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.

Denise on her Nevada farm looking at cell phone

Consortium Launches New Online Water Data Platform to Transform Water Management in the Western United States as Droughts Intensify

Desert Research Institute scientists led by Dr. Justin Huntington have been working in collaboration with NASA, EDF, Google, HabitatSeven, and others to launch a new online water data platform, OpenET, to help 17 western states develop more resilient water supplies amid record drought.

Drilling James Ross Island Ice Core

Early Human Activities Impacted Earth’s Atmosphere More Than Previously Known

An international team of researchers led by Desert Research Institute analyzed ice core samples from Antarctica’s James Ross Island and found early human activity caused significant changes to the earth’s atmosphere. Their findings were just released in a new Nature journal article.

Heavy ash-laden smoke billowed into the Lake Tahoe basin during the Caldor Fire

Fire tornado prediction tools to be developed for public safety during extreme wildfires

University of Nevada, Reno and DRI researchers are building the predictive and diagnostic tools that will transform the understanding of fire-generated extreme weather and pave the way for future life-saving warnings to firefighters and the general public.

Yi Zhang (left) and Vera Samburova (right) on DRI's Reno Campus.

Yi Zhang of Princeton University Receives DRI’s 23rd Annual Wagner Award for Women in Atmospheric Science

DRI is pleased to announce that the 23rd annual Peter B. Wagner Memorial Award for Women in Atmospheric Sciences has been awarded to Yi Zhang, Ph.D., of Princeton University.

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.