Gregory Lawrence

Biography

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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