The College of Wooster Tree Ring Lab is a group of faculty, staff, and undergraduate student researchers, founded by Dr. Greg Wiles in 1998 in the College’s Geology department, who study tree rings and their relationship to archaeology, climate, and geology. Whether the projects are for sophomore or summer research, or for students’ senior Independent Study theses, the Tree Ring Lab utilizes dendrochronology to date historical structures in Ohio (dendroarchaeology) and reconstruct paleoclimate (dendroclimatology). Our goal is to assemble long tree-ring chronologies from oaks by sampling both living trees and old wood.
Research has conducted by the Tree Ring Lab in Alaska, Ohio, and Russia, and has been featured at many annual meetings of the Geological Society of America and in various other publications.
What was once a small office in the basement of Scovel Hall became headquarters for our lab work and storage. The lab quickly out grew the original space allocated and so the Tree Ring Lab annex was founded. What was once an X-Ray lab has become a pivotal post for student workers and seniors completing their Independent Study requirements. The Tree Ring Lab also has a well-stocked preparation room which houses all saw and sanding equipment. The Tree Ring Lab’s newest facility is the Fern Valley Field Station. The land for the field station was donated to The College of Wooster by Betty (’64) and Dave Wilkin (retired French professor) in 2011. Multiple departments, including Geology and Biology, share the site. In 2014, Dr. Wiles and the Tree Ring Lab conducted studies on erosion in Wilkin Run (unofficial stream name) and mass movements along the valley walls at the site.
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Dr. Greg Wiles, Director
Tel: 330-263-2298; Fax: 330-263-2249
B.A. Beloit College (’84)
M.S. SUNY-Binghamton (’88)
Ph.D. University at Buffalo (’92)
Dr. Wiles is the Ross K. Shoolroy Chair of Natural Resources and professor of Geology at The College of Wooster. He primarily researches glacial geology and paleoclimatology, working in Alaska during the summer months as well as in the Quaternary geology (last 1.6 million years) of Ohio. Dr. Wiles also teaches the Geomorphology, Climate Change, and Environmental Geology courses at the College.
He began studying climate change using tree-rings and glaciers as a doctoral fellow at the University of Buffalo. After earning his Ph.D., he won a post-doctoral fellowship at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Dr. Wiles has researched tree rings and glaciers all over the world, traveling to Antartica, Madagascar, and the Northwest Territories of Canada.
Nick Wiesenberg, Lab Technician
In addition to serving as the Lab Technician for the Geology Department since 2010, Nick works with Dr. Dan Lawson of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) to date both living trees and subfossil wood from Alaska. He also works on dating historic structures throughout Ohio with the COW Tree Ring Lab. In addition to preparing many of the samples that have been used in our research, he often travels with Dr. Wiles and students to field sites.
Students who have conducted research with the Tree Ring Lab include Geology majors as well as students from other fields.
Class of 2018
- Brandon Bell
- Katherine Farr
- Cole Jimerson
- Eduardo Luna
- Feiyi Wu
Class of 2019
- Josh Charlton
Class of 2020
- Emily Randall
- Clara Deck ’17
- Jeff Gunderson ’17
- Sarah McGrath ’17
- Dean Thomas ’17
- Andrew Wayrynen ’17
- Madeline Happ ’16 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Dan Misinay ’16 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Kaitlin Starr ’16 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Zachery Downes ’15 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Sarah Frederick ’15 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Wilson Nelson ’15 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Andy Nash ’14 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Abby VanLeuven ’14 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Will Cary ’13 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Jenn Horton ’13 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Joe Wilch ’13 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Lauren Vargo ’13 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Sarah Appleton ’12 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Stephanie Jarvis ’11 (Read I.S. thesis (Password Required))
- LaShawna Weeks ’11 (Read I.S. thesis (Password Required))
- Kelly Aughenbaugh ’10 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Travis Brown ’10 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Colin Mennett ’10 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Terry Workman ’10
- Elyssa Belding ’09 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Caitlin Fetters ’09
- Michael Krivicich ’09 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Sophie Lehmann ’08
- Alex Trutko ’08 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Eva Lyon ’07 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Nathan Malcomb ’07 (Read I.S. thesis (Password Required))
- Tyler Moore ’07
- Anton Heitger ’06
- Peter Johnson ’06
- Anne Krawiec ’06 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Will Driscoll ’05 (Read I.S. thesis)
- Andy Horst ’05
- Nicolas Young ’05
- Elyse Zavar ’05
- Matthew Beckwith-Laube ’04 (Read research page)