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.

Scott Mensing

Dr. Mensing is a biogeographer and paleoecologist. He has extensive experience reconstructing Quaternary environments in the Great Basin and California . His primary research tools are pollen and charcoal analysis and he maintains the department palynology laboratory. He also has experience with tree ring analysis and woodrat middens. He enjoys field work and is always anxious to explore new corners in the intermountain west.