Dave Decker Profile Photo
Dr. Dave Decker
Research Professor and Director NESEP

Current program development interests are associated with building knowledge and technologies that contribute to climate resiliency for DoD installations and capabilities. This is an outgrowth of my contributions over the past fifteen years towards the development of new missile launcher technologies in support of the US Navys Columbia and Prompt Global Strike Programs. Those efforts led to the development of technologies that enable near-real-time weather situational awareness for high-risk industrial and defense operations. Current applied science 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); development of a new patented method of ordnance and energetic materials disposal using microbially mediated reaction pathways; development of a new anemometer based on UAS technology, and development of a novel wind forecast engine specifically for high-risk industrial and construction projects, such as heavy-lift crane operations; and numerous investigations related to climate change impacts and the design of adaptive responses for continued operational sustainability on DoD installations. A significant effort has been invested in developing and leading 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. Since inception in 2008, NESEP has completed over $20M in high-impact sponsored projects for the US Navy and has current contracts worth $9M that extend through 2026.


NESEP, HPCS, USN, REMAS, Ordnance Biopassivation




Lancaster, N., Bacon, S. N., Bullard, T. F., Neudorf, C.M., Keen-Zebert, A. K., Decker, D. L., Boggs, M. L. (2021). Tectonic, hydrogeologic, and climatic controls on Late Holocene dune formation, China Lake basin, Indian Wells Valley, California, USA, Quaternary Research, 1-17, 10.1017/qua.2021.62

Bacon, S. N., Bullard, T. F., Keen-Zebert, A. K., Jayko, A. S., Decker, D. L. (2020). Spatiotemporal patterns of distributed slip in southern Owens Valley indicated by deformation of late Pleistocene shorelines, eastern California, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 132 (7/8), 1681-1703, 10.1130/B35247.1

Bacon, S. N., Jayko, A. S., Owen, L. A., Lindvall, S. C., Rhodes, E. J., Schumer, R., Decker, D. L. (2020). A 50,000-year record of lake-level variations and overflow from Owens Lake, eastern California, USA, l Quaternary Science Reviews, 238, 106312, 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106312

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, 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, December 1, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2017.12.001

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

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, 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2015.02.004 Published: MAY 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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., 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

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., Carnahan, T. G., Murphy, J. E., Lyles, B. F. (2006). Subsurface in situ tritium monitoring instrument development: interim 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

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

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

Conference Proceedings
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

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

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

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

Cooper, C. A., Decker, D. L. (2008). Injection of nuclear rocket engine exhaust into deep unsaturated zones. AGU 2008 Joint Assembly

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

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

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.: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Breitmeyer, R. J., Cooper, C. A., Decker, D. L. (2006). Thermal convection in laboratory-scale porous media: San Francisco, CA

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: San Francisco, CA

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: Newark, Delaware

Gee, G. W., Keller, J. M., Serne, R. J., Albright, W. H., Decker, D. L. (2005). Chloride Mass Balance Errors in Low-Chloride Environments

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

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: Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Decker, D. L., Grzymski, J. J. (2020). Microbial Passivation of Explosive Ordnance, 15 pp., September 1, 2020, U.S. Patent No. 10,760,886 B1

Decker, D. L., Grzymski, J. J. (2019). Microbial passivation of explosive ordnance, 16 pp., July 16, 2019, U.S. Patent No. 10,351,485 B1