More than a quarter-century ago, University of Maine geochemist Stephen Norton, forest soils scientist Ivan Fernandez and colleagues wrote a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant proposal that launched a landmark whole-watershed manipulation project to study effects of acid precipitation. Norton, a national expert on acid rain, and his research team identified the perfect spot in the North Woods — a paired-stream watershed on the southeast slope of Lead Mountain in northern Hancock County, known as Bear Brook.
Literally and figuratively, it was a watershed moment in the study of long-term experimental acidification. Today, the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM) research program is internationally recognized for its contributions to our understanding of the effects of elevated atmospheric nitrogen and sulfur deposition in forests.
Read the rest of this story in the Summer 2012 issue of UMaine Today.