Photo of John Kochendorfer

John Kochendorfer, PhD
Physical Scientist

NOAA Air Resources Laboratory
Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Office: (865) 603-2098

Research Interests

My research is focused on using measurements to advance our understanding of the atmosphere. This work involves making improvements to the techniques and sensors available to record atmospheric variables, and performing novel field experiments to better understand different atmospheric processes. I am interested in increasing the accuracy of Earth’s climate records, the study of turbulence in and above plant canopies, and the exchange of water, energy, CO2, and trace gasses between the atmosphere and the earth’s surface.

Why This Research is Important

One of the unique aspects of atmospheric science is the interaction of processes occurring at vastly different spatial and temporal scales. For example, fluxes of greenhouse gases emitted from permafrost soils in the Arctic occur at very small scales. Such flux measurements must be recorded at very high frequencies (at least 10 times per second!), but they can affect the climate and weather of the entire earth for many decades after they have occurred. High-quality measurements are required to quantify such micro-scale greenhouse gas fluxes. In addition, accurate measurements are needed to monitor large-scale global climate and also atmospheric phenomena occurring at intermediate scales, such as thunderstorms.

The goal of my research is to develop and use accurate and representative measurements to better describe processes, trends, and variability in the atmosphere at many of these different scales. This work has been used to help create more accurate water budgets, which are needed by hydrologists and watershed managers. It is also used to create more accurate models of the atmosphere and better understand the role of ecosystems in the Earth’s carbon and water budgets.


University of California, Davis, CA

PhD., Atmospheric Science, 2008

St John’s College, Santa Fe, NM

B.A., Liberal Arts, 1995

Professional Experience

Physical Scientist, NOAA Air Resources Laboratory, Atmospheric and Turbulent Diffusion Division,
Oak Ridge, TN
January 2010 to present

Post-doctoral Research, NOAA Air Resources Laboratory, Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division,
Oak Ridge, TN
July 2008 through January 2010

NOTE: A more up-to-date list of publications is available at Google Scholar.
Links herein are to publications outside the .gov domain and open in separate pages.

Featured Publications

Kochendorfer, J., Nitu, R., Wolff, M., Mekis, E., Rasmussen, R., Baker, B., Earle, M. E., Reverdin, A., Wong, K., Smith, C. D., Yang, D., Roulet, Y.-A., Buisan, S., Laine, T., Lee, G., Aceituno, J. L. C., Alastrué, J., Isaksen, K., Meyers, T., Brækkan, R., Landolt, S., Jachcik, A., and Poikonen, A.: Analysis of single-Alter-shielded and unshielded measurements of mixed and solid precipitation from WMO-SPICE, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3525-3542,, 2017

Sayres, D. S., Dobosy, R., Healy, C., Dumas, E., Kochendorfer, J., Munster, J., Wilkerson, J., Baker, B., and Anderson, J. G.: Arctic regional methane fluxes by ecotope as derived using eddy covariance from a low-flying aircraft, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 8619-8633,, 2017

Kochendorfer, J., Rasmussen, R., Wolff, M., Baker, B., Hall, M. E., Meyers, T., Landolt, S., Jachcik, A., Isaksen, K., Brækkan, R., and Leeper, R.: The quantification and correction of wind-induced precipitation measurement errors, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1973-1989,, 2017

Buisán, S. T., M. E. Earle, J. L. Collado, J. Kochendorfer, J. Alastrué, M. Wolff, C. D. Smith, and J. I. López-Moreno (2017). Assessment of snowfall accumulation underestimation by tipping bucket gauges in the Spanish operational network, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 10, 1079-1091, doi:10.5194/amt-10-1079-2017

Krishnan P., J. Kochendorfer, E.J. Dumas, P.C. Guillevic, C. B. Baker, Tilden P. Meyers, B. Martos (2015) Comparison of in-situ, aircraft, and satellite land surface temperature measurements over a NOAA Climate Reference Network site, Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 165, August 2015, Pages 249-264, ISSN 0034-4257,

T.B. Wilson, J. Kochendorfer, T.P. Meyers, M. Heuer, K. Sloop, J. Miller (2014) Leaf litter water content and soil surface CO2 fluxes in a deciduous forest, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Volumes 192–193, 15 July 2014, Pages 42-50, ISSN 0168-1923.

Ikawa H., I. Faloona, J. Kochendorfer, K.T. Paw U, and W.C. Oechel (2013) Air-sea exchange of CO2 at a Northern California coastal site along the California Current upwelling system. Biogeosciences, 10, 4419-4432, 2013. doi:10.5194/bg-10-4419-2013.

Kochendorfer, J., T.P. Meyers, J. Frank, W. Massman, and M. Heuer (2012) How well can we measure the vertical wind speed? Implications for fluxes of energy and mass. Boundary-Layer Meteorol. doi:10.1007/s10546-012-9738-1.


Buisán, S. T., Earle, M. E., Collado, J. L., Kochendorfer, J., Alastrué, J., Wolff, M., Smith, C. D., and López-Moreno, J. I.: Assessment of snowfall accumulation underestimation by tipping bucket gauges in the Spanish operational network, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 1079-1091, doi:10.5194/amt-10-1079-2017, 2017.

Timothy Wilson, C. Baker, Tilden Meyers, John Kochendorfer, Mark Hall, Jesse Bell, Howard Diamond, Michael Palecki (2016): Site-Specific Soil Properties of the U.S. Climate Reference Network Soil Moisture, Vadose Zone Journal, Vol. 15, Iss. 11, November 2016, doi: 10.2136/vzj2016.05.0047.

Scott L. Graham, John Kochendorfer, Andrew M.S. McMillan, Maurice J. Duncan, M.S. Srinivasan, Gladys Hertzog (2016): Effects of agricultural management on measurements, prediction, and partitioning of evapotranspiration in irrigated grasslands, Agricultural Water Management, Volume 177, November 2016, Pages 340-347, ISSN 0378-3774, doi: 10.1016/j.agwat.2016.08.015.

Buisan, S, J.I. Lopez-Moreno, and J. Kochendorfer (2016): Impact of weather type variability on winter precipitation, temperature and annual snowpack in the Spanish Pyrenees. Climate Research, 69, 79-92, 10.3354/cr01391, 2016.

Colli M., R. Rasmussen, J. M. Thériault, L. G. Lanza, C. B Baker, and J. Kochendorfer (2015): An improved trajectory model to evaluate the collection performance of snow gauges. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 54, 1826–1836.

Leeper, R. D. and J. Kochendorfer (2015) Evaporation from weighing precipitation gauges: impacts on automated gauge measurements and quality assurance methods, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8, 2291-2300, doi:10.5194/amt-8-2291-2015.

U.S. Climate Reference Network soil moisture and temperature observations (2013). J.E. Bell, M.A. Palecki, B. Baker, W.G. Collins, J.H. Lawrimore, R.D. Leeper, M.E. Hall, John Kochendorfer, T.P. Meyers, T.Wilson, H.J. Diamond. Journal of Hydrometeorology. 14, 977–988. doi: 10.1175/JHM-D-12-0146.1.

Kochendorfer, J., T.P. Meyers, J. Frank, W. Massman, and M. Heuer (2013) Reply to the comment by Mauder on “How well can we measure the vertical wind speed? Implications for fluxes of energy and mass”. Boundary-Layer Meteorol. doi: 10.1007/s10546-012-9792-8.

Wilson, T. B., T. P Meyers, J. Kochendorfer, M.C. Anderson, and M. Heuer (2012), The effect of soil surface litter residue on energy and carbon fluxes in a deciduous forest. Agric. and Forest Meteorol. 161:(134-147).

Rasmussen, R., C.B. Baker, J. Kochendorfer., T.P. Meyers, S. Landolt, A. P. Fischer, J. Black, J.M. Thériault, P. Kucera, D. Gochis, C. Smith, R. Nitu, M. Hall, K. Ikeda, and E. Gutmann (2012), How well are we measuring Snow? The NOAA/FAA/NCAR winter precipitation test bed. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. 93(6):811-829.

Kochendorfer, J., E.G. Castillo, E. Haas. W.C. Oechel, K.T. Paw U (2011), Net Ecosystem Exchange, Evapotranspiration and Canopy Conductance in a Riparian Forest. Agric. and Forest Meteorol. 151(5):544-553.

Kochendorfer, J., K.T. Paw U (2011), Field estimates of scalar advection across a canopy edge. Agric. and Forest Meteorol. 151(5):585-594.

Myles, L., J. Kochendorfer, M. W. Heuer, and T. P. Meyers. (2011), Measurement of Trace Gas Fluxes over an Unfertilized Agricultural Field Using the Flux-gradient Technique, Journal of Environmental Quality. 40:1359–1365. doi:10.2134/jeq2009.0386

Kochendorfer, J., M. E. Hall, T. P. Meyers and C. B. Baker (2009), Climate reference network solar powered site analysis, NOAA Technical Memo OAR ARL-262.

Paw U, K. T., S. Wharton, and J. Kochendorfer, (2004), Evapotranspiration: measuring and modeling. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 664:537-554.

Figure 1 from SPICE article

SPICE testbeds

Figure 1 from Kochendorfer article

Figure 1. from article The quantification and correction of wind-induced precipitation measurement errors.
(a) Site map; (b) Haukeliseter DFIR, single-Alter, and(c) unshielded gauges; (d) Marshall double-Alter and (e) Belfort doubleAlter shielded gauges

sonic anemometers

R.M. Young (a) and Applied Technologies (b) sonic anemometers under evaluation.
These sensors are used to measure wind speed and turbulence.