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An Updated Chronology from Hunter Creek
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Dendrochronology is one of the most important environmental recording techniques for a variety of natural processes and a monitor for human-caused changes to the environment such as pollution and contamination. The ethymology of the word dendrochronology comes from Ancient Greek, dendro means tree and chronology means the study of time. In fact, this technique allows you to examine events through time that are recorded in the tree-ring structure or can be dated by tree rings. Because the tree becomes the instrument for environmental monitoring, it serves as a long-term bioindicator that extends for the lifetime of the tree. In this respect, dendrochronology can be applied to very old trees to provide long-term records of past temperature, rainfall, fire, insect outbreaks, landslides, hurricanes, and ice storms. Trees record any environmental factor that directly or indirectly limits a process that affects the growth of ring structures from one season to the next, making them a useful monitor for a variety of events. In the library at University of Nevada (Reno) there are several tree core samples collected in 1934 and 1935. This summer I revisited some of the sites of these collections and in particular some groups of trees located along Hunter Creek canyon, a desert area characterized by very steep slopes and very tolerant tree species such as Pinus ponderosa Douglas and Pinus jeffreyi Murray. This allowed me to update the chronologies of the tree core samples in the library and restore their historic streamflow with a focus on the driest and warmer periods.