Steve Norton

Research Interests:

  • Aquatic geochemistry
  • Chemical Limnology
  • Paleolimnology
  • Atmospheric pollution archives
  • Small ecosystem manipulations

Research Project:

Engaging Citizen Scientists to Evaluate Water Quality Decline


Bacon, L., Norton, S., Amirbahman, A., Fitzgibbon, K., Pavri, F., Dennis, J., Deeds, J. and Williams, S., 2017. Maine’s Lake Vulnerability Index: The Past to the Future, 2017 Maine Sustainability & Water Conference , Augusta, Maine.

Norton, S., Amirbahman, A., Bacon, L., Fitzgibbon, K., Pavri, F., and Williams, S., 2016, A Social Science-Physical Science Collaboration to Evaluate the Potential for Water Quality Decline and Enhance Lake Stewardship in Maine – Part 1: Physicochemical Indicators. Maine Annual Water and Sustainability Solutions Conference, Augusta, Maine.

Fitzgibbon, K., Amirbahman, A., Norton, S. and Bacon, L., 2016, Evaluating potential for water quality decline in Maine lakes (poster). Maine Water Conference, Augusta, Maine.

Kifner, L., Amirbahman, A., and Calhoun, A., 2016, Characterizing vernal pool biogeochemistry across a land use gradient in Maine USA: New England Graduate Student Water Symposium.

Fitzgibbon, K., Amirbahman, A., Norton, S., and Bacon, L., 2016, Evaluating potential for water quality decline in Maine lakes: New England Graduate Student Water Symposium.

Kifner, L., Amirbahman, A., Calhoun, A., and Norton, S. A., 2017, Greenhouse gas fluxes from four vernal pools in Maine, USA: Soc. Wetland Scientists Ann. Mtg.

Kifner, L., Amirbahman, A., Calhoun, A., and Norton, S. A., 2017, Greenhouse gas fluxes from four vernal pools in Maine, USA: BIOGEOMON2017, Litomyšl Czech Republic.


  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 1967
  • M.A., Harvard University, 1963
  • A.B., Princeton, 1962


I am interested in the interaction of water and geologic materials. My specific interests include precipitation chemistry, soil- and ground-water, and fresh surface waters. Recent studies include paleolimnological analysis of lake and bog sediments for their contained information about acidic deposition (including metals) and its direct and indirect impacts on lakes and ombrogenic bogs, chemical manipulations of ecosystems or ecosystem components, and assessment of the impact of land surface pollution such as road salt. Recent research includes the study of the controls of Fe, Al, and dissolved organic carbon on P mobility in oligotrophic ecosystems. I am involved with the Czech Republic on a study of rare Earth element mobility using empirical and experimental approaches at one watershed in Maine and three in the Czech Republic. My research is supported by the University’s environmental chemistry laboratory and the stable isotope laboratory.

Publications (last 5 years):

Amirbahman, A., Lake, B., and Norton, S. A., 2013, Seasonal phosphorus dynamics in the surficial sediment of two shallow temperate lakes: A solid phase and pore-water study. Hydrobiologia, 701, 65-77.

Novák, M., Jacobson, G. L., Norton, S. A., Stepanova, M. , Grimm, E. C., Jackova1, I., and Buzek1, F., 2013, Variation in sulfur isotopes from continental and marine aerosols in a 60,000-year sediment core from Lake Tulane, central Florida, USA: Chem. Geol. 349-350, 110-116.

Mineau, M. M., Rigsby, C. M., Elya, D. T., Fernandez, I. J., Norton, S. A., Ohno, T., Valette, H. M., and Simon, K. S., 2013, Chronic catchment nitrogen enrichment and stoichiometric constraints on the bioavailability of dissolved organic matter from leaf leachate: Fresh Water Biology, 58, 2, 248–260.

Boyle, J. F., Chiverrell, R. C., Norton, S. A., and Plater, A. J., 2013, A leaky model of long-term soil phosphorus dynamics: Global Biogeochem. Cycles. DOI: 10.1002/gbc.20039.

Norton, S. A., Kopáček, J., and Fernandez, I. J., 2014, Acidification and Acid Rain: in Holland, H. D. and Turekian K. K. (eds.), Treatise on Geochemistry,11, 379-414, London: Elsevier.

Owen, R. B., Longcore, J. R., and Norton, S. A., 2014, Characteristics of Mineral Springs in Northern Maine, USA: Northeast Naturalist, 21, 146-153.

Kopáček, J., Hejzlar, J., Kaňa, J., Norton, S., and Stuchlík, E., 2015, Effects of acidic deposition on in-lake phosphorus availability: A lesson from lakes recovering from acidification. Environ. Sc. Tech., 49, 2895-2903.

Norton, S. A., Kopáček, J., Jacobson, G. L., and Navratil, T., 2016, A comparative study of long-term Hg and Pb sediment archives. Environ. Chem., 13, 517-527.

Norton, S. A., Pierret, M-C, Kopáček, J., Perry, R., and Handley, M., 2016, Long-term evolution of leaching and lake sediment sequestration of rare earth elements from two deglaciated mountain watersheds. J. Paleolim. 55, #3, 209-222.

Kopáček, J., Kaňa, J., Bičárová, S., Fernandez, I. J., Hejzlar, J., Kahounová-Hynštová,M., Norton, S. A., Stuchlík, E., (2017), Climate change increases calcium leaching from granitic alpine catchments: Envir. Sci. Tech.