Dendrochronology Intensive Summer Course (DISC) 2023
What is DISC2023?
This year, the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research (LTRR) is offering three dendrochronology tracks and two modes of instruction for its intensive summer course:
The Dendroarchaeology track will be conducted in-person and will be led by Dr. Ron Towner. The Dendroecology track will also be conducted in-person and will be led by Dr. Paul Sheppard. And finally, the Dendroclimatology track will be conducted live-online and will be led Dr. David Frank. Participants will be able to hone their skills in track-specific techniques and concepts but also learn about fundamental concepts and the rich inter-disciplinary nature of Dendrochronology. Ample opportunities to interact with participants in other tracks, as well as Invited Speakers will be provided. Read on for more details about each of the tracks!
This track will emphasize the process of conducting Dendroarchaeological research from start to finish. During this course, participants will collect, analyze and interpret archaeological tree-rings. Participants (undergrads, grads, professionals) will learn the most accurate and precise dating method used by archaeologists via lectures, laboratory exercises, and field work. The centerpiece of this track is the field trip - a tour through multiple archaeological sites in New Mexico. Participants will embark into the field after first receiving instruction in the basics of dendrochronological method and theory. Upon returning from the field, participants will prepare, crossdate and interpret dendroarcheological samples collected during the field trip. Lectures will be presented by course instructors as well as leading tree-ring scientists, including Jeffrey S. Dean and Charlotte Pearson.
This year, the ecology track will return to including a field component. The exact location of the field work is still TBD, but the field instruction will include site and tree selection criteria for dendro projects (past climate, fire history, stand dynamics), learning how to collect high-quality tree cores and possibly cross sections from fallen logs, and proper care and maintenance of the equipment. Samples collected in the field will be processed in the wood shop and analyzed in the lab for the remainder of DISC. This field excursion will involve camping for a few days, so bring your tent, sleeping bag and other camping gear if you have it (gear can be rented if you don't have it).
This track will emphasize the application of tree-ring data from the International Tree-Ring Databank (ITRDB) to the reconstruction of climatic and hydrologic time series. Lectures from researchers experienced in dendroclimatic reconstruction projects at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales will give an overview of diverse applications of networks of tree-ring data in climatology and hydrology. With guidance of the instructor, students will design and conduct a mini-research project that includes 1) assembly and quality control of data, 2) tree-ring standardization, 3) climate signal identification, 4) climate or streamflow reconstruction, and 5) climatological interpretation of reconstructions with the aid of time series and statistical methods. Students are welcome to include their own tree-ring data sets in the course activities and analyses steps.
NOTE: The online Dendroclimatology track will focus on analytical methods and data analyses. We expect that these two tracks will be most appealing and useful to participants who have some background and knowledge in tree-ring research but are looking to deepen their analytical skills. Prospective students should be familiar with tree-ring data, have a basic knowledge of statistics at the introductory level, and have some experience with the use of R computing software for data analysis and statistics.
What is the format of DISC2023?
The instruction platform depends on the DISC track.
The Dendroarchaeology and Dendroecology tracks are in-person. It will span a period of three weeks, beginning May 15 and ending June 2. This track will include lectures, field and lab work, as well as group work to analyze and interpret archaeological tree rings.
The Dendroclimatology track is live-online. This track will also span a period of one and a half weeks, beginning May 24 and ending June 2. This track will include lectures, method tutorials, and workshop-style breakout sessions in small groups.
In all three tracks, lectures will be presented by course instructors and other leading scientists at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and other research institutions. There will be time dedicated to work on developing projects. The course will culminate with final presentations. Formal course activities will typically extend from 9AM to 4PM (Pacific Time). For the live-online participants, we will aim to establish a framework that mitigates Zoom fatigue, and is conducive to building a connected cohort of participants.
Who should attend?
The Dendroarchaeology and Dendroecology tracks are open to students with some knowledge of dendrochronology, including undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals. Given the emphasis on analysis in the live-online Dendroclimatology track, we expect it to be most appealing and useful to participants who have some background and knowledge in tree-ring research but are looking to deepen their analytical skills. This includes graduate students, post-docs, faculty and working professionals. Prospective students for the live-online Dendroclimatology track should be familiar with tree-ring data, have a basic knowledge of statistics at the introductory level, and have some experience with the use of R computing software for data analysis and statistics.
Specific inquiries regarding the suitability of this course should be directed toward Lead Instructors - Dendroarchaeology: Dr. Ron Towner; Dendroecology: Dr Paul Sheppard; and Dendroclimatology: Dr. David Frank.
To register, please fill in this form. Course fees are $1450 for the in-person Archaeology and Ecology tracks and $850 the live-online Dendroclimatology track payable by May 1, 2023. Please contact Skye Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up payment by check or wire transfer. If you are interested in taking this course for University of Arizona credit, please send us an email at email@example.com.
Course dates are different for in-person and live-online tracks.
In-person Archaeology and Ecology tracks: May 15, 2023 through June 2, 2023.
Live-online Dendroclimatology track: May 24, 2023 through June 2, 2023.
For more information
For general inquiries, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check the website http://www.ltrr.arizona.edu/summerschool/index.html. For more specific questions about in-depth analyses, contact Lead Instructors - Dendroarchaeology: Dr. Ron Towner, email@example.com; Dendroecology: Dr. Paul Sheppard, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dendroclimatology: Dr. David Frank, email@example.com.
Photos from previous DISC courses