TISED Newsletter 


Nitrogen, Nitrogen Footprints and their Management

Friday, November 18, 2016 14:30to18:00
Faculty Club 3450 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 0E5, CA

This event is being hosted by the Trottier Institute for Science and Public Policy (TISPP), within the Faculty of Science at McGill University. This is free, open to the public, no registration required. Full program below. For questions, tim.moore [at] mcgill.ca (email Prof. Tim Moore, Director of TISPP)

Join us to learn about the effects of human activities on the nitrogen cycle, nitrogen footprints and their management.

Humans have fundamentally altered the global nitrogen cycle - even more profoundly than the carbon cycle. The creation of ‘reactive nitrogen’ has fueled human progress and helped to vastly increase food production, but has unintended consequences for air and water pollution that have immense costs to society. Read Galloway and Leach (2016) "Sustainability: Your feet’s too big" (Nature Geoscience 9: 97-8) and listen to Fats Waller's song "Your feet's too big"There is now a movement to better identify the sources and effects of ‘reactive nitrogen’, to create a ‘nitrogen footprint’ at individual, institutional and national levels and examine ways to reduce the magnitude of this footprint. This Symposium examines the science, causes and effects of accelerated nitrogen use, the development of nitrogen footprints and ways in which footprints can be reduced, either personally or institutionally. It brings together researchers from the USA and Canada, presents the N footprint for McGill and includes a panel discussion on what can be done.


  • 14:30 Welcome and outline of Program: Tim Moore, Director TISPP, McGill University
  • 14:35 The global nitrogen cycle and anthropogenic effects: James Galloway, University of Virginia
  • 15:05 Social and economic costs of nitrogen pollution: Jana Compton, US EPA
  • 15:35 N-Print and its combination with carbon footprints: Allison Leach, University of New Hampshire
  • 16:00 The McGill N footprint: Aidan Goertzen (with Graham MacDonald, Tim Moore and Brian Robinson), McGill University
  • 16:25 Calculate your personal N footprint (access the online N-print calculator): Izzy Castner, University of Virginia
  • 16:45 Options for managing N footprints: A Panel Discussion
    • Moderator: Graham MacDonald, Geography, McGill University
    • Panellists:
      • Jana Compton, US EPA
      • Jim Galloway, University of Virginia
      • Subhasis Ghoshal, TISED, McGill University
      • Aidan Goertzen, McGill University
      • Audrey Moores, Chemistry, McGill University
      • Kathleen Ng, Office of Sustainability, McGill University
      • Brian Robinson, Geography, McGill University
      • Oliver De Volpi, Residences, McGill University
  • 17:45 Closing remarks and audience N footprint results
  • 18:00 Reception
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