Introduction to Dendrochronology

Catalog Label:
GEOS 439A / 539A also ANTH / WSM / GEOG
Course Category:
Courses in Dendrochronology
Both Undergraduate and Graduate
Year Offered:
Semester or Session:
Fall Semester
David Frank
Malcolm Hughes
Secondary Instructors:
Nick Kessler
Bannister Tree-Ring Building
Primary Room: Secondary Rooms: Times:
Lecture: TuTh 9:30–10:45AM, Lab: Tu 2:00PM–5:00PM
Home Page: Units:

Course Description


In this course students will learn the scientific basis, techniques, and applications of dendrochronology.  We will study the biological basis of tree-ring research and the central principles of dendrochronology. After studying fundamental concepts students will learn about applications of dendrochronology in different disciplines via lectures and discussions with leading dendrochronologists at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. During intensive, weekly laboratory sessions and a weekend field trip students will learn the practical skills of specimen collection, preparation, observation, and the most important method and principle of dendrochronology -- crossdating.  At the end of the course, students will be able to collect tree-ring samples, prepare and date the samples, and build a local chronology. Finally, students will be able to evaluate dendrochronological analyses, and interpret their own data for specific research issues.