Meghan Collins Profile Photo
Meghan Collins
Assistant Research Scientist, Environmental Science

Meghan Collins joined DRI in June 2015. In her current position as Education Program Manager, she works to expand experiential learning and career-based STEM opportunities and translate the valuable results of DRI science to our communities.

As part of her science communication efforts, Meghan co-hosts the Science Distilled lecture series in collaboration with the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum. Meghan also leads citizen science programs including Tahoe Rain or Snow andStories in the Snow. She has also been involved as an educator/science communicator in a range of other programs, including Native Waters on Arid Lands and the new microplastics research program at DRI.

Meghan’s education and professional experience is interdisciplinary. Her undergraduate and Masters degrees are in environmental science, emphasizing science communication and policy. Her resume includes positions in ecology, policy, and the non-profit sector. She has taught environmental science as an adjunct faculty member in community colleges in the US and New Zealand.


Science communication, citizen science, education, STEM pipeline, workforce development, internships


Arienzo, M. M., Collins, M. J., Jennings, K. (2021). Enhancing Engagement of Citizen Scientists to Monitor Precipitation Phase, Frontiers in Earth Science, 9, 68
Lambrecht, K., Hatchett, B. J., Walsh, L., Collins, M. J., Tolby, Z. (2019). Improving Visual Communication of Weather Forecasts with Rhetoric, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0186.1
Collins, M. J. (2018). Evaluation of the Faculty-Faculty Research Partnership Program, Desert Research Institute: Reno, NV, DRI Publication No. 71001.
Collins, M. J. (2018). Evaluation of the Force of Water – Terminal Watersheds program, Grant Report submitted to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.
Conference Proceedings
Arienzo, M. M., Collins, M. J., Jennings, K. (2021). Tahoe Rain or Snow: Monitoring Precipitation Phase through Citizen Science, NV NASA Programs Statewide Virtual Meeting: Virtual, April 30, 2021
Collins, M. J., Arienzo, M. M., Jennings, K.

Arienzo, M. M., Collins, M. J., Davidson, J. M., Frey, E., Movius, M. (2020). Are clothes dryers a source of microplastics to the atmosphere?, AGU Fall Meeting: Online

Jennings, K., Arienzo, M. M., Collins, M. J.

Collins, M. J., McDonough, F., Juchtzer, J. W., Arienzo, M. M., Dean, J. (2019). Stories in the Snow: Crowd-Sourced Snow Crystal Images to Identify Tahoe Winter Cloud Structures, Annual Western Snow Conference: Reno, NV, April 16, 2019-April 18, 2019
Collins, M. J., Arienzo, M. M., Harrold, Z. R., Bradford, Z., Frey, E. (2019). Case Study on Developing a Citizen Science Protocol for Microplastics in Lake Tahoe, AGU Fall Meeting
Harrold, Z. R., Arienzo, M. M., Collins, M. J., Bai, X., Davidson, J. M. (2019). Introduction to High Volume Sampling: A novel method for sampling microplastics in diverse aqueous systems, AGU Fall Meeting
Collins, M. J. (2019). Native Waters on Arid Lands — Partnerships for Education and Actionable Science, Native American Fish and Wildlife Society Pacific Region Conference: Toppenish, WA, October 15, 2019-October 17, 2019, Hosted by Yakama Tribe
Ramsey, B. A., Collins, M. J., Lutz, A. D., McCarthy, M. I. (2017). The Use of Traditional Knowledge in Increasing Community Resilience and Food Security, Second Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition: Prior Lake, Minnesota, September 17, 2017-September 20, 2017
Collins, M. J. (2017). Two-World Walking in STEM: A Reflection and Listening Session, Native Waters on Arid Lands–Tribal Education Forum, November 12, 2017
Collins, M. J. (2017). Faculty-Faculty Research Partnerships, First Americans Land Grant Consortium Conference, November 5, 2017
Collins, M. J., Grebliunas, B., Jasoni, R. L. (2017). STEM research as a means to a different end: How can research partnerships at TCUs serve as a channel for career readiness and community capacity building?, American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Professional Research presentation, September 23, 2017
Collins, M. J., Arnone, J.A. III (2016). Broadening Access? K-12 Teacher Perceptions of Virtual Learning and a Pilot Virtual Lab Using Real Science Data from DRI’s EcoCell Facility, 101st Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America: Fort Lauderdale, FL, August 11, 2016
Collins, M. J. (2016). Ecology and Cyberlearning: Inherent Paradox or Rich with Potential?, 101st Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America: Fort Lauderdale, FL, August 11, 2016, Organizer of this oral session which featured ten speakers on the topic.
White, J., Collins, M. J. (2016). Disentangling Pedagogical Methods and Instructor Traits in Higher Education Geography Courses, Annual Meeting, Association of American Geographers: San Francisco, CA, March 29, 2016-April 2, 2016