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Desert Research Institute


Professional Summary
Currently, Dr. Wells is President of the Desert Research Institute (DRI), an autonomous nonprofit division of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), reporting to the NSHE Chancellor and ultimately to the Board of Regents. The President is the chief executive officer of an approximately $31 million per year not-for-profit organization that conducts unique and highly specialized scientific research in the State of Nevada and throughout the world. DRI is one of the world's largest multidisciplinary environmental research organizations with approximately 400 scientists, technologists, and other support staff. The President oversees two state-of-the-art facilities in both Las Vegas and Reno where activities are directed from three core research divisions (Atmospheric Sciences, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, and Hydrologic Sciences) and three interdisciplinary centers (Arid Lands Environmental Management, Frank H. Rogers Center for Environmental Remediation and Monitoring, and Watersheds and Environmental Sustainability). One of DRI's principal missions is the effective utilization of research to support economic and technological development in Nevada. As part of this mission, Dr. Wells is responsible for development of the Dandini Research Park. In addition, Dr. Wells works with the Board of Trustees of the DRI Research Foundation to promote the mission and vision of DRI.

Primary Research Interests
Geomorphology and Quaternary geology of arid and semiarid regions in the southwestern United States; geomorphic and hydrologic responses to Quaternary climate change; landscape evolution in tectonically active areas and volcanic regions; application of geomorphology to land management, hazardous waste disposal, and natural hazards. Dr. Wells has authored and coauthored approximately 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and edited six volumes in these scientific areas.


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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated:February 2006
Students Contact: Loretta Hidalgo
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe