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DRI names Meghan Collins as STEM Research Scientist

Position to focus on new lifelong and experiential learning opportunities and STEM workforce development partnerships throughout Nevada

RENO – In its continuing effort to improve Nevada’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce development and research-focused educational opportunities, the Desert Research Institute proudly announces Meghan Collins as the Institute’s first-ever STEM education assistant research scientist.

MeghanCollinsWorking across the state's STEM pipeline, Collins will support DRI's partnership-building for education and public outreach. She will also be working with DRI faculty, students, and staff to develop innovative ways to bring DRI science to the public for meaningful lifelong learning.

“I am thrilled,” said Collins. “There is a lot of impact in bringing emerging science and technology to the public in an engaging and meaningful format. DRI’s reputation is known worldwide and I am committed to broadening the impact of that fantastic science throughout our local communities with people of all ages and interests.”

Collins will also lead the comprehensive development and strategic growth of STEM as a specific program area at DRI, including coordination with and support of DRI’s GreenPower K-12 Program.

“Throughout her career Meghan’s ability to foster collaborative relationships and build long-term partnerships with higher education institutions, museums, local nonprofits, and community stakeholders has been exceptional,” said Beverly Ramsey, Ph.D., Executive Director of DRI’s Division of Earth and Ecosystem sciences. “We are particularly excited to have her focus on new research-focused education and collaborative opportunities for faculty and students of colleges and universities, including tribal colleges and universities.”

Ramsey added that by working across the Institute with a broad range of DRI faculty and students in all fields, Collins will assist in advancing DRI’s primary purpose and role in research-focused education.

DRI’s 1959 legislative mandate states the primary purposes of creating DRI are to (1) Foster and conduct fundamental scientific, economic, social or educational investigations and applied research for industry, governmental or private agencies or individuals; (2) Encourage and foster a desire in students and faculty to conduct research; (3) Discover and develop talent for conducting research; (4) Acquire and disseminate knowledge related to the projects undertaken; and (5) Promote all research within the system generally.

Collins received her M.S. from Victoria University of Wellington and her B.S. from McGill University. She has spent time as a commercial fishing deckhand in Alaska, once served as an advisor for the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment, and more recently taught environmental science and geography courses at TMCC.

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The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a world leader in environmental sciences through the application of knowledge and technologies to improve people’s lives throughout Nevada and the world.