Coronavirus (COVID-19) Campus Updates

Access to DRI’s research campuses remains limited to essential research functions only. Face coverings and social distancing is required at all times. More information is available at

DRI is working with local and state health authorities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our state. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the most up-to-date information about the status of COVID-19 in the United States, prevention measures, and what to do if you are feeling ill. To remain vigilant and prepared, DRI will continue to align our communication and information sharing with the Washoe County Health District, the Southern Nevada Health District, the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, and the Nevada System of Higher Education.

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.

Reno Tech Company Contributes to School Robotics Education

Reno, NV - Virginia Turner and Bob Pratte, teachers at Traner Middle School in Reno, NV, were at the receiving end of a generous donation made by TrainerRoad to help foster STEM education in the Washoe County School District. Based in Reno, TrainerRoad is a virtual bicycle training and technology...
Monica Arienzo, Ph.D., stands near Lake Tahoe.

Monica Arienzo, Ph.D., Receives DRI’s First National Science Foundation CAREER Award

Above: Monica Arienzo, Ph.D., is an assistant research professor of hydrology at the Desert Research Institute in Reno and winner of DRI's first CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation.   Reno, Nev. (May 3, 2021) - The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is pleased to announce that...
Kathryn Sullivan, winner of the 2021 Nevada Medal

Hundreds Around the Globe Gather Online to Hear Earth Week Message from Scientist, Explorer Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan During World Premiere of the Desert Research Institute Foundation’s Special Presentation

Hundreds Around the Globe Gather Online to Hear Earth Week Message from Scientist, Explorer Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan During World Premiere of the Desert Research Institute Foundation’s Special Presentation The program will broadcast on Vegas PBS Channel 10 on April 25 at 4:30 p.m. and again May 1...
Equipment for subsurface sampling of microbes stands in Death Valley, California. Sun setting in the background.

DRI Scientists Contribute to Breakthrough Study on Microbial Evolution

Although certain microbes have the ability to evolve very quickly, the opposite can also be true, according to new research from an international team of scientists including Duane Moser, Ph.D., Joshua Sackett, Ph.D., and Brittany Kruger, Ph.D. of the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Las Vegas.

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.