- Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Washington, 1975
- M.S., Civil, Mechanical and Environmental Engineering, The George Washington University, 1972
- B.Sc., Summa cum laude, Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, 1970
Dennis Lettenmaier received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (summa cum laude) at the University of Washington in 1971, his MS in Civil, Mechanical, and Environmental Engineering at the George Washington University in 1973, and his PhD at the University of Washington in 1975. He joined the University of Washington faculty in 1976. In addition to his service at the University of Washington, he spent a year as visiting scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, VA (1985-86) and was the Program Manager of NASA's Land Surface Hydrology Program at NASA Headquarters in 1997-98. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Water Resources Association, the European Geosciences Union, the American Meteorological Society, and the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was a recipient of ASCE's Huber Research Prize in 1990, and the American Geophysical Union's Hydrology Section Award in 2000. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a member of the International Water Academy. He is an author or co-author of over 250 journal articles. He was the first Chief Editor of the American Meteorological Society Journal of Hydrometeorology, and is the President of the Hydrology Section of the American Geophysical Union. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. His areas of research interest are large scale hydrology, hydrologic aspects of remote sensing, and hydrology-climate interactions.
Professor Lettenmaier retired from the University of Washington in 2014. He is presently a Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles.