Maria Tzortziou


Main Affiliation

Earth & Atmospheric Science

Additional Departments/Affiliated Programs

Graduate Center

Areas of Expertise/Research

  • Aquatic Biogeochemistry and Ecology
  • Atmosphere-Land-Ocean Biogeochemical Exchanges
  • Marine Optics
  • Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • Climate Change
  • Land-Ocean Interactions in the Arctic
  • Coastal Resilience


Center for Discovery and Innovation





Maria Tzortziou

Maria Tzortziou


Dr. Tzortziou's research integrates multidisciplinary datasets, satellite remote sensing observations, and ecosystem models to provide mechanistic insights into the impacts of human and environmental pressures on biogeochemical cycles and ecological processes along the continuum of terrestrial, wetland, estuarine, and open ocean ecosystems. Her research has taken her from the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay wetlands to the Yukon River delta in Alaska and the Arctic coastal ocean, from urbanized coastlines in the Mediterranean and Europe's trans-boundary watersheds to the Asian coastal megacities of Seoul and Busan, to the Hindu-Kush Himalayan river basins.

Dr. Tzortziou is on the Science Steering Committee for the Ocean Carbon Biogeochemistry Program and on the Science Leadership Board of the North American Carbon Program. She has served on the Steering Committee and Writing Team for the 2017-2027 NASA Ocean Biology & Biogeochemistry Program Advanced Science Plan and she was Invited Chapter Author for the Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR-2).  Tzortziou is the Deputy Program Applications Lead for NASA's upcoming satellite mission PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem), she has served on the science teams for numerous joint airborne-ship field expeditions, and she has been Science Team Member for NASA's PACE Science Team (2014-2018) and NASA's Earth Venture Instrument (EVI) Mission GLIMR
 (Geostationary Littoral Imaging and Monitoring Radiometer) (2019-now).




  • Ph.D.Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD
  • M.Sc.Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD
  • M.Sc.Environmental Physics, Summa Cum Laude, Dept. of Physics, Aristotle University, Greece
  • B.Sc.Physics, Summa Cum Laude, Dept. of Physics, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece 

Courses Taught

  •  CCNY EAS 36500: Coastal and Ocean Processes
  •  CCNY EAS B9030: Coastal Dynamics
  •  CCNY EAS B5100/42700: Remote Sensing of Ocean Processes
  •  CCNY EAS 472: Environmental Project
  •  CCNY EAS 31003: Independent Study 
  •  UMD HONR 248: Coastal dynamics and ecosystem processes
  •  UMD HONR 248: Remote Sensing
  •  UMD AOSC 499: Special Problems in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences - Atmosphere-Ocean Interactions along terrestrial-aquatic interfaces
  •  UMD ENSP 386: Environmental Science and Policy


Most recent publications (past five years)

Robinson J., A. Kotsakis, F. Santos, R. Swap, K. E. Knowland, G. Labow, V. Connors, M. Tzortziou, N. Abuhassan, M. Tiefengraber, and A. Cede (2020). "Using networked Pandora observations to capture spatiotemporal changes in total column ozone associated with stratosphere-to-troposphere transport".

Loughner C.P., M. B. Follette-Cook, B. N. Duncan, J. Hains, K.  E. Pickering, J. Moy, M. Tzortziou (2019). "The benefits of lower ozone due to air pollution emissions reductions (2002-2011) in the Eastern U.S. during extreme heat", Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association.

Schollaert Uz S., G. Kim, A. Mannino, J. Werdell, M. Tzortziou, 2019. "Developing a community of practice for applied uses of future PACE data to address food security challenges” Journal: Frontiers in Earth Science, 7, 283p. doi: 10.3389/feart.2019.00283

Thompson A.M., R. M. Stauffer, T. P. Boyle, D. E. Kollonige, K. Miyazaki, M. Tzortziou, J. R. Herman, C. N. Jordan, *B. T. Lamb, B. N. Duncan. 2019. Comparison of Near-surface NO2 Pollution with Pandora Total Column NO2 during the Korea-United States Ocean Color (KORUS OC) Campaign. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

Duncan B.N., (in alphabetical order) J. B. Abshire, L. Brucker, J. Carton, J. C. Comiso, E. P. Dinnat, B. C. Forbes, A. Gonsamo, W. W. Gregg, D. K. Hall, I. Ialongo, R. Jandt, M. F. Jasinski, R. A. Kahn, A. Karpechko, S. R. Kawa, T. Kumpula, E. Kyrölä, T. V. Loboda, K. C. McDonald, P. M. Montesano, R. Nassar, C. S. R. Neigh, L. E. Ott , C. L. Parkinson, B. Poulter, J.Pulliainen, K. Rautiainen, B. M. Rogers, C. S. Rousseaux, A. J. Soja, N. Steiner, J. Tamminen, M. A. Tzortziou, J. S. Wang, J. D. Watts, D. M. Winker, D. L. Wu. 2019. "Space-Based Observations for Understanding Changes in the Arctic-Boreal System: The Foundation for Coordinated Scientific Research and Informed Decision-Making", Reviews of Geophysics.

*Lamb B., Tzortziou M., McDonald K., 2019. Evaluation of Approaches for Mapping Tidal Wetlands of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. Remote Sensing 11(20):2366; Special Issue on "Satellite-Based Wetland Observation"; DOI: 10.3390/rs11202366

Herman J., A. Cede, N. Abuhassan, J. Kim, M. Dubey, M. Raponi, M. Tzortziou. 2019. Underestimation of Column NO2 Amounts from the OMI Satellite Compared to Diurnally Varying Ground-Based Retrievals from Multiple Pandora Spectrometer Instruments. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques.

*Clark J.B., P. Neale, M. Tzortziou, *F. Cao , R. R. Hood. 2019. A mechanistic model of photochemical transformation and degradation of colored dissolved organic matter. Marine Chemistry­ Journal.

Tzortziou M., *O. Parker, *B. Lamb, J. R. Herman, L. Lamsal, R. Stauffer and N. Abuhassan, 2018. Atmospheric Trace Gas (NO2 and O3) Variability in South Korean Coastal Waters, and Implications for Remote Sensing of Coastal Ocean Color Dynamics. Remote Sens. 10(10), 1587;

*Pitta E., Z. Christina, M. Tzortziou, Rijkenberg M.J.A. 2018. Transformations of dissolved organic matter in the Marmara Sea traced by its optical signature. Journal of Marine Systems, Volume 189, Pages 1-11, ISSN 0924-7963,

Sullivan J.T, T. Berkoff, G. Gronoff, T. Knepp, M. Pippin, D. Allen, L. Twigg, R. Swap, M. Tzortziou, A. Thompson, R. Stauffer, G. Wolfe, J. Flynn, S. Pusede, L. Judd, W. Moore, J. Al-saadi, T. McGee. 2018.  2018. The Ozone Water-Land Environmental Transition Study (OWLETS): An Innovative Strategy for Understanding Chesapeake Bay Pollution Events. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. BAMS-D-18-0025.

Omar A., M. Tzortziou, O. Coddington, and L. Remer. 2018. Plankton Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) Mission Atmosphere Measurements for Air Quality Applications. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing. Paper Number: JARS 180460SS.

*Rose, K. C., Neale, P. J., Tzortziou, M. , Gallegos, C. L. and Jordan, T. E., 2018. Patterns of spectral, spatial, and longterm variability in light attenuation in an optically complex subestuary. Limnol Oceanogr. doi:10.1002/lno.11005.

Werdell P.J., L. I.W. McKinna, E. Boss, 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, X. Zhang. 2018. An overview of approaches and challenges for retrieving marine inherent optical properties from ocean color remote sensing, Progress in Oceanography, Volume 160, Pages 186-212, ISSN 0079-6611,

Najjar R., M. Herrmann, R. Alexander, E. W. Boyer, D. Burdige, D. Butman, W.-J. Cai, E. A. Canuel, R. F. Chen, M. A. M. Friedrichs, R. A. Feagin, P. Griffith, A. L. Hinson, J. R. Holmquist, X. Hu, W. M. Kemp, K. D. Kroeger, A. Mannino, S. L. McCallister, W. R. McGillis, M. R. Mulholland, C. Pilskaln, J. Salisbury, S. Signorini, P. St-Laurent, H. Tian, M. Tzortziou, P. Vlahos, Z. A. Wang, and R. C. Zimmerman. 2018. Carbon budget of tidal wetlands, estuaries, and shelf waters of eastern North America. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 32, 389–416.

MullerKarger, F. E., Hestir, E. , Ade, C. , Turpie, K. , Roberts, D. A., Siegel, D. , Miller, R. J., Humm, D. , Izenberg, N. , Keller, M. , Morgan, F. , Frouin, R. , Dekker, A. G., Gardner, R. , Goodman, J. , Schaeffer, B. , Franz, B. A., Pahlevan, N. , Mannino, A. G., Concha, J. A., Ackleson, S. G., Cavanaugh, K. C., Romanou, A. , Tzortziou, M. , Boss, E. S., Pavlick, R. , Freeman, A. , Rousseaux, C. S., Dunne, J. , Long, M. C., Klein, E. , McKinley, G. A., Goes, J. , Letelier, R. , Kavanaugh, M. , Roffer, M. , Bracher, A. , Arrigo, K. R., Dierssen, H. , Zhang, X. , Davis, F. W., Best, B. , Guralnick, R. , Moisan, J. , Sosik, H. M., Kudela, R. , Mouw, C. B., Barnard, A. H., Palacios, S. , Roesler, C. , Drakou, E. G., Appeltans, W. and Jetz, W. 2018. Satellite sensor requirements for monitoring essential biodiversity variables of coastal ecosystems. Ecol Appl. . doi:10.1002/eap.1682.

*Kollonige, D. E., Thompson, A. M., Josipovic, M., Tzortziou, M., Beukes, J. P., Burger, R., D. K. Martins, P. G. van Zyl, V. Vakkari, and L. Laakso. 2018. OMI satellite and groundbased Pandora observations and their application to surface NO2 estimations at terrestrial and marine sites. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123, 1441–1459.

* Cao F., Tzortziou M, Hu C., Mannino A., Fichot C., R. Del Vecchio, Najjar R., Novak M. 2018. Remote Sensing retrievals of colored dissolved organic matter and dissolved organic carbon dynamics in North American eutrophic estuaries and their margins. Remote Sensing of Environment 205 (2018) 151–165

*Clark B., W. Long, M. Tzortziou, P. J. Neale, R. R. Hood, 2017. Wind Driven Dissolved Organic Matter Dynamics in a Chesapeake Bay Tidal Marsh-Estuary System. 2018. Estuaries and Coasts. 41: 708.

* Nelson, N. G., R. MuñozCarpena, P. J. Neale, M. Tzortziou, and J. Patrick Megonigal . 2017. Temporal variability in the importance of hydrologic, biotic, and climatic descriptors of dissolved oxygen dynamics in a shallow tidalmarsh creek, Water Resour. Res., 53, 7103–7120, doi:10.1002/2016WR020196.

*Loughner C. P., M. Tzortziou, *S. Shroder, and K. E. Pickering, 2016. Enhanced dry deposition of nitrogen pollution near coastlines: A case study covering the Chesapeake Bay estuary and Atlantic Ocean coastline. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, 14,221–14,238, doi:10.1002/2016JD025571.

Salisbury J., (co-authors in alphabetical order) C. Davis, C. Hu, C. Gatebe, C. Jordan, Z. Lee, A. Mannino, C. Mouw, C. Schaaf, B. A. Schaeffer, M. Tzortziou. 2016. Coastal observations from a New Vantage Point: The NASA GEO-CAPE ocean mission. EOS Transactions Journal.

Martins D., R. Najjar, M.Tzortziou, N. Abuhassan, A. Thompson. 2016. Investigation of the Spatial and Temporal variability of Ground and Satellite Column Measurements of NO2 and O3 Over the Atlantic Ocean During the Deposition of Atmospheric Nitrogen to Coastal Ecosystems Experiment. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, 14,175–14,187, doi:10.1002/2016JD024998.

*Pitta E., Zeri C., M. Tzortziou, G. Mousdis, M. Scoullos. 2016. Seasonal variations in dissolved organic matter composition using absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy in the Dardanelles Straits - North Aegean Sea mixing zone. Continental Self Research, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2016.07.013.

Wei J., Z. Lee, M. Ondrusek, A. Mannino, and M. Tzortziou. 2016. Spectral slopes of the absorption coefficient of colored dissolved and detrital material inverted from UV-visible remote sensing reflectance. Journal of Geophysical Research- Oceans. 121, 1953–1969, doi: 10.1002/2015JC011415 Contribution: Major. Journal Impact Factor 3.426 (2014/2015).

Tzortziou M., Zeri C., E. Dimitriou, Y. Ding, R. Jaffé, E. Anagnostou, *E. Pitta, A. Mentzafou, 2015. Colored dissolved organic matter dynamics and anthropogenic influences in a major transboundary river and its coastal wetland. Limnology and Oceanography. doi/10.1002/lno.10092.

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. doi: 10.1002/2014JC009803.

*Pitta E., Zeri C., M. Tzortziou, E. Dimitriou, V. Paraskevopoulou, E. Dassenakis, M. Scoullos, E. Anagnostou, 2014. Dissolved organic matter cycling in E. Mediterranean rivers experiencing multiple pressures. The case of the transboundary Evros River. Mediterranean Marine Science, 15(2), doi: 10.12681/mms.565.

*Loughner, C., M. Tzortziou, M. Follette-Cook, K. Pickering, D. Goldberg, C. Satam, A. Weinheimer, J. Crawford, D. Knapp, D. Montzka, G. 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, 53, 1697-1713, 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.

*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, 2014. 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. Atmospheric Environment 85, 18-30.