Dr. Dave Decker

Research Professor Director Nesep

Current academic research interests are in earth sciences and engineering. Specific examples include developing a new means of ordnance disposal using microbially mediated reaction pathways, developing a new anemometer based on UAS technology, and improving the speed of computation and predictive capability of aerosol transport models. Initialized and now lead a new high-performance computing services (HPCS) capability at DRI to serve faculty and sponsors alike. A significant effort has been invested in developing an interdisciplinary applied science and engineering program for the US Navy (NESEP). This effort involves faculty from across DRI and across a broad range of disciplines, and has opened new opportunities for both DRI faculty and Navy scientists and engineers to further their own research interests through new collaborative ventures. Research topics are developed in collaboration with Navy stakeholders to address emerging needs of the warfighter. Applied science and engineering topics are approached through use of fundamental science and engineering principles along an incremental line of inquiry to develop enough of the answer for the sponsor to move forward. Current applied research interests include developing tools that support live-fire range operations, capabilities and long-term sustainability. Examples include development of improved open-burn, open-detonation ordnance disposal aerosol characterization, development of an integrated and adaptive real-time environmental monitoring and alert system (REMAS), numerous investigations related to climate change impacts and the design of adaptive responses for continued operational sustainability on DoD installations. Past research activities include developing reactive transport numerical tools for metals and radionuclides in variably saturated environments, and the development of in situ deep borehole instrumentation for real-time measurement of radionuclide activity. Past collaborative research has included the subsurface fate and transport of depleted uranium in dry desert environments, mass transfer mechanisms of aerosol pollutants onto surfaces, and developing electrostatic charge forecasting algorithms that include soil chemistry and physics as it relates to saltation.

Publications & Presentations


Etyemezian, V. R., Decker, D. L., Nikolich, G., Kohl, S. D., Khlystov, A. Y. (2018). Exploratory development of energetic and pyrotechnic combustion characterization apparatus, 44 p.


Craig, L., Stillings, L., Decker, D. L. (2017). Assessing changes in the physico-chemical properties and fluoride adsorption capacity of activated alumina under varied conditions, Applied Geochemistry, 76, 112-123, doi: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2016.11.011
Craig, L., Thomas, J. M., Lutz, A. D., Decker, D. L. (2017). Determining the optimum locations for pumping low-fluoride groundwater to distribute to communities in a fluoridic area in the Upper East Region, Ghana, Chemical Geology, 476, 481-492, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2017.12.001 December 1, 2017


Craig, L., Stillings, L. L., Decker, D. L., Thomas, J. M. (2015). Comparing activated alumina with indigenous laterite and bauxite as potential sorbents for removing fluoride from drinking water in Ghana, Applied Geochemistry, 56, 50-66, doi: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2015.02.004 Published: MAY 2015
Craig, L., Stillings, L. L., Decker, D. L., Thomas, J. M. (2015). Corrigendum to "Comparing activated alumina with indigenous laterite and bauxite as potential sorbents for removing fluoride from drinking water in Ghana", Applied Geochemistry, 63, 451


Bacon, S. N., Adams, K. D., Bullard, T. F., Keen-Zebert, A. K., Decker, D. L. (2014). Sill Failure and Catastrophic Outburst Floods from Owens Lake, CA: Implications for Latest Pleistocene and Holocene Paleohydrology of the Owens River Drainage Basin, Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, 46, (6), Geological Society of America Annual Meeting: Vancouver British Columbia, October 19, 2014-October 22, 2014, Paper No. 310-7
Decker, D. L., McGraw, D. S. (2014). Numerical analysis of the efficacy of maintaining a 14-day LTF test cadence given wind speed limitations on critical crane lifts


Hershey, R. L., Cablk, M. E., LeFebre, K., Fenstermaker, L.F., Decker, D. L. (2013). Water-Chemistry Evolution and Modeling of Radionuclide Sorption and Cation Exchange during Inundation of Frenchman Flat Playa, Desert Research Institute: Reno, NV, DOE/NA0000939-10; Desert Research Institute Publication No. 45252


Thompson, M., Sheehan, J., Sirles, P., Decker, D. L. (2012). Maximizing seismic data acquisition with minimal environmental impact: a southern California case study, Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists: Salt Lake City, UT


McAlpine, J. D., Koracin, D. R., Decker, D. L., Gertler, A. W. (2011). A comparison of dispersion modeling results using idealized meteorology in a coastal region., Air Waste Management Association: Orlando Florida
Scott, J., Rosen, M., Saito, L., Decker, D. L. (2011). The influence of irrigation water on the hydrology and lake water budgets of two small arid-climate lakes in Khorezm, Uzbekistan., Journal of Hydrology, 410, 114-125
Uher, E., Kaplan, M. L., Joros, A. N., Decker, D. L. (2011). Air pollution dispersion forecasting: A climatological study of Cape Canaveral tropospheric wind patterns., American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting: Seattle, WA


Scott, J., Rosen, M., Nishonov, B., Lamers, J., Saito, L., Decker, D. L., Mullabaev, N., Fayzieva, D. (2009). Possible origin of shallow lakes in the arid Uzbekistan Province of Khorezm and their dependence., International Paleolimnology Symposium: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico


Cooper, C. A., Decker, D. L. (2008). Injection of nuclear rocket engine exhaust into deep unsaturated zones, AGU 2008 Joint Assembly
Hershey, R. L., Paces, J. B., Singleton, M. J., Kwicklis, E. M., Decker, D. L., Fryer, W. M., Earman, S. B. (2008). Geochemical and isotopic evaluation of groundwater movement in Corrective Action Unit 99: Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Desert Research Institute Publication No. 45229
Scott, J., Saito, L., Rosen, M., Lamers, J., Mullabaev, N., Decker, D. L., Bekchonova, M., Shermetova, D., Fayzieva, D. (2008). Groundwater-surface water interactions of small arid landscape lakes in Khorezm, Uzbekistan, AGU 2008 Fall Meeting


Decker, D. L., Cooper, C. A., Jacobson, R. L., Oberlander, P. L., Shafer, D. S. (2007). Preliminary numerical modeling and sub-scale experimental design of a nuclear rocket test facility with vadose zone exhaust sequestration at the Nevada Test Site
Decker, D. L., Cooper, C. A., Jacobson, R. L., Oberlander, P. L., Shafer, D. S. (2007). Preliminary Numerical Modeling and Sub-scale Experimental Design of a Nuclear Rocket Test Facility with Vadose Zone Exhaust Sequestration at the Nevada Test Site, DRI Report No. 41238
Decker, D. L., Earman, S. B., Hershey, R. L., Ryu, J., Garcia, E. S., Reimus, P. W. (2007). Reactive transport of 14C through a carbonate aquifer: Implications for contaminant migration, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting: Denver
Garcia, E. S., Reimus, P. W., Hershey, R. L., Decker, D. L., Earman, S. B. (2007). Laboratory experiments of carbon-14 uptake and release from calcite, The 233rd American Chemical Society National Meeting: Chicago
Hershey, R. L., Decker, D. L., Earman, S. B., Ryu, J., Reimus, P. W., Garcia, E. S. (2007). Laboratory experiments of carbon-14 uptake on calcite and dolomite, The 233rd American Chemical Society National Meeting: Chicago
Pohlmann, K. F., Ye, M., Reeves, D. M., Zavarin, M., Decker, D. L., Chapman, J. B. (2007). Modeling of Groundwater Flow and Radionuclide Transport at the Climax Mine sub-CAU, Nevada Test Site
Thomas, J. M., Decker, D. L., Patterson, G. L., Peterman, Z. E., Mihevc, T. M., Larsen, J. D., Hershey, R. L. (2007). Yucca Mountain area saturated zone dissolved organic carbon isotopic data, Yucca Mountain Nevada System of Higher Education Final Report


Albright, W. H., Jasoni, R. L., Cablk, M. E., Thomas, J. M., Decker, D. L., Arnone, J.A. III (2006). Groundwater Evapotranspiration in Smoke Creek Desert, Nevada, Final Report to SEMPRA Generation, DRI Report #41224
Andraski, B. J., Stonestrom, D. A., Garcia, C. A., Michel, R. L., Johnson, M. J., Decker, D. L. (2006). Plant-Based Plume-Scale Mapping Reveals Tritium-Transport Extent and Processes in Desert Soils.
Breitmeyer, R. J., Cooper, C. A., Decker, D. L. (2006). Thermal convection in laboratory-scale porous media
Decker, D. L., Carnahan, T. G., Murphy, J. E., Lyles, B. F. (2006). Subsurface in situ tritium monitoring instrument development: interim report
Decker, D. L., Papelis, C., Tyler, S. W., Logsdon, M. J., Simunek, J. (2006). Arsenate and arsenite sorption on carbonate hosted precious metals ore, Vadose Zone Journal, 5, 419-429
Decker, D. L., Simunek, J., Tyler, S. W., Papelis, C., Logsdon, M. J. (2006). Variably saturated reactive transport of arsenic in heap leach facilities, Vadose Zone Journal, 5, 430-444


Deverel, S., Thomas, J. M., Decker, D. L., Earman, S. B., Mihevc, T. M., Acheampong, S. (2005). Groundwater Evaporation Estimates Using Stable Isotope and Chloride Data, Yelland Playa, Spring Valley, Nevada, DRI Report No. 41219
Deverel, S., Thomas, J. M., Decker, D. L., Earman, S. B., Mihevc, T. M., Acheampong, S. (2005). Groundwater evaporation estimates using stable isotope and chloride data, Yelland Playa, Spring Valley, Nevada
Gee, G. W., Keller, J. M., Serne, R. J., Albright, W. H., Decker, D. L. (2005). Chloride Mass Balance Errors in Low-Chloride Environments
Hershey, R. L., Decker, D. L. (2005). Coupling a discrete-state compartment model and a water-rock reaction model with application to a large-scale hydrologic system in southern Nevada
Thomas, J. M., Deverel, S., Decker, D. L., Earman, S. B., Mihevc, T. M., Acheampong, S. Y. (2005). Groundwater Evaporation From a Playa in Spring Valley, Nevada, H33G-08, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting: San Francisco
Young, M. H., Yu, Z., Tyler, S. W., Drohan, P. J., Verburg, P.S.J., Cooper, C. A., Caldwell, T. G., Decker, D. L., Devitt, D. A., Kreamer, D. K., McDonald, E. V., Nowak, R. S., Papelis, C., Smith, S. D., Sun, H., Ye, M., Zhu, J. (2005). Scaling environmental processes in heterogeneous arid soils (SEPHAS): A new Nevada NSF EPSCoR initiative


Hershey, R. L., Papelis, C., Decker, D. L., Miller, G. C. (2003). Laboratory experiments of As(V) and As(III) sorption onto pit-lake sediments from three different orebody types




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