The DRI campuses are fully reopened as of July 1, 2021.
COVID-19 Guidelines, Vaccination Locations, and Campus Updates:


60 years of scientific discovery and innovation, in Nevada and around the world

Since 1959, the faculty, students, and staff at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) have advanced scientific knowledge to help solve pressing environmental challenges and improve human health and welfare.

With more than 400 employees, over 300 projects on all seven continents, and two world-class research campuses in Reno and Las Vegas, DRI serves as one of the eight institutions in the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Learn more about Atmospheric Sciences

Atmospheric Sciences

Research and services related to air quality and associated health risks, climate, cloud and aerosol physics, renewable energy, fire science, and atmospheric dynamics.

Learn more about Hydrologic Sciences

Hydrologic Sciences

Research, development, and education services contributing to society’s fundamental understanding of hydrologic systems and advancing the sustainability of water resources.

Learn more about Earth and Ecosystems Sciences

Earth & Ecosystem Sciences 

Research in the life and earth sciences, particularly those dealing with the complex interactions of geological processes, organisms, biological communities, and human societies.

Learn more about Education and Workforce Development

Education & Workforce Development

Training Nevada’s K-12 teachers and providing professional development opportunities and training for education-based activities.

Synoicum adareanum

Within an Antarctic Sea Squirt, Scientists Discover a Bacterial Species With Promising Anti-Melanoma Properties

New research has traced the production of palmerolide A, a key compound with anti-melanoma properties, to a suite of genes coded in the genome by a member of a sea squirt’s microbiome.

mountain rain or snow web app on cell phone

“Mountain Rain or Snow” Seeks Citizen Scientists and Winter Storm Reports

Mountain Rain or Snow is launching a project where citizen scientists like you can submit observations of rain, snow, and mixed precipitation via your smartphone, laptop, desktop, tablet, or any other device with a browser.

ice core drilling camp on Colle Gnifetti

1,000 years of glacial ice reveal ‘prosperity and peril’ in Europe

Sandra Brugger, a paleoecologist at the Desert Research Institute, found in her recent study that Europe’s past prosperity and failure, driven by climate changes, has been revealed using thousand-year-old pollen, spores and charcoal particles fossilized in glacial ice.

John Cooper

New DRI Internship Program Focuses on Mentorship for Inclusion in STEM

Fourteen students from Nevada’s two-year colleges are spending this fall building career skills in exciting new directions. The students are conducting hands-on research alongside DRI scientists in Reno and Las Vegas through DRI’s new Research Immersion Internship Program.

Environmental Research Areas

Environmental Research Areas

DRI faculty and staff work in over 40 scientific fields on all seven continents.

40 Laboratories and Facilities

40 Laboratories and Facilities

DRI has more than 40 specialized labs and facilities on research campuses in Reno and Las Vegas.

60 Years of Scientific Excellence

60 Years of Scientific Excellence

Since 1959, DRI has contributed to solving our toughest environmental challenges.

As a non-profit, we rely on your support.

By making a gift to DRI, you’re providing the resources our scientists need to better understand and address the challenges posed by our changing planet.