In 1992 we undertook the first tree ring sampling expedition in Thailand, a joint University of Sydney - Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory project. From this autumn trip the very first mainland Southeast Asian tree ring records were developed, and published as Buckley et al., 1995, and followed by D'Arrigo et al., 1997. Over the past several years we have continued to work with Thai colleagues on a multi-species network of Thai chronologies that were used for the TRL's Asian Monsoon Project.
The difficulties of working with tropical species presents numerous challenges, not least of which is a tendency for species to lack clearly defined annual growth bands. Therefore, the LDEO-TRL was among members of an APN-funded project to produce a comprehensive analysis of annual ring development potential for all tree species across Southeast Asia. We are actively compiling these results for release in web-based and hard copy forms, and will continue to catalog the most useful trees for dendrochronological applications from the Asian tropics. Herbarium and xylarium samples are also being collected and archived for use by other researchers.
In February of 1998, with the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation and IGBP-PAGES, we held the first workshop on Southeast Asian Dendrochronololgy, SEA DENDRO98, in Chiang Mai Thailand. This very successful workshop brought together more than 50 researchers and students from 15 countries for a five day workshop. In the time since we have held multiple training workshops across Southeast Asia, and developed tree ring laboratories at regional institutes. These important workshops, under the umbrella of SEADENDRO, have continued to lead the charge on pushing the bounds of dendrochronology in the world's tropical regions.