skip to primary navigation skip to content

Department of Geography


10th World Dendro Conference

Pre-Conference Dendro Fieldweek

Feildweek participants

June 2nd – June 9th, 2018

Continuing the tradition begun in 2000 there will be a pre-conference Dendro Fieldweek during the week leading up to the conference. The 2018 World Dendro Fieldweek will be organized in collaboration with UWICER. The UWICER campus at Lamai Goempa is one of the country’s finest environmental research facilities.

Within minutes walk or an hours drive of UWICER there are numerous potential Fieldweek experiment locations. The campus itself is surrounded by incredible fir-hemlock forests that go all the way to the treeline ~3800 masl. In and around the Bumthang valley there are numerous sites where instructors and students may explore various applications of tree-ring research.

Fieldweek participation will be limited to 40 students and 10 instructors. For applicants from LDC countries, Bhutan and Nepal, 10 Fieldweek scholarships are being offered, this means there are only 30 places available for applicants from economically advantaged countries. When those 30 places are filled, on a first come first serve basis, no more applications will be considered. Participants must arrange to arrive in Bhutan on June 1st. Travel from Thimphu to UWICER will be on the June 2nd returning on June 9th.


The Fieldweek registration fee for students from developing countries is 100 USD; 50 USD with proof of TRS or ATR membership.

Professionals from developing countries the registration fee is: 200 USD; 160 with proof of TRS or ATR membership.

Students from all other countries the registration fee is 200 USD; 160 USD with proof of TRS or ATR membership, and the non-student registration fee is 300 USD; 180 with TRS or ATR membership.

In 2018 we are offering 10 full Fieldweek scholarships to deserving students from developing countries. Consideration for these scholarships will be based on a one page essay submission by candidates. This essay must describe how the applicant hopes to use the Fieldweek experience in their studies.

The registration fee covers room and board for 7 nights (Sunday – Friday), r/t transportation from Thimphu to UWICER (June 2nd, and June 9th), plus tools and materials used during the course.

The Fieldweek will hosted by Dr.’s Ed Cook (, with subject: WD2018 Fieldweek) (TRL-LDEO) and Jonathan Palmer ( with subject: WD2018 Fieldweek) (UNSW). The group leaders volunteering and the general subject area of the projects they will lead are:

Basic Dendrochronology:

Dr. Bethany Coulthard, University of Arizona, USA
Dr. Dan Griffin, University of Minnesota, USA

This group will learn the fundamentals of Dendrochronology, beginning with the overview of wood anatomy and how tree rings are formed. This will be followed by an introduction into the first principles of Dendrochronology, the most important being the principle of cross-dating. Field and lab activities will include site selection, field sampling protocols, laboratory processing of the tree-ring samples, dating and measuring the tree rings, assessment of cross-dating strength, and development of tree-ring chronologies, all based on samples that the students collect in the field.

Forest Ecology:

Dr. Kristina Seftigen, Gothenburg University, Sweden
Dr. Andy Bunn, Western Washington University, WA. USA

Throughout the greater Bumthang valley there has been extensive forest management and harvesting. In 2004, we visited a thinning trial in the neighboring Chummi valley where two levels of thinning treatment we applied. To visit or revisit any of these stands and reconstruct their growth histories in terms of volume and biomass production would be an extremely practical demonstration of dendrochronology, one of local and national value.

Forest Dynamics:

Dr. Kathy Allen, Melbourne University, Melbourne, Australia
Dr. Neil Pederson, Harvard Forest, Harvard University, MA, USA

This topic could easily serve a number of experiments, from gap dynamics, to inter-species growth performance at same and different sites. Due to the surrounding species and site diversity, within walking distance of the campus, we are confident there will be no trouble picking an area of focus.

Dendroclimatology: Stream Flow Reconstruction:

Dr. Alma Pertmattei, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Dr. Santosh Shah,
Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow, India
Dr. James H. Speer, Dept. of Earth and Env. Systems, Indiana State University

In the watershed above the UWICER campus there are a number of small tributary streams that flow into one main channel that empties into the Bumthang Chu (river) at the bottom of the Bumthang valley. At numerous locations along each of these tributaries, flood scared and undermined trees can be found. The lack of suitably long stream flow and food reconstructions from the Himalayan region represents a serious handicap to water management agencies in the region, particularly in the face of global warming and the current threat of glacial outburst floods (GLOFS). This project we will focus on identifying suitable sites and samples to study for reconstructing stream flow flood events using basic dendrochronological methods in combination with channel, flow and precipitation measurements.

Advanced Methods in Dendrochronology: Reconstructing Climate from Tree-rings:

Dr. Kevin Anchukaitis, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Mariano Morales, National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Though the local meteorological data is extremely short, the spruce, hemlocks, and pines in the watershed above UWICER are hundreds of years old. With the aid of climate data from regional sources and global reanalysis data one project could work on demonstrating how to go about looking for the climate response in tree-growth.

Open the Registration tab to submit your application for the Fieldweek!