Example Projects:

NYSERDA Projects

E&S Environmental Chemistry conducts considerable research on behalf of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). A brief summary is given below of some of the projects that are ongoing or that we have recently completed for NYSERDA. Please contact us for more information.

Sugar Maple Health, Growth, and Regeneration

This ongoing study focuses on the effects of acidic deposition on sugar maple, a species that is known to be sensitive to soil acid-base chemistry. Sugar maple is the dominant canopy tree species throughout much of the northern hardwood forest in New York. We are investigating the interactions between soil chemistry (especially base saturation) and sugar maple growth, health, and regeneration. Our goals are to quantify the effects of air pollution on sugar maple in the Adirondack Mountains in New York and to better elucidate the mechanisms of effect.

Critical Loads of Atmospheric Sulfur and Nitrogen Deposition

This ongoing research was undertaken to determine the critical load (CL) values of sulfur and nitrogen deposition that will promote resource recovery in damaged aquatic and terrestrial Adirondack Mountain, New York ecosystems. We focus on the Adirondack Ecoregion and also on a group of intensively monitored watersheds, many of which are in the southwestern portion of the Adirondack Park. Two dynamic process-based models of ecosystem acid-base chemistry (MAGIC and PnET-BGC) are used to quantify CLs based on different sensitive receptors (lakes, forest soil), endpoint years (2050, 2100), indicators (lake ANC, lake nitrate concentrations, soil base saturation, soil solution base cation-to-aluminum ratios), and critical values of those indicators. Based on the calculated CLs and regional estimates of atmospheric sulfur and nitrogen deposition, CL exceedances are also calculated.

Acidification Effects Modeling

This research represents a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional effort to extrapolate research, monitoring, and modeling results, including physical, chemical, and biological findings from intensively-studied lakes in the acid-sensitive lakes region of the Adirondack mountains, New York. In this project, we determined types of Adirondack watersheds in which acidified lakes might be expected to chemically recover, and by how much, in response to varying levels of future S and N emissions controls.  We also identified types of watersheds in which recovery is unlikely or will be substantially delayed.  This information will be useful for determining watersheds that may require the most intensive research or remediation efforts.

This report can be downloaded directly from the NYSERDA website.

Outreach Publications

We have designed several publications, newsletters, and project updates for NYSERDA that cover a variety of issues related to the environmental effects of energy development and utilization.