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Signs of Summer: Taking Mother Nature's Temperature

Monday, August 5, 2019, by Elise Miller
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What I want people to know: That environmental drivers can change tree ring width and density. Wood density determines how much carbon is sequestered, which has a direct impact on how much carbon dioxide a treee can absorb from the atmosphere.


In my research I study how climate impacts density in tree rings, specifically micro-density anomalies in annual tree rings of Pinus strobus, or white pine. The environmental drivers that I study include temperature, precipitation, and soil moisture, all of which are subject to shifting as a result of anthropogenic climate change. My hope is that my work will contribue to making more accurate climate projections and wood growth models. 


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.