Remembering Tom Harlan

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thomas P. Harlan was one of the most skilled practical dendrochronologists, whose career at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research ran from 1957 to 2013. He worked in extensively in the western US, and traveled to many other areas, including Morocco, South America and New Zealand. Particularly important was his fieldwork among the bristlecone pines of the White Mountains of California, where he was not only a participant in some of the pioneering studies, but latterly led a large group of volunteers over many summer seasons. Sadly he died on February 28, and more details of his fascinating life (which also included many years with the Southern Arizona Rescue Association) are in his obituary.

His legacy is being commemorated by the Thomas P. Harlan Bristlecone Pine Award, a scholarship fund to support outstanding contributions by a graduate or undergraduate student working in the LTRR on research related to bristlecone pine. Additional contributions to honor the memory of Tom Harlan (and augment the initial endowment by an anonymous donor) are welcome: checks should be made out to “UA Foundation—Harlan Award” and mailed to: Thomas P. Harlan Bristlecone Pine Award, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210045, Tucson, Ariz. 85721.