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Desert Research Institute

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied environmental 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 serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education. DRI’s faculty members are nontenured and responsible for their own salaries through external grants and contracts. Through this blend of academic rigor and private-sector pragmatism, DRI has earned a reputation for delivering high-quality scientific information in an efficient, transparent, and accountable fashion. 

DRI’s research calls on the expertise and methods of scientists from multiple scientific disciplines. More than 400 highly-skilled scientists, engineers, technicians, students, and staff work collaboratively within and across four research divisions, focused on understanding and answering critical science questions about global climate change, wildfire, water quality and availability, air quality, the sustainability of desert lands, life in extreme environments, education, and more. 


Climate Ecosystems Fire Applications (CEFA)

The Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications (CEFA) program provides products and information related to climate, weather, fire and natural resources nationwide and internationally. Collaborating with numerous federal, state and international wildland fire and land management agencies, CEFA provides data, information and decision-support tools for planning and policy.

Climate Engine

Climate Engine is a free web application powered by Google Earth Engine that can be used to create on-demand maps and charts from publicly available satellite and climate data using a standard web browser. Climate Engine provides access to a variety of geospatial datasets that track vegetation, snow, and water across the planet, as well as climate datasets that track temperature, precipitation and winds. Datasets are stored and processed in the cloud, eliminating the need for users to download, store, and process large data files on their computers.

Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC)

The Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC) in Reno, Nevada, delivers high-quality climate data services at national, regional and state levels working with NOAA partners in the National Climatic Data Center, National Weather Service, the American Association of State Climatologists, and NOAA Research Institutes. This successful effort resulted in jointly developed products, services, and capabilities that enhance the delivery of climate information to the American public, and builds a solid foundation for a National Climate Service. Inaugurated in 1986, WRCC is one of six regional climate centers in the United States.

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