Xiaoliang Wang and Gabrielle Boisramé Receive 2024 Board of Regents Awards

The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents awards Xiaoliang Wang, Ph.D., with the 2024 Mid-Career Researcher Award and Gabrielle Boisramé, Ph.D., with the Rising Researcher Award

DRI scientist Dr. Xiaoliang Wang is the recipient of the Mid-Career Researcher Award from the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents, in recognition of his significant accomplishments and contributions to the field of atmospheric science.

Dr. Wang is a Research Professor in DRI’s Division of Atmospheric Sciences who seeks to understand air pollutant emissions and their transformations and impacts. His current research projects include studying dust emissions in underground coal mines to protect miners; vehicle tailpipe emissions and those from brake and tire wear; toxic gas and particle emissions from the open burning of household waste in South Africa; smoke emissions from burning lithium-ion batteries and spacecraft-relevant materials; and industrial emissions from mining activities in Canada’s oil sands region. His research interests include identifying the physical and chemical components of aerosols and pinpointing pollutant sources.

“I am deeply honored to receive this Award,” Wang said. “Every day, I come to work thinking of DRI’s motto ‘Impactful Science, Inspiring Solutions.’ I am fortunate to have great mentors, colleagues, and students at DRI who empower me to explore science and develop solutions.”

Dr. Wang first joined DRI in 2009 as an Assistant Research Professor, when he also joined the graduate faculty in the Physics Department at the University of Nevada, Reno. At UNR, he has taught classes on cloud and aerosol physics as well as air quality measurements and data analysis.

In addition to Dr. Wang’s impressive research output and dedication to preparing the next generation of atmospheric scientists, he also leads the development of new instruments for measuring air quality. One of these designs, the DRI Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS), is used to identify gases and particles from vehicle exhaust, stack emissions, and biomass burning. Another, the DRI Model 2015 Multiwavelength Thermal/Optical Carbon Analyzer is used worldwide to measure carbon particles from wildfire smoke and vehicle exhaust.

Dr. Wang has been granted three patents and has published three book chapters as well as more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles. He received the 2021 DRI Science Medal and the 2020 Benjamin Y.H. Liu Award from the American Association for Aerosol Research in recognition of his outstanding contributions to aerosol instrumentation and experimental techniques.

“Dr. Wang has left an indelible mark in the field of aerosol research,” said DRI Vice President for Research Vic Etyemezian, Ph.D. “His work on taking innovative measurement solutions from the lab, developing them, and making them available to the practitioner communities has greatly impacted the fields of aerosol science, industrial hygiene, and air quality management.”

NSHE Rising Researcher Award

In addition to Dr. Wang, DRI scientist Gabrielle Boisramé, Ph.D., was awarded the 2024 Rising Researcher Award in recognition of her outstanding early-career accomplishments and potential for advancing scientific knowledge in the field of earth and environmental sciences.

Dr. Boisramé is an Assistant Research Professor and Environmental Engineer in DRI’s Division of Hydrologic Sciences, where her work focuses on the interactions between wildfire, land cover, and water in mountain regions of the West. She combines field work, remote sensing techniques, and hydrological modeling to explore how managing natural wildfire can improve water resources and forest health. Her current research investigates the relationships between plant growth, groundwater storage, and streamflow generation, particularly in areas that have experienced changes in land cover due to wildfire.

“This award is a wonderful validation of the work I do,” Boisramé said. “It can sometimes feel like the reports and papers we write just go off into the void, but hearing praise for my research helps me to feel that it is in fact touching others’ lives in a meaningful way. I am grateful to DRI for providing the support and flexibility for me to pursue all sorts of intriguing questions about our world.”

Dr. Boisramé began at DRI in 2018 as a postdoctoral fellow, where she was the lead investigator on a project studying the water balance of Amargosa River headwaters. She became an Assistant Research Professor in 2020.

Before joining DRI, Dr. Boisramé worked as an environmental scientist for the Delta Stewardship Council. She completed her Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley, where her dissertation focused on how wildfire impacted water resources and ecological health in Yosemite National Park’s Illilouette Basin. Having majored in applied mathematics at Whitman College, she is interested in the application of numerical models to ecohydrological research.

In addition to her impressive research portfolio, Dr. Boisramé has volunteered to lead educational activities for children for Clark County Wetlands Park, and taught fire ecology to elementary school students in the Bay Area. She joined Engineers Without Borders to alleviate groundwater arsenic contamination in Peru, and taught courses on water quality and filtration to students in Honduras.

“Dr. Boisramé is conducting breakthrough research that examines some of the most pressing issues of our time: water availability, wildfires, and ecological health,” said Sean McKenna, Ph.D., Executive Director of DRI’s Division of Hydrologic Sciences. “Her unique approach combines expertise in hydrology, ecology, and applied mathematics to gain a comprehensive understanding that is a great example of how DRI supports research that crosses the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines.”


About DRI

We are Nevada’s non-profit research institute, founded in 1959 to empower experts to focus on science that matters. We work with communities across the state — and the world — to address their most pressing scientific questions. We’re proud that our scientists continuously produce solutions that better human and environmental health.  

Scientists at DRI are encouraged to follow their research interests across the traditional boundaries of scientific fields, collaborating across DRI and with scientists worldwide. All faculty support their own research through grants, bringing in nearly $5 to the Nevada economy for every $1 of state funds received. With more than 600 scientists, engineers, students, and staff across our Reno and Las Vegas campuses, we conducted more than $47 million in sponsored research focused on improving peoples’ lives in 2023 alone. 

At DRI, science isn’t merely academic — it’s the key to future-proofing our communities and building a better world. For more information, please visit www.dri.edu. 

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