Kirsten Averyt

President, Desert Research Institute

Kristen Averyt, Ph.D. serves as the eighth President of the Desert Research Institute – a recognized world leader in investigating the effects of natural and human-induced environmental change and advancing technologies aimed at assessing a changing planet.

An active member of the international science community and an accomplished environmental scientist, Dr. Averyt comes to ORI from the University of Colorado, Boulder where she served as the Associate Director for Science for the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), which is a joint institute between NOAA and the university.

Dr. Averyt completed her undergraduate degrees in marine science and chemistry at the University of Miami. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for study in New Zealand, so subsequent to graduation, she moved to the University of Otago. There, she studied the inorganic chemistry of New Zealand freshwater lakes, earning a Master of Science (with distinction) in chemistry in 1999.

Throughout her career, Dr. Averyt has received several awards and honors and she is very active in the science community on numerous boards and committees. She was a lead author on the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment and was recently named a lead author for the coming Fourth Assessment. She is a non-resident Senior Policy Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and engages regularly with stakeholders interested in bringing science to bear on societal issues from the local to national to international scales.

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