The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Upcoming Field Trip to the Cumberland Homesteads Historic District for our Geography 535 Dendrochronology Class

On February 23, 2013, students in the Geography 535 Dendrochronology class will be taking a field excursion to the Cumberland Homesteads Historic District in Crossville, Tennessee. This historic site was built in the mid-1930s as part of the newly-initiated New Deal Communities project to stimulate jobs and provide affordable housing. The Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science has been recruited to determine if living trees on the site were planted as part of the original site development plans, or pre-date/post-date the site. Our project will simply involve coring all living trees and ageing them in the laboratory to provide guidance on restoration plans by the Cumberland Towers Historical Association.

The Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science is awarded a grant from the Tennessee Historical Commission and Bledsoe's Lick Historical Association!

The primary goal of our proposed project is to conduct a more thorough dendrochronological investigation on several logs from two structures at the Wynnewood State Historic Area, located just northeast of Nashville, Tennessee, to better understand their construction history. The first structure is described as a modest two-story log cabin with diamond notching, one of the few structures in the region to have this unique notch type. The second structure is the Spencer Cabin. Cutting dates (if the outermost ring formed by the tree while living is present and intact) will be determined for each sampled log to analyze the construction history of the two structures.

The Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science welcomes new M.S. student Maegen Rochner!

Maegen comes to us from Indiana University-Southeast where she double-majored in English and Geology and earned a perfect 4.0 GPA. She wishes to capitalize on her geoscience training by using tree rings to learn more about earth surface processes. This semester, she will begin her masters project that will involve using tree-ring data to date historic and prehistoric debris flow events in the Anakeesta Ridge area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. Her project marks the very first in our laboratory that uses techniques of dendrogeomorphology!

Congratulations to Niki Garland who successfully defended her master's thesis research on November 30, 2012!

We're very proud to announce that Niki Garland has earned her Master of Science degree from the Department of Geography! Niki has been with the tree-ring lab since the summer of 2009, participating on numerous field trips and projects, and being author and coauthor on several peer-reviewed journal articles. Niki's masters project involved evaluating the effects of the 2008 TVA coal ash spill on tree growth of surviving hardwood trees. She discovered no adverse effects of the coal ash on tree growth and posited several possible hypotheses why tree growth was not affected.

Congratulations to Sarah Jones for being selected as an intern in the National Geographic Society's Education Programs for Curriculum Development and Outreach!

Sarah has been a part of the tree-ring lab since summer of 2009 when she was just beginning her junior year at UT. She is one of the most "decorated" of our graduate students in the Department of Geography, and in December was awarded a very competitive internship with the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. In spring semester 2013, Sarah will join NGS in their education program for curriculum development and outreach. When she returns, she will continue to analyze the results from her analyses of hundreds of cores obtained from El Malpais National Monument in New Mexico for her masters project.

Maya says "Congrats on being outstanding in science! I really miss you!"

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