This is a course on general concepts in climatology as they relate to environmental processes and global change. It is useful for students interested in climatic aspects of physical geography, and for all students in environmental sciences and environmental studies who need a broad understanding of climatology. The course provides a broad-level overview of the physical processes that underlie Earth's climate system and lead to climate variations at global, regional and local scales. Course goals and student learning outcomes are achieved through lecture materials, directed readings, in-class discussions, completion of a term project, and lab exercises using interactive web page resources. Thematic sections include the following: Earth's Atmosphere; Global Energy and Water Balances; Controls on Climate; General and Secondary Circulation of the Atmosphere and Ocean; Climate Classification; Tropical, Subtropical, Midlatitude and Polar Climate Characteristics; Climate Variability; Climate Extremes; Paleoclimatology; and Anthropogenic Climate Change. Spring 2015, Spring 2016.

Climate extremes will be increasingly common in the 21st century. Modifying environmental systems through linear and nonlinear pathways, these punctuated events are expected to have a lasting legacy. Extrema are nudging natural resources management away from 20th century models of stationarity and towards adaptive management paradigms. Climate extremes are also increasingly common in popular narratives of climate change, and therefore constitute a potentially useful mechanism for effective climate science communication.

Participants in this PhD seminar reviewed and discussed recent literature on topics including: Temperature extremes; Droughts; Deluges; Flooding; ENSO & Pacific Decadal Variability; Arctic Oscillation; Tropical cyclones; Model-based detection & 􏰀attribution; Abrupt change in the paleo record; Snowpack; Wildfire dynamics; Forest disturbance & decline; Fisheries health; Water resources supply & demand; Communication of climate extremes. Fall 2015.

Biogeography combines biology, geography, geology, ecology and evolutionary theory to explain the panorama of life on Earth. This course provides students with a broad introduction to important concepts and issues in ecology and environmental science. Over the semester, we investigate how Earth's climate system influences the geographical distribution of species, how individuals interact with their own species and others to form communities, why natural selection is fundamental to the evolution of new species, and why some species are going extinct while others thrive. We’ll also examine the many ways humans are dependent on species and ecosystems, and how have rapidly become the predominant force in biotic change across the globe. Spring 2015, Fall 2016.
Dan Griffin Daniel Drought Tree Rings Minnesota Dendrochronology California

In March 2015, I was an instructor at a week-long field course in the remote highlands of north-central, Guatemala. With my colleagues Kevin Anchukaitis, Matthew Taylor, Diego Pons and Jose Villanueva, we hosted students from Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada and the United States. During a full day of collecting tree rings from Abies guatemalensis and Pinus hartwegii in Sierra de los Cuchamatanes near Todos Santos, students learned about site and tree selection and gained experience with sampling. At basecamp later in the week, our ad hoc laboratory provided a means for students to gain experience with specimen preparation, microscope analysis, the classical skeleton plot method of crossdating in dendrochronology, the measurement of tree-rings with a stage micrometer system, ring-width time series standardization and the calculation of the site-level growth index. Evening lectures highlighted tree-ring research from the region and explored the nuances of numerical analysis of tree-ring data.
Dan Griffin Daniel Drou

GEOG 1403H - Honors Biogeography of the Global Garden

This honors-specific version of our 
UMN introductory biogeography course offers an enriched experience through additional reading, writing, and laboratory exercises. Fall 2014, Spring 2016, Spring 2017.

GEOG 430 - The Climate System
Students in this class develop literacy in the fundamentals of Earth's Climate System: atmospheric composition and structure, energy and water balance, controls on climate, general circulation, common climate classification systems, regional climatologies, dominant modes of ocean-atmosphere variability, paleoclimatology, climate extremes, and anthropogenic climate change. This senior-level course was offered in the Spring of 2012 at the University of Arizona.

2012 North American Dendroecological Field Week
In June 2012, I participated as a group leader for the North American Dendroecological Fieldweek in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. With co-instructors Alison Macalady, Christopher Guiterman, and Jim Speer, our introductory group focused on fundamentals in dendrochronology, including site selection, sampling, specimen preparation and analysis. The lion share of our time was spent learning the mechanics of A.E. Douglass' method of cross dating. We produced the first Pinus ponderosa chronologies of earlywood and latewood width for the Jemez Mountains. Our analysis of the signal strength in these chronologies has important implications for sub-annual chronology development. Our full report is here. A brief manuscript on our findings, led by the NADEF Graduate Fellows Becky Brice and Kara Lorion, was subsequently peer reviewed and published by the journal Tree-Ring Research.

2007 North American Dendroecological Fieldwork
In June 2007, I participated as a group leader for the North American Dendroecological Fieldweek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With co-instructors Saskia van de Gevel and Jodi Axelson, our ecology group studied tree demography in an old-growth cove hardwood forest, producing a detailed stem map and estimates of forest productivity through time.

GEOS 1113L - Environmental 
Geology Lab
In the Fall 2003 Semester, I served as instructor for two sections of Environmental Geology Lab at the University of Arkansas Department of Geosciences. This course focused on human interactions with the physical environment including the study of earthquakes, volcanoes, flooding, erosion, mass wasting, water supply and contamination, and waste disposal.