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Adams, Mary Beth

Visiting Research Faculty

Mary Beth Adams is a Research Soil Scientist with the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station and an Adjunct Graduate Faculty member in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.  She earned a B.S. and M.S. in Forestry from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Soil Science and Forestry from North Carolina State University.  Mary Beth’s research interests include understanding how water and nutrients move through forest ecosystems in response to various stressors, and using that understanding to sustain the productivity of forest ecosystems.  Much of her work has been conducted on the Fernow Experimental Forest near Parsons, WV, where she served as Research Project Leader and Scientist in Charge of the Fernow for 20 years.  She specializes in large, long-term experiments, and is Principle or co-Principle Investigator on studies supported by the National Science Foundation.  She has published more than 150 scientific articles, served on many graduate committees at WVU and other institutions, served on advisory committees, and has been an editor for several significant journal volumes and books.   She is an active member of the Soil Science Society of America, Society of American Foresters, Ecological Society of America, Association for Women in Science, and has been honored as a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America, a Distinguished Alumnus of Purdue University’s College of Agriculture, and an Inspiring Women for Outstanding Scientific Achievement, and for Outstanding Mentoring by the Northern Research Station of the Forest Service.


  1. Adams, M.B.  2018. Site Productivity and Diversity of the Middle Mountain Long-Term Soil Productivity Study, Loop Road Research Area, WV:  Pre-experimental site characterization.  Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-176. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 24 p.
  2. Adams, Mary Beth; Knoepp, Jennifer D.; Webster, Jackson R. 2014. Inorganic nitrogen retention by watersheds at Fernow Experimental Forest and Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 78(S1): S84-S94.
  3. Adams, M.B.  2011.  Land Application of Hydrofracturing Fluids Damages a Deciduous Forest Stand in West Virginia, USA. J. Environmental Quality. 40: 1340-1344.
  4. Adams, Mary Beth; Buford, Marilyn A., eds. 2014. Proceedings of a workshop on science considerations in a functional restoration. Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 33(Supplement 1): S1-S194.
  5. Adams, M.B., J.A. Burger, A.B. Jenkins, L. Zelazny. 2000. Impact of harvesting and atmospheric pollution on nutrient depletion of eastern US hardwood forests. Forest Ecology and Management 138:301-319.