The B.E.T.R. Laboratory

Biogeography, Environment, and Tree-ring Laboratory
at Austin Peay State University

B.E.T.R. Lab News

Spring, Summer, and Fall 2011

This has been a very productive year for the BETR Lab! Both Kyle Gainous and Katie Stevenson graduated and the spring semester! Congratulations, thanks for all of your hard work in the lab, and good luck with your future endeavors.

Also during the spring semester Dr. Christopher Gentry and colleagues were awarded a $275,000 National Science Foundation grant to support the logistical costs of the North American Dendroecological Fieldweek!

During the last year the BETR Lab had four presentations at local and national conferences:

Gentry, C.M.* and Brown, P.M. (2011) Quantifying the growth response of Pinus ponderosa in treated and untreated stands, Mount Rushmore National Monument, South Dakota, USA. Annual Meeting, The Association of American Geographers, Seattle, WA.

Dugan, A., Brown, P.M., Gentry, C.M.*, Cassell, B., Harris, J., King, C., Marschall, J., Salicrup, D., Smith, G., Waldron, J., (2011) Fire and recruitment history of a Jeffery pine stand in the eastern Sierra Nevada, California. Annual Meeting, The Association of American Geographers, Seattle, WA.

Sahara, A., Gentry, C.M.*, van de Gevel, S.L., Birch, S., Cousins, S., Dech, D., Guiterman, C., Harley, G., Hook, B., Martinson, E., Morrissey, R., Reinikainen, M., Ryu, S., Waldron, J. (2011) Forest Stand Dynamics and Disturbance History in a Mixed Hardwood Forest, Simes Tract, Harvard Forest, Massachusetts. Annual Meeting, The Association of American Geographers, Seattle, WA.

Pendergrass, K.*, Zahn, L.*, and Gentry, C.M.* (2011) Using tree-ring analysis to examine the influence of climate on the growth of ponderosa pine stands at the Mount Rushmore National Monument, South Dakota. 6th Annual Research and Creativity Forum, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN

2010 Summer Research

2010 proved to be a busy summer for members of the BETR Lab. Kyle Gainous spent the summer working as a Biological Science Tech with the USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center and stations Northern Nevada. This research examined aspen dynamics in relation to aspen-associated bird communities.

During the month of July, Dr. Christopher Gentry travelled with four APSU students to Mount Rushmore National Monument to begin sampling for a project which will quantify the effect thinning has had on Pinus ponderosa stands near the monument. More information can be found on the project page: MORU

For the second consecutive year Dr. Gentry lead a group at the North American Dendroecological Fieldweek. Held at the Crooked Creek Research Station in the White Mountains of California, five groups spent a week in August examining research topics using dendrochronological techniques. Dr. Gentry and Dr. Peter Brown (Rocky Mountain Tree-ring Research) co-led the fire history group that  that reconstructed the historic range of variability of fire within a site in the Inyo National Forest. You can learn more about the NADEF from the following website:
North American Dendroecological Fieldweek

June 1, 2009: 19th Annual NADEF, Amherst, MA

Four Austin Peay Geosciences students attended the 19th Annual North American Dendroecological Fieldweek hosted by Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. The NADEF was held from June 4-11 and is a  intensive learning experience in dendrochronological techniques and applications. You can learn more about the NADEF from the following website:
North American Dendroecological Fieldweek

May 24, 2009: Berry College, Rome, GA

The B.E.T.R Lab joined researchers from Virginia Tech at Berry College in Rome, GA. The goal of this work is to examine composition, structure, and dynamics of mountain and piedmont longleaf pine communities in the southeastern US. Check out some of the photos in the photo gallery...

April 25, 2009: Baggett Cemetery, Palmyra, TN

The Department of Geosciences is assisting the Baggett Family in above ground and subsurface mapping of a family plot in central Tennessee. Using ground penetrating radar, surveying equipment, digital cameras, and handheld GPS units, members of the B.E.T.R. Lab and the department will search for unmarked gravesites and create a web-based map for the family to maintain for future generations. Recently the B.E.T.R. Lab was contacted by another family looking for similar work to be preformed on their own family plot.

November 11, 2008: Warner Parks, Nashville, TN

Members of the B.E.T.R Lab and the Center of Excellence for Field Biology travelled to a tract of land purchased by H.G. Hill near the Warner Parks in Nashville, TN. Our lab was contacted to do some preliminary work to determine the relative age of the trees within the H.G. Hill tract. It is thought that this might be the only tract of  "old growth" forest within a city park in the country.

Check out the report and video by Nashville's News Channel 5...


Our People

The B.E.T.R. Lab and the Department of Geosciences actively participate in research and activities across the country.