What is the North American Dendroecological Fieldweek?  

The North American Dendroecological Fieldweek (NADEF) provides an
intensive learning experience in dendrochronology. Previous experience in
field and laboratory-based tree-ring techniques is not required.
Participants range from new initiates in the field to seasoned veterans with
over 20 years or longer of experience. Group leaders of the fieldweek are
among the top scientists in the various fields of global environmental
change. Everybody that participates in the fieldweeks learns new things
because the projects and locations are different every year.

Coring in Montana
Why study the past?  
Human history often does not adequately cover the range of past
variability in many natural processes because of either the short length of
available records or gaps in their spatial coverage, or both. Information
about past variability is necessary to identify boundary conditions against
which to assess future variability, especially to detect unprecedented
changes that may be the result of human-induced climate or ecological
change. Researchers in many natural science disciplines must therefore
turn from instrumental or other written records to proxy data to broaden
our understanding of temporal and spatial variability in natural phenomena
under study.
Site Selection in Minnesota
How is the NADEF organized?  
During the fieldweek, we spend the first day taking a tour of the local area
and listen to engaging lectures from experts familiar with the local region.
The group leaders (usually five) also briefly explain their proposed
projects so that participants can be thinking about in which project they
wish to participate. The 40 participants choose which group to join for the
rest of the week. Each group spends 1-2 days conducting fieldwork,
followed by three days of laboratory preparation and analyses. We also
have a series of evening presentations and workshops during the week
with topics ranging from different applications of dendrochronology to
how to sharpen and care for an increment borer. On the last day of the
fieldweek, the groups get back together to present their findings to the
other participants.
Laboratory Analysis in Idaho
What benefits are gained from the NADEF?  
Without question, learning through experience has no equal. Since 1990,
the Fieldweek has successfully challenged participants to explore new
approaches to multi-disciplinary research. While we emphasize tree-ring
research methods, we feel that Fieldweek projects have effectively
combined elements from many different disciplines to design novel
solutions to ecological hypotheses. The Fieldweek attracts a diverse
audience from disciplines from locations around the world, never stays in
one place, and addresses research topics concerning all types of natural
science. It is usually a very intense week, with a vast amount of work
accomplished by dedicated participants who come to learn. Past
Fieldweek projects have been published, used as bases for proposals to
funding agencies, or formed core parts of theses or dissertations.
Lectures in Montana
Top Ten Reason to participate in the NADEF
Attending this years NADEF? Consider bringing some of these supplies...