Larry Di Girolamo



Prof. Di Girolamo is a Blue Waters Professor of Atmospheric Sceinces at the Univesity of Illinois. His research aims at understanding cloud, aerosol, and radiation processes within the Earth system, with specializations in satellite remote sensing techniques and 3-D radiative transfer models. His current particular interests lie in characterizing the global nature of cloud, aerosol, and radiation properties, how they have changed over the satellite era, the drivers of these changes in the context of weather and climate research, and what impact these changes may have on human health. He works extensively with NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with a focus on developing and exploiting multi-angle technologies for studying Earth from space. He is a Co-Investigator for NASA’s Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) mission, which was launched in 1999 on the Terra satellite and remains in excellent health, and for NASA’s Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) that has been selected for launch in 2022. He is also a Science Team Member for the NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra and Aqua satellites. He has participated in numerous field campaigns across various agencies, most recently NASA’s Cloud, Aerosol and Monsoon Processes – Philippines Experiment (CAMP2Ex). Since his work is computationally expensive and often involves processing petabytes of data, he maintains close collaboration with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), where they work together in solving some grand challenge problems faced by the Earth Science community in the era of Big Data.


  • Ph.D. Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, 1996
  • M.Sc. Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, 1992
  • B.Sc. (Hons.) Astrophysics, Queen's University at Kingston, 1989

Courses Taught

ATMS 100 Introduction to Meteorology

ATMS 304 Atmospheric Radiation and Remote Sensing

ATMS 411 Satellite Remote Sensing

ATMS 492 Capstone Undergraduate Research

ATMS 504 Physical Meteorology

ATMS 511 Atmospheric Radiation

ATMS 571 Professional Development

ATMS 591 Atmospheric Sciences Seminars

ATMS 597 Advanced Methods in Radiative Transfer

ATMS 599 Thesis Research

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)

Honors & Awards

Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement, University of Illinois (2019)

William T. Pecora Group Award, Outstanding Achievement in Earth Remote Sensing, Terra Team (2019)

Research highlight, Front Cover, IEEE Trans. on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Volume 54(7) (2016)

NASA Group Achievement Award for SEAC4RS (2015)

NASA Group Achievement Award for AirMSPI (2014)

Conferred, Blue Waters Professor, NCSA and University of Illinois (2014)

Alan Berman Research Publication Award, Naval Research Laboratory (2013)

Daniel Shapiro Professorial Scholar Award, University of Illinois (2011)

NASA Group Achievement Award for CRYSTAL-FACE (2003)

University of Illinois’ List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent (2002, ’04-‘05, ‘10-‘12, ‘14, ’16, ’18-‘19)

NASA New Investigator Award in Earth Science (2002)

NASA Group Achievement Award for MISR Team (2001)

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow (1996-1998)

Recent Publications

Chowdhury, S., Dey, S., Guttikunda, S., Pillarisetti, A., Smith, K. R., & Girolamo, L. D. (2019). Indian annual ambient air quality standard is achievable by completely mitigating emissions from household sources. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 166(22), 10711-10716.

Chowdhury, S., Dey, S., Di Girolamo, L., Smith, K. R., Pillarisetti, A., & Lyapustin, A. (2019). Tracking ambient PM2.5 build-up in Delhi national capital region during the dry season over 15 years using a high-resolution (1 km) satellite aerosol dataset. Atmospheric Environment, 204, 142-150.

Abernethy, R., Ackerman, S. A., Adler, R., Albanil Encarnación, A., Aldeco, L. S., Alfaro, E. J., ... McVicar, T. R. (2018). State of the climate in 2017. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99(8), Si-S310.

Diner, D. J., Boland, S. W., Brauer, M., Bruegge, C., Burke, K. A., Chipman, R., ... Xu, F. (2018). Advances in multiangle satellite remote sensing of speciated airborne particulate matter and association with adverse health effects: From MISR to MAIA. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, 12(4), [042603].

Jones, A. L., & Di Girolamo, L. (2018). Design and verification of a new monochromatic thermal emission component for the I3RC community Monte Carlo model. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 75(3), 885-906.

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