I research climate as a top-down driver of environmental dynamics. My work is focused largely in paleoclimatology, the study of natural climate variability using environmental proxy records, which offers critical context for framing modern anthropogenic climate change. I specialize in the development and interpretation of high-resolution paleoenvironmental records from tree rings. Other interests include science communication, climate services, and the connections between the production of scientific knowledge and decision making in natural resources management.
An Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Geography, Environment and Society, I'm also a member of the UMN Center for Dendrochronology and an affiliate of the University Honors Program. I currently hold a UCAR Visiting Scientist appointment at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where I was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow with support from NOAA Climate and Global Change Fellowship and the WHOI Scholars programs. My Ph.D. is in Geography and Global Change from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and I have two degrees from the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. My family has deep roots in the eastern lowlands of Arkansas and I grew up near the Mississippi River, not far from some remnant old-growth bald cypress trees growing in swamps like the one pictured below.
Dan Griffin Drought Tree Rings Dendrochronology Minnesota California Arizona Arkansas Southwest Monsoon