Larson to discuss tree ring research at Fried Green University Series in Galena

November 27, 2013
Dr. Evan Larson

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Dr. Evan Larson, assistant professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, will speak on the topic “The Tales Trees Tell: the Science of Dendrochronology” as part of the Fried Green University Series on Dec. 3 at the Fried Green Tomatoes restaurant, located at 213 N. Main Street in Galena, Ill. at 7 p.m. The university speaker series is the first Tuesday of every month. A light, three-course dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.

Larson will speak about dendrochronology, the science that uses tree rings to determine the dates and chronological order of past events. In his talk, Larson will use a number of examples from the research he and his students have conducted in the UW-Platteville Tree-Ring, Earth, and Environmental Sciences Laboratory to explain how tree-ring research is used to understand past climate, environmental change and human history.

Topics will range from the effects of invasive earthworms on Wisconsin forests to drought conditions in Southwest Wisconsin over the past 300 years to more than 5,000 years of temperature variability as recorded in ancient bristlecone pine. All of the stories will be illustrated with photographs.

“Research on global climate and environmental change is an important yet complex topic,” said Larson. “There is currently some debate and discussion about how best to communicate research on the topic. I am looking forward to the chance to have a conversation about this important topic in an informal setting. This speaker series is also a great opportunity to do outreach, which is an important part of higher education.”

“I am hopeful that this speaker series will give me a chance to connect with local experts who may be interested in exploring or collaborating in some way on our projects,” said Larson.

The idea for a university speaker series came from Bob Simmons, who has lived in Galena for 12 years. “There are four universities in a 25-mile radius of Galena,” Simmons said. “I thought it would be a great idea to create a university speaker series and invite university faculty members to come to Galena and speak about their areas of expertise. I shared the idea with Fred Bonnett, the owner of Fried Green Tomatoes, and he liked the idea.”

Other UW-Platteville faculty members will speak as part of the Fried Green University Series, including Dr. Tammy Salmon-Stephens, director of EMS Student Success Programs, who will present “Understanding Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” on Jan. 8; Dr. Tim Zauche, chemistry and renewable energy professor, who will present “Where will we get our energy?” on Feb. 4; and Dr. Chuck Cornett, professor of chemistry, who will present “Criminalistics” on April 1.

Tickets may be purchased online at The cost is $17.50 per individual or $35 per couple plus tax and gratuity and includes the light, three-course dinner and speaker presentation.

Contact: Dr. Evan Larson, department of social sciences, (608) 342-6139,

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191,


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