Did You Know?
DRI faculty come from more than 50 different scientific fields; and since its inception DRI has exported Nevada’s environmental research expertise to all 50 states, more than 40 foreign countries and every continent on Earth.
Dr. George Maxey, one of DRI’s first hydrologists, invented the first scientific method for tracking the path, speed and quantity of groundwater available across the Western U.S.
DRI scientists helped determine that Northern Hemisphere industrial air pollution resulted in a seven-fold increase in black carbon (soot) in Arctic snow during the late 19th and 20th centuries.
For more than 40 years, DRI has helped ensure the safety of the nation and the citizens of Nevada by providing critical environmental monitoring services to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration on the Nevada National Security Site north of Las Vegas.
During the Iraq War, the U.S. Dept. of Defense called upon DRI soil scientists who discovered that Iraq’s intense wind-blown dust created a chemical reaction with Army-issued gun lubricants causing the M14 and M16 rifles to jam.
DRI helped establish the first satellite communications link from the U.S. to Antarctic research stations; and to this day maintains a robust Polar Region research program and one of the most sophisticated Antarctic and Arctic ice-core analysis laboratories in the world.
In 1977, drought conditions across Nevada promoted then-Governor Mike O’Callaghan to call upon DRI to implement the first Nevada Cloud Seeding Program, which to this day still utilizes pioneering techniques invented by DRI’s atmospheric scientists to increase snowfall by up to six-billion gallons every winter.
DRI’s Reno campus houses the Western Regional Climate Center, which is part of a national-wide network that collects and distributes climate information and data free of charge to anyone who needs it across the globe.
DRI archeologists, working with international colleagues, discovered the first fluted point artifact ever found on the Russian side of the Bering Strait.
In the WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) sector, DRI works closely with World Vision International and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to provide clean drinking water and in 2013 helped eradicate the guinea worm disease from Ghana, West Africa.