Gregory Lawrence


I have worked in the USGS New York Water Science Center since 1990 studying the effects of acid deposition on forest and aquatic ecosystems.  Recently my work has shifted to include interactions between acid deposition and climate change.  Before I joined the USGS, I worked at the University of Maine for three years as an assistant research professor conducting research on the biogeochemistry of lowland spruce-fir forests.  I’m co-founder and current chair of the Northeastern Soil Monitoring Cooperative and serve on the steering committee of the National Soil Carbon Network.  I also serve as the Technical Director of the USGS Soil and Low-Ionic Strength Water Laboratory in Troy.

I received a B.A. degree in Zoology from the University of Vermont in 1979, a M.S. degree in Environmental and Forest Biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1982, and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 1987. Following college, I took a post-doctoral research position at University of Maine for three years, during which I conducted research on the biogeochemistry of lowland spruce-fir forests.  Since joining the USGS in Troy, NY, I have conducted research in the general areas of water chemistry, soil science, watershed biogeochemistry, and hydrology.  Much of my work has focused on interacting effects of calcium depletion in soils from acid deposition, increasing nitrogen availability in the environment and climate change.  I’m co-founder and current chair of the Northeastern Soil Monitoring Cooperative, which holds annual workshops to advance the application of soil monitoring to assess environmental change, and I serve on the steering committee of the National Soil Carbon Network, a community of scientists working to facilitate large-scale synthesis of soil carbon research in the United States and internationally.  I also serve as the Technical Director of the USGS Soil and Low-Ionic Strength Water Laboratory in Troy.

           My academic service includes advising or co-advising 10 students pursing M.S. or Ph.D degrees, co-teaching a four-credit  upper level/graduate course entitled “Watershed Biogeochemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and presenting 16 invited seminars at 13 colleges and universities.  My scientific service includes serving as an associate editor for the Journal of Environmental Quality for 6 years, a science advisor for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for three years, a member of a CENR (Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, under the National Science and Technology Council of the Executive Branch) workgroup addressing the issue of hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico, October 1997 – September 1999, and a co-author of the U.S.E.P.A. report entitled “ Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur—Ecological Criteria”, written to provide the scientific basis for EPA’s decision on retaining or revising the current secondary standards for emissions of nitrogen and sulfur oxides.

            My ongoing research falls into the following five project areas: (1) study of recovery processes in an Adirondack watershed where acid deposition has acidified soils and stream water, (2) assessing acid deposition effects throughout the Adirondack ecoregion through the use of stream surveys and soil sampling, (3) investigations of acid deposition and climate change effects on soils in western Russia, (4) studies of the effects of soil-calcium depletion on sugar maple trees, and (5) an assessment of acid deposition effects over the full length of the Appalachian Trail.

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Lawrence, G.B., Shortle, W.C., David, M.B., Smith, K.T., Warby, R.A.F., Lapenis, A.G., In Press, Early indications of soil recovery from acidic deposition in U.S. red spruce forests. Soil Science Society of America Journal.

Lawrence, G.B., Simonin, H.A., Baldigo, B.P., Roy, K.M. and Capone, S.B., 2011, Changes in the chemistry of acidified Adirondack streams from the early 1980s to 2008: Environmental Pollution 159: 2750-2758.

Journal and Proceedings Articles


Mitchell, M.J., Lawrence, G.B., Landers, D.H., and Stucker, K.A., 1981, Role of a benthic vertebrate, Hexagenia, in affecting sulfur and nitrogen dynamics of lake sediments: in R. Singer (Ed.), Effects of Acidic Precipitation on Benthos, Proceedings of a Symposium on Acidic Precipitation on Benthos, North American Benthological Society. Hamilton, New York, p. 67‑76.


Lawrence, G.B., Mitchell, M.J., and Landers, D.H., 1982, Effects of the burrowing mayfly, Hexagenia, on nitrogen and sulfur fractions in lake sediment microcosms: Hydrobiologia, 87: 273‑283.


Mitchell, M.J., Landers, D.H., Brodowski, D.F., Lawrence, G.B., and David, M.B, 1984,

Organic and inorganic sulfur constituents of the sediments in three New York lakes:  effect of site, sediment depth and season: Water, Air and Soil Pollution 21: 231‑245.


Lawrence, G.B., and Mitchell, M.J., 1985, Use of 35S to determine the influence of Hexagenia on sulfur cycling in lake sediments: Hydrobiologia 128: 91‑95.


Lawrence, G.B., Fuller, R.F., and Driscoll, C.T., 1986, Spatial relationships of Al chemistry in streams of the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire:  Biogeochemistry 2: 115‑135.


Driscoll, C.T., Fuller, R.D., Santore, R.C., and Lawrence, G.B., 1987, The speciation of ions in acidic solutions: in Proceedings of the International Soil Congress, July 1986, Hamburg, West Germany, p. 59-62.


Fuller, R.D., Driscoll, C.T., Lawrence, G.L., and Nodvin, S.G., 1987, Processes regulating sulfate flux following whole‑tree harvesting of a northern forested ecosystem:  Nature 325: 707‑710.


Lawrence, G.B., Fuller R.D., and Driscoll, C.T., 1987, Release of aluminum following whole‑tree harvesting at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest: Journal of Environmental Quality 16: 383-390.


Lawrence, G.B., and Driscoll, C.T., 1988, Changes in Aluminum  chemistry downstream of a clearcut  watershed:  Environmental Science and Technology 22: 1293-1299.


Lawrence, G.B., Driscoll C.T., and Fuller, R.D., 1988, Hydrologic control of aluminum chemistry in an acidic headwater stream:  Water Resources Research 24: 659-669.


Fernandez, I.J., Lawrence, G.B., and Richards, K.J., 1990, Characteristics of foliar chemistry in a commercial spruce-fir stand of northern New England:  Plant and Soil 125: 288-292.


Lawrence, G.B., 1990, Whole-tree harvesting of an acid-sensitive watershed: effects on stream chemistry, in H. Barth (ed.), Effects of Land Use on Acidity of Surface Waters, Proceedings of a Workshop on Effects of Land Use on Acidity and Ecology of Surface Waters, University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, 1988, Cardiff, Wales. p. 26-35.


Lawrence, G.B., and Driscoll, C.T., 1990, Longitudinal patterns of concentration-discharge relation­ships in stream water draining the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire:  Journal of Hydrology 116: 147-165.


Lawrence, G.B., and Fernandez, I.J., 1991, Biogeochemical interactions between acidic deposition and a low elevation spruce-fir stand in Howland, Maine: Canadian Journal of Forest Research 21: 867-875.


Fernandez, I.J., Rustad, L.R., and Lawrence, G.B., 1993, Chemistry and distribution of nutrients and trace metals in soils of a low-elevation spruce-fir forest:  Canadian Journal of Soil Science 73: 317-328.


Lawrence, G.B., and Fernandez, I.J., 1993, A new interpretation of areal variability of throughfall deposition measurements:  Ecological Applications 3: 473-480.


Fernandez, I.J., Lawrence, G.B., and Son, Y., 1995, Comparisons of soil-solution chemistry by horizons and over time under a low-elevation spruce-fir forest:  Water, Air and Soil Pollution 84: 129-145.


Lawrence, G.B., David, M.B., and Shortle, W.C., 1995, A new mechanism for calcium loss in forest-floor soils: Nature 378: 162-164.


David, M.B., and Lawrence, G.B., 1996, Soil and soil solution chemistry under red spruce stands across the northeastern U.S.:  Soil Science 161: 314-328.


Lawrence, G.B., and David, M.B., 1996, Chemical evaluation of soil-solution in acid forest soils:  Soil Science: 161: 298-313.


Ross, D.S., David, M.B., Lawrence, G.B., and Bartlett, R.J., 1996, Exchangeable hydrogen explains the pH of Spodosol Oa horizons. Soil Science Society of America Journal 60: 1926-1932.


Lawrence, G.B., and David, M.B., 1997, Response of Al solubility to elevated nitrogen saturation in soil of a red spruce stand in eastern Maine:  Environmental Science and Tech­nology 31: 825-930.


Lawrence, G.B., David, M.B., Bailey, S.W., and Shortle, W.C., 1997, Assessment of calcium status in soils of red spruce forests in the northeastern U.S.: Biogeochemistry 38: 19-39.


Minocha, R., Shortle, W.C., Lawrence, G.B., David, M.B., and Minocha, S.C., 1997, A relationship between soil chemistry and foliar polyamines in red spruce trees: Plant and Soil 191: 109-122.


Shortle, S.C., Smith, K.T., Minocha, R., Lawrence, G.B. and David, M.B., 1997, Acidic deposition, cation mobilization, and stress in healthy red spruce trees: Journal of Environmental Quality: 26:. 871-876.


Wolock, D. M ., Fan, J., and G.B., Lawrence, 1997, Effects of subbasin size on low streamflow chemistry in the Neversink River watershed, New York:  Hydrological Processes 11: 1273-1286.


Burns, D.A., Lawrence, G.B., and Murdoch, P.S., 1998, The response of forested watersheds to declining levels of acid deposition: an example from the Catskill Mountains of New York. EOS 79: 200-201.


Murdoch, P.S., Burns, D.A. And Lawrence, G.B., 1998, Relation of climate change to the acidification of surface waters by nitrogen deposition, Environmental Science and Tech­nology 32: 1642-1647.


Burns, D.A., Murdoch, P.S., Lawrence, G.B., and Michel, R. L., 1998, Groundwater control of stream nitrate concentrations in the acidic Neversink River, Catskill Mountains, New York: Water Resources Research 34: 1987-1996.


David, M.B., Cupples, A.M., Lawrence, G.B., Shi, G., Vogt, K., and Wargo, P. M., 1998, Forest floor nitrogen in red spruce stands: response to chronic nitrogen addition: Water, Air and Soil Pollution 105: 183-192.


Lawrence, G.B., David, M.B., Lovett, G.M., Murdoch, P.S., Burns, D.A., Baldigo, B.P., Thompson, A.W., Porter, J.H., and Stoddard, J.L., 1999, Soil calcium status and the response of stream chemistry to changing acidic deposition rates in the Catskill Mountains of New York:Ecological Applications 9: 1059-1072.


Baldigo, B.P., Lawrence, G.B., 2000, Composition of fish communities in relation to stream acidification and habitat quality in the Neversink River, Catskill Mountains, New York: Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 129: 60-76.


Lawrence, G., B., Goolsby, D.A., Battaglin, W.A., and Stensland, G.J., 2000, Atmospheric nitrogen in the Mississippi River Basin¾Emissions, Deposition and Export: The Science of the Total Environment 248: 87-100.


Burns, D.A., Lawrence, G.B., and Murdoch, P.S., 2000, Clean Air Act and acid precipitation receiving increased attention. EOS 81: 134


Lawrence, G.B., Lovett, G.M., and Baevsky, Y.H., 2000, Atmospheric deposition and watershed nitrogen export along an elevational gradient in the Catskill Mountains, New York:  Biogeochemistry 50: 21-43.


Lawrence, G.B., Vogt, K, Vogt, D.J., Tilley, J. and Wargo, P.M., 2000, Atmospheric deposition effects on surface waters, soils and forest productivity, pp. 275-330 in Mickler, R.A., Birdsey, R.A., and Hom, J. (eds.), Responses of Northern U.S. Forests to Environmental Change. Ecological Studies 139, Springer-Verlag.


Johnson, C.E., Ruiz-Mendez, J.J., and Lawrence, G.B., 2000, Forest soil chemistry and terrrain attributes in a Catskill Mountain Watershed: Soil Science Society of America Journal 64: 1804-1814. 


Burns, D.A., Lawrence, G.B., and Murdoch, P.S., 2000, Effects of acid deposition in North America: current status, Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 81: 145-146.


Baldigo, B.P., and Lawrence, G.B., 2001, Effect of stream acidification and habitat on selected fish populations in the Neversink River, Catskill Mountains, New York: Aquatic Sciences 63:. 196-222.


Lawrence, G.B., 2001, Forest and terrestrial systems. in White, J.C., ed., of Acid Rain: Are the Problems Solved?, Conference Proceedings,  May 2001, Washington, D.C., Center for Environmental Information, Rochester, NY.


Driscoll, C., Lawrence, G., Bulger, A., Butler, T., Cronan, C., Eager, C., Fallon-Lambert, K., Likens, G., Stoddard, J., and Weathers, K., 2001, Acidic deposition in the northeastern U.S.:  Sources and Inputs, Ecosystem Effects and Management Strategies: Bioscience 51: 180-198.


Vitvar, T., Burns, DA, Lawrence, G.B, McDonnell, J.J, and Wolock, DM, 2002, Estimation of baseflow residence times in watersheds from the runoff hydrograph recession - Method and application in the Neversink Watershed,  Catskill Mountains, New York: Hydrological Processes16: 1871-1877.


Lawrence, G.B., 2002, Persistent episodic acidification of streams linked to acid rain effects on soil: Atmospheric Environment 36: 1589-1598.


Driscoll, C., Lawrence, G., Bulger, A., Butler, T., Cronan, C., Eager, C., Fallon-Lambert, K., Likens, G., Stoddard, J., and Weathers, K., 2002, Response to W. E. Sharpe’s “Acid deposition explains sugar maple decline in the East”: Bioscience 52: 5-6.


Wargo, P.M., Vogt, K., Vogt, D., Holifield, Q, Tilly, J., Lawrence, G.B., and David, M.B., 2003, Vitality and chemistry of roots of red spruce in soils with a gradient of soil Al/Ca ratios in the northeastern U.S.: Canadian Journal of Forest Research 33: 635-652.


Driscoll, C., Whitall, D., Aber, J., Boyer, E., Castro, M., Cronan, C., Hopkinson, C., Fallon-Lambert, K., Goodale, C., Groffman, P., Lawrence, G., Ollinger, S., 2003a, Nitrogen pollution in the Northeastern United States: Sources, Effects and Management options:  Bioscience 53: 357-374.


Ross, D.S., Lawrence, G.B., and Fredriksen, G., 2004, Mineralization and nitrification patterns at eight northeastern US forested watersheds:  Forest Ecol. Manag. 188: 317-335.


 Lapenis, A.G., Lawrence, G.B., Andreev, A., Bobrov, A., Torn, M., and Harden, J., 2004, Acidification of forest soil in Russia: 1893-present:  Global Biogeochemical Cycles, vol. 18, doi10.1029/2003GB002107.


Lawrence, G.B., Momen, B., Roy, K., 2004, The use of stream chemistry for monitoring acidic deposition effects in the Adirondack region of New York:  Journal of Environmental Quality 33: 1002-1009.


Lawrence, G.B., Lapenis, A.G., Berggren, D., Aparin, B.F., Smith, K.T., Shortle, W.C., Bailey, S.W., Varlyquin, D.L., and Babikov, B.,  2005,  Climate dependency of tree growth suppressed by acid deposition effects on soils in Northwest Russia:  Environmental Science and Technology 39: 2004-2010.


Ross, D.S., Fredriksen, G., Jamison, A.E., Wemple, B.C., Bailey, S.W., Shanley, J.B., and Lawrence, G.B.,  2006,  One-day measurements for estimating net nitrification potential in forest soils:  Forest Ecology and Management 230: 91-95.


Momen, B., Lawrence, G.B., Nierzwicki-Bauer, S.A., Sutherland, J.W., Eichler, L.W., Harrison, J.P., and Boylen, C.W.,  2006,  Trends in summer chemistry linked to productivity in lakes recovering from acid deposition in the Adirondack Region of New York:  Ecosystems 9: 1306-1317.


Lawrence, G.B., Sutherland, J.W., Boylen, C.W., Nierzwicki-Bauer, S.A., Momen, B., Baldigo, B.P., and Simonin, H.A., 2007,   Acid rain effects on aluminum mobilization clarified by inclusion of strong organic acids:  Environ. Science and Technol. 41: 93-98.


Passy , S.I., Ciugulea, I., and Lawrence, G.B., 2007,  Higher diatom species diversity discovered in chronically vs. episodically acidic streams in the Adirondack region of New York:.  International Review of Hydrobiology 91: 594-608. 


Baldigo, B.P., Lawrence, G.B., and Simonin, H.A., 2007. Persistent mortality of brook trout in episodically acidified streams of the southwestern Adirondack Mountains, New York:  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 136: 121-134 


McHale, M.R., Murdoch, P.S., Burns, D.A., and Lawrence, G.B., 2007. Factors controlling aluminum release after a clearcut in a forested watershed with calcium-poor soils:  Biogeochemistry 84: 311-331.


Lapenis, A.G., Lawrence, G.B., Bailey, S.W, Aparin, B.F., Shiklomanov, A.I., Speranskaya, N. A., Torn, M., Calef., M. 2008. Climatically Driven Loss of Calcium in Steppe Soil as a Sink for Atmospheric Carbon: Global Biogeochemical Cycles 22, GB2010, doi:10.1029/2007GB003077. 


Lawrence, G.B., Roy, K.M., Baldigo, B.P., Simonin, H.A., Capone, S.B., Sutherland, J.W., Nierzwicki-Bauer, S.A., and Boylen, C.W., 2008, Chronic and episodic acidification of Adirondack streams from acid rain in 2003-2005: J. Environ. Qual. 37: 2264-2274.


Ross, D.S., Wemple, B.C., Jamison, A.E., Fredriksen, G., Shanley, J.B., Lawrence, G.B., Bailey, S.W., and Campbell, J.L., 2009, A cross-site comparison of factors influencing soil nitrification rates in northeastern USA forested watersheds:  Ecosystems 12: 158-178.


Baldigo, B.P., Lawrence, G.B., Bode, R.W., Simonin, H.A., Roy, K.M., and Smith, A.J., 2009, Impacts of acidification on macorinvertebrate communities in streams of the western Adirondack Mountains, New York, U.S.A.: Ecological Indicators 9: 226-239.


Ross, D.S., Shanley, J.B., Campbell, J.L., Lawrence, G.B., Bailey, S.W., Likens, G.E., Wemple, B.C., Fredriksen, G., Jamison, A.E., 2012, Spatial patterns of soil nitrification and nitrate export from forested headwaters in the Northeastern USA: Journal of Geophysical Research— Biogeosciences 117: G01009.


Ross, D.S., Bailey, S.W., Lawrence, G.B., Fredriksen, G., Jamison, A.E., 2011, Near-surface soil carbon, C/N ration and tree species are tightly linked across northeastern USA watersheds:  Forest Science 57: 460-469.


Lawrence, G.B., Simonin, H.A., Baldigo, B.P., Roy, K.M. and Capone, S.B., 2011, Changes in the chemistry of acidified Adirondack streams from the early 1980s to 2008: Environmental Pollution 159: 2750-2758.


Journal and Proceedings Articles in Press


Beier, C.M., Woods, A.M., Hotopp, K.P., Gibbs, J.P., Mitchell, M.J., Dovciak, M. Leopold, D.J., Lawrence, G.B., and Page, B.D. In Press.  Soil calcium communities at multiple trophic levels in the northern hardwood forests of the Adirondack Mountains, New York: Canadian Journal of Forest Research.


Greaver, T.L., Sullivan, T.S., Herrick, J.D., Barber, M., Baron, J., Cosby, B.J., Deerharke, M., Dennis, R., Dubois, J.J.D., Goodale, C., Herlihy, A., Lawrence, G.B., Lui, L., Lynch, J., Novak, K., In Press, A synthesis of the ecological effects of air pollution from nitrogen and sulfur in the U.S.:  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.


Lawrence, G.B., Shortle, W.C., David, M.B., Smith, K.T., Warby, R.A.F., Lapenis, A.G., In Press,  Early indications of soil recovery from acidic deposition in U.S. red spruce forests.  Soil Science Society of America Journal.



Peer-Reviewed Agency/Institution Publications


Lawrence, G.B., Burns, D.A., Murdoch, P.S., Baldigo, B., and Baevsky, Y.H., 1995, Workplan of the Neversink Watershed Study: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 94-368.


Lawrence, G.B., Lincoln, T.A, Horan-Ross, D., Olson, M.O., and Waldron, L.W., 1995, Methods of the U.S. Geological Survey, New York District Water Analysis Laboratory: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 95-416, 78 p.


Lawrence, G.B., David, M.B., and Shortle, W.C., 1996, Aluminum mobilization and calcium depletion in the Forest Floor of Red Spruce Forests in the Northeastern United States, in Hom, J., Birdsey, R. and O’Brian, K (eds.), Proceedings, 1995 meeting of the Northern Global Change Program, 1995 March 14-16, Pittsburgh, Pa., U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Region General Technical Report NE-214, p. 112-117, Radnor, PA.



Lincoln, T.A., Horan-Ross, D., Olson, M.L., and Lawrence, G.B., 1996, Quality assurance data for routine water analysis in the Troy, N.Y. Laboratory of the U.S. Geological Survey for the Period May 1991 to June 1993: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 96-167.


Minocha, R., Shortle, W.C., Lawrence, G.B., David, M.B., and Minocha, S.C., 1996, Putrescine: a marker of stress in red spruce trees, in Hom, J., Birdsey, R. and O’Brian, K (eds.), Proceedings, 1995 meeting of the Northern Global Change Program, 1995 March 14-16, Pittsburgh, Pa. U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Region General Technical Report NE-214, p. 119-130, Radnor, PA.


Goolsby, D.A., Battaglin, W.A., Lawrence, G.B., Artz, R.S., Aulenbach, B.T., Hooper, R.P., Keeney, D.R., and Stensland, G.J., 1999, Flux and sources of nutrients in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin.  Report of Task Group 3 to the White House Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources.  155 p. 


Lawrence, G.B., David, M.B., Shortle, W.C., Bailey, S.W., and Lovett, G.M., 1999, Mechanisms of base-cation depletion by acid deposition in forest soils of the northeastern U.S.: pp. 75-87, in Horsley, S.B. and Long R. P. (eds.), Sugar maple ecology and health: proc. of an international symposium; 1998 June 2-4; Warren, PA., General Techn