Assistant/Associate/Full Research Professor, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences

Desert Research Institute (DRI)

Reno, NV, USA 🇺🇸

Las Vegas, NV, USA 🇺🇸

Thank you for your interest in employment with the Desert Research Institute.  We want your  application process to go smoothly and quickly.  We ask that you keep in mind the following when completing your application:

  • Once you start the application process you cannot save your work. Please ensure you have all required attachment(s) available to complete your application before you begin the process.
  • Required attachments are listed below on the posting. Your application will not be considered without the required attachments.
  • Please see the application instructions under each posting for information on submittal deadlines.

If you need assistance or have questions regarding the application process, contact Human Resources Hotline at (775) 673-7431 or

Job Description

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is accepting applications for an Assistant/Associate/Full Research Professor in Earth and Ecosystem Sciences (DEES). The specific area of specialization is open; however, the select candidate must demonstrate the ability to collaborate with one or more of the existing research groups in DEES: Environmental Health, Soil Physics and Landscape Geomorphology, Microbiology, Ecology, Life in Extreme Environments, Biodiversity, Archeology and Architectural History, Spatial Analysis and Remote Sensing, and STEM Education. Applicants whose research focuses on biotechnology related to health, climate change, energy, food security, or agriculture are also encouraged to apply. After reviewing existing research expertise in DEES, the incumbent should highlight in the cover letter how their research program would not only complement, but also expand the research portfolio of the division. This position can be located at DRI’s Reno or Las Vegas Campus.

Although the incumbent will be housed in DEES, they will also have the opportunity to work with colleagues in the Division of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) and the Division of Hydrological Sciences (DHS). A combination of technical and interpersonal communication skills is required. Experience conducting research using a variety of approaches (e.g., models, data mining, fieldwork), and experience working with the public, and state and federal agencies are preferred, but not required.

Links of interest: Integrated Terrain Analysis Program (ITAP); Cultural Resources Management (CRM); Center for Genomic Medicine (CGM); Native Waters on Arid Lands (Link); STEM education Program (Link); Ecologically Controlled Enclosed Lysimeter Laboratories (EcoCells); Geomicrobiology Laboratory (Link); Molecular Microbial Ecology and Genomics Laboratory (Link); Spatial Analysis (Link); DRI Luminescence Research Laboratory (DRILL); DRI news (Newsroom); Desert Research Institute Google Scholar (Link)

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. from an accredited institution in appropriate field (e.g., geography, environmental science, ecology, environmental health, earth sciences…) – All But Dissertation (ABD) applicants will be considered as long the Ph.D. degree is completed by the time employment starts.
  • Demonstrated ability to publish in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Strong potential to secure external research funding.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Strong record of publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Strong record of obtaining competitive federal funding (e.g., DOE, NASA, EPA, etc.).
  • Experiencing managing a research project.

Conditions of Employment

Ability to travel for fieldwork, meetings, conferences, and workshops.

Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally, and all other sedentary criteria are met.


Minimum starting salaries are $79,647 for the Assistant Professor level, $102,047 for the Associate Professor level, and $124,448 for the Full Professor level, and is commensurate with experience and education. Early career Scientific Staff receive compensation support and start up packages as they develop their independent research portfolios.

DRI offers a benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, and life insurance; including 15.50% retirement match, 24 annual leave days, beginning balance of 30 sick leave days, 11 paid holidays, educational benefits, and the choice of three health insurance plans that can be supplemented with flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts. Additionally, there is no state income tax and no social security deduction. This position is eligible for relocation assistance.

Organizational Summary

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied environmental research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students who work alongside them, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe.

Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge on topics ranging from humans’ impact on the environment to the environment’s impact on humans. DRI’s impactful science and inspiring solutions support Nevada’s diverse economy, provide science-based educational opportunities, and inform policymakers, business leaders, and community members.

With campuses in Las Vegas and Reno, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Exempt Yes

Full-Time Equivalent 100.0%

Required Attachment(s)

Please upload the following documents in the specified section:

  • A cover letter detailing how your experience and professional qualifications prepare you to succeed in this role at DRI.
  • A current curriculum vita.
  • Contact information for three professional references who will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant permission.

Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply immediately and provide all required attachments to receive full consideration. Lists of eligible candidates will be established and hiring may occur early in the recruiting process. Recruitment will close without notice when a sufficient number of applications are received, or a hiring decision has been made.

For more detailed information about DRI and DRI faculty, research projects, and publications, please visit us at For questions regarding this position or assistance with your application, please call the recruiting office at 775-674-7114.

Posting Close Date

Note to Applicant

Applicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience with specific reference to each of the minimum and preferred qualifications. The search committee will use this information during the initial review of application materials.  

References will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant notification and permission.

Newly hired faculty and postdoctoral fellows must assure that their official transcript is submitted to the Human Resources Office within 30 calendar days from the effective date of employment.  Academic degrees must have been awarded by regionally accredited institutions.

This position may require a criminal background check to be conducted on the candidate(s) selected for hire.

As part of the hiring process, applicants for positions in the Nevada System of Higher Education may be required to demonstrate the ability to perform job-related tasks.

DRI employs only U.S. citizens and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. DRI only sponsors aliens applying for research faculty or postdoctoral fellow positions (J-1 or H-1B Visas).

All applicants hired by the Desert Research Institute are subject to E-Verify.





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