North American Dendroecological Fieldweek

Welcome to NADEF ON THE WEB!

What is the North American Dendroecological Fieldweek (NADEF)?

NADEF provides an intensive learning experience in dendrochronology. Previous experience in field or laboratory-based tree-ring techniques is not required. Participants range from new initiates in the field to seasoned veterans with over 20+ years of experience. Group leaders of the fieldweek are among the top scientists in their respective fields of study as related to global environmental change. Because the topic groups vary from year to year, we have many repeat attendees, in addition to first-comers.

Gain | field experience

Attain | knowledge on all things dendrochronology via nightly lectures

Receive | one-on-one instruction

How is the NADEF organized?

A few days before fieldweek starts, group leaders spend a few days scouting the region for respective projects. During the fieldweek, we spend the first day taking a tour of the local area and listening to engaging lectures from experts familiar with the local region. Each team of group leaders also explains their proposed projects so that you as the participants can be thinking about which group you'd like to join. Each group then spends 1-2 days conducting fieldwork, followed by four days of laboratory preparation and analyses. We also have a series of evening presentations and workshops during the week with topics ranging from different applications of dendrochronology to how to sharpen and care for an increment borer. On the last day of the fieldweek, the groups get back together to present their findings to the other participants. In the past years, we've included the following evening lectures:

  • How to use common programs: COFECHA, ARSTAN
  • Dendrochronology Program Library in R (dplR)
  • KNMI Climate Explorer
  • Image analysis systems: WinDENDRO, CooRecorder
  • Standard care for common tools: increment borer, chain saw
  • Archiving data via the ITRDB (ring width) and IMPD (fire history)

What benefits are gained from the NADEF?

Without question, learning through experience has no equal, and NADEF provides a rich, intense, and hands-on learning environment. Since 1990, the Fieldweek has successfully challenged participants to explore new approaches to multi-disciplinary research. While we emphasize tree-ring research methods, we feel that Fieldweek projects have effectively combined elements from many different disciplines to design novel solutions to ecological hypotheses. The Fieldweek attracts a diverse audience from disciplines from locations around the world, never stays in one place, and addresses research topics concerning all types of natural science. It is usually a very intense week, with a vast amount of work accomplished by dedicated participants who come to learn. Past Fieldweek projects have been published, used as bases for proposals to funding agencies, or formed core parts of theses or dissertations.