Richard April

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Richard April

Dunham Beldon Jr. Professor of Geology, Emeritus

Department/Office Information

Earth and Environmental Geoscience
236 Ho Science Center


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

Low temperature geochemistry; clay petrology and mineralogy; effects of acid rain on soils, lake acidification and forest decline; aluminum biogeochemistry; Critical Zone science. Research localities 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)

  • Agata M. Kresinska, Benjamin Bultel, Damien Loizeau, David Craw, Richard April, François Poulet, and Stephanie C. Werner. Mineralogical and spectral (near infrared) characterization of Fe-rich vermiculite-bearing terrestrial deposits and constraints for mineralogy of Oxia Planum, ExoMars 2022 landing site. Astrobiology, Aug 2021. Vol. 21, no. 8, 997-1016.
  • 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