Maegen comes back to enter our Ph.D. program after successfully earning her M.S., conducting the first study ever to apply tree-ring dating techniques for dating debris slides in the eastern U.S. For her doctoral work, Maegen will be traveling out west to sample whitebark pines in the Beartooth Mountains of northwestern Wyoming to learn more about the temporal dynamics of these high elevation forests during major climate episodes of the last 1000 years. One hypothesis is that snow and ice build up during the Little Ice Age caused a massive die-off of centuries-old whitebark pines.
Zach joined us in Fall 2016 after receiving his master's degree from Western Michigan University where his studies and master's research emphasized biogeography. For his doctoral research, he intends to sample extensively over Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior, targeting both spruce and fir trees in 20 random locations. He will then use these trees to learn about boom and bust cycles in the local moose and wolf populations, which form a three-tiered trophic level in delicate balance on the island.