Felipe Barrios Masias

My research program focuses on finding solutions to constraints in horticultural production of arid and semi-arid regions in the world. I take an integrative approach to sustainable production and prioritize needs of farmers and other stakeholders to find ways that our production systems are efficient in the use of resources and become more profitable. I am interested in plant functional traits and identifying genotype/cultivar trait associations that favor crop performance under particular environments and management practices (i.e., GxExM interaction). My goal is to conduct participatory research with an emphasis on applicable outcomes that improve the chances for success of horticultural production in arid regions such as Nevada.

John Cushman

John Cushman, a Foundation Professor and Director of the Biochemistry Graduate Program in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, joined the University of Nevada in Reno, Nevada in 2000. He earned a Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from Rutgers University. He was awarded an NSF postdoctoral fellowship in Plant Biology and conducted research at the University of Arizona on the induction of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) by environmental stress. He then moved to Oklahoman State University moving up through the academic ranks until moving to the University of Nevada. Professor Cushman’s research is focused on plant responses to abiotic stress with an emphasis on cold, salinity, drought responses and mechanisms of desiccation tolerance. More recently, his laboratory is seeking to exploit engineered tissue succulence and crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) to improve the water-use efficiency of potential feedstocks for expansion of food and biofuels production in marginal or abandoned agricultural lands. Until recently, he served as the biomass/biofuels group leader within the UNR Renewable Energy Center. He currently serves as an associate editor of The Plant Journal.

Thomas Harris

Dr. Thomas Harris is a Foundation Professor in the Department of Economics in the College of Business, has a research appointment in Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station in the College Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources; State Extension Specialists in Community and Economic Development in the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension; and the Director of the University Center for Economic Development at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Harris has been at UNR since 1981 and his primary areas of teaching, research and extension are rural economic development, economic impact modeling, and local government finance. Dr. Harris’ research covers the economic and fiscal impacts of changes in public land grazing policies and surface water reallocations. Tom was co-editor of a published book titled Targeted Regional Economic Development, and, recently, worked on the Stronger Economies Together Project covering the Western Nevada Development District.  Also Dr. Harris is a Fellow with the Western Rural Development Center.

Brenda Buck

Dr. Buck’s research focuses on medical geology – in particular how geological materials impact health. Currently, her work focuses on dust and hazards associated with dust exposure including those from asbestiform minerals, arsenic, and other carcinogens. She also performs research to better understand and quantify arid soil processes so that this knowledge can be applied in land use decisions, radionuclide and heavy metal contamination, biologic soil crusts, paleoclimate interpretations, landscape evolution, soil genesis, geomorphic hazards, and other applications.

Dale Devitt

Dr. Dale Devitt is a soil and water scientist who focuses his research on soil plant water relationships in arid environments. Much of his research has addressed osmotic and matric interactions on plants, with special emphasis on irrigated systems with poor quality water. He currently is the UNLV water component lead of the NSF EPSCoR climate change study in which two transects comprised of sophisticated weather stations are being placed on two mountain ranges in Nevada.  He is also the Director of the Center for Urban Water Conservation that conducts both applied and basic research related to urban water related issues. A current study is investigating the fate and transport of pharmaceuticals in turfgrass systems irrigated with recycled water.