Rex Adams

Research Specialist, Sr.

Rex Adams portrait

Rex Adams, Research Specialist, Sr., has a 1967 double major B.A. in Chemistry and Sociology/Anthropology from Adams State College, Alamosa, Colorado. In 1980 he received a M.A. degree in Anthropology from Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico. He joined The University of Arizona staff in August 1980 at the Arizona State Museum. In July of 1981, he became a research technician employee of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. From July 1981 to October 1986, he worked with other LTRR staff members on collecting, preparing, crossdating and measuring increment cores from California, Oregon, Idaho and Nevada. This was a National Science Foundation supported project which resulted in the publication of Tree-Ring Chronologies of Western North America: California, Eastern Oregon and Northern Great Basin with Procedures Used in the Chronology Development Work including Users Manuals for computer Programs COFECHA and ARSTAN, Chronology Series VI, 1986. This basic research has provided the data for many additional research projects, students’ (both undergraduate and graduate) papers and degrees and fostered cooperation in planning efforts between various governmental agencies.

From October 1986 to January 1990, he was involved in field collections, sample preparation, crossdating and measuring of bristlecone pine and foxtail pine samples from across the Great Basin to the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies and the crest area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. During this same time period, he was involved in the field collection, preparation, crossdating and measuring of nine different conifer species from Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado as part of a multidisciplinary baseline study of the health of western conifer forests by the Environmental Protection Agency.

In January of 1990, he became a full-time state supported staff member of the LTRR. His duties and responsibilities in this position include teaching the laboratory portion of the 464/564 course Introduction to Dendrochronology and the 497/597 course Workshop in Dendrochronology. He has also been the laboratory instructor for the BIOC 597 course for secondary school teachers. He is responsible for teaching and training visiting scholars (both national and international) who then return to their home locations to set up programs in dendrochronology research. He is responsible for organizing the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research Outreach Program, which involves visiting K-12 schools in the Tucson area and other locations in southern Arizona to provide students with face to face and hands-on experience with tree-ring information and samples. Schools are also invited to visit the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, and each year many teachers make arrangements for such visits. Local civic groups such as Kiwanis and Optimists Club are also visited and/or come to the LTRR. University of Arizona classes are also given tours of the Laboratory facilities each semester. Samples are also provided to museum and school facilities for permanent display. He has also been responsible, in part, for building shelf sets and organizing the very large permanent archive collection of dendrochronological wood samples from around the world.

Over the past six years he has participated in an ongoing project to update and extend the bristlecone pine chronology from the White Mountains of California. This important and unique research has remained a fruitful avenue for exploring the history of global climate change and providing the underpinning of geochronology for the radiocarbon community over the past 50 years and promises to continue to provide insight in the future.