Resources for Dendrochronologists
An incredible amount of information is readily available to those interested in dendrochronology, of which most sources are listed below. Simply place the mouse on the line containing the desired link, and click away. By "resources," I mean a site where you can learn about tree-ring research or connect to a site that will help you do your tree-ring research. You may want to know where to buy equipment or what workshops are held for those interested in dendrochronology. If you're interested in learning which institutions or which scientists are conducting tree-ring research, be sure to go to the "Links" page using the button on the left. If you or your colleagues learn of any new sites that you feel would be a valuable addition to this listing of resources, be sure to contact me at the address at the bottom of this page and let me know what you found!
4th International Conference on Environmental Challenges & Dendrochronology
This conference was held 14-15 May 2014 at the Institute of the Caspain Ecosystems at Sari Universit in Iran. A variety of environmental problems now affect our entire world. The largest problems now affecting the world include soil, air and water pollution, global warming, ozone depletion, drought, deforestation and desertification. Recognizing and addressing these problems is necessary for preserving the environment. Dendrochronology knowledge can help us to determine and reconstruct past climate conditions. Tree-ring width is another reliable proxy of ambient environmental conditions. The 4th International Conference on Environmental and Dendrochronology will focus on these environmental problems we face.
international Summer Course “Tree Rings, Climate, Natural Resources, and Human Interaction
Held 10-25 June 2014 in
Kahramanmaras, Turkey, the participants in this course will
be introduced to techniques of dendrochronology and conduct
practical training sessions in the techniques. The
instrumental and proxy records (tree-ring chronologies) will
be used to place the climatic conditions faced in the
management of trees, water, livestock, indigenous
herbivores, and people and their needs in a proper long-term
perspective. Instructors include Dr. Ramzi Touchan and Dr.
Dave Meko of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research in Tucson,
The 9th ICD was held 14-20 January 2014 in Melbourne, Australia, preceded by the International Dendroecological Fieldweek from 7 to 14 January. The ICD conferences are held once every four years at various international venues, and bring together hundreds of dendrochronologists practicing in practically every area of tree-ring science, e.g. dendroarchaeology (historic and prehistoric), dendroclimatology (reconstructions and climate response), dendroecology (fire history, insect studies), dendrogeomorphology (mass movements, volcanic eruptions), and dendrochemistry, among others. For more information, contact the Conference Secretariat Kate Stevens at email@example.com.
The TRACE 2014 conference was held on 6-10 May 2014 in Aviemore, Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom. It will be organised by the St Andrews Tree-Ring Laboratory of the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences (University of St Andrews) in conjunction with the Association for Tree-ring Research (ATR). TRACE 2014 seeks to strengthen the network and scientific exchange of scientists and students involved in the study of tree-rings. The scope of the meeting includes all fields of dendrochronology and its application in archaeology, climatology, geomorphology, glaciology, fire history, forest dynamics, hydrology and physiology, including the use of stable isotopes.
During the fieldweek, students learn the basics of dendrochronology, select trees or timbers in the field to address questions relevant to their research interests, and then practice sampling those woods. Participants also prepare and analyze wood samples under the guidance of the expert team leaders and are exposed to the various techniques commonly used in dendrochronology: the importance of cross-dating and methods of cross-dating; chronology development and associated issues; and subsequent analysis of the developed chronologies. An advanced group skips field aspects and focuses on chronology development and analysis.
Held May 13 to 18, 2013, in Tucson, Arizona, the conference included oral presentation sessions, poster sessions, workshops, and field trips. From July 2012 onwards we invite you to submit general suggestions on potential topics of program sessions and workshops. We also call for brief proposals — of one page length — by individuals (or groups of individuals) to organize oral or poster sessions on specific topics, and for leading or teaching workshops. Please send your suggestions for topics, or proposals for sessions or workshops by email to the organizers at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research by September 1: firstname.lastname@example.org
Being held September 23-28, 2013 in Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil, this new workshop will feature some of the top dendrochronological researchers with vast experiences in tropical dendrochronology who will guide working groups in basic and advanced methods applied in tree ring analyses and offer talks covering dendroclimatology, dendroecology and applications for forest management. This well-organized web site provides information on accommodations, speakers, the university itself, organizers, and the hour-by-hour program.
The 4th International Conference of Asian Dendrochronology Association will be held 9-12 March 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The international conference is organized every two years to enhance tree-ring research and collaboration among various partners working together in the sector of tree-ring research. They expect around 150 participants from around the globe to share and discuss the multi-aspects of tree rings and environment from basic research leading to advancement of knowledge and use of innovative approaches to solve major environmental problems. Prior to the conference, there will be a pre-field week workshop for interested participants.
Organized by Holger Gärtner, Alan Crivellaro, and Fritz H. Schweingruber, this course will be held 23-29 November 2014 in Klosters Dorf, Switzerland. Registration is via email to: email@example.com. Acceptance of participation will be done on a first come, first serve basis! (Deadline for registration: August 22nd, 2014). The aim of the course is to teach basic theoretical information about the anatomy of woody plants and especially ecological wood anatomy. This will be done by demonstrating "the reality" (anatomical features) of wood based on more than 240 micro-sections which are prepared for each participant. A very important part of the course is the additional teaching of different anatomical preparation techniques.
The North American Dendroecological Fieldweek (NADEF) provides an intensive learning experience in dendrochronology. Previous experience in field and laboratory-based tree-ring techniques is not required. Participants range from new initiates in the field to seasoned veterans with over 20 years or longer of experience. Group leaders of the fieldweek are among the top scientists in the various fields of global environmental change. Everybody that participates in the fieldweeks learns new things because the projects and locations are different every year.
In 2014, the 26th European fieldweek will be held 1-6 September in Oviedo (Asturias), Spain. Topics covered will include the full spectrum of dendrochronological issues (climate, ecology, geomorphology, archeology) and foster cross-disciplinary links. Each topic includes keynote lectures, field work, sample preparation, and tree-ring analyses in small groups. At the end of the week all participants will present a poster of their results with ample opportunity for discussion.
The EuroDendro conferences usually take place every two years at some location in Europe. EuroDendro is the traditional conference of the European dendrochronologists. In 2014, it wil be held in September 2014 in Lugo, Spain (details forthcoming). EuroDendro is a conference of the European Working Group for Dendrochronology and offers the opportunity to present on all topics of tree ring research and related fields of science (such as climatology, forestry, archaeology etc.). Although EuroDendro conferences are traditionally European meetings, all scientists are invited to participate. The Eurodendro meeting provides an opportunity to discuss exciting advances that have been made in tree-ring research, to consider the principal challenges and research questions we currently face, and the ways in which our field can address them.
The aim of the BaltDendro 2012 conference is to bring together students, scientists, and professionals of Baltic Countries working in different fields of dendro sciences - dendroarcheology, dendroclimatology, and dendroecology - to exchange experience and knowledge, to make new contacts and to talk about possible collaboration in future. The organizer of the conference is Dr. Adomas Vitas (Environmental Research Centre, Faculty of Nature Sciences of Vytautas Magnus University). The conference will be held on August 30-September 2, 2012. The participants have a possibility to give an oral presentation (10-15 or 20-25 minutes). Conference will be held in private household (Pašventupio 3) in Šventoji, Lithuania.
"Dating Anthropogenic and Natural Changes in a Fragile Alpine Environment." Between 4-9 September 2011, the International Geochronology Summer School in Switzerland will be held in Bergün, Switzerland. Topics to be covered in lectures, excursions and workshops include: (1) Dating techniques: (radiocarbon, exposure dating with cosmogenic nuclides, OSL; dendrochronology, Ice-core chronologies, as well as relative methods like soil weathering and Schmidt-hammer technique. The Summer School is open to young researchers (PhD students and Post-Docs) worldwide. Participation is competitive and will be limited to a maximum of 20. The registration fee (880 CHF; about 600 Euro or 770 USD) includes accommodation (room sharing required), half board and lunch, excursion and teaching material.
The world-famous Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona annually hosts a three-week, intensive summer school that provides course credits. In 2014, the Laboratory will offer summer courses in dendroecology, dendroclimatology, and dendroarchaeology. Classes will convene May 19. Lectures will be presented by course instructors and other leading scientists. Course readings are drawn primarily from the published literature. Classes are designed for graduate students as well as faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and working professionals with suitable backgrounds.
Tree-Ring, Climate, and Paleoclimatic Data
The ITRDB contains over 3,300 tree-ring chronologies and over 2,400 measurement data sets from around the world, representing data from over 100 species in more than 50 countries. The ITRDB is housed at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina, USA. This site has numerous, very useful links to software for graphing tree-ring data, and has an excellent search engine that allows easy retrieval and downloading of all the tree-ring data sets. Reconstructions from tree-ring data are also available.
Other tree-ring data sets:
Reconstructed temperature and precipitation from tree rings in North America, made available by Harold C. Fritts.
Tree-ring chronology indices and reconstructions of precipitation in central Iowa, USA, made available by T.J. Blasing and D.N. Duvick.
Data from the immense project "Forest Responses to Anthropogenic Stress," made available by S.B. McLaughlin et al.
The purpose of the IMPD is to "create a broadly-accessible online database of fire history derived from paleoenvironmental proxy data, which will enhance our understanding of the relationships between fire and climate (drought in particular) and provide a basis for long-term fire predictions." Much of the data in the paleofire datadase is derived from fire event series, using fire-scar chronologies from multiple sites in North and South America. Also contained in the IMPD are tree-ring based data sets that provide information on stand development.
The DCCD is a digital repository and interactive library of tree-ring data. Its content is developed through research of, among others: archaeological sites (including old landscapes), ship wrecks, buildings, furniture, paintings, sculptures and musical instruments. The DCCD is based on the Tree-Ring Data Standard (TRiDaS) and allows for conversion of other widely-used data formats. It contains digital tree-ring measurement series and average chronologies, as well as their descriptive and interpretative metadata. It allows contributors to control and manage access to their data.
A common question I'm asked all the time concerns locating various types of climatic data for comparing with tree growth. Personally, I've obtained most of my data through this link to the NCDC. From here, you can download temperature, precipitation, Palmer Drought Severity Index, and degree-day climatic data, just to name a few, right to your computer!
This link connects to the
National Geophysical Data Center Paleoclimatology Program in
Denver, Colorado, which also acts as the World Data Center -
A for Paleoclimatology, and the IGBP PAGES (International
Geosphere-Biosphere Program Past Global Changes) Data
Coordination Center. From here you can access all kinds of
paleoclimatic data, including ice core data, tree-ring data,
documentary data, pollen data, and sedimentary data.
References and Books
For specific books and articles on various topics in the tree-ring science, please visit my "References" page. A comprehensive listing of books available in the tree-ring sciences is available from my online bookstore where you can also purchase books to help support the Science of Tree Rings Web Site!
Help with locating and obtaining references vital to one's research is always important when initiating research. The bibliographic database was compiled and is constantly maintained by Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, and placed online with the immense help of Michéle Kaennel Dobbertin at the Swiss Federal Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf, Switzerland.
The Tree-Ring Bulletin (now called Tree-Ring Research), begun in 1934 as the official newsletter of the newly-formed Tree-Ring Society, was the first journal to provide an outlet for research about tree rings. In 1983, the journal Dendrochronologia appeared, providing an additional and important outlet for tree-ring research with an emphasis on European research. The next page will provide information about these journals and many more!
Learn More about Tree-Ring Research
This association is particularly aimed at research groups and individual scientists working primarily in Europe, especially those new to the field who wish to learn more about their nearby colleagues. These web page are well-organized, very colorful, very entertaining, and very informative. Go here to learn more about the association, upcoming conferences, discussion groups, and databases. Interestingly, you can upload information about your own group, such as recent publications. Joining the ATR is extremely easy with their Membership page!
This society is the oldest organization
dedicated to dendrochronology. Its missions are to:
▪ To promote tree-ring research to the global scientific community
▪ To facilitate organization of symposia, conferences, and workshops on all aspects of tree-ring research
▪ To publish results of tree-ring studies
▪ To disseminate knowledge of dendrochronology to other disciplines and to the public
This web site has links that provide information on membership in the society (including how to subscribe to the society), how to receive the society's flagship journal (Tree-Ring Research), meetings and workshops sponsored by the society, and a link to the society by-laws.
Paul Sheppard has developed what is surely the best site that demonstrates the principle of crossdating. On these excellent well-written pages, you'll find information about ring-growth anomalies, complacent versus sensitive ring patterns, pattern matching, dendrochronological applications, and more. Dr. Sheppard also provides an easy-to-use Java applet where you can actually try your hand at creating "skeleton plots," which aid the dendrochronologist in crossdating tree-ring patterns! A highly recommended site!
The ITRDB Forum (ITRDBFOR) on the Internet was established in 1988 by Harold C. Fritts to promote communication among dendrochronologists around the world. It had been managed since 1988 by Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, but he relinquished duties to Dave Lawrence, Martin Munro, and Andy Bartholomay in 2006. Today, the forum has 600 members from 33 countries. This link will provide you with more detailed information, such as how to join and participate, how to find out who its members are, and what kinds of discussions you can expect!
CanDendro is a very comprehensive archive of information related to Canadian dendrochronology, including lists of laboratories, contact information, a link to a massive bibliographic database, a photo gallery, and most importantly, a link to dendrochronology collections in Canada. CanDendro also operates a list moderated by Dan Smith of the University of Victoria Tree-Ring Laboratory. CanDendro enables CDRG members and student dendrochronologists to post items of interest or to ask questions of the Canadian tree ring community.
This link includes information about PRECON Version 5.01, software designed to help investigate the climate/tree growth relationship, and TREERING 2.0, a process model of tree growth with daily time steps. Hal also provides information about obtaining his many references, some out of print, and about an internet discussion list he manages about cambial activity and tree-ring structure.
Perhaps one of the most
beautiful of all Web Pages, these pages, designed by Leonard
Miller, describe all one needs to know to become familiar
with the bristlecone pine trees (Pinus longaeva) of the
western United States. These are the oldest known trees in
the world, attaining ages in excess of 5,000 years. These
pages have received numerous awards from those who monitor
the best of the Web sites.
This company is a primary supplier of tree-ring cross sections. They offer cross sections from six different tree types, two coniferous and four deciduous types found in the northern U.S. The sections range from 2.5" - 4" in diameter and 3/8" thick. They offer red pine, white pine, oak, walnut, ash, and basswood rounds. The rounds can be purchased individually or as a set. Using the variety of tree types, educators can teach tree aging, growth patterns, wood density, wood structure and tree identification. The company supplies cross-sections to wholesalers and those developing educational kits, and discounts are available. E-mail, .
Finally, someone has put together a basic set of "how-to" web pages designed to help anyone get started doing basic dendrochronology! Brian C. McCarthy and Darrin S. Rubino designed these excellent pages as part of a presentation at the Ecological Society of America conference, and the pages are used by the Plant ecology class at Ohio University. You'll learn how to use an increment borer, how to core a tree, how to mount and prepare the cores you obtain, how to crossdate the rings using skeleton plots, and you'll also learn how to analyze the climatic properties of the ring widths themselves. These pages assume that you have the minimal basics to do the analyses, hence most classes should be able to do these exercises.
"This educational site is a production of Domtar Inc., in cooperation with the Commission scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles, le Fonds de l'autoroute de l'information (FAI) and the ministère de l'Éducation du Québec, to inform and entertain." A wonderful site, and very informative for elementary schools regarding tree rings. Click on the upper left side of the page where it says "Enter here," and choose any of the options available from the next framed page. For example, in the left pane, you will see a section called "A Year in the Life of a Tree," which contains information about tree rings, with many pictures of trees as well!
The NOAA Paleoclimatology Program, has put together an excellent set of 20 slides that teach basic principles of tree rings and tree-ring dating, including applications of tree-ring research. The set includes "color photos depicting dendrochronological techniques, including tree coring in the field, sample preparation, cross-dating, standardization, and chronology building. Photos and graphics of tree physiology as well as climatic interpretations derived from tree ring data." The set of slides costs US$25.00.
Hal Fritts has begun a new series of stories about trees and tree rings designed specifically for "kids and grownup kids interested in what trees mean to me with emphasis on the science of dendrochronology and physiological processes governing the climate and growth relationships." His first story is called The Wisdom of the Ancients and feature the bristlecone pine trees, the oldest known trees in the world. His second story is called A Day with the Giants, and his third is A Year in the Life of a Pine Tree. These links can be found about half-way down Hal's Home page - to view the file you'll need to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader (which is also free). Well worth your time - truly marvelous stories!
Lori Martinez of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, along with Rex Adams and Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, created a web page to be used by both teachers and students interested in learning more about dendrochronology. This information can be used to supplement a lesson plan or to expand your basic knowledge of dendrochronology principles. The target audience for this page are middle and high school science teachers and students, and anyone else interested in a non-technical review of tree-ring dating.
The Why Files are funded by the National Science Foundation, and intended for use by elementary through high school students. Students get to ask questions and, in essence, create their own mini-forums with students with similar interests. A major section is entitled "The Climatologist's Toolbox" - select this, and you'll see a link to information about tree rings in response to one such question!
More Important Resources
The Glaciological Department of the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow has been together a series of web pages dedicated to the study of Paleoglaciology. Led by Dr. Olga Solomina and her colleagues, The web site aims "to disseminate the information on glacier and climate changes of the FSU in the recent past and to establish contacts with similar groups of researchers worldwide." You will also find information on the use of tree-ring data to learn about past glacial activity!
Elbert Little spent much of his Forest Service career providing information on which species exist in North America and where they can be found. At this web site, compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey, you can obtain PDF files and shape files of range maps of all the major (and some minor) tree and shrub species. A useful site for students, too!
These comprehensive web pages were developed by Klaus-Peter Kelber of the Mineralogisches Institut, Universität Würzburg. Well-organized into seven separate pages, this site provides information relevant to dendrochronologists, such as Palaeoclimate, Plant Anatomy, Palynology, Teaching Documents, Permineralized Plants and Petrified Forests, and Systematics, Taxonomy, and Cladistics.
Tree-ring data play a vital function in PAGES, a core project of the IGBP that is "... charged with providing a quantitative understanding of the Earth's past environment and defining the envelope of natural climate variability within which we can assess anthropogenic impact on the Earth's biosphere, geosphere, and atmosphere. Through the organization of coordinated national and international scientific efforts, PAGES seeks to obtain and interpret a variety of paleoclimatic records to provide the data for the validation of predictive climate models."