Areas of Expertise:
water | climate change | natural resources | conservation | rivers
Dennis Lettenmaier is a distinguished professor in the UCLA Department of Geography and one of the world’s foremost experts on water resources focusing especially on how water resources worldwide are affected by climate change. A civil engineer by training, Lettenmaier studies hydrology — or lakes, rivers, streams and reservoirs — and is particularly interested in hydrological change in the West as climate change progresses.
Lettenmaier is particularly well known for developing a hydrological model used to monitor droughts by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He also is known for his work over several decades on the implications of climate change in the West, including the potential for reduced Colorado River stream flows.
Lettenmaier, who is also a member of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, has served as the first chief editor of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Hydrometeorology, and is a past president of the Hydrology Section of the American Geophysical Union. He is a fellow of the three leading scholarly organizations: the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.