Nevada researchers collaborate to preserve Lake Tahoe

Desert Research Institute and University of Nevada, Reno conduct nearshore clarity, air quality, invasive species, forest health and environmental monitoring research

tahoe-summit2013-thbFollowing President Clinton’s 1997 Lake Tahoe Presidential Forum, researchers have pursued a common agenda to reverse the environmental decline in the Tahoe Basin.(RENO) - From Tahoe's mountaintops to the lake's sandy bottom, scientists from the Desert Research Institute and the University of Nevada, Reno continue to study and find solutions to the breadth of issues that face the entire Lake Tahoe Basin. Their research is making a tangible contribution to the decisions, policies and practices that guide the basin's environmental health.

It's been 16 years since the first Lake Tahoe Summit and, while there has been significant progress on protecting the pristine lake, much work remains to be done. Researchers, policy makers, state and federal agencies are turning their attention to the lake for this year's Lake Tahoe Summit Aug. 19.

From the first rustic snow survey by a Nevada researcher in 1906 - an advancement still in use today - to the latest technology using sonar and rocket guidance systems, DRI and University scientists continue to take the pulse of Tahoe's climate and environment.

Working in collaboration with other research institutions and management agencies, DRI and University scientists have taken an expansive view of the lake and its environs. Their research on the lake is extensive; they have looked at the basin as a whole to learn how its health relates to the clarity and health of the water.

tahoe-summit2013-boat-thbDRI scientists sample water clarity using the Institute’s customized nearshore monitoring boat.” "Our institutions have helped lead the way in discoveries on nutrient loading, water quality and watershed ecology," Presidents Marc Johnson of the University and Stephen Wells of the Desert Research Institute wrote in the annual research review annually produced by the two institutions for the Summit. "Our scientists have helped develop innovative ways to monitor Tahoe's precious ecology and in finding management strategies for the air, land and water of Tahoe that help, not hinder, the overall health of this unique natural resource.

"Our approach will continue to be interdisciplinary and inter-institutional. Our pledge to Lake Tahoe remains firm: our two institutions work in common cause, so that the lake's heritage of beauty and clarity can be shared by our children's grandchildren and beyond."

The 2013 Tahoe Summit Report is available online at the Lake Tahoe Research website, where profiles of five DRI scientists and over a dozen other Nevada researchers working in the Tahoe Basin are highlighted. The printed edition will be available at the Lake Tahoe Summit on Monday, Aug. 19.

Report Highlights:

  1. Smoke and Weather: Using data to make better decisions – Tim Brown, Director of the Western Regional Climate Center and DRI’s Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications Program (CEFA) -
  2. Ensuring environmental health with better air – Antony Chen, Associate Research Professor in DRI’s Atmospheric Science Division -
  3. Scientist tracks ozone and particulate matter in the Tahoe Basin’s atmosphere - Darko Koracin, Research Professor in in DRI’s Atmospheric Science Division -
  4. Scientists collaborate to find new use for vast data collection – Rina Schumer, Associate Research Professor in DRI’s Hydrologic Sciences Division and Hal Klieforth, retired DRI scientist -
  5. Air quality in the Tahoe Basin – 10 key questions with Dr. Alan Gertler, DRI’s Vice President for Research and Chief Science Officer -


News Highlights:

KOLO News 8 Reports -

Reno Gazette-Journal - UNR Team shows trend at Lake Tahoe ahead of summit

Reno Gazette-Journal - Lake Tahoe researchers press for long-term studies


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