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Zink-Sharp and Copenheaver Lead Wood Anatomy Workshop


Workshop participants prepare microscope slides to evaluate wood anatomy features as influenced by environmental growth conditions. Under the guidance of Carolyn Copenheaver (R), workshop participants prepare microscope slides to evaluate wood anatomy features as influenced by environmental growth conditions.

April 19, 2012 – Professor Audrey Zink-Sharp and Associate Professor Carolyn Copenheaver served as group leaders for the Wood Anatomy for Dendrochronologists workshop held during the 21st annual North American Dendroecological Fieldweek (NADEF) at the Mountain Lake Biological Station in Pembroke, Va., in August. Participants in this year’s NADEF, which provides experience in field and laboratory-based techniques used in dendrochronological research, ranged from graduate students to research professionals from five different continents. Group leaders, who were assembled from top scientists around the country, were charged with helping their group develop, carry out, and report on a research project during the weeklong workshop.

This was the first year NADEF offered a group focused specifically on wood anatomy. “Most undergraduate and graduate programs around the country don’t offer tree-ring courses,” said Copenheaver. “Europe and Japan have a long history of collaboration between dendrochronologists and wood anatomists, but in North America, these two groups have not traditionally worked as closely. The workshop is meant to bridge connections between these two disciplines.”

Copenheaver and Zink-Sharp guided their group through the anatomy of several tree species as well as tree-ring cross dating, wood anatomy basics, techniques for free-hand and microtome sectioning, and digital image analysis with light and scanning electron microscopy. “This is a well-established opportunity for participants to learn how to use wood anatomy in dendrochronological research,” said Zink-Sharp. “It’s important to integrate anatomical and ecological response data into dendrochronology in order to better understand the relationships between tree growth and our natural environment.”

    CNRE Newsmagazine Fall 2012 Cover

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