The annual growth rings from trees provide us with an incredibly powerful and adaptable tool to study Earth’s history. The rings tell us much more than just the age of tree. They also provide clues that help us understand how our environment has changed in the past, and provide insights into how key processes in atmosphere, biosphere and geological systems operate over long timescales.
This course will teach students the fundamental principles of dendrochronology through a combination of formal lectures, class discussion and laboratory exercises. Students will work in the University of Minnesota’s Center for Dendrochronology, where they will learn how to collect, prepare and date tree-ring specimens. By the end of the course, they will be able to explain both the key concepts underlying dendrochronology and discuss how evidence from tree rings is used to address contemporary issues in natural history, resource management and Earth Systems Science.