Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2017 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Developing an Urban Nitrogen Footprint Calculator for the Baltimore Area
Milo, Elizabeth
Co-Authors: Elizabeth S Milo, James N Galloway, Lawrence E Band, Peter M Groffman

Abstract: Reactive nitrogen (Nr; all N species except N2) is a resource necessary today for food production and is created during combustion of fuels for electricity. However, too much Nr can have a negative effect on the environment. Measuring its amount released to the environment as a result of an entitiesí resource use can be useful in managing the amount of excess Nr in the environment. The nitrogen (N) footprint tool for both individuals and institutions allows each of these entities to do that. Individuals can use the personal N footprint calculator to calculate the N impacts of their daily activities. The institutional nitrogen footprint calculator is a tool designed for administrative purposes at institutions to determine the impact of their choices on the institutionís N footprint. A total of 21 institutions have calculated their N footprints and some have set N footprint reduction goals for their institution. The focus of my project is to create nitrogen footprint tool for an urban area and use this to calculate the N footprint for Baltimore. The intended users of this tool are scientists, city planners, and other city and county administrators. The steps to create this tool are establishing system bounds, collecting relevant data, calculating the N footprint, and suggesting reduction strategies. The urban N footprint tool is still in development and the goal of the presentation at the annual BES meeting is to get feedback on data collection strategies, determining system bounds, and determining the best avenue for this tool to be distributed and released.