Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

The Desert Research Institute understands and shares the concerns of our research campus community regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19). DRI’s primary goal is to protect the health and safety of our faculty and staff. To remain vigilant and prepared, the Institute continues to align communication and information sharing with the Washoe County Health District, the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health and the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory.

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.

Healthy Nevada Project

Population genetic screening shown to efficiently identify increased risk for inherited disease

Healthy Nevada Project’s community-based approach reveals up to 90% of CDC Tier 1 genetic condition risks missed using clinical care guidelines Reno, Nev. (July 27, 2020) – In a new study published today in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers behind the Healthy Nevada Project® suggest that...
Navajo FRTEP agent Grey Ferrell and Co-PD Trent Teegerstrom inspecting springs near Tuba City.

New USDA Grant Will Fund COVID-19 Rapid Response Toolkit for Tribal Extension Agents

Reno, Nev. (July 23, 2020) – Several members of the Native Waters on Arid Lands (NWAL) project team, led by Maureen McCarthy, Ph.D., of the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno, have been awarded a $300k grant from the US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture...

New study investigates link between clothes dryers and microplastic pollution in Lake Tahoe

Reno, Nev. & South Lake Tahoe, Cal. (July 20, 2020) - Last year, Desert Research Institute (DRI) and the League to Save Lake Tahoe detected microplastics in Lake Tahoe for the first time ever, many of which were microfibers. This discovery revealed that microplastic pollution is not just...

New USDA grant to support Diné (Navajo) and Hopi Teachers in Placed-Based STEM curriculum

Reno, Nev. (July 14, 2020) - Meghan Collins, M.S., Education Lead for the Native Waters on Arid Lands (NWAL) project and Assistant Research Scientist at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno has received a $100k grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and...
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.