Elise Miller

Drought in Temperate Mesic Regions Leads to Micro-density Anomalies in White Pine        

Stephen Saupe 
Gordon Brown
Troy Knight       

What inspired you to select your thesis topic?
During the summer of 2019 I was a part of the Harvard Forest REU program. As a part of my internship, I developed my own project to investigate what causes micro-density anomalies to form in trees. I decided to research this topic after discovering a knowledge gap of micro-density anomaly formation in temperate mesic regions like Massachusetts.        

Elise’s research in her own words:
The annual growth rings of trees are like their diaries of what happened during that year. If it was a good year with plenty of precipitation, the tree will have a wide growth ring. However, if there was little precipitation, the tree will produce a narrow ring or maybe not grow at all. My research examined how and why trees form micro-density anomalies, which is where it looks like the tree put on an annual growth ring, but it actually didn't.  

What advice would you give to future CSBSJU Thesis Scholars?
Before you get started on your project, do a lot of research on the topic. It helps to have a clear plan of action before you get started because that will make the rest of your project much easier.         

Elise would like to acknowledge:
I was lucky enough to have multiple people help me with my thesis. Without their support and assistance, I would never have been able to finish my project. Also, for the photo I'd like to make sure that the photographer is acknowledged (2019 Alonwyn Clauser, @AlonwynLC)