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Sampling the southernmost-identified stand of mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertisiana (Bong.) Carr.) in the southern Sierra.

| Principal Investigator |


Grant L. Harley

gharley(at); tel: 208.885.0950 

Grant is involved with all the research described herein.

| Lab dog: Sophie |

Sophie (b. Jan 2022) hails from a farm down in Riggins, ID and is a border collie/Australian shepherd mix. She has 1 sampling trip under her belt and she did a great job! Sophie is going to be such an awesome lab dog, just like her predecessor Lola.


| Current Graduate Students |


Ellen Bergan, M.S. Student

Ellen comes to the ITRL after completing a B.A. in Geography and a BSPA in Environmental Management from Indiana University—Bloomington.

In Ellen's words:

"I am a dendrochronologist with experience in applied ecology and land stewardship. My research in the Idaho Tree-Ring Lab focuses on climate reconstruction and analyzing shifting climatic and ecological regimes, particularly in eastern larch-dominated peatlands. When I'm not slogging through bogs, I am working in the wildland/prescribed fire scene, illustrating environmental education content, or attempting to learn harmonica."

Richie Thaxton, PhD Student

Richie joined the ITRL in Fall 2022 after completing his M.S. in Natural Resources at the University of Arizona, Tucson. 

In Richie's words:

"I began working for the USGS in 2017 where I first learned about tree rings. I've been hooked ever since! I wish to understand how changes in streamflow will affect riparian ecosystems and human communities, using tree rings to identify spatial and temporal patterns in flow variability. My current research examines this variability for heavily-litigated rivers in the southeastern US to help us better understand the role drought plays in this part of the country."


Nick Koenig, PhD Student

Nick joined the ITRL in Fall 2022 after completing their B.S. in Botany at Eastern Kentucky University and and M.Phil. in Anthropocene Studies at the University of Cambridge.

In Nick's words:

"At the Idaho Tree-Ring Lab, I am planning to dig into the underexplored intersection of social sciences, critical theory, and physical geography. By researching ideas and projects at the critical dendrochronology nexus, I hope to listen to stories from both humans and trees regarding fire history and water usage, develop new methods of multidisciplinary research, and grow as a geographer. Outside of pursuing exciting research questions, I love botanizing around Moscow and the surrounding area."

Kate Brings, PhD Student

Kate joined the ITRL in early 2022 with an interest in dendroclimatology. She completed her M.S. degree in Geography in Fall 2022, focusing on testing the efficacy of using blue intensity to extract a temperature signal from a southern-distributed, inland population of mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana Bong. Carr.) from central Idaho. Kate started a PhD in the lab Spring 2023 and plans to focus on dendroglaciology.


Olivia Wiebe, M.S. Student


Olivia joined the lab in Fall 2022 after completing B.S. degrees in Geology and Environmental Science from Eastern Washington University.

In Olivia's words:

"I grew up exploring the rocks and rivers of Spokane, Washington. My main research interests are sedimentology and paleoclimatology, and my research in the Idaho Tree-Ring Lab focuses on finding the spatial impacts of volcanism in the Cascades on the surrounding forest community. Outside of the lab, I'm usually found in the wilderness with with my pup Delilah or working on sustainability at UI. I hope to use my experience in environmental education and field work to help communicate the importance of our interactions with nature. " 

| Current Undergraduate Research Assistants |

| Lab Alumni |

Lola (2009-2021)

Lola was rescued out of a dumpster in Chattanooga, TN by the East Tennessee Border Collie Rescue, and we adopted her at around 6 months old in early 2009. She was the fiercest and sweetest of companions. She absolutely loved going on trips with the lab, especially when she had a job to do. Sadly, Lola passed from natural causes in late 2021 and will forever be missed.

Karen Heeter, PhD (Spring 2022)


April Kaiser (MS, Environmental Science, 2022)

Danny King (BS, Environmental Science, 2020)

Meghan Foard​, PhD (Spring 2020, Water Resources, major advisor: Andrew Nelson)

James McGee (MS, Geography, 2018)

Claire Cantrell (undergraduate research assistant 2017-2018)

Christopher Hughes (undergraduate research assistant 2017-2018)

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