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Signs of Summer: Rewinding Through a Forest Transition

Monday, July 8, 2019, by Sophie Pitney and Dano Holt
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This sign depicts the kind of information you can learn from coring trees and analyzing their rings. We want people to realize that we must understand our forest's pasts to understand how they will respond to changes and disturbances in the future.

Our research team looks at how climate sensitivity affects the species composition of transition forests. A transition forest is an area in which Northern and Southern tree species can both be found. For our study, we focused on birch (left) and shagbark hickory (right.) Analyzing birch and hickory tree ring data can show us how these forests are growing and transitioning in response to climate change, and provides us with indicators of major forest disturbance events.

As part of our Environmental Sign Making workshop, artist and educator David Buckley Borden showed us how to combine images in the culture with scientific information to convey facts and attitudes about our research to a wide audience.