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Dr. Dave E. Rhode

Research Professor Archeology

Professional Interests

Dr. Rhode is a prehistorian, archaeobotanist, and paleoecologist with 25 years experience throughout western North America. His main focus of research concerns prehistoric human adaptations and paleoenvironmental change in arid environments. Towards this end, he has analyzed packrat middens in the eastern Great Basin and western Mojave Desert, examined plant remains from various archaeological sites throughout the Great Basin and American Southwest, and studied phytoliths (mineral bodies from plant cells) extracted from archaeological sites. In addition to his paleoenvironmental research, Dr. Rhode has directed and managed several archaeological projects, including a large cultural resources protection program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as well as in California, Oregon, New Mexico, Washington, and Alaska. Recently, he has also explored early human occupation in China and Jordan.

During his studies of regional land use patterns of prehistoric people in the Great Basin, Dr. Rhode expanded the use of dating techniques such as thermoluminescence and obsidian hydration for developing chronologies of regional land use patterns as reflected in the surface archaeology of the Great Basin. Southwestern experience includes a detailed study of prehistoric and historic study of Zuni agricultural land use and water control in west-central New Mexico. His interest in the history of Native American groups in western North America led to his co-editing a recent volume on the Paiute, Shoshonean, and Ute ("Numic") peoples who inhabited the intermountain west in late prehistoric and historic times and to the publication of an illustrated ethnobotany of southern Nevada.

Area of Research Interest and Expertise

  • Anthropology and Archaeology Research
  • Ethnobiology
  • Paleocology and Paleoclimatology
  • Paleoenvironmental Research

Recent Research Projects


Ph.D. 1987 University of Washington Anthropology
D.C. 1982 University of Washington Anthropology
B.S. 1978 University of California, Davis Anthropology / Botany



Yatavelli, L., Chakrabarty, R. K., Gyawali, M., Knue, J., Engling, G., Moosmuller, H., Rhode, D. E., Chen, L.-W.A., Wang, X., Chow, J. C., Watson, J. G., 2014: Emissions from Burning Incense and Dung: Two Unregulated Sources of Brown Carbon in Asia, 33nd Annual Conference of the American Association for Aerosol Research: Orlando, FL, October 20, 2014


Rhode, D. E., 2000: Packrat Middens as a Tool for Reconstructing Historic Ecosystems, In Techniques for Discovering Historic Ecosystems, Island Press: Covelo, CA, Published
Rhode, D. E., 2000: Review of Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction in Arid Lands, Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, Accepted
Rhode, D. E., Kelly, R. L., 2000: Macrobotanical Remains, In The Archaeology of the Stillwater Marsh, University of Utah Press: Salt Lake City, UT, Accepted
Rhode, D. E., Madsen, D. B., 2000: Middle and Late Wisconsin Vegetation History in the Bonneville Basin, Chapter 11, In Late Quaternary Paleoecology in the Bonneville Basin, Utah Geological Survey Monograph Series: Salt Lake City, UT, Accepted
Rhode, D. E., Madsen, D. B., 2000: Middle and Late Wisconsin Vegetation History in the Bonneville Basin, Chapter 11, In Late Quaternary Paleoecology in the Bonneville Basin, Utah Geological Survey Monograph Series: Salt Lake City, UT, Accepted



Atmospheric Sciences (DAS)
Air quality and atmospheric research including meteorology, visibility and pollutant transport.

Western Regional Climate Center
Climate Information and Data Services
Providing jointly developed products, services and capabilities that enhance the delivery of public climate info.

Diversity at DRI
An Inclusive Mission of Research Excellence
Diversity at DRI
Offering a supportive and diverse environment for our students, faculty/staff and visitors.

Land and Life
Earth and Ecosystems Sciences (DEES)
Research into changing landscapes including the soils, plants, animals and humans that affect them.

K-12 Outreach and Education
Supporting Nevada educators in science-based, environmental education with free tools, resources, and training.

Renewable Energy at DRI
Discovering New Energy Production Methods
dri-renewable-energyExpanding renewable energy research throughout Nevada and around the U.S.

Hydrologic Sciences (DHS)
Study of the natural and human factors that influence the availability and quality of water resources.

DRI Nevada Medal Event
2015 Medalist - Dr. Christopher McKay
Proudly honoring outstanding achievement in science and engineering with gala events in Reno and Las Vegas.

Nevada Center of Excellence
Supporting Nevada's Economic Development
Center of ExcellenceCombining NSHE water expertise and IBM’s advanced technologies to grow tomorrow's workforce.