Although thirty years of research has concluded that aquatic life forms contain mercury, the impact of gaseous mercury emissions from industrial and mobile sources on terrestrial life forms has been largely ignored. An analysis of Magicicada septendecium, Magicicada cassinii, and Magicicada septendecula revealed a mercury concentration in the adult cicada comparable to that in herbivorous fish. Soil samples from three habitats were examined. Mercury at one location was more than twenty-five times the average concentration measured in the cicadas. An air pollution dispersion model was used to predict systemic mercury exposure. The relationship between bio-accumulated mercury in cicadas and exposure estimates was significant. This clearly written dissertation is a template for the scientific study of terrestrial contamination. Procedures utilize inexpensive equipment and commonly available reagents. Links to free software are included. Data analysis is explained straightforwardedly. This text is an invaluable primer for both students and professionals in environmental science.