Dr. Sarah Nelson's research includes atmospheric deposition, surface water acidification, watershed mass balances, climate effects on water resources, and spatial geochemical modeling, with a strong focus on mercury fate and transport. Dr. Nelson's research tends to focus on multivariate, spatial problems, so she is as much a quantitative landscape ecologist as a biogeochemist. She worked on long-term research at paired gauged watersheds in Acadia National Park, and was a Canon National Parks Science Scholar.
She recently completed Resource Condition Assessments for four National Parks, and has been working with 25 parks to evaluate mercury in biota, using citizen scientist-collected data. She is a principal investigator for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s long term monitoring network, including research regarding mercury and landscape context for lakes in the northeast U.S. For the past five years, she has worked with Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park in a series of projects focused on teacher professional development regarding mercury in watersheds, snowpack and climate, and data literacy.