About


Public Lands Institute Logo, Early 2004


Public Lands Initiative Logo, 2004

The Public Lands Institute began as a university initiative in April 2004, when Dr. Margaret N. “Peg” Rees, then Associate Vice President for Research and Outreach, learned the federal land management agencies in Clark County needed to create new partnerships to implement projects funded by the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA) of 1998. In April 2005 the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents approved the Public Lands Institute. The Institute has been honored to participate in the delivery of many SNPLMA Conservation Initiative programs, which could not have been launched without all the outstanding participation of people in Southern Nevada, across the State, and within the nation, who believed in their significance.

Who We Are

First PLI logo
Public Lands Institute Logo, 2005

As a catalyst for collaboration and change, the Public Lands Institute is committed to developing effective solutions for public land management and stewardship that are essential for the protection, multiple use, sustainability, and management of public lands. The Institute works in collaboration with federal, state, and non-profit partners to create new knowledge, advance technology, improve education, and engage the community. New demands across the nation are to increase the diversity of children and adults that may come to be engaged in public lands. Potentially they will be a highly educated, diverse workforce for tomorrow that is committed to management and stewardship of public lands. The Institute believes that the rewards of this cooperation – effort in support of public land management and an enduring respect for our nation’s natural and cultural resources – will be evident in the future, a future to which it is committed.

What We Do


Public Lands Institute Logo, 2007

Our academic and administrative faculty and staff provide academic knowledge along with research expertise and real-world experience in the specialty areas of environmental education and interpretation, research and support services, geographic information systems/database management, volunteer and event management, and community outreach and marketing. To meet the demands of diversity, we are committed to increasing the diversity of students and faculty in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) and engaging them in public lands.

How We Do It


Public Lands word mark, 2013
  • Produce high-quality products, including publications, management plans, standard operating procedures, and educational materials;
  • Coordinate interdisciplinary research and education;
  • Facilitate partnerships that are based on honesty, reliability, respect, effectiveness, and efficiency;
  • Respond to partners’ needs and provide timely practical solutions;
  • Participate in the dynamic and all-encompassing process of assessment, reflection, and improvement;
  • Serve as an advocate for education, literacy, and informed decision-making;
  • Focus on increasing the diversity of women and people of color in STEAM participation, education, and research, and;
  • Encourage a greater diversity of people to participate in outdoor activities, both formal and informal, in the U.S. or around the world.