Desert Research Institute & Research Park

Desert Research Institute & Research Park

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) employs more than 500 faculty, support staff, and students who are engaged in environmental research generating approximately $50 million in total annual revenue. At any give time, DRI is engaged in about 300 scientific research projects supported by our three operating divisions and interdisciplinary centers: Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Division of Hydrologic Sciences, Division of Earth & Ecosystem Sciences, Center for Advanced Visualization, Computation and Modeling, Center for Arid Lands Environmental Management, Center for Watersheds and Environmental Sustainability, Center for Environmental Remediation & Monitoring. The mission of DRI Research Parks is to partner with businesses in the development and commercialization of advanced technology in Environmental Science, Life Science, Clean Technology, and Advanced Computing.

Company details

2215 Raggio Pkwy , Reno , Nevada 89511 USA
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Business Type:
Research institute
Industry Type:
University / Academia / Research
Market Focus:
Internationally (various countries)

The Dandini Research Park provides a unique opportunity for high technology business development in northern Nevada. Located on 470 acres just minutes from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, the park is operated by DRI Research Parks, Ltd. With panoramic views of Reno and the Sierra Nevada, the park provides an unmatched location for businesses to grow and flourish through partnerships with academic researchers in the development and commercialization of advanced environmental technology.

The Dandini Research Park contains more than 30 potential sites overlooking theTruckee Meadows, with stunning views of Reno and the Sierra Nevada. Architectural and landscape guidelines preserve the views and open-space character of the park.

More than $6 million in infrastructure improvements have been completed including power, water, and sewer utilities, as well as access roads. Fiber optic connections are available in the park.

The park is designed for exploring new frontiers of environmental research, with more than 300 highly trained and motivated scientists and technologists already employed in modern research, technology, and educational facilities.

With 328 total acres in a convenient location north of Interstate 80 and east of US-395 approximately six miles north of the Reno Tahoe International Airport, the Dandini Research Park’s prime amenity is its adjacency to the Desert Research Institute (DRI), Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC), and specialized facilities of the University of Nevada, Reno.

Location at the Dandini Research Park provides tenants with a unique competitive advantage of access to world-renowned environmental research faculty and other park tenants including National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Collaboration with DRI also provides tenants with a broad base of federal research funding sources, unique laboratories and facilities and a commitment to partner with companies in the sectors of Environmental Science, Clean Tech, Life Science, and Advanced Computing & Modeling.

DRI Research Parks is in the process of working with local developers to assess interest and formulate a development plan for a multi-tenant facility located in the research park. This building will be geared toward research, technology, and support companies that would benefit from a strategic working relationship with DRI and other members of the research park.

Tenants of the business center will have all of the amenities of a standard business/tech center development with the added value of DRI labs and faculty access.

There are are more than 40 specialized laboratories and facilities located on the DRI Campus adjacent to the Dandini Research Park. DRI research laboratories provide high quality services specializing in research and technology development by offering sampling, monitoring, analytical aspects, and data interpretation. Additionally, the University of Nevada supports the research park mission with a vast number of facilities located less than 2 miles from the park.

The members of the Division of Atmospheric Sciences conduct fundamental and applied research into both natural atmospheric processes and air quality issues of regional, national, and planetary interest. Research is accomplished through field and laboratory observation, theoretical and laboratory analysis, and computer modeling at many spatial and temporal scales. This work is conducted in response to the needs of public and private organizations for effective environmental management.

  • Aerosol Physics Laboratory
  • Aerosol Research Laboratory
  • Atmospheric Remote Sensing Laboratory
  • Carter Family Optics and Acoustics Laboratory
  • CEFA Operations and Forecast Facility
  • Digital Video and Still Photography Laboratory
  • Environmental Analysis Facility
  • Frits Went Laboratory
  • Hydrometeor Imaging Laboratory
  • Meteorology Calibration Laboratory
  • Microbial Ecology Laboratory
  • Molecular Microbial Ecology Laboratory
  • Organic Analytical Laboratory
  • Particulate Emissions Measurement Laboratory
  • Soil Characterization and Quaternary Pedology Laboratory
  • Soils Laboratory
  • Trace Chemistry Laboratory
  • Soil Physics Laboratory

For more and detailed information on our Atmospheric Science Facilities.

The mission of the Division of Hydrologic Sciences is to improve society's fundamental knowledge and understanding of hydrologic systems and to encourage more effective and efficient management of water resources. We affect our mission through multidisciplinary research and education with a support staff of graduate research assistants, technicians, computer and information processing specialists who assist the researchers with their projects. The Division's scientific interests involve the natural and human factors that influence the availability and quality of water resources and focus on the following research themes:

  • Regional Groundwater Hydrology and Hydraulics
  • Watershed Hydrology 
  • Surface and Subsurface Flow and Contaminant Transport 
  • Vadose Zone Hydrology 
  • Aquatic Biology / Chemistry 
  • Environmental Processes within Snow and Ice.


  • Analytical Chemistry Laboratory 'Water Lab'
  • Environmental Geochemistry Laboratory
  • Soils Laboratory
  • Spatial Analysis Facilities
  • Wellbore Logging Services 

For more and detailed information on our Hydrologic Science Facilities.

The Division of Earth & Ecosystem Sciences (DEES) is a remarkably diverse collection of scientists, with a range of research interests and expertise that challenges any simple categorization or single research focus. In broadest terms, DEES scientists all contribute to a greater understanding of the history and processes affecting landscapes, the earth's surface, and its living inhabitants.

  • Archaeobotany Laboratory
  • Archaeology
  • Atmosphere-Biosphere Interactions Laboratory
  • Curation Facility
  • Great Basin Environmental Research Laboratory
  • E.L. Cord Geochronology Laboratory
  • Environmental Microbiology Laboratory 
  • Frits Went Laboratory
  • Geomicrobiology Laboratory
  • Nevada Desert Research Center
  • Molecular Microbial Ecology
  • Paleoecology Laboratory
  • Soil Nutrient and Ecology
  • Soil Characterization and Quaternary Pedology
  • Systems Microbial Ecology Laboratory

For more and detailed information on our Earth and Ecosystem Science Facilities.

Center for Advanced Visualization, Computation and Modeling

The CAVCaM capabilities include the availability of state-of-the-art visualization and virtual reality tools and hardware. It also includes a team of researchers and programmers with expertise in visualization and virtual reality software and techniques.

Advanced Computing in Environmental Science (ACES)

ACES is well aligned with NSF programs in Information Technology Research (ITR) and Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI).

DRI Research Parks, Ltd. (DRIRP) is in the feasibility assessment stage for the development of a technology business incubator adjacent to the Dandini Research Park. We are testing the concept of a business incubator for technology and services firms that draws upon environmental science, life science, and information technology expertise at DRI and the University of Nevada, Reno. An important focus will be the incubation of firms providing environmental services to rural Nevada and other arid lands.

The goal of the DRI incubuator is to assist and accelerate the development of successful high technology startups in Northern Nevada by providing:

  • Executive management, financial planning, marketing & recruitment expertise
  • Asssistance & access to capital 
  • Furnished office space, infrastructure, and support services
  • Access to DRI & UNR facilities, laboratories, and faculty.

Researchers & Scientists

Entrepreneurs are needed to launch and build commercial enterprises arising out of new technology. The conundrum that exists is that many of these entrepreneurs are engrossed in continuing research and may not have the time or expertise to create a commercial enterprise based on their technologies.

DRI Research Parks is interested in helping these researchers and scientists bridge the gap between academia and commerce by conducting demand assessment and market analyses to validate the marketability of their technologies.

The goal is to further facilitate this type of commercial development by creating a company base on this technology through our strategic relationship with Research Ventures, Inc.

Applied Innovation Center FactsDownload the Applied Innovation Center FactsDRI’s Applied Innovation Center for Advanced Analytics (AIC) is an expert resource in digital technology applications available to individuals and organizations in the public or private sector. The AIC provides contract research and development services for innovation in applied data and computational analysis, helping translate scientific ideas into practical solutions.

Positioned just behind MIT, DRI ranks 23rd by the National Science Foundation in Federally funded research in the environmental sciences. Leveraged with the University of Nevada (ranked 33rd by NSF), the region ranks 12th nationally.

With more than 150 active projects worldwide and generating over $50 million in annual revenue, DRI’s non-tenured entrepreneurial faculty blend academic rigor and private-sector pragmatism earning DRI a reputation for delivering rapid,reliable, and quality research in a businesslike fashion.