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. 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

Northern Nevada Business Weekly
December 9, 2020
The goal is clear: To reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050.
Reno Gazette-Journal
December 7, 2020
A clean truck program that would require commercial trucks in Nevada run on electricity or hydrogen fuel cells.
December 7, 2020
Earlier this week, Nevada released its State Climate Strategy plan.
The Nevada Independent
December 3, 2020
On Tuesday evening, the state released a comprehensive strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. It’s a big deal, marking a year-long effort among state agencies to develop a coordinated pathway for moving toward defined emission-reduction benchmarks.

Articles Featuring Kristen Averyt

Professor Ashkan Salamat in his lab at UNLV
Research | December 29, 2020
A yearlong collection of UNLV faculty making the news for their discoveries and contributions to the community.
UNLV professor Matthew Lachniet works in his lab on campus.
People | December 27, 2019
A collection of stories highlighting UNLV faculty and students who made the news in 2019.
People preparing to cut ribbon on new Fertitta Complex
Campus News | November 1, 2019
A collection of local, national, and international news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.