Markus Berli

Dr. Markus Berli’s research interests focus on modeling and measurement of soil structural dynamics affecting fluid flow and solute transport. Key issues are the connection of hydraulics and mechanics of soils at the micro-scale and upscaling physical soil behavior from pore to sample- and eventually field-scale.

Further areas of interest are: New methods for in-situ characterization of soil hydraulic and mechanical properties; improved characterization of soil pore geometry using X-ray-Micro-Tomography and pore water flow employing Neutron-Tomography; improved methods to assess and predict soil deterioration due to mechanical impacts.

His vision is that micro-scale coupling of soil hydraulics and mechanics with chemical and microbial processes will provide a conceptual framework for an improved understanding of fluid flow, contaminant fate and transport in the vadose zone, to sustain soil productivity and to secure water resources of sufficient quality and quantity world-wide.

Adrian Harpold

Dr. Adrian Harpold’s interests are in quantifying catchment and basin scale water and solute budgets and the linkages between hydrology, hydrochemistry, geomorphology, and ecology in montane forested systems. Mountain ecosystems are the major water source and carbon sink in western North America and subject to ongoing changes in climate and disturbance. Improved ecohydrological process understanding has the potential to improve local to global-scale water resource management in the 21st century.

My research program utilizes existing observation networks and new field observations to improve the ecohydrological process underpinnings of Earth systems models. My diverse interests and background has led to investigations of runoff generation mechanisms via hydrological tracers and models, as well as the partitioning of water to its various stores and fluxes. I am particularly interested in better linking the hydrological sub-disciplines of catchment and snow hydrology to improve our predictions of headwater catchment response to environmental change.

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.

Peter Weisberg

Dr. Weisberg is interested in the causes and consequences of landscape change, including natural disturbances, effects of anthropogenic land use, ungulate-landscape interactions, and invasive species.  His research often considers past landscape change as a guide to understanding present and future condition, and integrates field studies, GIS, remote sensing and simulation modeling.  Ongoing research projects within his lab group address disturbance ecology, woodland expansion, post-fire succession, and ecological restoration in Great Basin pinyon-juniper woodlands; fire history and ecology of mountain big sagebrush communities; fire ecology of the Sierra Nevada (Lake Tahoe Basin); and the ecology of tamarisk invasions along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon.

Sudeep Chandra

Dr. Sudeep Chandra is an Associate Professor, Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno.  His laboratory conducts limnological studies related to the restoration or conservation of aquatic ecosystems. His projects include recovering native species, managing nonnative species, understanding the affects of land use change (mining, urbanization, etc) on water quality, and developing natural resource management & conservation plans for the world’s largest, freshwater fishes. We recognize that science is critical in developing longer-term, sustainable public policy.

Franco Biondi

Prof. Franco Biondi received a Laurea (Italian Doctorate) in forestry from the Università di Firenze in 1985, and a Ph.D. in watershed management and geosciences from the University of Arizona, Tucson in 1994. He is now a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is also the DendroLab Director, and a member of three interdisciplinary graduate programs: Environmental Sciences, Hydrologic Sciences, and Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology.

Together with his students and colleagues, he has conducted research projects in North America and Italy. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation (including a CAREER award in 2002-2008 and an EAGER award in 2012-2014), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Geographic Society.

John “Jay” Arnone

My research focuses primarily on understanding the effects of global environmental change (a.k.a. “climate change”) on the functioning and structure of terrestrial ecosystems, and deciphering the underlying ecological mechanisms driving the responses. This includes the study of how rising atmospheric CO2, changes in ambient temperature, interannual climate variability (e.g. anomalously warm years or heat waves), reductions in biological diversity, and large periodic disturbances (e.g. wildfire) affect plant physiological processes, plant growth and survival, plant populations and plant communities, as well as ecosystem processes and feedbacks. Although my interests in ecology are broad, I am particularly keen on understanding how belowground processes are impacted by changing ambient environmental conditions (e.g. fine root dynamics, activity of soil fauna, soil hydrology and root biology). I attempt to bridge traditional ecological disciplines and seek out collaboration with scientists from other disciplines to address these wider-ranging ecological questions.

My research group and I also apply our expertise to directly address real-world environmental questions and challenges for clients such as the U.S. Department of the Interior, Southern Nevada Water Authority, Sempra Energy, American Vanadium, Washoe County Air Quality Management, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the Gas Technology Institute.

Laurel Saito

Fresh drinking water means everything to all people. Laurel Saito, director of the graduate hydrologic sciences program, is ensuring that an entire generation of scientists and educators will be working to make sure that the world’s water supply remains clean and available.

She is one of the prime forces in the country’s only undergraduate ecohydrology major. Saito’s own research focuses on novel interdisciplinary water modeling approaches on water quality.

She’s collaborated with the U.S. Geological Survey and has helped link successful cooperation on water quality issues across western U.S. interstate watersheds.

Marjorie Matocq

Projects in her lab focus on studying patterns of geographic population genetic structure and the processes underlying such patterns. Because the current geographic distribution of genetic diversity is determined by a complex interplay of ecology, demography, and population history, the studies are performed at various spatial and temporal scales. To study the processes underlying patterns of genetic diversity and subdivision, we combine modern molecular genetic techniques with morphological and field studies.

Dr. Matocq’s research program is focused on a number of ecological and evolutionary questions at the interface of intra- and interspecific processes. Her research program is heavily collections-based and integrates traditional field and morphological data with molecular and genomic methods to elucidate pattern and process at several spatial and temporal scales. The majority of her work continues to focus on members of the Neotoma fuscipes species complex.

Mark Walker

Dr. Walker’s research supports exposure assessment as a part of risk assessment associated with human health protection. I have conducted studies of exposure and potential for exposure to: Arsenic in private water supplies; E. coli, as an indicator of fecal contamination in water; Leptospira, as a result of changes in land use in Hawaii; and Cryptosporidium.  His extension work provides technical support and information through: Water supply operators throughout Nevada; using an innovative partnership and distance learning technologies; Web sites that help interpret water quality and have served as models for at least two national efforts; Peer-reviewed fact sheets and special publications and newsletters; and small grants programs for Extension Educators.