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Curtis J. Dell

Dr. Dell is a Research Soil Scientist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service and Co-Director for the USDA Northeast Climate Hub. 

His research focuses on carbon and nitrogen cycling in manure-amended and pasture soils and on the impact of nutrient management on water and air quality, with an emphasis on measurement of nitrogen gas emissions (nitrous oxide and ammonia). He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Ecosystem Science and Management Department at Penn State University. From 2012-2014, he served as a Science Advisor to the USDA-NRCS for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. He received a PhD in soil microbial ecology from Kansas State University in 1998, M.S. in soil microbiology from Purdue University in 1991, and BS in agronomy from Purdue University in 1985. In 1998, he was sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America to serve as a Congressional Science Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota. He also worked as a post-doctoral research associate in the soil biophysics laboratory at Michigan State University from 1999-2001.

Featured Work


Duncan, E.W., C.J. Dell, P.J.A. Kleinman, and D.B. Beegle. 2017. Nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions from injected and broadcast applied dairy slurry. Journal of Environmental Quality. 46:36-44.

Skinner, R.H. and C.J. Dell. 2016. Yield and soil carbon sequestration in grazed pastures sown with two or five forage species. Crop Science. 56:2035-2044.

Dell, C.J., K. Han, R.B. Bryant, and J.P. Schmidt. 2014. Nitrous oxide emissions with enhanced efficiency nitrogen fertilizers in a rainfed system. Agronomy Journal 106:723-731.

Nguyen, B.T., R.T. Koide, C.J. Dell, P. Drohan, R.H. Skinner, P. R. Adler, and A. Nord. 2014. Turnover of soil carbon following addition of swithgrass-derived biochar to four soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal 78:531-537.

Myers, T.L., C.J. Dell, and D.B. Beegle. 2013. Evaluation of Ammonia Emissions from Manure Incorporated with Different Soil Aerator Configurations. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 68:306-314.

Dell, C.J., P.J.A. Kleinman, J.P. Schmidt, and D.B. Beegle. 2012 . Low Disturbance Manure Incorporation Effects on Ammonia and Nitrate Loss. Journal of Environmental Quality 41: 928-937.

Dell, C.J., and J.M. Novak. 2012. Cropland management in the eastern United States for improved soil organic C sequestration. In: M.A. Leibig, A.J. Franzluebbers, and R. F. Follett, editors, Managing agricultural greenhouse gases: Coordinated agricultural research through GRACEnet to address our changing climate.  Academic Press, San Diego, CA.

Dell, C.J., J.J. Meisinger, and D.B. Beegle. 2011. Subsurface application of manures slurries for conservation tillage and pasture soils and their impact on the nitrogen balance. Journal of Environmental Quality 40:352-361.

Curtis Dell


  • Co-Director, USDA Northeast Climate Hub
  • Soil Scientist, Pasture Systems Watershed Management Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Ecosystems Science and Management, Pennsylvania State University


USDA Agricultural Research Service


USDA-ARS, Building 3702 Curtin Road, University Park, PA 16802

Phone Number



Focus Area

  • Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Nitrogen Management