Dennis C. Flanagan, Ph.D.

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Dr. Dennis C. Flanagan is a Research Agricultural Engineer and Lead Research Scientist at the USDA-ARS National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory, located on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.  He is also an adjunct Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, at Purdue University.  Dennis received his B.S. degree from The Ohio State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue.

Current Work and News

  • Dr. Flanagan is the Leader of the Water Quality CRIS project at the NSERL, and the Leader of the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP). He has been involved in WEPP model development efforts since 1988. From 1989-1995 he was Hillslope Model Leader, which involved development, verification, and testing of the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) hillslope profile erosion model computer code. He has also worked on development of WEPP interfaces (both ARS and NRCS [formerly SCS]), and creation of several updated versions of WEPP.  He was named WEPP Project Leader in April 1999.  Current work involves experimental and modeling studies on soil erosion processes and erodibility parameterization. He is also heavily involved on grant projects with the Forest Service (FS) and NRCS on development of web-based interfaces for implementation and use of WEPP within those agencies.
  • Dennis has conducted both field and laboratory studies, and performed laboratory studies of rill detachment and deposition as affected by inflow of sediment, flow depth, and rainfall intensity interactions.
  • Other work has examined the effectiveness of soil amendments at protecting steep slopes during the critical period of permanent vegetation experiment. Natural rainfall and simulated rainfall field experiments have shown that use of Polyacrylamide (PAM) with or without gypsum can significantly reduce runoff and soil loss, and enhance grass establishment.  Here is a link to a presentation on use of soil amendments to enhance infiltration and reduce runoff and soil loss.
  • Dr. Flanagan was the major organizer of the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE) International Symposium on Erosion and Landscape Evolution (ISELE), held September 18-21, 2011 in Anchorage, Alaska. Over 120 participants from 16 countries attended this decadal conference. In addition to developing the meeting program and technical sessions, Dr. Flanagan also was co-editor of the symposium proceedings, chaired the publicity, finances, and website sub-committees, and is the webmaster for the post-meeting website.
  • He was the major organizer and Chairman of the Soil Erosion for the 21st Century Symposium, sponsored by ASABE and held January 3-5, 2001 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Over 200 participants from 30 countries attended the meeting.
  • Dennis Flanagan and Jane Frankenberger nominated the USLE development for an ASABE Historic Landmark of Agricultural Engineering, which was dedicated at Purdue on April 25, 2003.  Here is the link to the dedication booklet (and the ABE version in PDF format).  Here are some pictures from the dedication ceremony.
  • In August 2011, Dr. Flanagan was named a Fellow of ASABE, which is the highest honor that his professional society can bestow, for his leadership in developing and implementing new erosion prediction technology, and for his ASABE leadership in soil and water conservation. ASABE represents over 9000 engineers and others in agricultural, food and biological systems in over 100 countries.

NSERL and Purdue Office: Building SOIL, Room 106A

Phone: (765) 494-7748

Fax: (765) 494-5948

Emails:    or

Mailing Address:

Dennis C. Flanagan
275 S. Russell Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2077