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Science Cafe to examine science of tree rings

NDSU’s next Science Café will focus on the valuable historical information stored in tree rings.

Extension forester Joe Zeleznik is scheduled to present “What do tree rings tell about North Dakota’s past?” Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. in Stoker’s Basement of the Hotel Donaldson, 101 N. Broadway.

Zeleznik, who works in the NDSU Extension Service, will explore the science and applied lessons of dendrochronology, the study of tree ring dating.

According to Zeleznik, tree rings contain a wealth of information, ranging from droughts and floods to insect outbreaks and wildfires. The thin layer of wood that makes up the annual tree ring can reveal a variety of data and clues about past climates. 

“Instrumental records of rainfall, temperature and other environmental variables go back to the late 1800s,” Zeleznik said. “Tree ring data from North Dakota goes back as far as the 1500s in some locations.”

Zeleznik earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Cincinnati, his master’s degree in forestry from West Virginia University and his doctorate in forestry from Michigan State University.

Science Café, which is sponsored by the NDSU College of Science and Mathematics, is free and open to the public. Attendees must be 21 or older, or accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

For more information, contact Diane Goede at or 701-231-7412. 

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North Dakota State University
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