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

New vaccine for cattle protects against fetal calf loss from EBA – anatomy of a vaccine development

College's 28-year collaboration with U.C. Davis sets stage for USDA approval of conditional vaccine license

Mike Wolterbeek

cattle grazing in fieldOur Experiment Station's Main Station Field Lab on the east end of Reno is home to 520 cattle that can be used by faculty for research.

A new vaccine just approved by the USDA in September promises to turn the tide against Epizootic Bovine Abortion, also known as the foothill abortion disease, that has caused devastating losses in range cattle exceeding $10 million annually in California, Oregon and Nevada.

The vaccine, developed through extensive research at the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of California, Davis, was commercialized by Hygieia Biological Laboratories of Woodland, California, and is now available to the cattle industry. This license marks a pivotal advancement in decreasing those substantial calf losses and comes as the result of decades of work by generations of scientists and cattle producers.

"It was really neat to see the pieces come together over the years as a result of all the effort that was put into this project," Mike Teglas, a partner in the project and a professor and veterinarian in our College, said. "I have a definite sense of satisfaction that I was able to play a role in the development of this vaccine."

Providing solid solutions to real-world problems

"Mike’s untiring work over the long-haul, and the work of his predecessors, makes us all proud. Especially impressive is the team’s work to commercially produce this after the big companies shunned it for years. It’s research such as this that we all strive to achieve, completing our land-grant loop of research, education and outreach with a solid solution to a real-world problem." -College Dean Bill Payne


Communities learn ways to reduce wildfire threat at virtual summit

Extension presents Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities Summit

Tiffany Kozsan

Smoke from the 2018 Hogan FireThe Hogan Fire burned over 10,000 acres in 2018. The Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities Summit will present ways to prepare communities for wildfire risk. Photo courtesy of Nevada Bureau of Land Management.

Extension’s Living With Fire Program presents the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities Summit. This year’s theme is "Creating the Toolbox for a Fire Adapted Nevada." The summit, presented via Zoom in partnership with Nevada Division of Forestry’s Fire Adapted Communities, will take place 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Dec. 3.

"During the virtual summit, we will be giving people tools to better adapt their communities to survive a wildfire," Christina Restaino, Living With Fire Program director, said. "The workshops are designed to give community leaders, concerned public and agency professionals guidance on how to increase fire adaptation."

Highlights of the summit include opening remarks by U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and keynote speaker Jack Cohen, a research physical scientist retired from the U.S. Forest Service Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory. Cohen, who has done extensive research on how structures ignite in extreme wildfire behavior, will present "Framing the Problem of Community Destruction During Extreme Wildfires."

Helping Nevadans protect themselves and their homes

"Wildfire is a part of our everyday life now, it seems. Nevadans, like others around the world, need to be proactive to help protect themselves and their homes." -Program Director Christina Restaino


4-H partners with Bill Nye to introduce students to science

Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program provides free "Mars Base Camp" science experiment kits for Nevada families

National 4-H Council

Youth working together to code a digital Mars rover that moves and talksYouth from Extension, Washoe County's 4-H Fall Break Camp work together to code a digital Mars rover as part of the Mars Base Camp 4-H STEM Challenge activity Insight from Mars.

This fall, youth from across our state and the country will apply their knowledge, creativity and innovation in learning about STEM topics during the 13th annual 4-H STEM Challenge. Formerly known as 4-H National Youth Science Day, this year’s STEM Challenge, Mars Base Camp, will explore the theme of sending humans on a mission to Mars.

As young people, parents and educators continue to look for new and creative ways to stay engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 4-H STEM Challenge has adapted to ensure that young people everywhere, regardless of internet connectivity or family resources, have access to STEM Challenge kits which include online and offline activities.

National 4-H Council President Jennifer Sirangelo said, "For more than a decade, we’ve engaged young people in STEM opportunities through our 4-H STEM Challenge initiative because early exposure and access can lead to a brighter future. Today, our efforts are even more important due to the continued impact of the pandemic, digital divide and widening opportunity gap affecting young people."

To kick off this year’s 4-H STEM Challenge, Bill Nye, popularly known as the Science Guy and the CEO of The Planetary Society, will serve as the 4-H STEM Challenge Ambassador, encouraging millions of young people across the U.S. to explore STEM and hands-on learning opportunities, no matter the circumstances they face.

"I’m working to get people, especially students, excited about science and engineering. Science is how we have come to know nature. It’s how we’ve built the amazing technology we have today, and it’s how we feed 7.7 billion people," Nye said. "This year’s STEM Challenge will expose young people to fundamental ideas in science in hopes of encouraging a lifetime of exploration. I’m delighted to partner with 4-H and inspire the next generation of STEM leaders and decision-makers who will ultimately shape our future."

Extension's Nevada 4-H Director Carrie Stark said, "If your family is interested in completing the National 4-H STEM Challenge, contact your local Extension office for a kit. We also have videos about each component of the experiment that you can follow along with."

Growing leadership, citizenship and life skills

4-H is a community of young people across America. 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.


University researcher develops science writing course

Ecosystem ecologist's new offering helps graduate students earn funding, improve careers through writing

Ashley Andrews

Joanna Blaszczak smiling with a river running in the backgroundJoanna Blaszczak's new graduate-level course on science writing debuts in spring.

To be successful, scientists must be good writers. They must craft pleas for grant dollars that enable them to do science. They must design reports that are not only an accurate accounting of but are also a moving story on what scientific work was accomplished with the money and why that science matters. Researchers must also author articles for journals and other outlets, through which they can reach other researchers, current and future funders and employers, and the public whose lives their research hopes to improve.

If a scientist cannot do this, his or her success is automatically limited.  Assistant Professor in our College Joanna Blaszczak developed a new course to help ensure our graduates' success is unlimited. The new offering, called science writing, debuts in spring. The three-credit class will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., and use the required text Writing Science: How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. To enroll, students should select in MyNevada NRES 701C, section 1005.

Growing successful scientists and science writers

"Science writing is a graduate-level course focused on learning and honing the skills needed to become an effective scientific writer, with an emphasis on writing manuscripts and proposals for scientific audiences. We will practice writing while working on our own manuscripts and research proposals, and practice critiquing both our own writing and that of our peers." -Assistant Professor Joanna Blaszczak


Nutrition professor, graduates share tips for healthier holidays

Jamie Benedict's programs foster healthy Nevada communities

Ashley Andrews

Jamie Benedict is a professor of nutrition and the chair of the Department of Nutrition. Benedict helps people learn how to lead healthier lives, and also how they can help others lead healthier lives. Her Rethink Your Drink, Nevada Program works to reduce sugar intake among children. The for-credit classes she teaches foster nutrition knowledge in our University's students, and develops nutrition scientists and experts. The dietetic internship program she leads provides hands-on learning opportunities for the next generation of Registered Dieticians. And, her research provides science-based ways to build healthier schools and communities, and thriving health care professionals. To help Nevadans have a healthier holiday season, Benedict's graduates and Rethink Your Drink Program experts have answers to common questions on drink choices, recipes, tips and more.

Fostering healthy Nevada communities

"There is a stage in a child's life when parents have more control over what their children are consuming. This creates an opportunity for parents to have a positive influence that can provide health benefits for their children long into the future." -Professor Jamie Benedict

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 our 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