:10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00201.1 (Article appeared on the Journal's front cover page).

*Stauffer R, Thompson A, Martins D.K., Clark R.D., *Loughner C.P., Delgado R., Berkoff T.A., Gluth E.C., Dickerson R.R., Stehr J.W., Tzortziou M., Weinheimer A.J., 2012, "Bay Breeze Influence on Surface Ozone at Edgewood, MD, during July 2011", Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, DOI: 10.1007/s10874-012-9241-6

Dimitriou E., *Mentzafou A., *Markogianni V, Tzortziou M., and Zeri C., 2012, "Geospatial Investigation into Groundwater Pollution and Water Quality Supported by Satellite Data: A Case Study from the Evros River (Eastern Mediterranean)", Pure Applied Geophysics, DOI: 10.1007/s00024-012-0621-2.

Dimitriou E., *Mentzafou A., Zogaris S., Tzortziou M., Gritzalis K., Karaouzas I. and Nikolaidis Ch., 2012, “Assessing the environmental status and identifying the dominant pressures of a trans-boundary river catchment, to facilitate efficient management and mitigation practices”, Environmental Earth Sciences, DOI: 10.1007/s12665-011-1409-x

Tzortziou M., P. J. Neale, J. P. Megonigal, *C. Lee Pow, and *M. Butterworth, 2011, “Spatial gradients in dissolved carbon due to tidal marsh outwelling into a Chesapeake Bay estuary”, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 426, 41-56, DOI: 10.3354/meps09017.

Brown M.E., H. Ouyang, S. Habib, B. Shrestha, M. Shrestha, P. Panday, M. Tzortziou, F. Pollicelli, G. Artan, A. Giriraj, S. Bajracharya, A. Racovinteanu, 2010, “HIMALA: Climate Impacts on Glaciers, Snow and Hydrology in the Himalayan Region”, Mountain Research and Development-MountainNotes. DOI: 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-10-00071.1

Herman J., A. Cede, *E. Spinei, G. Mount, M. Tzortziou, N. Abuhassan, 2009, “NO2 Column Amounts from Ground-based Pandora and MFDOAS Spectrometers using the Direct-Sun DOAS Technique: Inter-comparisons and Application to OMI Validation”, Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, DOI:10.1029/2009JD011848, 2009.

Tzortziou M., N.A. Krotkov, A.Cede, J. R. Herman, A. Vassilkov. 2008, “A new technique for retrieval of tropospheric and stratospheric ozone profiles using sky radiance measurements at multiple view angles - Application to a Brewer spectrometer.” Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 113, D06304, DOI:10.1029/2007JD009093.

Tzortziou M., P. Neale , C. Osburn, P. Megonigal, N. Maie, R. Jaffé, 2008. “Tidal marshes as a source of optically and chemically distinctive CDOM in the Chesapeake Bay”. Limnology and Oceanography, 53(1): 148-159. DOI: 10.4319/lo.2008.53.1.0148

Economou G., E.D. Christou, A. Giannakourou, E. Gerasopoulos, D. Georgopoulos, V. Kotoulas, D. Lyra, N. Tsakalis, M. Tzortziou, P. Vahamidis, E. Papathanassiou, A. Karamanos. 2008, “Eclipse effects on field crops and marine zooplankton: the 29 March 2006 Total Solar Eclipse” Atmospheric Chemistry Physics, 8(16): 4665-4676. DOI:10.5194/acp-8-4665-2008

Tzortziou M., C. Osburn, and P.Neale, 2007. “Photobleaching of dissolved organic material from a tidal marsh-estuarine system of the Chesapeake Bay”, Photochemistry and Photobiology, 83: 782-792. DOI: 10.1111 ⁄ j.1751-1097.2007.00142.x (Article appeared on the Journal's front cover page).

Tzortziou M., A. Subramaniam, J. Herman, C. Gallegos, P.Neale, L. Harding, 2007. “Remote sensing reflectance and inherent optical properties in the Mid Chesapeake Bay”. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 72(1): 16-32. DOI:10.1016/j.ecss.2006.09.018

Ahmad Z, C.R. McClain, J.R. Herman, B. Franz, E. Kwiatkowska, W. Robinson, E.J. Bucsela, M. Tzortziou, 2007. “Atmospheric correction for NO2 absorption in retrieving water-leaving reflectances from the SeaWiFS and MODIS measurements”. Applied Optics, 46(26): DOI: 10.1364/AO.46.006504 (Article appeared on the Journal's front cover page).

Tzortziou M., J.Herman, C.Gallegos, P.Neale, A.Subramaniam, L.Harding, Z.Ahmad, 2006.“Bio-optics of the Chesapeake Bay from measurements and radiative transfer closure”. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 68(2): 348-362. DOI:10.1016/j.ecss.2006.02.016

Zerefos C, Syrakov D, Ganev K, Vasaras A, Kourtidis K, Tzortziou M, Prodanova M, Dimitrova R, Georgieva E, Yordanov D, and Miloshev N, 2004. “Study of the pollution exchange between Bulgaria and northern Greece”. International Journal of Environment and pollution, 22 (1-2): 163-185. DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2004.005507

Ahmad Z., Herman J.R., Vasilkov A., Tzortziou M., Mitchell G., Kahru M., “Seasonal variation of UV radiation in the ocean under clear and cloudy conditions”, SPIE Vol. 5156, p. 63-73, Ultraviolet Ground- and Space-based Measurements, Models, and Effects III; James R. Slusser, Jay R. Herman, Wei Gao; Eds., 2003 DOI: 10.1117/12.505298

Formenti P., O.Boucher, T. Reiner, D. Sprung, M. Andreae, M. Wendisch, H. Wex, D. Kindred, M.Tzortziou, A. Vasaras, C. Zerefos, 2002. “The STAAARTE-MED 1998 airborne measurements over the Aegean Sea:II. Aerosol scattering and absorption, and radiative calculations”, Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, 107, No D21. DOI: 10.1029/2001JD001337.

Formenti, P., T. Reiner, D. Sprung, M. O. Andreae, M. Wendisch, H. Wex, D. Kindred, K. Dewey, J. Kent, M. Tzortziou, A. Vasaras, C. Zerefos, 2002. “The STAAARTE-MED 1998 summer airborne measurements over the Aegean Sea: I. Aerosol particles and trace gases”. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, 107, No D21. DOI: 10.1029/2001JD001337.

Zerefos C., K. Ganev, K. Kourtidis, M. Tzortziou, A. Vasaras, E. Syrakov, 2000. “On the origin of SO2 above Northern Greece”, Geophysical Research Letters, 27(3): 365-368. DOI: 10.1029/1999GL010799

Zerefos C., D. Balis, M. Tzortziou, A. Bais, K. Tourpali C. Meleti, G. Bernhard and J. Herman, 2001. "A note on the interannual variations of UV-B erythemal doses and solar irradiance from ground-based and satellite observations", Annales Geophysicae, 19: 115-120. DOI:10.5194/angeo-19-115-2001