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APSU partners with Nevada, Reno, to host International Tree Ring Symposium, Virtually


Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – After the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of an annual geography conference, Austin Peay State University (APSU) stepped in to host a virtual gathering of the world’s top tree ring scientists. 

Austin Peay State University to held International Tree Ring Symposium, virtually, May 29th. (APSU)

Austin Peay State University to held International Tree Ring Symposium, virtually, May 29th. (APSU)

Austin Peay State University, in collaboration with the University of Nevada, Reno, hosted the Tree Ring Society’s first-ever virtual Tree Ring Symposium on May 29th. 

Seven people delivered presentations to 136 attendees from all over the world, including India, China and Peru. 

“We’ve gotten a lot of really great feedback, and the tree ring community in attendance wants this to be a regular occurrence,” said Dr. Chris Gentry, associate professor of geography at Austin Peay and secretary of the Tree Ring Society.

Tree Ring Society members started discussing a virtual conference after the American Association of Geographers was forced to cancel its annual meeting in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We were talking about hosting an online professional conference so people could call in, share their screens,” Gentry said. 

Gentry and Nevada, Reno’s Adam Csank moderated the conference, which included presenters from the University of British Columbia; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Louisiana State University; the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; the University of Minnesota; and the University of Toronto – Mississauga.

The shared presentations they had prepared for the annual meeting.

Topics included worldviews on wildfire, evaluation of the whitebark pine tree in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and emerging technologies in dendrochronology.

Dendrochronology is the study of tree ring growth to interpret and date past events such as climate trends. Tree ring scientists also are called dendrochronologists.

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