Pat Shingleton: "Dendrologists Study What?"
Tree rings are a fingerprint to historical weather events and a dendrologist studies these rings. Before the pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, 117 colonists stepped ashore onto Roanoke Island on what is not North Carolina. The Lost Colony of Roanoke remains one of the most intriguing disappearances in history. The village vanished and historians and archeologists were unable to determine their fate. In 1998, dendrologists uncovered a possible answer by investigating a stand of bald cypresses. These rings, and partially fossilized wood, detected an incredible drought that began long before the colonists arrived on July 22, 1587. With the inability to produce and harvest crops, the subsequent drought could have wiped out the village.