NCSCE Photo Contest Runner Up: Studying Climate Using Tree-Ring Science

In a previous issue of our eNews, we featured the winner of NCSCE photo contest based on the theme of students engaged in active learning. As mentioned in that story, we received a lot of excellent submissions, leading to a very competitive voting process. Now, we’re sharing the top runners up with the community.


Today, we’re featuring two photographs submitted by Dr. Nicole Davi of William Paterson University, and taken by Rich Green. The first picture depicts students Elizabeth Judge and Odoardo Pacella coring Atlantic white cedar trees from High Point State Park in NJ. In this class, focused on water sustainability, student learn how scientist use tree-ring to reconstruct climate conditions for hundred to thousands of years in the past. Many aspects of tree-ring science, or dendrochronology, are accessible to undergraduate students. Tree rings are both visual and intuitive. Trees are part of the everyday experience of most students, and even non-experts can see patterns of climate variability through time just by looking at a cross section of a tree.


William Paterson University students talk about tree-rings and rocks with K-5 students at the Liberty Elementary School Science Fair. Photo by Nicole Davi.

In the second photo, taken by Nicole Davi, William Paterson University Environmental Science students Chandler-Michelle Reyes, Jessica Geary, Chris Gocklin, Richard Platell talk about tree-rings and rocks with K-5 students at the Liberty Elementary School Science Fair in Nyack NY. These undergrads all participate in independent research projects ranging from reconstructing drought conditions in Central Asia using tree-rings, to trying to better understanding ancient ocean temperatures by analyzing isotopes in fossil shark teeth. They are all interested in science outreach and education and continue to volunteer and intern with several regional community partners.


Thank you again to all of you who took the time to send in photos that communicate the student experience in SENCER courses!

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