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WVU researchers team up with middle school students to study potential benefits of acid rain

Photo of the Fernow Experimental Forest in Tucker County.

West Virginia University biologists will tap local eighth graders for help on research studying what happens when acid rain stops falling.

Years of this environmental phenomena in the eastern U.S. have led to nitrogen pollution in streams and waterways. However, it’s also helped trees grow and microbes capture carbon from the atmosphere. Edward Brzostek, associate professor in biology at the WVU Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, has been working in the Fernow Experimental Forest in Tucker County studying the effects of acid rain on the region’s forests and watersheds.

Brzostek and his team, including Ember Morrissey, associate professor of environmental microbiology, and Justin Mathias, assistant professor of biology, will involve eighth graders in Tucker County in the project. Many of those students live adjacent to the forest but have limited knowledge of the research conducted there. Additionally, 20% live below the poverty line and may lack a direct pathway to STEM.

Read more on WVUToday.