Kristen Averyt

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


Kristen Averyt is a research professor at UNLV focusing on climate change. She currently serves as Senior Climate Advisor in the Office of the Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, where she leads climate planning and policy development for the state.

Averyt has a long record working on different facets of the climate issue including U.S. western water resources, the energy-water nexus, and climate resilience and adaptation. She worked in the US Senate as a NOAA Knauss Fellow and at the National Academies of Science as a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow. She was a lead author on the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment, and as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group I Support Unit, she was one of many scientists who shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Averyt earned her master's degree as a Fulbright Fellow in New Zealand, but, of her honors, she is most proud of the Girls Scouts of the Sierra Nevada Award for Environmental Leadership. 

Averyt was recently elected to the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Council, is a Senior Policy Fellow of the AMS, and engages in many other service and board activities. She previously served as president of the Desert Research Institute and held positions at the University of Colorado Boulder as the associate director for science at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. She was also director of the Western Water Assessment, a NOAA program focused on regional climate issues including drought and the Colorado River.


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

Kristen Averyt In The News

Las Vegas Sun
May 9, 2022
When UNLV senior Elia Del Carmen Solano-Patricio looked out the window of her Airbnb in Irvine, Calif., she saw flames rising in the nearby mountains and scorch marks on the ground. A wildfire was approaching the apartment, where she had moved from Las Vegas during the pandemic to be closer to family.
March 21, 2022
A new United Nations report paints a grim picture of what could happen if the world doesn’t address climate change very soon. We’ll look at what that means for Southern Nevada. Plus, Nevada’s water supply depends on snowpack in the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas. This year’s snowpack is not looking great. What does that mean for the drought? 
Las Vegas Review Journal
February 25, 2022
Rep. Susie Lee on Friday touted a provision of the infrastructure law passed last year that will bring millions of dollars worth of electric vehicle charging stations to Nevada.
The Nevada Independent
January 27, 2022
Extreme heat is not new to Nevada, but it is getting more pronounced.

Articles Featuring Kristen Averyt

aerial of Colorado River
Research | May 10, 2022

Confronted in our desert backyard by the inescapable effects of a deteriorating environment, these UNLV researchers, professors, and activists are fighting to mitigate the effects of climate change on scientific, legal, and sociological fronts.

UNLV's first conference tournament championship—and automatic bid to the NCAA Championship—since winning the Big West in 1994. It will be the Lady Rebels first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002. March 9, 2022 (Josh Hawkins/UNLV)
Campus News | April 1, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and student changemakers at UNLV.

books inside the UNLV Bookstore
Campus News | February 10, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and events at UNLV.

Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine graduates line up to cross the commencement stage
Campus News | December 30, 2021

A collection of 2021 headlines highlighting medical school milestones, a steady stronghold on diversity and research rankings, student success, and media mentions featuring faculty experts.