University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Department of Soil, Water, and Climate

Ed Nater | 612-625-9734ednater

572 Borlaug Hall
1991 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108


B.S. 1973 Western Illinois University Botany
M.S. 1983 University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Natural Resources
Ph.D. 1987 University of California, Davis Soil Science

I have two main areas of research interest. The first is biogeochemistry, the study of the behavior, movement, and fate of chemicals in the earth's biosphere. Over the past 20 years my laboratory has concentrated mainly on the biogeochemistry of mercury in terrestrial landscapes, with many of the studies conducted in the boreal forest. My second area of interest is Pedology, the study of soils and landscapes and the interactions between them. My students and I have conducted studies on the processes of soil development and landscape evolution. I've recently tied these two interests together in studies on the effects of erosion and sedimentation on the landscape distribution of organic carbon.

ESPM 4601 Soils and Pollution
LAAS 5050 Integrated Topics in Land & Atmospheric Science (co-instructor with Tracy Twine)
SOIL 5515  Soil Genesis and Landscape Relations  (co-instructor with Kyungsoo Yoo)
SOIL/ESPM 5555  Wetland Soils (co-instructor with Jim Anderson and Dan Wheeler)


ESPM 3575 Wetlands (co-instructor with Dan Wheeler and Susan Galatowitsch) first offering will be in Spring 2013
ESPM 4021W  Environmental Assessment (co-instructor with Terry Cooper)

Graduate Programs:
Land and Atmospheric Science
Water Resources Science

Selected Publications: 

Fissore, C., J. Espeleta, E.A. Nater, S.E. Hobbie, and P.B. Reich. 2010. Limited potential for terrestrial carbon sequestration to offset fossil-fuel emissions in the upper midwestern US.  Frontiers in Ecology and Environment. 8(8):409-413.

Tsui, M.T.K., J.C. Finlay, and E.A. Nater. 2009. Mercury bioaccumulation in a stream network. Environmental Science & Technology 43(18): 7016-7022.

Witt, E.L., R.K. Kolka, E.A. Nater, and T. Wickman. 2009. Influence of the forest canopy on total and methyl mercury deposition in the boreal forest. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 199: 3-11.

Witt, E.L., R.K. Kolka, E.A. Nater, and T. Wickman. 2009. Forest fire effects on mercury deposition in the boreal forest. Environmental Science & Technology 43(6)1776-1782.

Tsui, M.T.K, J.C. Finlay, and E.A. Nater. (2008) Effects of stream water chemistry and tree species on release and methylation of mercury during litter decomposition. Environmental Science & Technology 42(23): 8692–8697.

Jeremiason, J.D., D.R. Engstrom, E.B. Swain, E.A. Nater, B.M. Johnson, J.E. Almendinger, B.A. Monson, R.K. Kolka. 2006. Sulfate addition increases methylmercury export from an experimental wetland. Environmental Science & Technology 40(12):3800-3806.

Kelley, D.W., S.A. Brachfield, E.A. Nater, and H.E. Wright, Jr. 2006. Sources of sediment in Lake Pepin on the Upper Mississippi River in response to Holocene climatic changes. Journal of Paleolimnology 35: 193-206.

Ewing, H.A., and E.A. Nater. 2002. Holocene soil development on till and outwash inferred from lake sediment geochemistry in Michigan and Wisconsin. Quaternary Research 234-243.

Grigal, D.F., R.K. Kolka, J.A. Fleck, and E.A. Nater. 2000. Mercury budget of an upland-peatland watershed. Biogeochemistry 50:95-109.

Fitzgerald, W.F., D.R. Engstrom, R.P. Mason, and E.A. Nater. 1998. The case for atmospheric mercury contamination in remote areas. Environmental Science and Technology  32(1): 1-7.