Richard April

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Richard April

Dunham Beldon Jr. Professor of Geology, Emeritus

Department/Office Information

226 Ho Science Center


  • BS, Stony Brook University, 1970
  • MS, University of Vermont, 1973
  • PhD, University of Massachusetts, 1978

Low temperature geochemistry, clay petrology and mineralogy, acid rain, lake acidification and forest decline, aluminum biogeochemistry, Critical Zone science. Research areas include the Smoky, Sierra Nevada, Cascade, White and Adirondack Mountains of the U.S.; Germany; Sweden; Norway; Canada; and Australia

Geochemistry, mineralogy, clay and x-ray mineralogy, gems.

  • Swedish Natural Science Research Council (NFR) Visiting Scientist Award 1984-85 and 1990-91, Chalmers Institute of Technology, University of Gothenburg
  • National Science Foundation research, curriculum, and equipment grants 1977, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1989, 1992, 1997, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2014
  • Additional research grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, EPRI, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Swedish Natural Science Research Council
  • Most recent grants from the National Science Foundation - Calcium depletion in Adirondack forests and its effect on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and Establishment of a Shale Hills observatory satellite site in central New York (with Penn State University); MRI: Acquisition of a TXRF spectrometer for Research in Chemistry, Biology, and Geology
  • Consultant with the National Geographic Society, U.S. Geological Survey (Water Resources Division), Department of Energy
  • Colgate Alumni Corporation distinguished teaching award, 2006
  • Sidney J. and Florence Felten French Prize for excellence in inspirational teaching, 2018

      (*indicates student author)

  • April, R., Keller, D. and Hluchy, M., Soils and Soil Acidification in the Adirondack Mountains, 2016. Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies, 21, 147-166.
  • Dere, A.L., White, T.S., April, R.H., and Brantley S.L., Mineralogical transformations and soil development in shale across a latitudinal climosequence, 2016. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 80, 623-636. doi:10.2136/sssaj2015.05.0202.
  • Dere, A.L., White, T.S., April, R.H., Reynolds, B., Miller, T.E., Knapp, E.P., McKay, L.D., Brantley, S.L., 2013. Climate dependence of feldspar weathering in shale soils along a latitudinal gradient, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 122, 101–126.
  • Shale to soil: Geochemistry and clay mineral transformations. R.H. April, S. Lemon* & D. Keller, 2011. Mineralogical Magazine, Volume 75, Issue 3. Goldschmidt 2011.
  • Clay mineral weathering in shales and soils in the critical zone, S. MacDonald*, R.H. April and D.M. Keller. Special edition of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 74, Issue 11 Supplement 1 (A652), June 2010.
  • Rasmussen, C., Williams J.Z., Brantley, S., Richter, D., White A., & April, R., 2009. Climatic controls of regolith weathering and mass flux in granitic terrain – a synthesis of Critical Zone network data, Special Issue of Geohimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 73, Number 13S (A1074). (Presented at the Goldschmidt Conference, Davos, Switzerland)
  • R.H. April and A.L. Coplin*, 2008. The isotopic composition of organic carbon in Adirondack Spodosols. Special Issue of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 72, Number 12S. (Presented at the Goldschmidt Conference, Vancouver, B.C.)
  • April, R.H, Rampe*, E., Kaplan*, J. and Carr, P.F. 2007. Burial and Contact Metamorphism in the Late Permian Broughton Formation, Sydney Basin, NSW, Australia. In Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Water-Rock Interaction, Bullen, T.D. and Wang, Y. eds., v.1, 53-56. (Presented at the WRI Conference, Kunming, China)
  • April, R. H., Keller, D. M. and Driscoll, C., 2004. Smectite in Spodosols from the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Clay Minerals, v. 39: 99-113.
  • Johnson, C. E., Petras, R. J., April, R. H., and Siccama, T. G., 2004. Post-glacial lead dynamics in a forest soil. Water, Air and Soil Pollution: Focus, v. 4: 579-590.
  • April, R. H., 2003. "Talc" - in the Encyclopedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks, edited by G. V. Middleton, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Bormann, B. T., Wang, D., Bormann, F. H., Benoit, G. April, R. and Snyder, M. C., 1998. Rapid plant-induced weathering in an aggrading experimental ecosystem: Biogeochemistry, v. 43, 129-155.
  • Hyman, M. E., Johnson, C. E., Bailey, S. W., April, R. H., and Hornbeck, J. W. 1998. Chemical weathering and cation loss in a base-poor watershed: Geological Society of America Bull., v. 110, no.1, 85-95.
  • Benoit, G.,Rozan, T.F. and April, R., 1997. A selective dissolution analysis optimized for measurement of weathering products in a soil: Soil Science Society of America Jour., v. 61, 949-958.
  • April, R. H., 1994. An NSF-funded curriculum initiative designed to attract minority students to geology: Journal of Geological Education, v. 42, no. 5, 447-451.
  • Richter, D. D., Markewitz, D., Wells, C. G., Allen, H. L., April, R. H., Heine, P. R., and Urrego, B., 1994. Soil chemical change during three decades in an old-field Loblolly Pine (Pinus Taeda L.) ecosystem: Ecology, v. 75, no. 5, 1463-1473.
  • April, R. H., and Keller, D., 1992. Saponite and vermiculite in amygdales of the Granby Basaltic Tuff, Connecticut Valley: Clays and Clay Minerals, v. 40, no. 1, 22-31.
  • April, R. H., and Newton, R. M., 1992. Mineralogy and Mineral Weathering: in Atmospheric Deposition and Forest Nutrient Cycling, D. W. Johnson and S. E. Lindberg, eds., Ecological Studies v. 91, pp. 378-425, Springer-Verlag, New York, 707 pp.
  • Cronan, C., Driscoll, C., Newton, R.M., Kelly, J., Schofield, C., Bartlett, R., and April, R.H., 1990. A comparative analysis of aluminum biogeochemistry in a northeastern and a southeastern forested watersheds: Water Resources Research, v. 26, no. 7, 1413-1430.
  • April, R.H., and Keller, D., 1990. Interactions between minerals and roots in forest soils: Sciences Geologiques Mem., no. 85, 89-98, Strasbourg, France.
  • April, R.H., and Keller, D., 1990. Mineralogy of the rhizosphere in forest soils of the eastern United States: Biogeochemistry, v. 9, 1-18.
  • Cronan, C.S., April, R.H., Bartlett, R.J., (and others), 1989. Aluminum toxicity in forests exposed to acidic deposition: the ALBIOS results: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, v. 48, 181-192.
  • Kada, J., Heit, M., April, R.H., Miller, K., Keller, D., and Kuiper, J., 1989. Factors influencing the distribution and inventories of Cs-137 in fresh water lake sediments: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment, Geneva, Switzerland, 12-15 September.
  • Stevens, R., April, R.H., and Wedel, P., 1987. Sediment color and weathered preglacial sources of Quaternary clays, southwestern Sweden: Geologiska Foreningens i Stockholm Forhandlingar (Journal of the Geol. Soc. of Sweden), v. 109, 241-253.
  • April, R.H., 1987. Synopsis of soil mineralogy and chemistry in the ILWAS, RILWAS, and ALBIOS watersheds: in "GEOMON-International Workshop on Geochemistry and Monitoring in Representative Basins," B. Moldan and T. Paces, eds., Geological Survey, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 247-250.
  • Goldstein, R.,, Gherini, S., Driscoll, C., April, R.H., Schofield, C., and Chen, C., 1987. Lake-watershed acidification in the North Branch of the Moose River: Introduction: Biogeochemistry, v. 3, nos. 1-3, 5-20 (special issue).
  • Newton, R.M., Weintraub, J., and April, R.H., 1987. The relationship between surface water chemistry and geology in the North Branch of the Moose River: Biogeochemistry, v. 3, nos. 1-3, 21-35 (special issue).
  • April, R.H., Newton, R.M., and Coles, L.T., 1986. Chemical weathering in two Adirondack watersheds: Past and present day rates: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 97, 1232-1238.
  • April, R.H., Hluchy, M., and Newton, R.M., 1986. The nature of vermiculite in Adirondack soils and tills:  Clays and Clay Minerals, v. 34, no. 5, 549-556.
  • April, R.H., and Newton, R.M., 1985. The geology and geochemistry of the ILWAS lake-watersheds:  Journal of Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, v. 26, 373-386 (also printed in a special hardback issue by D. Reidel Publishing Co.).
  • April, R.H., Newton, R.M., and Gherini, S., 1985. Geologic aspects of the Regional Integrated Lake-Watershed Acidification Study (RILWAS): in “Hydrogeochemical Mechanisms and Model Approaches to the Acidification of Ecological Systems”, I. Johansson, ed. Nordic Hydrological Programme, Report No. 10, 217-228.

+ other earlier works