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.

Dr. Pier Paolo Pandolfi

Prominent Cancer Researcher to Join Renown Institute for Health Innovation at DRI

Institute welcomes Dr. Pier Paolo Pandolfi to Nevada, enriching more than a half-century of collaboration and pioneering medical research for the next generation Reno, Nev. (May 18, 2020) – Today, the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and Renown Health proudly announce the addition of Dr. Pier Paolo...
Dr Watson and Dr Chow assembling a pollution sampler

DRI Air Quality Experts Awarded Prestigious Haagen-Smit Prize

April 30, 2020 (RENO) – Drs. Judith Chow and John Watson, research professors in the Division of Atmospheric Sciences at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, were awarded Elsevier Publisher’s 2019 Haagen-Smit Prize for outstanding paper published in the journal Atmospheric Environment. Awarded...
Dr. Adam Watts in Florida testing drone capability for Wildland fires

Prescribed Fire Science Key to Sustaining Fire We Use

A team of leading fire scientists, including DRI’s Adam Watts, PhD, are advocating for fire research to place a priority on the area of prescribed fire science. In a recently published article in Frontiers in Fire Ecology, Watts and colleagues argue that while the vast majority of fire research...

Dr. Naresh Kumar appointed to lead Atmospheric Sciences at the Desert Research Institute

Reno, NV (April 7, 2020): The Desert Research Institute (DRI) proudly announced today that Dr. Naresh Kumar has been selected to lead the Institute’s Division of Atmospheric Sciences. Dr. Kumar comes to DRI from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in Palo Alto, California, where he served...
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.