Sierra Nevada College

Sierra Nevada CollegeSierra Nevada College (SNC) is a small liberal arts college located in Incline Village, Nevada on the northeast shore of Lake Tahoe.  Several years ago, the institution began building a new campus on 20 acres of forest land in the heart of Incline Village. This new campus provides dormitory facilities, classrooms, and the state-of-the-art Prim Library and Learning Resource Center for a current undergraduate population of 320 students. Major academic programs include Business Management, Computer Science, Environmental Sciences, Fine Arts, Humanities and Psychology. The institution is also a pioneer in cross-disciplinary studies that include Entrepreneurship and Entertainment Technology.

UC Davis, TERC

University of California at DavisThe University of California at Davis has conducted research at Lake Tahoe for the past 45 years, commencing with the pioneering work of Dr. Charles Goldman.  Most of the current policies of conserving and improving the water quality of Lake Tahoe are based on its extensive research and analysis.  In 2003, UC Davis completed a fund-raising drive for the construction of a critically needed new laboratory for the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC).  However, the university was faced with substantial challenges in finding a location at the lake for a facility.

In 2004, representatives of Sierra Nevada College approached the administration at UC Davis with a proposal that they join in an interstate, cross-institution partnership and locate their new laboratories in a 45,000 square-foot science facility to be built on the SNC campus. After considerable negotiations involving both institutions and the University Of California Board Of Regents, a Memorandum of Understanding was approved.  This memorandum provided for UC Davis to become an equity member in the facility to be known as the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences.  It also stipulated that university personnel would utilize approximately 40% of the facility for TERC’s laboratories and offices and for the Thomas J. Long Foundation Education Center.

Desert Research Institute

Desert Research InstituteThe Desert Research Institute (DRI) is the nonprofit research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), which is overseen by Chancellor Jim Rogers and a 13-member Board of Regents. DRI is a unique blending of academia and entrepreneurship. From our desert home in Nevada, DRI employs more than 500 faculty, support staff, and students who are engaged in a research enterprise generating approximately $45 million in total annual revenue. At any give time, DRI is engaged in about 300 scientific research projects from our main research campuses in Las Vegas (Southern Nevada Science Park) and Reno (Dandini Research Park), with subsidiary campuses in Boulder City, Nevada and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. DRI's environmental research programs are directed from three core divisions (Atmospheric Sciences, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, and Hydrologic Sciences) and three interdisciplinary centers (Center for Arid Lands Environmental Management, the Center for Watersheds and Environmental Sustainability, and the Frank H. Rogers Center for Environmental Remediation and Monitoring (CERM)). Grounded in fundamental research, we provide our sponsors and clients with innovative solutions to pressing environmental problems as we balance the need to develop resources while protecting and sustaining the environment. For the people of Nevada, our commitment is the application of our scientific understanding to the effective management of all the State's natural resources while meeting needs for economic diversification and science-based educational opportunities.

University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada, RenoAs Nevada's flagship land-grant institution, the University of Nevada, Reno has been instrumental in the history of the nation's fastest-growing state. When the University opened in 1874 as the University Preparatory School in Elko, it was located 300 miles east of the state's Virginia City-Carson City-Reno population base. State officials relocated the university to Reno in 1885, and its first year of formal college-level study was in 1887. Until 1957, the University of Nevada served as the only state-supported higher-education institution in the Silver State.

One of the top 150 research universities in the country, Nevada enrolled 16,336 students in fall 2005. The University's two Reno campuses are in northwestern Nevada, just 15 minutes from the California border. Nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills, the University is 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe and four hours from the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Academy for the Environment, established in 2004, is an interdisciplinary institute at the University of Nevada, Reno, whose mission is to develop, enhance and coordinate environmental teaching, research and service at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The objectives of the Academy are to:

  • develop innovative courses and provide cross-college connections between various departments and disciplines related to the environment;
  • support the development of interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate degree programs in environmental studies;
  • link the environmental programs of sciences/engineering with those in the arts/humanities;
  • enhance and expand research/scholarship opportunities for environmental faculty;
  • conduct public outreach activities on the environment in collaboration with other programs;
  • raise the environmental awareness of the campus; and
  • promote environmentally-related programs at the university.

Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization

The Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (NIREC) transforms clean energy ideas into sustainable businesses. With a focus on renewable energy, energy conservation, and energy efficiency, NIREC launches early-stage companies centered on the commercialization and widespread deployment of clean energy solutions.

Innovation and commercialization of new energy technologies are vital to a sustainable economy. NIREC, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, integrates researchers, experienced entrepreneurs, business executives, corporations, foundations, and sources of capital to build sustainable businesses by providing:

  • Technology Validation Funding
  • Venture Assistance
  • Strategic Collaborations

NIREC is hosted by Sierra Nevada College at Lake Tahoe and is located in the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences (TCES) building. TCES is a collaborative partnership between public and private institutions of higher education from two states, where students, faculty, programs, and research converge. From funding opportunities to business growth mentoring to participation in business coursework and educational presentations, NIREC exposes students to real-world entrepreneurship and business development activities.

For more information about NIREC, visit