David Lightle

David T. Lightle

Erosion Model Consultant

David Lightle brings 48 years of experience to Forester University. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1967 and serving in the US Army infantry in Vietnam, Dave joined the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (Formerly the Soil Conservation Service) in 1966, holding various county state and regional positions as a Soil Conservationist and Agronomist over his career. Prior to retirement in 2010 Lightle worked as the Agronomist on the USDA, NRCS, Soil Interpretations Staff at the National Soil Survey Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. In that position Lightle served as national database manager for erosion prediction models (RUSLE2 and WEPS). In addition Lightle was the lead contact with the for the RUSLE2 model for NRCS. Lightle also developed of the Soil Conditioning Index, the Soil Tillage Intensity Rating, and other tools used by staff in the 3000 NRCS field offices.

In September 2010, Lightle retired and became a private consultant. Lightle has conducted training workshops on adapting RUSLE2 for use by two Canadian provinces, and assisted them in implementing RUSLE2 by customizing the model and databases for use in Canada. In addition, Lightle was employed part-time by Brown and Caldwell in Walnut Creek, California, and customized RUSLE2 for use by Caltrans (California Department of Transportation).

Recently Lightle contracted directly with the Idaho Transportation Department to customize RUSLE2 for use in planning treatment measures in their highway right of way re-vegetation projects and also assisted Southern California Edison on erosion control planning on their linear power transmission line projects.

In his consulting work Lightle has utilized a new modified version of RUSLE2 containing new perennial vegetation modeling science to develop a specific database and custom user screens and access controls for each customer. Lightle has developed numerous new sediment barrier practice files, new mulch and commercial erosion control blanket files, and new management files to represent common best management practices required by Caltrans, Idaho Transportation Department, and Southern California Edison.

Lightle spoke at the CASQA conference in California in 2014 and has presented RUSLE2 training at EC-9, EC-10, and EC-13.