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

June 16, 2021
Prolonged drought continues to take its toll on Lake Mead, the reservoir for the Southwest.
June 15, 2021
Lake Meade is the reservoir which was created by the Hoover Dam. It gives 25 million people access to water and on June 9, it was measured at 1,071.57 feet above sea level. That was its lowest level...ever.
June 14, 2021
During the past 20 years, the amount of territory in the West considered to be suffering from exceptional drought has never gone higher than 11 percent until now. Today, that number is sitting at 27 percent.
June 11, 2021
Lake Mead’s water level reached a historic low late Wednesday, according to federal officials.

Articles Featuring Kristen Averyt

students dance outdoors on UNLV's campus
Campus News | May 11, 2021
A collection of news stories highlighting remembrance, recovery, and progress at UNLV.
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.