November 18th & 29th, 2021 – EnergySmart Educator Workshop

November 18th & 29th, 2021 – EnergySmart Educator Workshop

EnergySmart Educator Workshop Series – How Renewable Energy Can Address Issues in Environmental Justice

Our upcoming EnergySmart Education teacher training event will be held virtually on November 18th & 29th, 2021 from 3:30 – 4:30pm each day. The event is focused on how renewable energy can address issues in environmental justice. Guest speakers Dr. Jennifer Willett from UNR and Dr. Alan Gertler from DRI will cover the topics of environmental justice, current research in energy resources and climate change, and the “Research for Change” project.

Participating teachers will earn 2 hours towards license re-certification, links to relevant teaching resources, Q&A with DRI and UNR researchers, and will be entered into a daily gift card raffle.

Meet Casey the Green Box

Meet Casey the Green Box

Howdy folks! Here at Science Alive we believe that learning is for everyone, and we like to think that learning can be fun for all. That’s why we have a super fun mascot. Wait, have you not met our mascot? Well, we hope you like smiling, because our mascot is ready to meet you.
Meet Casey the Green Box! 
An anthropomorphic green suitcase smiles at the camera. 
Are you smiling yet? Casey is the face of Science Alive, and what a joyful face they have! We asked Casey why they’re grinning so big, and Kasey had this to say: 
“Today I rollerbladed to work (with a helmet on, of course) and I saw so many birds on the way here. Any day in which I get to observe nature and move around is a great day!” 
We heard it directly from the source: Casey loves science and the outdoors. When Casey’s not wearing rollerblades (the secret: they’re always ready to roll), they help the Science Alive team make fun STEM-based resources for folks all around Nevada. From Green Boxes to STEM Kits and beyond, Casey knows the sciences inside and out – and they’re still learning every day! 
“I may be the original Green Box, but even I can’t fit all the STEM knowledge in my head,” said Casey when asked about STEM-based lessons. “It’s my hope that students and teachers all across Nevada use our free resources to help us bring science education to life.” 
That’s why Casey is Science Alive’s mascot – they believe wholeheartedly in our mission, and they want to share STEM resources with as many educators and students as possible. If you’re interested in all the awesome educational resources Casey has worked on with the Science Alive team, please visit our website at 
When asked what they would do after the workday is over, Casey said this: “I’m going to cook a nice dinner, listen to some classical music, and read about Nikola Tesla.” This humble writer, for one, is green with envy – Casey the Green Box lives a life that’s rich and full! Let’s all try to be like Casey.

Fall EnergySmart PSA Contest Open For Submissions

Fall EnergySmart PSA Contest Open For Submissions

The EnergySmart PSA Contest is open for submissions! Deadline extended to December 11th, 2020!

Over the past few years Science Alive has held a yearly Public Service Announcment (PSA) contest for middle school aged students (6th-8th) in Nevada about energy use and conservation. This year’s contest opens October 19th and runs until December 11th, 2020. Past submissions have included music videos, dramatic re-tellings and even illustrated cartoons. You can watch the winning PSA videos from 2019 on the Science Alive YouTube. Winning students and the teachers with the most student submissions will earn prizes for their efforts. We are so excited to see a new group of students demonstrate their creativity, acting abilities and energy conservation knowledge!

EnergySmart PSA Contest Flyer

PSA Eligibility and Guidelines:

– You must be a Nevada student that attends a school within a Southwest Gas service area – Check Eligibility Here!

– You must be in middle school (grades 6th – 8th)

– You may work alone or in a group of up to 4 members

– Your PSA video cannot be longer than 2 minutes and must be uploaded and submitted to our Google Form by November 30th

– You must complete and submit a talent release form signed by your parent or guardian 


Have questions? Email Emma at

This program is generously supported by Southwest Gas and NV Energy.

Fall 2020 EnergySmart Educator Workshop Series

Fall 2020 EnergySmart Educator Workshop Series

Past – Our annual EnergySmart Educator Workshop is scheduled and open for registration! The workshop will be held virtually on October 26th, 27th, and 28th from 4 pm – 5 pm daily on Zoom. Educators will get a chance to hear from a DRI Scientist and discuss Climate Change, learn about Clean Energy Solutions and get familiar with all the energy focused Classroom Resources available to Nevada’s educators.

This event is made possible by generous grants from Southwest Gas and NV Energy.

Register today! 



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Science Alive Welcomes New Team Members

Science Alive Welcomes New Team Members

Science Alive is happy to announce this year’s group of AmeriCorps members serving as our STEM Education Outreach Coordinators! Our programs and various projects are only made possible by the hard work, innovative ideas and range of expertise brought to us by our serving AmeriCorps. Read their bios below and look forward to hearing from them as they bring STEM education to learners across the state!


Shay Hart

Shay Hart

STEM Education Outreach Coordinator - Southern Nevada

I was born and raised in Las Vegas, but have had the privilege of living and working in Reno, Florida and Indiana as well. At an early age I discovered a deep love for the natural world. I am naturally a very sensitive person, and have always found that I feel the most at peace while immersed in nature. Some of my favorite memories during school were the times we had class outside, or when I was chosen to be in charge of feeding the desert tortoises in our courtyard! In college, I discovered that I also had a passion for teaching. After graduation I fell into the environmental education field and knew immediately it was my calling.

After working in the field for a couple of years, I decided to continue my academic career and pursue a master’s degree in environmental education in Indiana. The program had a profound effect on me and really helped me refine my identity as an educator. I am so excited to be back in the job field, and to put to use all I’ve learned. At the heart of everything I’ve done and want to do is a desire to help others develop love and appreciation for the natural world. I also hope to keep pushing forward and advocating for environmental education in schools.

In my free time I enjoy being outdoors, reading, cooking and listening to music. I have recently taken up nature photography as a hobby and absolutely love it! I am also a huge bird nerd and love being able to find and check unique ones off my list.

Emma Beach

Emma Beach

STEM Education Outreach Coordinator - Southern Nevada

I am from Chattanooga, TN and recently graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. My major was very small and gave me a broad background as well as a tight-knit group of friends. Having such a small, intimate school setting really allowed me to create strong relationships with my peers and professors. My favorite subjects in school have always been environmental science and chemistry, and I am excited to share that I love with others with similar interests.

I wanted to expand my horizons and leave my comfort zone, which is part of the reason I applied for the position at DRI. I have spent the last three years as an interpretive ranger with the Tennesee State Parks and worked with people from all walks of life. Through that work I have found that I really enjoy the interpersonal relationships that can be made while engaging people in science education.

I love being outside and thrive on learning new things. In my free time I love exploring the natural world, playing guitar and spending time with my 2 year old cat, Mac, who accompanies me on all my adventures. I am so excited to join the team and work with Nevada’s educators!

Chris King

Chris King

STEM Education Outreach Coordinator - Northern Nevada

I am a continuing STEM Education Outreach Coordinator at DRI! It’s a fulfilling job, and this experience is only possible thanks to AmeriCorps. I’d heard of DRI many times as I grew up in Reno, and doing good work with them still feels unreal in the best way. I’ve decided to continue my service with Science Alive because I enjoy working with such a brilliant team. I’ve had the pleasure of working with each member of DRI’s Office of Education, and every one of them is creative and knowledgeable. I learn something new every day I work at DRI!

My favorite subject in school was English because I love reading and writing – putting words on paper still gives me joy. When I was a senior in high school, my English teacher put journal prompts on the board for our first in-class activity every day. He then asked us to discuss our responses, and he was open to and understanding of everyone’s perspective; his encouragement of independent thought guided me toward English, education and empathy.

To all the teachers out there: you are resilient superstars, and I appreciate your dedication to your craft. The world is in a state of flux, and you handle its difficulties with grace and poise. This is not easy, and I am impressed by all of you! You deserve more recognition than I can give in this short write up.

In my free time I love to read or play video games. There are so many good stories in games, and the really good ones get my brain moving in new ways!

Brittany Shelton-Dooley

Brittany Shelton-Dooley

STEM Education Outreach Coordinator - Northern Nevada

My name is Brittany, I graduated in May of 2020 from Wittenberg University with a B.S. in Environmental Science and minors in Biology and Psychology. As a Nashville, TN native I grew up exploring and learning to love the outdoors. As a US Sailing Certified Small Boat Instructor I taught sailing for three summers, and I just completed a season as a biological science technician with the US Forest Service in northern Michigan.

As an individual who is passionate about sharing knowledge and life-long learning, I am extremely excited to be working as the STEM Education Outreach Coordinator for Northern NV at DRI. Growing up in school my favorite subjects were science and theatre arts, as both keep the mind active and were hands on! I attended an Art2STEM camp through my middle school that opened my mind to the possibility of a career within the sciences; I hope to be able to serve as that spark for future generations.

In my free time you can find me traveling, exploring new places, the outdoors, buying plants, and petting every dog possible. I am ecstatic to be joining such a strong team of scientists and educators!

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How You Can Use Science Alive’s Virtual Offerings for Distance Learning

Howdy everyone, and welcome to DRI’s Science Alive blog! Last time we gave you a quick rundown of what Science Alive does, with Green Boxes forming one of the core components of our educational outreach. While we appreciate the hands-on experience that each Green Box provides, current circumstances have changed the ways we can deliver STEM education content to educators and students.
Due to the need for social distancing, we’ve been working to find new ways to provide our current educational resources to teachers for both in-person instruction and virtual classrooms. Science Alive is still shipping Green Boxes to educators this fall, albeit in a limited capacity and only to schools with in-person instruction. If you are interested in reserving a Green Box for you and your students, click here to see what boxes are available. 
Teachers and students in Nevada have had to quickly adapt to changes to instruction, from hybrid models to fully online learning. This is why our team has also been hard at work converting Green Box content into virtual lessons and activities. With these virtual resources at your disposal, students of all ages can access fun STEM lessons from the comfort of their homes. You can find our current virtual resources here. More content is on the way, so check back frequently for updates! 
 Another in the works project  has been adapting STEM kits and STEM stations into easy-to-use online activities. Perhaps we should say “easy-to-enjoy,” as many of these resources are made to be fun as well as educational. Each online STEM resource we adapt includes a video component that explains the science underlying the activity, as well as a walk-through for each activity. Some feature links to online quizzes to pique learners’ curiosity – we love it when learners of all ages think and wonder! We will include these supplementary STEM resources alongside our lessons, to be employed and enjoyed as you see fit, as well as hosting them on our YouTube channel. 
On the subject of virtual versus face-to-face education, one of our biggest challenge this spring was our inability to bring our EnergySmart education to classrooms due to shelter in place orders. In partnership with NV Energy and Southwest Gas, Science Alive has adapted the face-to-face EnergySmart program into a virtual program! We hope that this way, more teachers and students across the state of Nevada may benefit from fun energy conservation education. If you would like to know more about Science Alive’s EnergySmart program, please follow this link to our webpage. EnergySmart resources are also listed on our Online Resources web page! 
Lastly, Science Alive acknowledges the power of videos to deliver quality information and education. Our YouTube channel features a variety of videos for learners, including interviews with DRI scientists, winning entries from our annual EnergySmart PSA contest, and videos of fun, DIY STEM activities. It encapsulates a broad range of our content, and will continue to grow as we refine and expand our educational offerings. Check out our YouTube channel and all it has to offer here!
Before we conclude this post, we’d like to point out that our new website is still a work-in-progress. Many of the most important pieces are in place, and most of our content is already available there; however, it will continue to expand as we create more resources for educators across Nevada. We urge you to bookmark our website as an easy, helpful resource you may use again and again. We invite everyone, including parents and families to make use of our virtual resources. 
Thanks for reading. Until next time stay safe, healthy, and have fun learning! 

Science Alive: An Introduction

Howdy everyone, and welcome to DRI’s Science Alive blog! What is DRI, you ask? And for that matter, what is Science Alive?

The Desert Research Institute (DRI for short) is the non-profit environmental research branch of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) and is based in two locations: Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada. While it is based in Nevada, DRI conducts research all over the world – on all seven continents, in fact – and is even investigating phenomena on Mars!

Scientists and researchers at DRI study the land (earth and ecosystem sciences), the air (atmospheric sciences), and the water (hydrologic sciences) to address some of the biggest environmental problems facing us today. We have scientists researching airborne pollutants, studying the diverse problems caused by microplastics in our ecosystems, and investigating storm systems to better model annual precipitation. These are just a few examples of the fantastic work performed by DRI faculty every day.

As part of NSHE, DRI primarily focuses on basic and applied environmental research. Here we like learning to come full circle, so we devote considerable talent to distilling our researchers’ scientific ideas and findings into a variety of educational resources. That’s where Science Alive comes in. The Science Alive team uses their knowledge of diverse subjects to deliver STEM education to the next generation of scientists, engineers, and researchers. 

This distilled education is converted into mobile suitcases of science lessons – bright green STEM extravaganzas we call Green Boxes! Each Green Box is pre-packed with a series of themed lessons and materials, all of which are provided by Science Alive at no cost to educators! K-12th grade teachers, as well as informal educators, may reserve the use of one of our Green Boxes for several weeks. Science Alive ships the suitcase to educators, who then use their expertise to deliver the contents to students. 

We also offer STEM kits, which are smaller-scale science suitcases that provide STEM resources to formal or informal educators. Each STEM kit contains guidelines and materials for three activities that build on each other to teach various scientific concepts. Green Boxes and STEM kits are just two examples of the educational resources we provide – we also offer professional development through educator workshops, energy know-how through Home Energy Kits and the traveling Energy Theater Troupe, and much more. Teaching and learning can happen in a variety of settings, and Science Alive strives to provide a diverse selection of tools for whichever situation you happen to be in!

While Green Boxes and STEM kits form the crux of Science Alive’s educational outreach, the novel Coronavirus has created an educational landscape wherein face-to-face teaching poses risks to public healthInperson attendance at public schools is under review for the foreseeable future, and we must adapt to these ever-changing times.  In order to meet the evolving needs of educators, we have new virtual resources in the works, and some of them are already available to the public! These offerings are available on our Online Resources page and will complement a limited release of Green Box reservations this fall.  

 Science Alive has been using Green Boxes, STEM kits, and the other materials outlined above to create diverse online educational resources that can be completed by students virtually. The Green Box program is still the core of our output – we have merely adapted it to better suit the needs of educators in these times of distance education. No matter the challenge, our team remains dedicated to its mission: to provide Nevada’s education community with STEM-based learning tools that are free and accessible.

By educating willing learners, Science Alive hopes to instill a passion for and understanding of science into Nevada’s communities and beyond. This is all in the hopes that our lessons are passed along, and a broader impact is generated to solve the conundrums of our time.

We appreciate your company on this journey, and hope you’ll follow along through rain, snow, or shine. Next time on the Science Alive Blog, we’ll give you a more in-depth look at our online offerings! 

Engage with Science Alive’s NASA Inspired Content

Engage with Science Alive’s NASA Inspired Content

Science Alive has resources to help Nevada’s educators discover the wonders of space and engineering education. Inspired by NASA, all of these offerings are available to educators across the state for use in both formal and informal education.

A green suitcase filled with science experiment materials sits open on a rock with the landscape of Mars in the background.

NASA STEM Kits – Uniquely designed to support formal and informal use, each kit includes step-by-step lesson plans, all necessary materials for 150 participants and can be completed in one sitting or expanded into longer lessons. Current topics cover the phenomena of gravity, the electromagnetic spectrum and engineering and design. Reserve a NASA STEM Kit for use in your classroom by clicking here.


Astrobiology Green Box for 3rd Grade – Explore life on other planets through this unit of hands-on astrobiology lessons. Students will directly engage with space science and learn about the existence of life in extreme environments. Available for check out here.


NASA Virtual Reality Experience – Science Alive outreach staff members will bring a virtual reality (VR) assisted lesson directly into the classroom. Content covers space science and engineering and is provided by the NASA Commercial Crew Program. Interested in a visit? Contact our outreach team at


Nevada Robotics – Robotics are vital to a successful NASA mission! Get your school involved with robotics and robotics competitions through the Nevada Robotics program. Teacher trainings are held throughout the year to support new and veteran robotics coaches and their teams. Learn more by contacting 



Nevada Gold Mines donates $100,000 to DRI’s Nevada Robotics State-wide Teaching Training Program

Nevada Gold Mines donates $100,000 to DRI’s Nevada Robotics State-wide Teaching Training Program

Reno, Nev. (Feb. 27, 2020) – Robotics clubs and competitions have become popular in many Nevada middle and high schools in recent years, but opportunities for participation at the elementary school level have so far been limited. This is set to change, thanks to a new grant from Nevada Gold Mines to the Nevada Robotics program, led by the Desert Research Institute (DRI).

The $100,000 grant will support elementary school teacher participation in two upcoming sessions of the 2020 Summer Robotics Academy of Nevada, an annual 4-day training that is co-sponsored by Tesla.

“We’re thrilled to be able to expand our robotics programming to Nevada’s elementary school teachers this year, with this support from Nevada Gold Mines,” said A.J. Long, head of the Nevada Robotics program at DRI. “Introducing students to the fun and challenge of robotics at an early age will help us immensely in strengthening the STEM workforce pipeline across the state.”

The Nevada Robotics program, launched in 2019, introduces Nevada teachers to the engineering and robotics concepts needed to build and operate automated and remote-controlled robots with groups of students. Last summer, with support from Tesla’s K-12 Education Investment Fund, DRI partnered with the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) to offer free training courses in robotics to more than 200 middle and high school teachers from across the state. Four additional trainings in the fall brought the total number of trained teachers to just over 400.

teachers operate robots at 2019 Robotics Academy of Nevada

The Nevada Robotics program introduces Nevada teachers to the engineering and robotics concepts needed to build and operate automated and remote-controlled robots.

Following the robotics workshops, teachers are prepared to develop competitive robotics teams at their schools. In the past year, with support from Tesla and Nevada Gold Mines, the number of competitive robotics teams in Nevada has increased by 43 percent, now totaling 672 teams and reaching more than 6,000 students. This spring, for the first time, Vex IQ robotics teams from five schools in Las Vegas, Henderson, and Ely have qualified for the VEX IQ Challenge Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Robotics is an amazing way to spark a lifelong interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), teamwork, and creative problem solving for students of all ages,” said Long. “Since launching last year, we’ve seen a huge amount of interest in robotics from teachers, students, and schools across the state.”

The 2020 Summer Robotics Academy of Nevada, open to elementary, middle and high school teachers, will be held in Las Vegas on May 26-29, 2020  at Cimarron-Memorial High School, and in Reno on June 16-19, 2020 at Damonte Ranch High School. The first three days of each training are designed for teachers who are new to robotics; the fourth day will be open to participants of all coaching and teaching levels.

Nevada teachers can attend the Summer Robotics Academy at no cost. Rookie coaches are eligible for travel and accommodation stipends as well as and continuing education credits. Following completion of the training, teachers who agree to start a new robotics team at their school are eligible for a free robotics kit, thanks to program sponsors, Tesla and Nevada Gold Mines.

With this grant, Nevada Gold Mines joins Tesla as a founding partner in Nevada Robotics. Melissa Schultz from Nevada Gold Mines will serve on the program’s advisory council, along with representatives from UNR, the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), the REC Foundation, PBS Reno, Clark County Schools, UNLV, Washoe County School District, FIRST Nevada, and Tesla.

For more information about the Nevada Robotics program, please visit:

For teachers who are interested in attending the summer Robotics Academy of Nevada Teacher Trainings, please visit: Registration opens March 2nd, 2020.


The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied interdisciplinary research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe. Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge, supported Nevada’s diversifying economy, provided science-based educational opportunities, and informed policy makers, business leaders, and community members. With campuses in Reno and Las Vegas, DRI is one of eight institutions in the Nevada System of Higher Education.

People-powered research: Citizen science makes microplastics discovery at Lake Tahoe possible

People-powered research: Citizen science makes microplastics discovery at Lake Tahoe possible

Take a moment to picture a scientist who has made a groundbreaking discovery. What does that person look like?

Perhaps it’s a person in a white coat standing in a lab with microscopes and test tubes, or a distinguished professor accepting an award on stage.

What if we told you that you could have pictured yourself?

In citizen science projects, community members like you utilize their curiosity, enthusiasm, and talents alongside professional scientists in real-world research projects. They act as the eyes, ears, or an extra set of hands for scientists, helping to extend the spatial reach of a study or adding important perspectives that scientists cannot provide themselves.

That’s precisely what Lake Tahoe locals did this summer to help DRI scientists identify microplastic pollution in the Lake for the first time ever.

DRI microplastics researchers sample water from the shore of Lake Tahoe in spring 2019.

DRI microplastics researchers sample water from the shore of Lake Tahoe in spring 2019.


Why citizen science?
In fall of 2018, Desert Research Institute scientists Monica Arienzo, Zoe Harrold, and Meghan Collins were formulating a project to search for microplastic pollution in the surface waters of Lake Tahoe and in stormwater runoff into the lake. But the team was not satisfied in seeking to identify the presence of microplastic alone—they also wanted to make connections with community members in Tahoe.

“By involving citizen scientists in understanding the problem of microplastics,” explained Arienzo, “we can naturally connect the community to evidence-based solutions to reduce the microplastic problem.”

To recruit citizen scientists, DRI partnered with the League to Save Lake Tahoe, which runs the Pipe Keepers program. Pipe Keepers volunteers throughout the Tahoe Basin collect water samples from stormwater outfalls into Lake Tahoe and monitor for stormwater pollution.

These outfalls, which drain water from roadways, parking lots and neighborhoods into the lake, are a significant source of fine sediment pollution in Lake Tahoe, which threatens the clarity of Tahoe’s famous blue waters. They’re also a potential culprit of microplastic pollution since plastic litter, tires, and other sources can break down into smaller pieces and be swept away with the stormwater.

“Our citizen science programs are a great way to get locals and visitors directly engaged in protecting the Lake,” said Emily Frey, the League’s Citizen Science Program Coordinator. “We’re really excited to contribute to this groundbreaking research.”

Over the course of the 2019 field season, volunteer Pipe Keepers collected 24 liters of water from six sampling sites. Arienzo, Harrold, and Collins also pumped water samples from several places along the Lake’s shoreline surface waters for the study.

In both the stormwater samples and the surface water samples, a large portion of the microplastics found were small fibers, which can come from the breakdown of synthetic clothing. The stormwater represents a point-source of this microplastic pollution, which, in theory, could be mitigated in the future.

Meghan Collins in the Microplastics Lab at DRI's Reno campus, holding a sample collected by a Pipe Keeper. Credit: Cat Allison/Nevada Momentum.

Meghan Collins in the Microplastics Lab at DRI’s Reno campus, holding a sample collected by a Pipe Keeper. Credit: Cat Allison/Nevada Momentum.

Broad benefits
Beyond providing important data for research projects, citizen science also has the power to engage communities in scientific inquiry and inspire care for the places where we live and play.

Laura Schlim has been a volunteer with the Pipe Keepers program for three years, and she worked with the DRI team to collect samples for the microplastics project. The best thing about citizen science for her? It’s fun!

“I’m naturally interested in why things work a certain way,” explained Schlim, a certified California naturalist. “It’s fun to be part of something where I can contribute to the greater body of knowledge while also enjoying the natural world.”

Vesper Rodriguez, a Pipe Keeper since 2018, echoed this sentiment.

“I volunteer because I like to be outside and I have a lot of fun with the projects. Volunteering for the League’s Stewardship Days and their Pipe Keepers program in particular, which allows volunteers to monitor stormwater infrastructure, is really fulfilling,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a rewarding feeling to contribute to the community and the land that I live on.”

Since community members have been vested in the research from the start, the DRI team is optimistic that the findings of their work will be able to go far beyond the lab and begin to solve the microplastic pollution problem in Lake Tahoe.

“A core mission of the DRI team is to generate evidence-based solutions to microplastics in our water, by identifying sources that could be mitigated or finding techniques to better prevent microplastic generation in the first place,” said Collins. “Building a community of citizen scientists creates a strong network of engaged individuals who care and can implement these solutions as they are developed.”

DRI microplastics researchers (beginning top row, from center) Zoe Harrold, Meghan Collins, and Monica Arienzo pose with the Pipe Keeper volunteers on the project. Credit: League to Save Lake Tahoe.

DRI microplastics researchers (beginning top row, from center) Zoe Harrold, Meghan Collins, and Monica Arienzo pose with the Pipe Keeper volunteers on the project. Credit: League to Save Lake Tahoe.

The study on microplastics is one of many active citizen science projects led by DRI and the League to Save Lake Tahoe. DRI also leads Stories in the Snow and Tahoe: Rain or Snow?, projects related to weather and climate in the Sierra Nevada. In addition to the Pipe Keepers program, the League also runs Eyes on the Lake, which helps monitor and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive plants.

Interested in joining the team of citizen scientists in the Sierra Nevada and around Lake Tahoe? Download the Citizen Science Tahoe app to get started.

In addition to volunteering your time to this project, you can also financially support this research effort at the team’s crowdfunding page.