The UW-Platteville Tree-Ring, Earth, and Environmental Sciences Laboratory (TREES Lab) is a teaching and research laboratory with interests and activities that fall across the broad realm of physical geography. Our research focuses on reconstructing past environments to better understand current and future environmental change.
Our primary areas of research and expertise include Dendroecology, Geomorphology, and Paleoecology. We also offer fee-based services in tree-ring, sediment, and charcoal analysis to academic laboratories, private businesses, and interested individuals.
A retrospective science, Dendroecology uses the annual growth rings of trees to study past events and environments to gain insight into the present and future. Research conducted by TREES faculty and staff includes studies of past climate variability, forest disturbance and development, invasive species impacts, building dates of historical structure, and the effects of human activities on forest dynamics.
Geomorphology is the study of the evolution and configuration of landforms, and faculty and staff-conducted research focuses on Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology, particularly laboratory analysis of sediments including particle-size analysis and loss-on-ignition.
This includes the extraction of macroscopic charcoal from soil sediments, anatomical analyses to identify species, and quantification of charcoal mass to study past fire activity and forest composition.
Our research is funded through private and federal grants and contracts and our study areas span Wisconsin, the Great Lakes Region, the United States, Canada, and Sweden. If you are interested in gaining research experience through an independent project or by working as a research assistant on one of our projects, please contact Dr. Evan Larson.