The American Geophysical Union sponsored a Chapman Conference on “Nitrogen Cycling in Forested Catchments” on September 16–20, 1996. This conference brought together scientists from many disciplines to share recent observations and to discuss advances in the study of nitrogen (N) cycling in forests. Conference presentations and discussions focused on mechanisms controlling the retention and losses of N in forests and on the effects of atmospheric deposition, land use, and climate on watershed N loss. The importance of dissolved organic nitrogen in the biogeochemistry of N was a subject of considerable discussion. Several critical issues were identified for future research on N cycling in forested catchments.