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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2018 Abstracts

A fossil-pollen-based climate reconstruction of two lake records from the Uinta mountain range in northern Utah.

Andrew Kennedy, University of Utah

Climate change is an issue that has gained a significant amount of attention in recent years. Specifically, anthropogenic climate change, as we know the Earth's climate goes through cycles of warming and cooling. In recent years, there have been examples climate changing rapidly and creating problems for communities around the world. The goal of this study is to look at patterns of climate change through reconstructing a climate history by analyzing two frozen lake sediment cores northern Utah. The two study sites are from both Newt Lake outside of Vernal Utah and Canyon Lake located outside of Duchesne Utah. In this study we have counted the charcoal from the sediment cores, and we have analyzed the pollen grains in the core. As we count the charcoal from the frozen lake sediment core we are able to determine the study site's fire interval and look at charcoal peaks this can help establish a general idea of how often fires come through the two study sites. Once we gather this data we can examine it to determine if there has been any changes in the fire interval in recent years. Additionally, as we prep and analyze the pollen data in the sediment core we can look at the individual species of pollen to determine the climate envelope of each species to get some idea of what the climate would have looked like at a given time. This study will provide the reader with information about how climate has been changing in Utah and give insight as to what the study sites may have looked like at a given time compared to today.