Natural resources professor studies tree rings for climate and fire data

Erica Bigio works to increase interest in environmental science

Headshot of Erica Bigio in front of foliage

Erica Bigio will continue to create engaging and relevant material for her environmental classes. Photo by Robert Moore.

Natural resources professor studies tree rings for climate and fire data

Erica Bigio works to increase interest in environmental science

Erica Bigio will continue to create engaging and relevant material for her environmental classes. Photo by Robert Moore.

Headshot of Erica Bigio in front of foliage

Erica Bigio will continue to create engaging and relevant material for her environmental classes. Photo by Robert Moore.

Since fall 2018, Erica Bigio has been a lecturer and academic advisor for students enrolling in the majors associated with the Natural Resources & Environmental Science Department in the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources.

She has been primarily teaching nonmajors environmental science courses, but this fall, she also began teaching courses for natural resources and environmental science majors on topics such as forest measurements. Prior to joining the University, she worked as lecturer and postdoctoral researcher with the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona. Her past teaching experience includes classes on lower-level global change for nonmajors and workshops on dendrochronology

Bigio’s research expertise lies in dendrochronology, a technique of studying tree rings to examine environmental changes and forest dynamics. Bigio’s teaching draws upon her experience in applying dendrochronology for fire history and paleoclimate, which studies climates of past geological time periods. Recent research focused on streamflow reconstructions for southern California. Her dissertation, completed in 2013 at the University of Arizona, studied fire-climate relationships for southwestern Colorado. In 2017, she published a study on fire-climate relationships for the International Journal of Wildland Fire.

“My main goal as I continue here at the University is to continue to connect with my students,” Bigio explained. “I am working to improve active learning and student engagement in my courses. My goal is to increase interest in environmental science and natural resources.”

Even though her primary focus at the University is lecturing, Bigio also plans to continue expanding her knowledge of ecology and natural resources as part of the College’s Experiment Station so as to implement a variety of research-based examples into her classes.

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