Nexus in Nevada Logo

2016 Solar Energy-Water-Environment Nexus in Nevada Annual Meeting

March 13 – 15, 2016

University of Nevada, Reno – 1664 N. Virginia Street

Joe Crowley Student Union – Milt Glick Ballroom

UNR Joe CrowleyWelcome

The Annual Solar Energy-Water-Environment Nexus in Nevada Annual Meeting will be held at the University of Nevada, Reno, March 13-15, 2016 in the Joe Crowley Student Union Building.

The Annual Meeting will include oral presentations featuring research results of Nevada’s National Science Foundation-funded Solar Nexus project.  Additionally, the meeting will host a Graduate Student Retreat on Sunday, March 13th and a student poster session on March 14th.  The objective of this meeting is to share Nexus research findings and outcomes, stimulate collaborations and discussions and plan for upcoming activities.


Attendees will include all individuals interested in learning about the latest in solar energy-water-environment science and education in Nevada, including NSF EPSCoR project team members and leaders; NSHE VPRs, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and administrators; Nevada stakeholders; members of the External Advisory Committee (EAC), and members of Nevada’s State EPSCoR Advisory Board.  All Nexus project faculty, technicians, and graduate students are expected to attend.

Travel Information

For travel funding information contact the Co-PI at your institution.  Please plan to attend the full 1.75 days of sessions (2.75 days for graduate students), which include complimentary breakfast and lunch.

March 13th   Full day graduate student retreat

March 14th   All Nexus Participants full day meeting with poster session/reception

March 15th   All Nexus Participants meeting adjourns at 2:00 pm

Google Site:

March 13, 2016

Joe Crowley Student Union, Great Room

08:30 am – 09:00 am

09:00 am – 05:00 pm


Graduate Student Retreat Breakfast

Graduate Student Retreat – Organizers:  M. Casella (NSHE) and J. Ewing-Taylor (UNR)  Facilitator:  Dr. Mel Minarik (UNR)

March 14, 2016 (all events this day are plenary)  (All Nexus participants and EAC)

Joe Crowley Student Union, Milt Glick Ballroom

09:00 am – 09:30 am Breakfast
09:15 am – 09:30 am Welcome/Introductory Remarks
Research Presentations

Presenting author is underlined; letters and numbers following each title indicate the project Goal (G), Objective (O) and Benchmark (B)

09:30 am – 09:45 am R. Boehm, Y. Chen, K. Kekaula, and R. Hurt (Center for Energy Research, UNLV) – Improving the effectiveness of dry cooling for condensing steam. (G1,O1,B1)
09:45 am – 10:00 am E. Yfantis, K. Moutafis, E. Zamora, and M. Ramose (UNLV) – Using remote sensing to detect particle deposition on panels and mirrors. (G1,O1,B5)
10:00 am – 10:15 am D. Devitt and L. Apodaca (UNLV) – Microclimate change of desert plant communities. (G1,O2,B1)
10:15 am – 10:30 am M. Berli (DRI) – Impacts of solar arrays on the water balance of soils.  (G1,O2,B2)
10:30 am – 10:45 am H. Stephen and M. Edalat (UNLV) – Remote sensing of the effects of solar energy installations on land cover and surface temperature. (G1,O2,B5)
10:45 am – 11:00 am Break
Research Presentations Continued
11:00 am – 11:15 am Y. Baghzouz, (UNLV), M. Etezadi-Amoli, H. Lavani, S. Fadali (UNR) – Microgrid – A test bed for future smart grids with distributed generation. (G1,O4,B1)
11:15 am – 11:30 am E. Wilcox, J. Mejia, Y. Shan, and M. Giordano (DRI) – Solar irradiance forecasting. (G1,O4,B2)
11:30 am – 11:45 am T. Harris (UNR) – Economic analysis of solar/renewal energy projects. (G1,O4,B3)
11:45 am – 12:00 pm Y. Jiang, M. Yang, X. Ma, and Z. Fu (UNLV) – Enabling data-driven research with cloud computing. (G1,O5,B3.b)
12:00 pm – 12:15 pm M. Gunes and M. Yuksel (UNR) – Enhancement of cyber security and privacy mechanisms for the power grid. (G1,O5,B3.d)
12:15 pm – 01:30 pm 1)     Lunch

2)     SmartStart makes 15 min presentation on evaluation during lunch

01:30 pm – 01:50 pm Diversity Spotlight: M. Casella (NSHE) – Application Writing Workshops for students applying to the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) (G2,O1,B2)
01:50 pm – 02:10 pm Education Spotlight: N. LaTourrette (UNR) – “STEMBOPS” Bilingual Online Peer Sessions (G3,O6,B1)
02:10 pm – 02:30 pm External Engagement Spotlight: C. Tomchuk (VEA) and M. Berli (DRI) – Protecting the Mohave Desert Tortoise: Valley Electric Association’s Community Solar Project (G4,O1,B1-3)
02:30 pm – 03:00 pm Break
03:00 pm – 04:00 pm Nevada Research Data Center demo and tutorial
04:00 pm – 05:30 pm Graduate Student Poster Session
05:30 pm Day 2 Adjourns

1)     NEXUS attendees: Dinner on own

2)     EAC Meets in Whitney Peak Hotel

March 15, 2016  (All Nexus Participants and EAC)

Joe Crowley Student Union, Milt Glick Ballroom

07:30 am – 08:00 am Breakfast
08:00 am – 09:30 am 1)     NEXUS Speed Networking (Plenary)

2)     EAC develops recommendations – Room 317

09:30 am – 10:00 am 1)     Leadership meets with EAC to answer any questions – Room 317

2)     Break for all other attendees

10:00 am – 11:30 pm 1)     Proposal and Publication brainstorming (Plenary)

2)     EAC continues developing recommendations – Room 317

11:30 am – 12:00 pm EAC reports out recommendations to all participants
12:00 pm – 02:00 pm Working Lunch (box lunches)

1)     Component Teams Meet – Year 4 planning

Research – Milt Glick Ballroom

Cyberinfrastructure – Room 320

Workforce Development – Great Room

2)     EAC departures

02:00 pm Meeting adjourned; Departures

2015 Poster Session Collage half size

Graduate Student Poster Presentation

All graduate students participating in research funded by the National Science Foundation and the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR) Solar Energy, Water & the Environment Nexus in Nevada project are strongly encouraged to attend the annual meeting and provide a research poster presentation. A poster session and reception will be held on March 14th so that students may share their research with other project members and the External Advisory Committee.

Abstracts Due:  Monday, February 29, 2016 to


Monday, March 14, 2016


Poster Setup: 8:00am

Annual Meeting: 9:00am-4:00pm

Poster Presentation: 4:00pm-5:30pm

Poster Break Down: 5:30pm


Milt Glick Ballroom C
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557

Poster Format and Abstract Guidelines


All posters should be 36” X 48” and should include the information below. Students should bring their posters with them on March 14th and take then down after the reception. Wall space and materials will be provided in order for students to display their posters.

 Title: Include a banner frame clearly stating the title of the poster, your name, your mentor(s) name, institution, and department. Be sure to include the NSF logo and the logo of your institution.

Overview: Clearly articulate what you did, how you did it, why you did it, and what it contributes to your field and the larger field of human knowledge.

Introduction: Specify the main argument of your study, provide an overview of what you did, the evidence that supports that argument, and point out the significance and value of the research. Be succinct in this one-frame element.

Method: Illustrate how you conducted your project.

Results (If applicable): Indicate what your research has revealed.

Conclusion: Include an explanation of the ways the results satisfy the research objective. Illustrate how your findings impact scholars in your field and members of the broader intellectual community.


Full Support: “This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIA-1301726.”

Partial Support: “This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIA-1301726.”

Project incomplete?

If you have any preliminary results, use them as examples of the kind of results you hope to obtain. Discuss the significance of these results.

If you don’t have any preliminary results, you can focus on projected results: what do you think you might find when your results are complete?

Whether you have complete, partial, or only projected results, keep in mind that your explanation of those results—their significance—is more important than the raw results themselves.

Whitney Peak HotelWhitney Peak Hotel

255 S. Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89501

Lodging Reservations

A room block is available at the rate of $97/night until Thursday, February 11, 2016 Friday, February 19, 2016.  To make your reservation call 775-398-5400 and reference the group code “NEXUS0316“.

Airport Shuttle

The Whitney Peak Hotel offers a shuttle service to/from the airport for $10.00 per direction.  A 24-hour notice for all shuttle reservations is required.  Contact the valet department at 775-398-5473 or

Hotel Amenities

Complimentary parking in secured garage; complimentary high-speed wireless internet; fitness center; BASECAMP climbing wall; on-site dining at Heritage Restaurant, check-in time 3:00 pm and check-out time 11:00 am.

Free Shuttle Bus Service

Sunday – March 13, 2016
08:15 am Whitney Peak Hotel to UNR Student Union
04:15 pm UNR to Whitney Peak Hotel
Monday – March 14, 2016
08:45 am Whitney Peak Hotel to UNR Student Union
08:45 am Reno Airport to UNR Student Union (shuttle driver will have a “Nexus Project” sign waiting in front of bronze ski statue directly outside the terminal for Flight 2756 Arrival 8:15 am
05:00 pm UNR to Whitney Peak Hotel
05:45 pm UNR to Whitney Peak Hotel
Tuesday – March 15, 2016
07:00 am Hotel to UNR
07:30 am Hotel to UNR
12:00 noon UNR to Airport to Whitney Peak Hotel
02:00 pm UNR to Airport to Whitney Peak Hotel

Parking Near the UNR Student Union

Public visitor parking is on the top floor of the garages

Garage Parking – Day passes are available on top of the garage or from Parking Services

Metered Parking – Available at $1.50 per hour with a two hour limit

Meters are enforced Monday-Thursday 7:30 am to 8:00 pm and Friday 7:30 am to 5:00 pm

UNR Parking Map

Nexus Graduate Student Leadership participants hold arms up triumphantly on a hiking path.

Nexus Graduate Student Leadership and Professional Development Retreat

Sunday, March 13, 2016
TENTATIVE 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Joe Crowley Student Union, CSU Great Room
University of Nevada, Reno

This retreat promises to be both engaging and meaningful, enabling graduate students to interact effectively with their peers, mentors, and other professional colleagues. In addition, students will:

1) Improve professional and interpersonal communication skills

2) Increase teamwork and collaboration skills

3) Increase adaptability and problem solving skills

4) Improve skills in conflict resolution

5) Build general life skills to enhance personal wellbeing

All participants will be required to complete two assessments, Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Emotional Quotient (EQ) self-assessment prior to the retreat.  Results from the assessments will be used to identify areas of additional development, and to tailor classroom-based activities to address deficiencies and build capacity.  Registered participants will be contacted by workshop facilitators with more information and access to the surveys.

All Nexus graduate students are strongly recommended to participate in this retreat.  Students traveling should plan on arriving in Reno on Saturday, March 12 as the workshop will start early on Sunday.  Don’t delay!  Register today to participate in this wonderful opportunity!

Register Here

Dana 214x300Dr. Gayle Dana
NSF EPSCoR Project Director/Principal Investigator

Profile Image, Michele CasellaMichele Casella
Diversity Plan Lead
Education, Outreach & Diversity Administrator

Profile Image, Althea SheetsAlthea Sheets
Communications Specialist

Profile Image, Marcie JacksonMarcie Jackson
NSF Research Administrator

Profile Image, Robin GonzalesRobin Gonzales
NSF EPSCoR Program Coordinator