About our College

A founding college of the University, we have a long tradition of excellence in teaching, research and engagement programs that benefit the health and economic vitality of Nevada. We offer programs in:

  • agriculture, horticulture, rangeland & veterinary sciences
  • biochemistry & molecular biology
  • children, youth & families
  • community & economic development
  • health & nutrition
  • natural resources & environmental science

University-trained firefighter volunteers to help Australia

Rangeland Ecology and Management Program student and Bureau of Land Management Nevada firefighter Matt Petersen joins international taskforce

Ashley Andrews

Fire raging and smoke billowing along a populated Australia coastlinePhoto courtesy Bureau of Land Management Nevada.

"I am not surprised that Matt volunteered to help out with the wildland fires in Australia," Tamzen Stringham, a professor with the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, said. "He is a good-natured individual who is truly interested in the ecology and management of rangelands."

Petersen learned a lot about the subject as a student in the College's Rangeland Ecology & Management Program.

The University-taught program was developed by Stringham and fellow University ecologist Devon Snyder, with support from the College's Experiment Station. It helps Bureau of Land Management fire professionals to protect and restore Nevada lands.

Although the program is crafted for arid-land fire professionals, its information is helpful in a variety of situations.

For example, Stringham said the program "provided Matt with knowledge of fire effects on vegetation and soils, along with the knowledge that fires burn across a diversity of landscapes and rehabilitation is not a one size fits all proposition."

The educational program for Nevada, through Petersen's volunteerism, has now helped Australia too.

In Australia, Petersen worked with the large air tanker program

"They called us down to help ease the fire front as it's hitting thousands of people driving on the highway. So we were directing air tankers and showing them where to drop so people could get out of there and get out of being trapped in their vehicles." -Matt Petersen


Extension introduces economic development initiative across Nevada

Collaborative University project aims to improve county data for planning efforts

Tiffany Kozsan

Tom Harris presents on economic developmentTom Harris, with Extension and the University Center for Economic Development, presents on economic development. He and Buddy Borden, also with Extension, are leading an effort to collect data to help strengthen communities throughout Nevada. Photo by David Pritchett, Nevada Bureau of Land Management.

A collaborative statewide initiative, led by the University of Nevada, Reno Extension, is underway to provide counties with timely economic data and analytical tools to improve county-level planning and policy assessment efforts.

The Nevada Economic Assessment Project (also known as “NEAP”) aims to provide county, state and federal agencies, and their partners, with quantitative and qualitative baseline data and analyses to better understand trends in each county’s demographic, social, economic, fiscal and environmental characteristics.

The project is led by Buddy Borden and Tom Harris, who are both community economic development specialists with Extension. Harris is also director of the University Center for Economic Development.

The project is currently active in Elko, Esmeralda, Humboldt, Lincoln and Nye Counties, and will be launched in the other Nevada counties over the next 18 months. Each county process takes about five months and includes data collection and analysis, economic impact model development, asset mapping and county workshops, all based on local input.

The project’s contributing members include the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources; the College's Experiment Station; University Center for Economic Development;  Nevada Bureau of Land Management; U.S. Forest Service; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development; and the Nevada Association of Counties.

Locating reliable quantitative socioeconomic data has long been a challenge for many Nevada rural counties

“The overall goal of the Nevada Economic Assessment Project is to develop and maintain a comprehensive database and set of county analytical tools that are useful for Nevadans working on a variety of issues relating to economic development, community planning and impact assessments.” -Buddy Borden


Extension presents Youth Livestock Conference & Workshop

Interactive experience Feb 15. helps youth, adults learn how to care for animals

Ashley Andrews

4-H youth showing lambs at fairThe event's classroom and hands-on learning experiences will prepare youth for fair and ranch events. Photo by Lindsay Chichester.

University of Nevada, Reno Extension's White Pine County 4-H Youth Development Program is presenting its first annual Youth Livestock Conference & Workshop Feb. 15. The event will be held 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. at the Bristlecone Convention Center and White Pine County Fairgrounds in Ely, Nevada.

It will prepare youth for fair and ranch events by providing classroom instruction and hands-on learning in the areas of Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA), livestock nutrition and feeding, animal handling and showmanship, meat quality, and carcass grading. 

The event's workshops will be conducted by Amilton de Mello and Mozart Fonseca, with University of Nevada, Reno's College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural ResourcesJuan Carlos Cervantes, with the College's Extension; and Haden Davis, with Utah State University.

4-H youth and families are invited to attend. The event is also open to FFA youth and others, including adults.

The event cost is $65 and includes snacks, lunch and materials. Advanced registration is encouraged. To register, contact Alexandra Santaella.

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills

Members learn life skills, make new friends, enhance self-esteem, achieve personal goals, develop positive relationships with peers and volunteers, and have fun learning and sharing as a family and a club.


Cattlemen’s Update provides market, production and research updates for 2020

Educational programs held at seven locations across Nevada

Hannah Alfaro

Mozart Fonseca speaking to cattlemen from a lecturnMozart Fonseca, an associate professor in the Department of Agriculture, Veterinary & Rangeland Sciences, discussed the effects of cattle nutrition on epigenetics. Photo by Robert Moore.

University of Nevada, Reno held the annual Cattlemen’s Update across Nevada Jan. 6-10, 2020, focusing on cattle markets, cattle grazing, and upcoming and ongoing research projects that impact the Nevada beef industry. The event provided current research-based information about important management practices and issues that may affect the efficiency, productivity, profitability and sustainability of the state’s cattle production businesses.

The five-day event with seven locations across the state was a partnership led by the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, and its Extension and Experiment Station units. Other program partners included local sponsors and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency. Each day, the three- to four-hour program was held at a different location, where experts discussed pertinent topics with participants.

Nevada Rancher Magazine published an article about the event summarizing its key takeaways.

The good news of the event was delivered by Extension Educator Steve Foster

The 2020 cattle outlook is good, and it is expected that exports for beef, pork, chicken and turkey will all establish new all-time highs.


New molecular biologist researches insect communication at University

Marina MacLean joins the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources

Hannah Alfaro

Marina MacLeanMarina MacLean hopes to increase outreach and interest in biochemistry fields. Photo by Robert Moore.

Marina MacLean has joined the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources as a lecturer for molecular biology labs in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

MacLean has a background in investigating how insects communicate with each other, with her most recent research focusing on collecting and presenting information that could lead to new ways to manage pine bark beetles, which are extremely destructive forest pests. She is investigating insect lipid metabolism, which is how insects turn their food into energy and cells. Specifically, she’s studying the enzymes involved in creating an oil that covers the insect’s skin and acts as a communication signal.

In 2018, MacLean presented her work at the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America Conference and published her work in Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In 2019, she completed her doctorate degree in biochemistry at the University. In addition to her research, MacLean has taught general chemistry at Sierra College and has supervised undergraduate and biotechnology students at the University.

“One of the best things about the University is the access students have to world-class research,” MacLean said. “As a student, I was grateful for the willingness of all the professors I had to help with experimental design and problem-solving. As a member of the teaching faculty in the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department, I am excited to pay that forward to my future students and help them gain confidence while conducting molecular biology research.”

As a lecturer with the University, MacLean aims to use her experience as a chemistry instructor and researcher to increase interest in science among college and high school students through outreach and curriculum development. She also wants to continue her research into insect biochemistry as part of the College’s Experiment Station.

“MacLean is an integral part of the department,” said Bob Ryan, department chair. “Along with her assigned duties as a lecturer, she manages the laboratory and has stepped in when we were short on instructors. She’s a terrific resource and overall great person to have in the department.”

MacLean will increase interest in science among students through outreach and teaching

“As a student, I was grateful for the willingness of all the professors I had to help with experimental design and problem-solving. As a member of the teaching faculty, I am excited to pay that forward to my students.” -Marina MacLean

Growing a stronger Nevada

Our programs work together to make an impact

Our teaching, research and engagement programs are intertwined and complement one another. Faculty who teach on campus also conduct research as part of the Experiment Station, allowing students to learn about and participate in research. Extension faculty engaging with communities identify research needs, as well as join Experiment Station faculty to conduct research. Faculty on campus help to develop Extension programs in communities.

Researching critical issues Experiment Station faculty conduct research at experiment stations, labs and research facilities across the state, as well as teach classes and share and conduct research with students. The state-federal partnership tackles issues affecting Nevada's citizens, communities and economy.
student researcher with plants in greenhouse
Teaching University students We offer 17 undergraduate and graduate degrees to prepare students for high-paying, in-demand careers in agriculture, rangeland & veterinary sciences; biochemistry & molecular biology; natural resources & environmental science; and nutrition.
students taking notes in the field
Engaging Nevada communities Extension is engaged in Nevada communities, presenting research-based knowledge to address critical community needs. The county-state-federal partnership provides practical education to people, businesses and communities, fulfilling the University's land-grant mission.
parents with children