Carolina Tree-Ring Science Laboratory

Be Just and Good – Thomas Jefferson 1812



Dr. Paul Knapp, Professor

Curriculum Vitae

Sampling old-growth longleaf pine at Weymouth Woods, NC.

While I have long appreciated the field of dendrochronology, it was not until the mid-1990s that I became actively involved.  Prior, my geography interests were in biogeography and climatology and thus working with tree-rings allowed me to combine my interests.  My first project involved studying western juniper expansion in my home state of Oregon. Ironically, I have distinct recollections of collecting western juniper firewood while on camping trips in the 1960s and 70s in central Oregon.  Little did I know that two decades later I would have a different appreciation of the value of the tree!  Since then, I have been principally involved with a series of dendroecological projects that have focused on the role of atmospheric CO2 fertilization affecting radial growth rates of western juniper and ponderosa pine, dendroclimatology projects that have examined spatio-temporal patterns of droughts, and the reconstruction of severe wind events.  I have collected tree-ring data in a variety of places in the American West, and always look forward to my next field adventure.  Each year, I try to fund students to help with these projects, and I am grateful for their help over the years.  My observations over the past decade have led me to believe that tree-ring science is a great sub-discipline for physical geographers, with extensive, relevant, and timely applications that are often interdisciplinary.  In the section on projects, some of these applications are listed.



James Blount, Master’s student

Jeffy Summers, Master’s student

Hiking at Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming.

I received my Bachelor of Science degree from UNCG in Environmental Biology and a second major in Classical Civilization.  While at UNCG I was an intern for Rockingham County Soil and Water Conservation as well as a research assistant in Dr. Hershey’s Aquatic Ecology Lab.

My Master’s thesis will be looking into dendroarcheology by coring historic buildings to put a construction date on them.  This is important for the Southeastern United States because of old farms that are being abandoned and there history lost.  My research interests are in the history of agriculture and how the agriculture industry functions today.   In my free time I like to ride my horses, read, draw, and hike.

Tyler Mitchell, Master’s student

Curriculum Vitae

Collecting a western juniper core in Oregon.

I received my bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of West Florida in 2017. While at UWF I worked with Dr. Jason Ortegren analyzing ocean–atmosphere interactions and their influences on Southeastern United States tornado variability.  I also briefly worked in Dr. Ortegren’s Tree-Ring Analysis and Interpretation Lab (TRAIL), where we examined the contributions of tropical cyclone precipitation on longleaf pine and bald cypress growth.

At UNCG my thesis examines the occurrence of intra-annual density fluctuations in longleaf pine in western Florida.  My research interests are in (dendro)climatology, forest dynamics and forest ecology, and severe weather.  In my free time I like to hike, read, run, and play guitar.