Karl Rittger

Research Scientist II


Postdoc, Water and Carbon Cycles, Earth Science, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2014

PhD, Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2012

MA, Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2006

BS, Geology-Physics/Mathematics, Brown University, 2002


Snow hydrology, remote sensing of ice and snow, Earth surface energy and water balance, large-scale data modeling



Bair, E. H., A. Abreu Calfa, K. Rittger, and J. Dozier. 2018. Using machine learning for real-time estimates of snow water equivalent in the watersheds of Afghanistan. The Cryosphere, 12(5), 1579-1594, doi:10.5194/tc-12-1579-2018.


Bair, E. H., K. Rittger, R. E. Davis, T. H. Painter, and J. Dozier. 2016. Validating reconstruction of snow water equivalent in California's Sierra Nevada using measurements from the NASA Airborne Snow Observatory. Water Resources Research 52(11): 8437-8460. doi:10.1002/2016WR018704.

Rittger, K., E. H. Bair, A. Kahl, and J. Dozier. 2016. Spatial estimates of snow water equivalent from reconstruction. Advances in Water Resources 94: 345-363. doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2016.05.015.

Seidel, F. C., K. Rittger, S. M. Skiles, N. P. Molotch, and T. H. Painter. 2016. Case study of spatial and temporal variability of snow cover, grain size, albedo and radiative forcing in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountain snowpack derived from imaging spectroscopy. The Cryosphere 10(3) 1,229-1,244. doi:10.5194/tc-10-1229-2016.


Pearson, C., R. Schumer, B. D. Trustman, K. Rittger, D. W. Johnson, and D. Obrist. 2015. Nutrient and mercury deposition and storage in an alpine snowpack of the Sierra Nevada, USA. Biogeosciences 12: 3,665-3,680. doi:10.5194/bg-12-3665-2015.


Painter, T. H., F.C. Seidel, A.C. Bryant, M. Skiles, and K. Rittger. 2013. Imaging spectroscopy of albedo and radiative forcing by light-absorbing impurities in mountain snow. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 118: 1-13. doi:10.1002/jgrd.50520.

Sproles, E. A., A. W. Nolin, K. Rittger, and T. H. Painter. 2013. Climate change impacts on maritime mountain snowpack in the Oregon Cascades. Hydrology and Earth Systems Science 17: 2,581-2,597. doi:10.5194/hess-17-2581-2013.

Welch, S. C., B. Kerkez, R. C. Bales, S. D. Glaser, K. Rittger, and R. Rice. 2013. Sensor placement strategies for snow water equivalent (SWE) estimation in the American River basin. Water Resources Research 49: 891-903. doi:10.1002/wrcr.20100.

Raleigh, M.S., K. Rittger, C.E. Moore, B. Henn, J.A. Lutz, and J.D. Lundquiest. 2013. Ground-based testing of MODIS fractional snow cover in subapline meadows and forests of the Sierra Nevada. Remote Sensing of Environment 128: 44-57. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2012.09.016.

Rittger K., T.H. Painter, and J. Dozier. 2013. Assessment of methods for mapping snow cover from MODIS. Advances in Water Resources 51: 367-380. doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2012.03.002.


Jepsen, S.M., N.P. Molotch, M.W. Williams, K. Rittger, J.O. Sickman. 2012. Interannual variability of snowmelt in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains, United States: Examples from two alpine watersheds. Water Resources Research 48. doi:10.1029/2011wr011006.


Rittger, K., A. Kahl, and J. Dozier. 2011. Topographic distribution of snow water equivalent in the Sierra Nevada. Proceedings, Western Snow Conference 79: 37-46.

Raleigh, M.S., K. Rittger, and J.D. Lundquist. 2011. What lies beneath? Comparing MODIS fractional snow covered area against ground-based observations under forest canopies and in the meadows of the Sierra Nevada. Proceedings, Western Snow Conference 79: 3-14.


Painter, T.H., K. Rittger, C. McKenzie, R.E. Davis, and J. Dozier. 2009. Retrieval of subpixel snow-covered area, grain size, and albedo from MODIS. Remote Sensing of Environment 113: 868-879. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2009.01.001.


Dozier, J., T.H. Painter, K. Rittger, and J.E. Frew. 2008. Time-space continuity of daily maps of fractional snow cover and albedo from MODIS. Advances in Water Resources 31: 1,515-1,526. doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2008.08.011.


Adams, N., H. Allen, A. Burgard, C. Dietz, P.C. Fung, and K. Rittger. 2006. Analysis of water resources management strategies for the Santa Ana River watershed region: Water reuse, recharge and use efficiency. MESM Thesis, University of California, Santa Barbara, 204 pp.


Thurber, C., S. Roecker, K. Roberts, M. Gold, L. Powell, and K. Rittger. 2003. Earthquake locations and three-dimensional fault zone structure along the creeping section of the San Andreas fault near Parkfield, CA: Preparing for SAFOD. Geophyiscal Research Letters 30. doi:10.1029/2002gl016004.