About My Work

Air pollution from human activity has led to the deposition of chemical elements over much of the northeastern United States. I am an environmental and forest ecosystem scientist who has studied air pollution effects in high-elevation forests in New England and New York for the last two decades. Colleagues and I have examined the cycling of elements such as carbon, nitrogen, calcium and lead as they move from the atmosphere through vegetation and soils and into streams. Understanding the legacy of lead pollution in forest soils has been a major focus of my work.

In a number of related projects, we have described the decline of montane red spruce and studied winter water relations and micrometeorology in montane coniferous forests. More recently, I have examined the relationship between individual choices and environmental impact including personal choices that influence energy consumption. This includes personal decisions about burning modern carbon (wood) versus fossil carbon (oil and natural gas).

Over the years, I have received funding from the National Science Foundation, the USDA Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and private foundations. I teach a number of environmental science and studies courses and served as founding chair of the College Board Advanced Placement Environmental Science Development Committee.