DRI is the nonprofit research campus of the University and Community College System of Nevada (UCCSN) and is involved in two graduate programs, both in cooperation with the University of Nevada-Reno
. Approximately 400 research faculty and support staff conduct more than $30 million in environmental research each year.
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. The environmental research programs are organized into three core divisions (Atmospheric Sciences, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, and Hydrologic Sciences) and two interdisciplinary centers (Center for Arid Lands Environmental Management and the Center for Watersheds and Environmental Sustainability).
The faculties of UNR and DRI share the Division of Atmospheric Sciences and the Hydrologic Sciences Program, using labs and classrooms at both campuses.