The Barrington Moore Memorial Award recognizes outstanding achievement in biological research leading to the advancement of forestry. Mary Beth Adams is a research soil scientist at the US Forest Service’s Northern Research Station. Her work ranges from basic research that has led to a better understanding of the fundamental processes in soils, to applied studies on the ecosystem response to anthropogenic disturbances and forest management practices.
The long-term project she designed, implemented, and managed on the effects of nitrogen deposition in watersheds on the Fernow Experimental Forest is recognized as one of the premier studies of forest ecosystem processes in the world.
The study examined the impacts of elevated nitrogen levels in large watersheds that enabled Adams and her team to link soil and hydrologic processes with forest ecosystem response. Many scientists around the world have used a similar approach based on her pioneering work. She edited the book The Fernow Watershed Acidification Study (Elsevier, 2006), which has earned a reputation as one of the definitive references on the subject.
Adams has been the principle investigator (PI) or co-PI on grants totaling more than $3 million that have facilitated collaboration with leading scientists throughout the US. She has published more than 140 journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports. The quality of her research is demonstrated by the prestigious journals in which she has published, such as the Canadian Journal of Forest Research; Forest Ecology and Management; Water, Air, Soil Pollution; Journal of Environmental Quality; and Soil Science Society of America Journal.
Throughout her career, Adams has participated in numerous collaborative research projects with university scientists and currently is a visiting research faculty member at West Virginia University. This has allowed her to work with and mentor graduate students at numerous universities, including Howard University, Marshall University, University of Pittsburg, West Virginia University, and Virginia Tech, where she has had positive impacts on the careers of more than 20 graduate students. Adams resides in Elkins.
The mission of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) is to advance sustainable management of forest resources through science, education, and technology; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish professional excellence; and to use our knowledge, skills, and conservation ethic to ensure the continued health, integrity, and use of forests to benefit society in perpetuity. Each year SAF recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the forestry profession.