Paul Buck

Dr. Buck is an anthropologist and educator. He has been involved in archaeological and anthropological projects in a wide variety of contexts in western North America and Egypt for almost 30 years. His research interests include:

• Prehistoric human adaptation to arid environments of western North America,
• the transition from food collecting to food producing economies in the Southwestern U.S. and Egypt,
• the impact of technological change on prehistoric cultures, and
• applications of remote sensing and geoarchaeology to prehistory.

In addition to his research efforts, Dr. Buck has been involved in a number of science education projects and other efforts to promote science inquiry in a variety of scientific fields, including archaeology. He was the Principal Investigator of the Shadow Ridge High School/Tule Springs Earth Science Education Project, funded by NSF to develop a new earth science honors course based on authentic research for 9th grade students (NSF award #0331249). He was the lead education consultant for development of the environmental education curriculum for 5th grade students at the Red Rock Desert Learning Center residential outdoor science school planned to open in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas. He directed the Nevada Science Teacher Enhancement Project, a three year in-service teacher enhancement project program funded by the National Science Foundation’s Teacher Enhancement Program (grant number ESI-9731285). Buck was Project Director for the NSHE’s K-12 education/outreach program as part of an NSHE $15 million 5 year EPScoR RTIII award.

Dr. Buck is also committed to involving a greater diversity of students in math and science. As Director of the Increasing Diversity in Science in Nevada program (a part of the NSHE’s previous NSF EPSCoR grant), he led after school science enrichment programs for middle school and high school students, prepared freshman minority students for college in the NSHE, and provided support for freshman students at UNR and UNLV.

Lynn Fenstermaker

Dr. Lynn Fenstermaker is the Project Director the Nevada Space Grant Consortium and NASA EPSCoR.  She has experience and interests in the use of remotely sensed data to map, monitor, and assess the effect of environmental stressors on vegetation at small and large scales. She has served as Director of two NSHE climate change experiments; the Nevada Desert FACE (Free Air CO2 Enrichment) Facility and the Mojave Global Change Facility and is currently Director of the NV Climate-ecohydrological Assessment Network (NevCAN). All three of these projects have been examining various aspects of climate change impacts on the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts. Some of her recent research on evapotranspiration has scaled leaf and canopy measurements to plant community and ecosytem levels using remotely sensed data from ground, UAV and satellite sources. Dr. Fenstermaker is the DRI liaison for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and has worked with the University of Nevada Las Vegas to develop a Class I UAS platform. This platform has been used for several years to acquire multispectral and color images of research plots to assess climate change treatment effects and basic plant cover information.

Hans Moosmuller

Dr. Moosmüller’s interests include experimental and theoretical research in optical spectroscopy as well as its applications to atmospheric, aerosol, and climate physics. His research focuses on development and application of real time, in situ measurement methods for aerosol light absorption, scattering, extinction, and asymmetry parameter, and new optical remote sensing techniques. These measurement methods are being used for ambient air monitoring and vehicle, fugitive dust, and biomass burning emission studies. His latest research interests are fast, ultra-sensitive measurements of elementary mercury concentrations and fluxes and aerosol morphology and its influence on aerosol optical properties with a focus on fractal-like chain aggregates found in combustion particles. Dr. Moosmüller has also participated in the planning, fieldwork, and data analysis of several major air quality studies. During his first three years at DRI, he was responsible for the airborne ozone lidar research program under a cooperative agreement with the USEPA.

Before joining DRI, Dr. Moosmüller was at Colorado State University where he investigated Brillouin light scattering of spin waves and millimeter-wave effective line widths in thin metal films. He also did research on high-spectral-resolution lidar and coherent light scattering techniques. This work included the development of supersonic flow measurement techniques and the investigations of spectral line shapes. His earlier work at the Ludwigs-Maximilians Universität in Munich, Germany and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany focused on laser remote sensing.

Trabia Mohamed

Overview of current research projects:

Optimization Algorithms and their Applications to Mechanical Engineering Design
Finite Element Analysis of Mechanical Components and Systems
Dynamic Analysis and Control of Mechanical Systems with Emphasis on Flexible Robots
Analysis and Design of Robots and Mechanisms
Biomedical applications of mechanical design
Characterization of biomaterials
Shock Transmission
Characterization of Material Properties under Impact Loading.
Fuzzy Logic Control Applications.

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.

Brian Hedlund

Dr. Brian Hedlund is a Professor in Life Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Hedlund’s research focuses on the microbiology and biogeochemistry of geothermal ecosystems, the genomic exploration of “microbial dark matter”, and the role of the intestinal microbiome in prevention of Clostridium difficile infection. Dr. Hedlund is editor for Antonie van Leeuwenhoek journal, a member of Bergey’s Manual Trust, and editor for Bergey’s Manual of Systematics of Archaea and Bacteria, the authoritative reference manual for microbial taxonomy.

Dale Etheridge

Dr. Etheridge is the Director of The Planetarium. He has been a member of the Science Faculty at CSN since 1976 (when the College was Clark County Community College). He has principle responsibility for the operation of The Planetarium.

Daniel Obrist

Dr. Obrist’s research interests include atmospheric chemistry, transport, and biogeochemistry of pollutants and quantification of surface exchange processes of atmospheric constituents between soils, plants, and the atmosphere. A special emphasis includes cycling of mercury in the environment and how global change and disturbances affect these processes. Current research projects include (i) systematic quantification of mercury loads in forest across the United States to assess atmospheric loadings sequestered in terrestrial systems; (ii) study of biogeochemical processes of mercury sequestered in soils and litter to assess it’s fate during organic carbon decomposition; (iii) assessment of long-range transport of atmospheric pollutants (e.g., Asian pollution events) and tropospheric oxidation of mercury at DRI’s high-elevation research Station, Storm Peak Laboratory in the Rocky Mountains; (iv) development of a novel real-time sensor based on Cavity-Ring-Down spectroscopy to measure atmospheric mercury concentrations; and (v) study of mercury depletion events in the halogen-rich atmosphere at the Dead Sea, Israel to determine oxidation pathways and kinetics for mercury oxidation in temperate areas. Other interests include effects of wildfires and global change (e.g., elevated CO2, increasing tropospheric ozone) on hydrology and carbon and nutrient cycling processes in terrestrial ecosystems.

Gannet Hallar

Dr. Hallar is an Assistant Research Professor with the Desert Research Institute, she directs Storm Peak Laboratory, a high elevation atmospheric science facility in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This laboratory has undergone major changes under her leadership including new instrumentation, new research foci, new field courses, and a significant building expansion. Currently, at Storm Peak Laboratory, Dr. Hallar also work as adjunct faculty for the University of Nevada, Reno and teaches a graduate level field course in Mountain Meteorology.

The overarching theme of Dr. Hallar’s research is using high quality measurements of trace gases, aerosol physical and chemical properties, and cloud microphysics to understand connections between the biosphere, atmosphere, and climate, along with the impact of anthropogenic emissions on these connections. More specifically, currently her research uses high elevation sites, combined with airborne measurements, to study the formation processes of Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) and Ice Nuclei (IN) and how differing formation processes impact mixed-phase cloud microphysics. This research topic is stemmed in many potential formation mechanisms of aerosols, including nucleation, secondary organic aerosols, and primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP’s).