Tag Archives: tree ring

Reflecting on the Earth Sciences Department’s Community Climate Change (CCC) Project

Editor’s note: The following is by Caitlyn Denes (’23).
“The Community Climate Change Project sought to document the changes in climate in Wooster, Ohio and surrounding communities. Through the collection, analysis, and interpretation of climatological data, we summarized our findings and developed recommendations to improve the resiliency of the community in the face of climate change. Having served a wide variety of local clients, we are hopeful that our findings will educate community members and foster strong connections with community partners.”
When a group of rising sophomores entered Scovel 116 on May 16th, I do not think they realized how much they would grow as students, researchers, and as people. Tasked with researching the dynamic interactions between climate variability and the local community, the CCC Team had their work cut out for them from the beginning of their AMRE project. As a peer advisor to the work that was completed, I watched our group come together to form an effective, successful, dynamic research team in just six weeks. Supervised by Dr. Pollock and Dr. Wiles, our team encountered some great experiences. It is impossible to cram six weeks of research and field experience into just one post, so here are just some

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Wooster geologists at the Joint North-Central and Southeastern Section Meeting of the Geological Society of America in Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio —  This week Professor Wiles, Nick Wiesenberg and I attended the 2022 Joint North-Central and Southeastern meeting of the Geological Society of America in Cincinnati, about a three-hour drive south of Wooster. It was quite satisfying to attend such a meeting in person — for me it was my first such gathering since October 2019. The event was held at the Duke Energy Convention Center, a short walk from the Hilton hotel where we all stayed. All attendees had to show proof of Covid vaccinations, and masks were required for all events, but you will notice in these images that masks came off rather frequently.
This isn’t the prettiest picture of Cincinnati, but it was a nice view from the Convention Center of the bridges over the Ohio River into northern Kentucky.
The first Wooster posters of the meeting were presented on Thursday morning by Layali Banna (’22) and Mazvita Chikomo (’22). Their topic title was: “The Community Water Project: Student Exploration of the Geosciences in the Context of Stormwater Management in Northeast Ohio”. They have several coauthors, including Dr. Meagen Pollock, Dr. Greg Wiles, and Nick Wiesenberg. The poster is a summary of this past summer’s AMRE project.
Also on

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Wolf Lake and the Surrounding Landscape, Glacier Bay, Alaska

Members of the Wooster Tree Ring Lab had a great opportunity to travel to a seldom-visited part of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve – a transect from Wolf Lake to Burroughs Glacier. We were there because there is 2500 year-old forest remnant that was overrun by ice. The ice has gone and continues to melt. Our interest is recovering these logs is to fill a gap millennial-scale tree-ring record from the Gulf of Alaska. The recently exposed logs are being lost to science each year as they flush out into the sea and rot away in this hypermaritime climate. Wooster student independent studies (ISs) in the region quite literally have surrounded this Wolf Lake site with their research, and over the last 10 years we have honed into this key location from all directions.

A view of Mount Wright through a gap in drift and bedrock. Tree-ring records from the flanks of Mt. Wright were part of a study led by Stephanie Jarvis and sampled by Sarah Appleton, who did their thesis work in the region.

We flew into the site this year. In previous years we attempted to walk in twice and once we were successful. I recommend the flying

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Wooster Memorial Park – Now Part of the Old Growth Forest Network

On 20 April 2021 Wooster Memorial Park became part of the Old Growth Forest Network.  The founder and director, Joan Maloof, visited Wooster Memorial Park forest to officially induct the park into the Network. The Wooster Tree Ring Lab cored some of the white oaks in the park to determine their age and to see how they are responding to the increasingly wetter climate of Northeast Ohio. Nathan Kreuter (Biology) and Nick Wiesenberg (Earth Sciences Dept. Technician) found the oldest trees and helped work up the tree-ring data.

Joan Maloof with the largest hemlock in the park.

Nathan Kreuter cores one of the oldest oaks as part of his tutorial at the Wooster Tree Ring Lab.

The ring-widths of the Wooster Memorial Park chronology. There was a likely time of early logging in the park about 1815 and again in the 1920s
Tree ring widths are most sensitive to April-August total precipitation. The correlation between the ring-widths and precipitation changes over time with the strongest relationship r = 0.6 for the interval 1945-1975. After 1975 the correlation falls off possibly due to the increase in precipitation and loss of sensitivity at the site with the abundant moisture.

Friends of the trees and Friends of Wooster

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Coring Trees on Chicagof Island, Hoonah, Alaska

We had the good fortune this summer to work remotely with the TRAYLS group out of Hoonah, Alaska.
Figure 1. Google Earth map showing the location of the town of Hoonah and the coring sites. Two tree ring sites were sampled by the group the HN site in the town and the EAR site on Ear Mountain.
Arianna Lapke lead a group of four participants through an ambitious set of projects over much of the summer. Our collaboration with the group centered on meeting virtually with the group to describe the utility and sampling of trees for dendroclimate information. Below are the results of their sampling on EAR Mountain, Chicagof Island and our lab work at the Wooster Tree Ring Lab.
The group shown coring a Sika spruce just outside of town.
More coring – this time in the rain.
The steep climb up the flank of Ear Mountain to find the old Mountain Hemlocks.
Comparisons of the fast growing Sitka Spruce and the slow growth of the higher elevation Mountain Hemlock.
The cores from the hemlock some over 400 years old show lots of stress , clinging to the mountain side and battered by storms. They are also showing a possible drop in ring-width over

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