Ten Facts About the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
  1. Established in 1937, we are the world’s premier and largest center devoted to dendrochronology – the study of environments and cultures using tree rings.
  2. We are 16 primary & joint-appointed faculty, 7 adjunct faculty, 3 research associates, 12 staff, and 19 graduate students.
  3. We excel in multi-disciplinary applications of dendrochronology in archaeology, climatology, ecology, geology and hydrology.
  4. Our research contributes fundamental and applied insights on the long-term dynamics and history of climate, ecosystems, human societies and their interactions.
  5. We teach undergraduate and graduate courses and mentor graduate students in five different UA departments in three UA colleges.
  6. We maintain the world’s largest collection of ancient timbers, including specimens from the oldest and largest trees and beams from thousands of archeological sites.
  7. We have hosted visitors and trained students from more than 100 countries and we give tours and demonstrations to more than 3,000 kindergarten through high school students each year.
  8. Our research is supported by the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Salt River Project, and gifts from friends.
  9. Honors among our faculty include: A national award from the Secretary of Interior for Colorado River studies, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for American Archaeology, AAAS Fellow, Regents’ Professor, and appointments to advisory boards by the Governor of Arizona and the President of the United States.
  10. Our research findings are frequently in the news, including coverage in the New York Times, National Geographic Magazine, and CBS 60 Minutes.


  • Mediterranean Climate & Cultures: Our research and teaching programs are expanding in this region, with new projects and published papers on climate history and ancient Egyptian boats.
  • Multi-Disciplinary Research: More than $6.9 million in new grants were awarded to us in 2011, including studies of the Southwest monsoon, wildfire and human interactions in forests, and support from the National Park Service’s “Save Americas Treasures” program for our collections.
  • Bryant Bannister Tree-Ring Building: We are building a new 26,000 square foot office and laboratory building designed for our needs. Expected completion is in late 2012.