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Dr. Connie Millar Dr. Connie Millar

Research Climate Ecologist: Recently, I had a great science treasure hunt in the wild lands of Nevada. We were looking for the lowest elevation living bristlecone pine. The bristlecone pine is known for its long life. These trees can live more than 5,000 years. The tree that we were hunting for had been documented in a remote canyon in 1984. We had a picture of the tree and knew its general whereabouts, but even though we searched and searched we couldn’t find it. We kept trying to match the picture to the canyon, and, finally, I ran ahead to an old dead skeleton of a tree. Sure enough, there were disintegrated bristlecone pine cones on the ground. We cored the tree and found that it had died during a drought more than 10 years ago. We are determined to set another low-elevation record with a live bristlecone pine!