Behind the Science Blog
DRI’s “Behind the Science” blog featuring our people and projects
Read the stories below to learn more about the amazing people and projects happening at DRI.
A New Tool Can Help Protect California and Nevada Communities from Floods While Preserving Their Water Supply
DRI’s Anne Heggli is partnering with the National Weather Service to understand flood risk from rain-on-snow storms in real-time, protecting communities and enabling water conservation throughout Nevada and California.
An interview with atmospheric scientist David Mitchell, Ph.D., who first proposed research into the climate intervention research of cirrus cloud-thinning.
John Mejia, Ph.D., is an associate research professor of Atmospheric Modeling at DRI. He was recently awarded a Mid-Career Advancement Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support his research on climate change impacts to urban communities, including urban heat islands and air pollution.
DRI scientists are starting the first ever effort dedicated to studying and conserving Nevada’s orchids. Many people know orchids as flashy, delicate flowers raised in lush greenhouses, but orchids also thrive in the sparse wetlands sprinkled around Nevada’s arid landscape. In fact, lovers of the state’s orchids like to tout one impressive statistic: Nevada has no less than 14 species of native orchids, in contrast with Hawaii’s mere three.
Ariel Choinard, M.A., started at DRI in February 2023 as the project coordinator for the California-Nevada Adaptation Program (CNAP) and the new Southern Nevada Heat Resiliency Lab. She is working with Tamara Wall, Ph.D., to build connections between scientists, community members, and community organizations to co-produce solutions, adaptations, and resilience to climate hazards.
DRI scientists produced the most detailed projections yet for how the region’s landscape will be impacted by climate change. Lake Tahoe is known for its crystal-clear blue water, scenic mountain backdrop, and world-class recreation opportunities. Unfortunately, the lake and surrounding basin aren’t insulated from global climate change.
Angelique DePauw and Olivia Hines are undergraduate student researchers in the Microplastics and Environmental Chemistry Lab. Together, they are conducting an experiment comparing the decomposition rates of plastic and plastic-alternative straws.
Sayantan Majumdar, Ph.D., joined DRI in June 2023 as an assistant research professor of hydrologic sciences and remote sensing. Majumdar, who also goes by the name “Monty,” also specializes in machine learning, geospatial data science, and scientific software development.
DRI researchers are trying to solve the mystery of mass die-offs of screwbean mesquite trees, a critical part of their desert ecosystem.
DRI researchers are examining the potential for climate intervention techniques to help cool communities – and the planet
Rachel Kozloski is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Monica Arienzo’s lab focused on the movement and characteristics of microplastics in ground and surface water.
A team of DRI scientists returned to Greenland in May 2023, where they are drilling a 150m long ice core to study interactions between ice chemistry and microbial life.
Researchers from DRI and UNLV teamed up with a Las Vegas community concerned about a neighboring asphalt plant to measure their air quality.