David Chandler

David Chandler

Associate Professor

Civil & Environmental Engineering


  • Ph.D., 1998. Cornell University, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • M.S., 1995. Cornell University, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • B.A., 1984. University of Vermont, Chemistry.

Research Interests:

  • Hydrology
  • Climate change
  • Green infrastructure
  • Sustainable development

Current Research:

My research investigates hydrologic change related to anthropogenic ecologic and climatic drivers. The primary lenses through which I view change are alteration of flow paths, water balance or infiltration capacity. To address these concerns, I have engaged in research projects targeted to guide land management in a wide range of geomorphologic and climatic settings.

Deforestation and rangeland succession: Wildland hydrology is governed primarily by subsurface flowpaths and plant water relations. Changes in land cover or climate often alter either of these controls in a manner that drives a complex response. My research focuses on the evolution of system properties for a given land cover and the consequences of abrupt alteration.

Climate change: Climate change is an important driver for terrestrial hydrology, yet most contemporary climate models operate at length and time scales much greater than those governing hydrologic processes. My students reconcile this problem by developing empirical relationships from long term data sets to predict the likely effects of continued climate change on regional hydrology.

Urban storm water: Approximately seven hundred cities in the USA require new infrastructure to replace the outdated combined sanitary sewer and storm drain systems. Many are interested in replacing or supplementing these systems with green infrastructure. I am currently developing capacity to understand the hydrologic performance, ecosystem interactions and functional limitations of the varied and widespread green infrastructure projects currently under construction in Syracuse and other cities in the Northeast USA.

Sustainability. The intersection of climate change, urbanization, culture and ecosystem function leads to complex and uncertain futures for urban sustainability. My group contributes data management expertise and geospatial analyses of cross cutting drivers of urban change to large research consortia interested in sustainability.

Courses Taught:

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Water Resources Engineering
  • Engineering Design
  • Advanced Hydrology
  • Water Seminar

Selected Publications:

Valinski, N.A. and D.G. Chandler. 2015. Infiltration performance of engineered surfaces commonly used for distributed stormwater management. J. Env. Mgt. 160: 297-305.

Driscoll, C.T., Eger, C.G., Chandler, D.G., Davidson, C. I., Roodsari, B.K., Flynn, C.D., Lambert, K.F., Bettez, N.D., Groffman, P.M. 2015. Green Infrastructure: Lessons from Science and Practice. A publication of the Science Policy Exchange. 32 pages.

Kormos, P.K., D.M. Marks, J.P. McNamara, C. J. Williams, H.P. Marshall, P. Aishlin, D.G. Chandler. 2014. Soil, snow, weather, and sub-surface storage data from a mountain catchment in the rain-snow transition zone, Earth System Science Data. ESSD-2013-24.

Nayak, A., D. Marks, D.G. Chandler, A. Winstral, 2012. Modeling inter-annual variability in snowcover development and melt at a semi-arid mountain catchment, Journal of Hydrologic Engineering. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0000408.

Geroy, I., M.M. Gribb, J.P. McNamara, D.G. Chandler, H.P. Marshall, S. Benner. 2011. Aspect influences on soil water retention and storage, Hydrological Processes 25 (25): 3836-3842 doi: 10.1002/hyp.8396.

Seyfried, M., D. Marks, D.G. Chandler. 2011. Long-term soil water trends across a 1000 m elevation gradient, Vadose Zone Journal 10: 1276-1286. doi:10.2136/vzj2011.0014.

Madsen M. D., D.L. Zvirzdin, S. Petersen, and D.G. Chandler. 2011. Soil water repellency within a burned piñon-juniper woodland: Spatial distribution severity, ecohydrologic implications, Soil Science Society of America Journal 75 (4): 1543-1553 doi: 10.2136/sssaj2010.0320.

Nayak, A., D. Marks, D.G. Chandler, M. Seyfried, 2010. Long-term snow, climate, and streamflow trends at the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, Owyhee Mountains, Idaho, United States, Water Resour. Res., 46, W06519, doi:10.1029/2008WR007525.

Williams, C.J., J.P. McNamara, D.G. Chandler, 2009. Controls on the temporal and spatial variability of soil moisture in a mountainous landscape: the signature of snow and complex terrain, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 13, 1325-1336.

Tesfa, T. K., D. G. Tarboton, D. G. Chandler, and J. P. McNamara. 2009. Modeling soil depth from topographic and land cover attributes, Water Resources Research, 45, W10438, doi:10.1029/2008WR007474.

Kelleners, T.J., D.G. Chandler, J.P. McNamara, M.M. Gribb, M.S. Seyfried. 2009. Modeling the water and energy balance of vegetated areas subject to snow accumulation. Vadose Zone Journal, doi:10.2136/vzj2008.0183.

Madsen, M.D., D.G. Chandler, J. Belnap. 2008. Spatial gradients in ecohydrologic properties within a Pinyon-Juniper ecosystem. Ecohydrology, 1(4): 349-360,doi:10.1002/eco.29.

Nayak, A., D.G. Chandler, D. Marks, J.P. McNamara, M. Seyfried. 2008. Correction of electronic record for weighing bucket type precipitation gauge measurements, Water Resources Research, 44, W00D11, doi:10.1029/2008WR006875.

Madsen, M.D. and D.G. Chandler. 2007. Automation and use of mini-disk infiltrometers. Soil Science Society of America Journal 71: 1469-1472.

Chandler, D.G., 2006. Reversibility of forest conversion impacts on water budgets in tropical karst terrain. Forest Ecology & Management 224:95–103.

McNamara, J, D Chandler, S Achet, M Seyfried. 2005 Soil moisture states, lateral flow, and streamflow generation in a semi-arid, snowmelt-driven catchment. Hydrological Processes 19: 4023-4038.

Chandler, D.G., S. Blaesing-Thompson, A. Busacca, 2004. Geospatial assessment of agricultural lands critical to air quality on the Columbia Plateau. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 59 (4): 184-189.

Chandler, D.G., K. Saxton, A. Busacca, J. Kjelgaard, 2002. A technique to measure PM10 and PM2.5 emission potentials during wind erosion. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 66:1127-1133.

Saxton, K., D. Chandler, L. Stetler, B. Lamb, C. Claiborn, B-H. Lee, 2000. Wind erosion and fugitive dust fluxes on agricultural lands in the Pacific Northwest. Transactions of ASAE 43(3): 623-630.

Chandler, DG, M Walter. 1998. Runoff response among common land uses in the uplands of Matalom, Leyte, Philippines. Transactions of ASAE. 41(6): 1635-1641.