Assistant Research Professor (Environmental Engineer)

Desert Research Institute (DRI)

Las Vegas, NV, United States 🇺🇸

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 [email protected].

Job Description

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) Division of Hydrologic Sciences seeks a highly qualified candidate with strong expertise in environmental engineering and hydrologic sciences. Desired candidates will have 3+ years of experience investigating the impacts of wildfires on the ecology and hydrology of mountainous watersheds.  Candidates should also have experience conducting water-balances for sensitive watersheds and have experience with statistical analysis of hydrologic data and experience running hydrologic models. Research will consist of a combination of fieldwork, remote sensing, and statistical and numerical analysis to achieve research objectives. Study results will be published in technical reports and peer reviewed publications.  The candidate will also support critical aspects of ongoing hydrologic research conducted by fellow principal investigators within the division.

DRI’s faculty members are untenured, entrepreneurial and responsible for their own salaries from external grants and contracts. This blend of academic rigor and private-sector pragmatism has earned DRI a reputation for delivering rapid, high-quality environmental science in a businesslike fashion. The position is 100% research and the successful candidate will be expected to develop an externally funded research program based on their own research interests. The successful candidate will be encouraged to collaborate broadly with DRI’s faculty and external colleagues. The successful candidate may, depending upon opportunity and inclination, have the ability to teach and advise students at Nevada State College and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in environmental engineering or a related discipline with emphasis in hydrology.

  • Two year minimum post-graduate experience in environmental engineering and hydrologic research.

  • Demonstrated experience conducting basic and applied hydrologic research focused on mountainous fire-impacted watersheds

  • Demonstrated experience planning and executing complex field campaigns designed to collect hydrologic data in remote areas.

  • Demonstrated experience with analyzing remotely sensed data sets

  • Experience with physically-based numerical models and computer programming.

  • Able to communicate effectively (oral and written).

  • Demonstrated ability to conceive, implement, and publish original research.

  • Demonstrated accomplishment in acquiring funding for independent research.

  • Exhibited ability to work collaboratively with others in an interdisciplinary environment.

  • Strong quantitative skills demonstrated by publications.

  • Proficient in presenting research results at professional meetings.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with the following types of software: programming languages, geographic information systems, statistical packages, and hydrologic modeling packages.

  • Experience with assessing and implementing sustainable and/or adaptive management practices.

  • Past experience teaching graduate level courses.

  • Ability to obtain PE within the state of Nevada.

  • Knowledgeable of applicable Federal, state, and local environmental laws and policies pertaining to this position.

Conditions of Employment

  • Must be willing to travel for field projects;

  • Able to work in remote locations; and

  • Ability to conduct physically strenuous fieldwork including: lifting, digging and walking long distances and other activities in rough terrain and in inclement weather.


DRI’s starting salary is competitive and commensurate with education, experience, and aligns with similar public academic research institutions. DRI provides excellent benefits that include:

  • Health insurance options that include dental, vision, life, and long-term disability;

  • 15.25% tax-deferred retirement contribution with matching by DRI;

  • Thirty (30) days of sick leave provided upon start date and two (2) days of sick leave accrued per full month after the first year of service, two (2) days of annual leave accrued each full month, 11 paid holidays;

  • Tuition reduction at NSHE institutions for employee and dependents;

  • No state income tax and no Social Security deduction;

  • Relocation assistance.



Full-Time Equivalent 


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 DRI role

  • A current curriculum vita

  • Contact information for three professional references, to be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant permission

This posting is open until filled.  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, DRI faculty, and research projects and publications, please visit us at For questions regarding this position or assistance with your application, please call the recruiting office at 702-862-5548.

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is an equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. DRI employs only U.S. citizens and persons lawfully authorized to work in the United States.

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.