Speaker Date Topic
Dr. Kumud Acharya Jan 31, 2022
Desert Research Institute
Desert Research Institute

Kumud Acharya, Ph.D. serves as ninth President of the Desert Research Institute (DRI), appointed by the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education on September 10, 2020.

From two state-of-the-art research campuses in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, Dr. Acharya leads over 400 scientists, engineers, and research support staff who rank among the top in the world in their specialties.

As a research professor in ecological engineering, Dr. Acharya has led pioneering work in Nevada to help local and state water managers address aquatic invasive species threatening both Lake Mead and Lake Tahoe. His 20-plus years of environmental study have blended both traditional research on the health of rivers, lakes and wetlands, with applied research to better understand the impact of climate change on aquatic ecosystems across Nevada and throughout the world.

Dr. Acharya began his career at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in 2006 as an assistant research professor in hydrology. During his tenure at DRI, he has secured over $18 million in external research grants and contracts and helped spearhead some of DRIs largest international collaborations focused on water quality and management in China, Nepal, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates and Thailand.

He previously served as the executive director of DRIs Division of Hydrologic Sciences; senior director of the Center for Environmental Remediation and Monitoring, director of the Nevada Water Resources Research Institute; and Chief Technology Advisor for WaterStart (a Nevada Knowledge Fund-supported venture focused on attracting water technology companies to Nevada).

Prior to joining DRI, Dr. Acharya served five years combined as a postdoctoral and endowed research fellow at Arizona State University and the University of Louisville. He has a bachelors degree in Civil Engineering, M.S. in Environmental Engineering, and Ph.D. in Biology and Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci Feb 07, 2022
New Dean of College of Public Health at Nevada

Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci is a professor and the Dean of School of Public Health at University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Akpinar-Elci has more than 20 years of experience in clinical practice and public health field research. After medical school, Dr. Akpinar-Elci completed her residency training in Pulmonology and fellowship in Occupational Medicine in Turkey. Dr. Akpinar-Elci received a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, LA. During her career Dr. Akpinar-Elci worked for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and she was also a director of World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Environmental and Occupational Health in Grenada. In her last position, she was an Associate Dean at College of Health Sciences and the Director of the Center for Global Health at Old Dominion University. Her research interest is climate change, vulnerable populations, global health and environmental/occupational respiratory diseases.

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