UA Awarded $1.5M to Study Human-Fire-Climate Interactions

Friday, September 23, 2011

Human activities are increasingly impinging on forests in the Southwest, both changing previously established patterns of wildfires in the landscape, and themselves being vulerable to fire; in addition, changes in climate affect fire behavior. The recent Wallow and Las Conchas fires have made these changes a matter of widespread concern. The Tree-Ring Lab will be part of the multi-disciplinary research team that the NSF has awarded $1.5 million to study the interactions of human activities, fire, and climate change during the past millennium. The investigation will be based on Jemez Mountains of New Mexico, where there has been previous work in the fields of both anthropology and dendrochronology, and will place the concerns of the present within the perspective of the past. Local communities will have a direct connection to the team through outreach activities.