As a Tree Campus USA Intern, or tree-terns as we like to be called, my job consists of measuring the growth of trees located throughout UIC’s campus in a three person group. We are doing a small research project in which we are measuring the growth of UIC’s west side campus from 2013 to summer 2015. The measurements we obtain are the tree’s height and DBH (diameter at breast height). Measuring tape is used to obtain the tree’s DBH, and the tree height is measured with a Biltmore stick, a specialized ruler, and more measuring tape. We hope to analyze the data and find out the growth of UIC trees in a two year time difference, whether it be positive or negative values.
Our internship helps out UIC to achieve its Climate Action Plan to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the near future by using the trees as a tool. As we all know, trees take CO2 from the atmosphere and generate O2 in exchange. By figuring out how much our trees have grown, software can be used to figure out how much CO2 is sequestered into trees from the atmosphere and how much O2 is generated. As a result, values are given to our trees and UIC can then take the appropriate actions to preserve them and keep them healthy to further reduce CO2 emissions, essentially creating a positive feedback loop that will continue to combat man-made air pollution.
By: Edder Antunez