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Urban storm water: Approximately seven hundred cities in the USA require new infrastructure to replace the outdated combined sanitary sewer and storm drain systems.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:

Shafiei Shiva, J.; Chandler, D.G. Projection of Future Heat Waves in the United States. Part I: Selecting a Climate Model Subset. Atmosphere 202011, 587

 Fayaz, N., Condon, L.E. & Chandler, D.G. Evaluating the sensitivity of projected reservoir reliability to the choice of climate projection: A case study of Bull Run Watershed, Portland, Oregon. Water Resour Manage 34, 1991–2009 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-020-02542-3

 Hwang, K., D.G. Chandler, & SB Shaw. (2020) Patch scale evapotranspiration of wetland plant species by ground-based infrared thermometry. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology (287), ISSN 0168-1923, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2020.107948.

 Chandler, D.G., Y. Cheng, M.S. Seyfried, M.D. Madsen, C.E. Johnson, and C.J. Williams. 2018. Seasonal wetness, soil organic carbon, and fire influence soil hydrological properties and water repellency in a sagebrush-steppe ecosystem. Water Resources Research, 54. https://doi.org/10.1029/

Chandler, D.G., M.S. Seyfried, J.P. McNamara, and K. Hwang. 2017. Inference of soil hydrologic parameters from long term soil moisture records. Frontiers in Earth Science: 5: 25. doi: 10.3389/feart.2017.00025.