Upcoming Brown Bag: North Carolina Coastal Federation: Working Together for a Healthy Coast

coastal fedTodd Miller, Executive Director and Sarah King, Development Officer, North Carolina Coastal Federation 

Todd Miller and Sarah King will speak at the Department of City and Regional Planning about the Coastal Federation’s work, from its inception in 1982 to the changing political climate in North Carolina today. This will include a case study on low impact development and applying the skills of city and regional planning to the environmental field. This presentation is sponsored by the Center for Urban & Regional Studies and the Planner’s Forum.

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CURS Faculty Fellow charts historical weather maps with tree rings

Erika Wise taking a sample of a tree ring

Dr. Wise collects tree ring samples in the Pacific Northwest

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? What about a rainstorm in the forest hundreds of years before people were measuring climate and weather? How can we know about the climate if there are no records? And how can we fully understand climate change without this information?

While there were no people recording this information, there is a record of it. In tree rings. And Dr. Erika Wise, assistant professor in the department of geography, is unearthing this data with a grant from the National Science Foundation.

All rainwater contains isotopes, or chemical signals, that identify where the water came from. When trees drink the water, the isotopes are trapped in its rings. The knowledge to pull information from the size of tree rings has existed for some time, but we now have the technology to pull these isotopes from the tree rings as well, providing us with a weather map from hundreds of years ago.

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