Desert Research Institute


Since 2016, Renown Health and the Desert Research Institute, or DRI, have been studying data from the genetic testing of 10,000 Northern Nevadans, as part of their Healthy Nevada Project. The goal is to learn more about health factors and risks for people across the region.

Over the next year or so, the project is going to grow significantly, as another 40,000 new participants are tested. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to Dr. Tony Slonim, the president of Renown Health, about the expansion.

Michelle Matus

Production and cultivation of marijuana are ramping up in Nevada, but development on a commercial scale comes with certain air quality challenges.

Reno Public Radio’s Noah visited a specialized greenhouse to learn more about the potential environmental impact of the cannabis industry.

Desert Research Institute

Gummi Bear, Tutti Fruitty, and Bubble Gum are just a few e-cigarette flavors. The Desert Research Institute recently discovered that they produce toxic chemicals during vaping. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray has the details.

Renown Health

Nevada will soon be home to a large-scale public health study focusing on personal genetic information. It's a combined-effort by Renown Health, the Desert Research Institute, and a genetic-testing company called 23andMe.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning to several western states including parts of California and southern Nevada. The higher temperatures also pose an extreme fire danger. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explores what the risks are in Northern Nevada.

Climate researcher Dan McEvoy is with the Desert Research Institute.

Expert: Wet Spring Could Yield More Wildfire Fuel

Apr 13, 2016
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

April showers could produce more fuel for wildfires this summer.

Spring is in full bloom in Northern Nevada, and that has some meteorologists concerned, like Gina McGuire of the Great Basin Coordination Center.

"The main caveat this year is going to be the spring growth with the wet conditions we've seen, a lot of precipitation in the winter and spring, and most likely a wet April and cool April ahead for most of Nevada and most of the great Basin."

Desert Research Insitute

The Desert Research Institute recently unveiled its new Wildland Fire Science Center, a concept that brings together scientists from various disciplines to combat wildfires. As wildfire season approaches, Reno Public Radio's Noah Glick chatted with the center's new director, Hans Moosmüller.

NG: This is not a physical, research center. So what is this?

Researchers Testing Cloud Seeding With Drones

Mar 16, 2016
Julia Ritchey

A month after researchers conducted a cloud-seeding test using unmanned aircraft, a Reno-based drone company is building the next generation. As Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports, the project hopes to bring cloud seeding into the 21st century.

Inside the shop at Drone America, design engineer Kyle Pruett is showing off their plans for a new unmanned, fixed-wing aircraft called the Savant.

Kevin Clifford / Drone America

The Desert Research Institute has successfully tested an unmanned drone flight that could help lessen the impact of drought. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick breaks down what that means.


Cloud seeding is a practice in which tiny amounts of ice crystals and chemicals are released into the atmosphere to promote more moisture and precipitation during storms. 

Adam Watts is with the DRI and led the project team, which equipped an unmanned aircraft with a cloud seeding payload. He says drones can be an effective supplement to traditional ground and aerial efforts.

Dr. Loretta Singletary

Spring is here, but winter once again never really visited the West. Drought is on everyone’s mind, and University of Nevada, Reno research related to the region's water and its users has gained important funding.