Terrestrial Hydrology at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Department of Hydrology & Atmospheric Sciences
Weekly Colloquium
Thursday, November 8, 2018
4:00 pm in Harshbarger 206 ~ Refreshments at 3:45 pm
Cédric H. David

 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology



NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is perhaps most notorious for its robotic exploration of the solar system, including the Voyager spacecrafts (1977) and the multiple Mars rovers (1997, 2003, 2011).  Yet, the largest portion of JPL’s Science Division is composed of researchers that are keen on studying our home planet from the unique vantage point provided by Earth orbiting satellites.  Many of these Earth Scientists are gathered in a group focusing on studying the Earth’s water cycle.  The JPL Terrestrial Hydrology Group uses a combination of remote sensing and computer models to study the stores and fluxes of fresh water at scales ranging from local to global.  This presentation will give an overview of some of the current and future hydrologic remote sensing assets along with highlights of our recent scientific results.


Dr. Cédric H. David is a scientist at the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and serves as the supervisor for JPL’s Terrestrial Hydrology Group.  He has over a decade of experience in the open source development of hydrologic models and his river routing model (RAPID) served as the blue print for NOAA’s recently-released National Water Model.  His current research focuses on the union of remotely-sensed observations with computer models to provide seamless estimates of surface water availability at the continental to global scale, and on the creation of open source programs enabling the use of NASA data for water management in the developing world.  Cédric serves as the Hydrology Advisor for JPL’S Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC).  He is currently a member of NASA’s SWOT Science Team and NASA’s SERVIR Applied Sciences Team.  Prior to joining the Science Division at JPL in 2014, he was a Project Scientist at the University of California Center for Hydrologic Modeling (2012-2014).  Cédric was the recipient of NASA’s Early Career Public Achievement Medal (2018), JPL’s Voyager Award (2016), Microsoft Research’s Azure Award (2014), and the American Geophysical Union’s Horton (Hydrology) Research Award (2008).  He holds a Master’s of Science in General Engineering (Ecole Centrale de Lille, 2004), a Master’s of Science in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering (University of Texas at Austin, 2006), and a PhD in Civil Engineering (University of Texas at Austin, 2009).