Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES

Sydney Clark

Email Address: 
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Sydney studies the reactive nitrogen cycle in changing cryosphere environments using stable isotopes of nitrogen and oxygen to study the intersection between atmospheric chemistry, deposition and biogeochemistry. Her current work is focused in the Colorado alpine where lake water chemistry is heavily influenced by atmospheric pollution, glacial melt and biological processes. However, air pollution mitigation implemented by the Clean Air Act suggest that atmospheric nitrogen deposition plays a much smaller role in driving ecosystem biogeochemical changes, so why are background levels of inorganic nitrogen species so high in these lakes and what mechanisms are driving these nutrient levels? This work has implications for ecosystem health and environmental change, but also human health as these high alpine snow-fed lakes are critical sources of drinking water for local communities.

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