Partnership between land-grant institutions helps create National Atmospheric Deposition Program

Over 40 land-grant institutions and dozens of partner organizations are working together to ensure the continued success of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program.


WASHINGTON, DC—More than 40 land-grant institutions and dozens of partner organizations are working together to ensure the continued success of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP), which monitors pollutants in precipitation, or atmospheric wet deposition that can accumulate in soils and bodies of waters and affect plants, animals, and humans. This work fosters environmental stewardship, ensures food safety and human health, and improves agricultural productivity.

In 1993, researchers formed Multistate Research Project NRSP-3 to coordinate and support the National Atmospheric Deposition Program. Today, the NADP operates five monitoring networks with facilities across North America, including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Canada. The NADP also has locations in Taiwan and Argentina. These networks track the amount, distribution, and trends of different kinds of pollutants in wet deposition. This also includes one network focused exclusively on ammonia concentrations.

“Last year alone, more than 37,000 users across 150 countries used NADP data. On a daily basis, researchers use this data to understand the effects of atmospheric deposition on our ecosystems, agriculture, air quality and climate. Our goal is to provide research support, giving scientists and other experts the data they need. To date, 2015 NADP data can be found in over 200 journal articles and reports, including work on soybean pathogens moving through the atmosphere,” said Douglas Buhler, NRSP-3 advisor and director of Michigan State University AgBioResearch, and David Gay, the Coordinator of the NADP and based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

NADP data have also been essential to help federal agencies and other decision makers learn more about how pollutants move across the biosphere.  States have used NADP data to determine the level of mercury in water before issuing advisories about mercury contamination of fish in the interest of protecting public safety.

NRSP-3 is supported, in part, through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. NSRP-3 also leverages federal and state funding to help keep various monitoring sites open. To learn more about this initiative, please visit To learn more about the multistate research program, visit

Researchers and Extension educators associated with the multistate project are represented at the following land-grant universities:

  • University of California, Davis
  • Colorado State University
  • Cornell University
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Illinois
  • Louisiana State University
  • University of Massachusetts
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • Mississippi State University
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of New Hampshire
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Oregon State University
  • Purdue University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Utah State University

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