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.

Anne Barkley, winner of the 2020 Wagner Award for Women in Atmospheric Science

DRI announces winner of 22nd Annual Wagner Award for Women in Atmospheric Science

Anne Barkley of University of Miami to be honored in a virtual ceremony on Oct. 27, 2020   Reno, Nev. (October 1, 2020) – The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is pleased to announce that the 22nd Annual Peter B. Wagner Memorial Award for Women in Atmospheric Sciences has been awarded to Anne...
smoke from wildfire covers Sparks, Nev.

Wildfire smoke more dangerous than other air pollutants for asthma patients

Photo caption: Smoke from wildfires covering the city of Sparks, Nevada. Credit: GChapel, Adobe Images.   Reno, Nev. (Sept. 22, 2020) - For people who suffer from asthma, wildfire smoke is more hazardous than other types of air pollution, according to a new study from the Desert Research...
Screenshot of the OpenET web application

DRI, EDF, NASA, and Google Announce Web Application to Transform Water Management in the Western United States

DRI, EDF, NASA, and Google Announce Web Application to Transform Water Management in the Western United StatesRENO, NEV.SEPT 15, 2020HydrologyNevada AgricultureEvapotranspirationRemote-SensingData VisualizationOpenET will provide easily accessible satellite-based water data to help build a...
DRI President Dr. Kumud Acharya

Dr. Kumud Acharya Appointed Permanent President of DRI

LAS VEGAS – Dr. Kumud Acharya, an ecological engineer whose pioneering work in Nevada helped local and state water managers address aquatic invasive species threatening both Lake Mead and Lake Tahoe, was appointed the permanent president of the Desert Research Institute by the Nevada Board of...
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.