From May 15 to 19, UBC Forestry is hosting two Aboriginal students as part of the Verna J. Kirkness (VJK) Science and Engineering Program. Every year in May, the Kirkness program is held at three Canadian universities — The University of Manitoba, The University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia — to provide an opportunity for Aboriginal high-school students to conduct research alongside professors and seasoned graduate students. At the end of the week, the students present on their week’s research and learning.
Susan Silvey from BC and Raeleen Laquette from Manitoba are both working in Dr. Lori Daniel’s Tree Ring Lab for the week. Susan and Raeleen are helping MSc student Vanessa Comeau with her research project on the causes and effects of the yellow-cedar decline on Haida Gwaii. Vanessa is studying tree rings to discover when the decline began, how live and declining trees respond to climate, and how the patterns of decline on Haida Gwaii differ from those seen in Alaska and coastal BC.
Susan and Raeleen have helped with the part of the project that looks at the differences in response to climate between yellow-cedar and other co-dominate species in the forest. Tree cores of Sitka spruce, yellow-cedar and western hemlock have been taken from a site in Haida Gwaii. Susan and Raeleen have been working on the Sitka spruce samples. They have helped with sanding the cores, then measuring and crossdating the rings. They have answered questions such as how old are the trees and do the ring patterns match between trees, especially between the young and old.
Friday – May 19, 2017
Fred Kaiser Building
2332 Main Mall
Students will present their research findings