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Biogeochemistry of Carbon and Nitrogen 

in Aquatic Environments

Dr. Richard L. Smith, Project Chief

Project Description

Project Staff


Project Facilities


Biogeochemical processes control the cycling and flux of carbon, nitrogen and energy in aquatic environments.  Our research project characterizes and quantifies processes mediated by microorganisms within the context of the in situ environment, delineating the physical, geochemical, and biological factors that dictate and determine the extent to which a process functions within a given set of conditions.  The project integrates field and laboratory studies to examine biogeochemical processes affecting C and N cycling, the interaction between these processes and their impact upon aqueous geochemistry.  We study both pristine and human-impacted environments and utilize a range of analytical, microbiological and tracer-based techniques in our approach.

Research Topics:


Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling in Groundwater

Nitrogen in Agriculturally Impacted Streams

Coal Bed Methane Discharge

Nitrate Remediation

Nitrogen Cycling in Acid-Impacted Streams

Bedrock and Terrestrial Nitrogen Cycling


Research Field Sites:

Map of continental United States taken from the National Atlas of the United States. YNP CO PRB IN MA