The Colin Warden Memorial Endowment

The Colin Warden Memorial Endowment was established by Mr. Warden's family and friends after his death in 1991. The endowment recognizes outstanding graduate students working on DRI projects or who have DRI faculty members directly supervising their graduate research. The amount of the award will be $1,500. The award will be based on the best research paper submitted by a student on subjects related to identification and/or resolution of an environmental problem. Criteria for the award, eligibility requirements and scheduling are as follow.


To be eligible, the student must be a full- or part-time enrollee in a graduate program at either the University of Nevada, Reno, or the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The student must be in good standing and have been in residence at least one semester. In addition, the student must be involved in a DRI-affiliated research project or must have a DRI faculty member supervising his/her graduate research.

Papers must be based on original research directly related to the identification, clarification, and/or resolution of modern environmental problems. Modern environmental data need not be the basis of the research, so long as applicability of the data to modern environmental problems can be demonstrated. Please only one entry per person (per year).  If there is a question concerning acceptability of a particular subject area, please contact the Assistant Vice President for Research ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) before preparing a paper.

* Manuscripts on which the student is the first author and that have been published, submitted for publication, or are in press in peer reviewed journals within the last 12 months are acceptable for consideration. *

Criteria for Evaluation of Papers

Papers will be evaluated based on the following (in decreasing order of importance):

  1. Originality of ideas expressed and presentation of concept.
  2. How well the subject matter relates to real-world environmental problems or their resolution.
  3. How well the research is thought out and defined with introduction, methods, results, and conclusions.

The paper should be in a form acceptable for publication.

The award committee recognizes that most science is a collaborative effort. In order to better understand the nature of the collaborations, a letter from the student's advisor must be sent as part of the application process. This letter should detail how much of the work was primarily the student's and how much input came from the advisor and any co-authors.

Application Procedure

Submit an electronic version (PDF) of the paper to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Copies of the papers will be distributed to each of the selection committee members for review and ranking. The student's advisor should forward the supporting letter directly to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  The deadline for submission is April 10 annually.

Contact: AVPR
Office: 775/673-7414
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Announcement of this award will be made at DRI's June Convocation.

Previous Winners

2016 - Zachary Arno - Groundwater Potential Zone Identification in the Crystalline Basement Rock Terrain of Liberia Using integrated Remote Sensing and GIS

2015 - Nina Oakley - Oakley, Nina S. and Kelly T. Redmond, 2014: A Climatology of 500-hPa Closed Lows in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean, 1948–2011. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 53, 1578–1592. doi:

2014 - Ehsan Erfani - Erfani, E., and D. Mitchell (2014), A partial mechanistic understanding of the North American monsoon, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 119, 13,096–13,115, doi:10.1002/2014JD022038

2013 - Stefano Benato - Benato, S., D.M. Reeves, R. Parashar, N.  Davatzes, S. Hickman, D. Elsworth, P. Spielman and J. Taron, Computational  investigation of hydro -mechanical effects on transmissivity evolution during  the initial injection phase at Ormat Desert Peak EGS Project, NV, 38th Workshop  on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California.  Paper also presented at the 2013 European Geothermal Congress, Pisa. Poster  presented at: 2013 SMU Geothermal Conference, Dallas; Rigenergia 2013, Aosta;  ICEGS 2013, Potsdam; GEISER 2013, Naples; EGPD  2013, Szeged.

2012 - Jackson Crews - Crews, J.B., Cooper, C.A., 2012.  Bubble nucleation in groundwater triggered by seismic stimulation: A laboratory study.  46th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium. American Rock Mechanics Association. Chicago, Il.

2011 - Jazmin Aravena - Aravena J.E. ; Berli M. ; Ghezzehei T.A. ; Tyler S.W. , 2011.  Effects of root-induced compaction on rhizosphere hydraulic properties - X-ray micro-tomography imaging and numerical simulations. Environmental Science & Technology. v.45. pp.425-431.

2009 - Todd Caldwell  - Caldwell, T. G., M. H. Young, J. Zhu, and E. V. McDonald (2008), Spatial structure of hydraulic properties from canopy to interspace in the Mojave Desert, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L19406, doi:10.1029/2008GL035095.

2008 - Pan Feng - Feng Pan, Ming Ye, Jianting Zhu, Yu-Shu Wu, Bill X. Hu, and Zhongbo Yu, Numerical Evaluation of Uncertainty in Water Retention Parameters and Effect on Predictive Uncertainty Vadose Zone Journal, February 2009, v. 8, 158-166, doi:10.2136/vzj2008.0092

2007 - Danyal Petersen - Petersen, D., M. Bailey, W. H. Beasley, and J. Hallett (2008), A brief review of the problem of lightning initiation and a hypothesis of initial lightning leader formation, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D17205, doi:10.1029/2007JD009036.

2006 - Jun Yin - Yin, J., M. H. Young, and Z. Yu (2008), Effects of paleoclimate and time-varying canopy structures on paleowater fluxes, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D06103, doi:10.1029/2007JD009010.

2005 - Rajan Chakrabarty - Chakrabarty, R. K., H. Moosmüller, M. A. Garro, W. P. Arnott, J. W. Walker, R. A. Susott, R. E. Babbitt, C. E. Wold, E. N. Lincoln, and W. M. Hao (2006).  Emissions from the Laboratory Combustion of Wildland Fuels: Particle Morphology and Size.   J. Geophys. Res., 111, D07204, doi:10.1029/2005JD006659

2004 - Matthew Reeves - Large-Scale Solute Transport in Fractured Media with Application to the Multi-Scaling Fractional Advection-Dispersion Equation: Preliminary Results, 2004.

2003 - Guadalupe Paredes - Miranda

2002 - Dorothea Ivanova - Dorothea Ivanova 2002 - Sensitivity of the atmospheric boundary layer and circulation to sea surface temperatures in the gulf of California: Results of MM5 Modeling study

2001 - Leland Tarnay

2000 - Daniel Obrist - Obrist D, Arnone JA, Körner Ch (2001) In situ effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on leaf freezing resistance and carbohydrates in a native temperate grassland. Annals of Botany, 87(6), pp. 839-844.

1999 - Rina Schumer - Schumer, R., D.A. Benson, M.M. Meerschaert, and S.W. Wheatcraft. 2001.  Eulerian derivation of the fractional advection-dispersion equation.  Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 48:69-88. 

1998 - David Mazera

1997 - Flora Gofa

1996 - Stephen Metzger

1995 - Clay A. Cooper