Thomas W. Swetnam

University of Arizona
Associate Professor of Dendrochronology
Thomas W. Swetnam Image

Dr. Swetnam studies natural and cultural disturbances of forest ecosystems across a broad range of temporal and spatial scales. He uses dendrochronology (the study of tree rings) in combination with other natural archives and documentary sources to reconstruct the histories of fire, insect outbreaks, human land uses, and climate. He also studies demographic patterns of forest and woodland tree species in relation to disturbance and climate histories. Most of his research is funded by land management agencies with the purpose of providing historical perspectives for resource planning. Dr. Swetnam, his students, and collaborators are currently studying disturbance and climate histories in the Southwestern U.S., northern Mexico, Sierra Nevada of California, Northern Rockies of Idaho and Montana, Blue Mountains of Oregon, Southern Rockies in Colorado, Patagonia region of Argentina, and the Central Plateau of Siberia, Russia. Dr. Swetnam received his B.S. in Biology from the University of New Mexico in 1977, his M.S. in Forestry-Watershed Management from the University of Arizona in 1983, and his Ph.D. in Watershed Management-Dendrochronology from the University of Arizona in 1987.