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Dr. Kristen Averyt named finalist for Desert Research Institute presidency

January 27, 2017

RENO, Nev. -- After completing a nationwide search, today the DRI President Search Committee and the Advisory Committee have nominated Dr. Kristen Averyt as the sole finalist to serve as the Desert Research Institute's next president. She was selected following face-to-face interviews held today with the committees and campus visits last week in both Las Vegas and Reno.

Averyt Kristen PhotoThe Board of Regents will vote on the recommendation and contract terms during a special meeting on February 3 in Reno.

"On behalf of the Regents on the search committee and the institutional and community members serving on the advisory committee, I am truly honored to recommend Dr. Kristen Averyt to the full Board for their consideration," said Regent Jason Geddes, chair of the ad hoc DRI President Search Committee. "Dr. Averyt is an excellent candidate. She is a proven leader with a deep understanding of environmental research and we feel she will make a great leader at DRI. Dr. Averyt will help to advance DRI and NSHE and will serve as a tremendous resource to the entire state as we help to build the new Nevada economy."

Averyt is currently the associate director for science for the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. She previously served the university as director of its NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program: Western Water Assessment (WWA) and as a research scientist focusing on climate and water in the western United States.

She earned her doctorate in geological and environmental science from Stanford University and a master's in chemistry, with distinction, from the University of Otago, New Zealand, where she was a Fulbright fellow (click for full bio).

The other finalist, chosen from a national search, was Dr. Philip Mote, director of the Oregon Climate Change Institute.

The committee is chaired by Regent Jason Geddes and includes regents Cedric Crear, Carol Del Carlo, John T. Moran, and Allison Stephens. Advisory members to the committee include: Dr. Kumud Acharya, Dr. Braimah Apambire, Dr. Jay Arnone III, Michael Benjamin, Mark Bruce, Dr. Mary Cablk, Kelsey Carter (ex-officio), Jenny Chapman, Dawn Coots, Chuck Creigh, John Entsminger, Dr. Jack Gillies, Dr. Joe Grzymski, Steve Hill, Kenneth G. Ladd, Holger Liepmann, Dr. Joe McConnell, Nina Oakley, Brian Speicher, Stephanie Tyler, Dr. Eric Wilcox, and Missy Young.

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About the Desert Research Institute: The Desert Research Institute, the nonprofit research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education, is a world leader in environmental sciences through the application of knowledge and technologies to improve people's lives throughout Nevada and the world.

About the Nevada System of Higher Education: The Nevada System of Higher Education -- comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute -- serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 107,400 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents.