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Tree Sensitivity to Climate Change in Putnam County, Indiana

Prof. James Mills, Dept. of Geosciences 
Project: Tree Sensitivity to Climate Change in Putnam County, Indiana

Ben Harsha, Rudra Vishweshwar, Weiqing Zhang, Peter Konieczny, Julia Roell


First year science research fellow students are working on a project that they hope impacts the greater scientific community. Ben Harsha, Rudra Vishweshwar, Weiqing Zhang, Peter Konieczny, and Julia Roell are working with Professor Jim Mills on collecting and analyzing data from the nature park to determine how the climate has changed in Putnam County. The group is currently working on designing their experimenting: deciding how many and what type of trees to use and the range of the testing. After developing their experiment, the group will then be able to begin fieldwork; taking tree cores and analyzing them back in the lab. Part of their analysis will include cross checking the data from the tree rings with actual climate data.

In the beginning Professor Mills gave the group an open ended question, how has the climate changed in Putnam county? It is now up to the students to focus the question and ask the right questions. Through the designing and implementation of the experiment the students will learn the process of science, the pit falls, and how to access data. For the students, the best part of their experiment is not knowing where the research will take them. For the first time, the students are involved in pure research. They hope to add their results of climate change in Putnam County to the broader question of climate change worldwide.