Kristen Averyt

Research Professor, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
Expertise: Climate Resilience, Sustainability, Urban Resilience


Kristen Averyt is a research professor at UNLV focusing on climate resilience and urban sustainability. Additionally, she serves as the Nevada State Climate Policy Coordinator. Prior to joining UNLV, Averyt served as president of the Desert Research Institute.

Averyt has a long record working on different facets of the climate issue, particularly connecting science with public policy and decision making. She served as a lead author on the 2014 US National Climate Assessment, and she was one of many scientists who shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

In recent years, Averyt’s work has focused on the energy-water nexus, climate and western water issues including the Colorado River, and most recently, urban resilience and sustainability. In 2018 she was named one of Northern Nevada Business Weekly’s Top 10 Innovators of the Year and a Top 10 Woman of Exemplary Achievement. 

Averyt is currently a Senior Policy Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and engages in several other service activities, including as a member of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Advocacy for the Science Community Board and as an appointee to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Board. 


  • Ph.D., Geological & Environmental Sciences, Stanford University
  • M.Sc, Chemistry, University of Otago
  • B.S., University of Miami

Kristen Averyt In The News

December 6, 2021
Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that Kristen Averyt joined his administration as the state’s first senior climate adviser.
November 12, 2021
Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a new position in his administration this week: Senior Climate Advisor Kristen Averyt, who was acting as the state’s climate policy coordinator in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, will serve in the position.
November 10, 2021
Today, Governor Steve Sisolak announced Dr. Kristen Averyt will be joining his administration as the State’s first Senior Climate Advisor.
November 9, 2021
Dr. Kristen Averyt, who shared in a 2007 Nobel Prize on climate change and led the Desert Research Institute, will serve as Nevada’s first senior climate advisor.

Articles Featuring Kristen Averyt

Campus News | November 4, 2021
A collection of news stories featuring stargazing and change at UNLV.
Campus News | October 7, 2021
A collection of news stories featuring collaboration and reflection at UNLV.
Campus News | September 7, 2021
A collection of news stories highlighting community and perseverance at UNLV.
UNLV nursing student in red shirt reviewing slide sample with peer
Campus News | August 4, 2021
A collection of news stories highlighting research, health, and community at UNLV.