News Archive

posted 11/15/02

Lamont-Doherty Tree Ring Scientist Wins High Honor

Gordon Jacoby

For his enormous contribution to the development of sciences and education in Mongolia, The National University of Mongolia appointed Dr. Gordon Jacoby, a senior research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Institute, as an Honorary Professor of Life Sciences. Gordon formally received the award in September from Mongolia University's Chairman of the Academic Senate and Scientific Secretary.

Since receiving his Ph.D in hydrogeology at Columbia University in 1971, Jacoby went on in 1975 to found and direct the Tree-Ring Laboratory at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. At that time the Tree Ring Laboratory was one of two labs in North America solely dedicated to tree-ring analysis. Over the course of his research career, Jacoby has taken tree samples in 17 countries throughout the world and on every continent except Antarctica. He has sampled the world's northernmost tress on the Taymir Peninsula of northern Siberia, Russia, and its southernmost trees on Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

Jacoby has worked extensively with other countries to provide equipment and training to establish tree-ring research capabilities, including Mongolia. Because Mongolia possesses one of the most extreme continental climates in the world, and very little long-term climatic information is available for the country, Jacoby and his colleagues are building a network of tree-ring sites to further explore climate characteristics within the region. He has numerous ongoing studies in Mongolia, including an examination of surface temperatures for Central Mongolia over the past 1700 years--a study that has shown unusual warming this century versus the previous 1000 years.

Over the course of his career, Jacoby has had many significant research achievements, including the first reconstruction of hemispheric temperatures based on northern treeline tree-ring data, and showing that tree-ring analyses can be used to date prehistoric earthquakes.

He serves as advisor to students of different levels, and this year received an award for Excellence in Mentoring by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.