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

The Sierra Nevada Ally
August 21, 2020
During Tuesday’s online meeting of the interim Legislative Committee for the Review and Oversight of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Marlette Lake Water System, lawmakers heard several presentations regarding the role of science in state policy.
The Nevada Independent
August 21, 2020
In 2018, at a meeting in Las Vegas, the Nevada Division of Emergency Management presented its risk assessments for the state. What was most revealing was that many, if not the majority, of the threats were related to weather. Severe Heat. Wildfire. Floods. Earthquakes.
June 24, 2020
Officials say on Monday, Governor Steve Sisolak announced the Clean Cars Nevada initiative, which will evaluate the adoption of new regulations to provide Nevadans with more choices for low and zero emission electric passenger cars and trucks at dealerships throughout the state beginning in 2024.
My News 4
June 24, 2020
On Monday, Governor Steve Sisolak announced the "Clean Cars Nevada" initiative, which will push toward providing Nevadans with more choices for low and zero emission electric passenger cars and trucks at dealerships beginning 2024.

Articles Featuring Kristen Averyt

UNLV professor Matthew Lachniet works in his lab on campus.
PeopleDecember 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 NewsNovember 1, 2019
A collection of local, national, and international news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.