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Andrew Douglas

Picture of Andrew Douglas

Date of Birth: 07/05/1867

Age: 94

Place of Birth: Windsor

Citizenship: United States

The founder of dendrochronology

In a sense, Douglas was able to look into the distant past century, studying logs of old buildings as well as sequoias and other long-lived trees. Noting that Annual ring of trees became thinner in dry years, he found the climate impact of solar variations (solar variations), particularly in relation to solar activity lack in the 17th century, which the British astronomer William Herschel (William Herschel) and his colleagues did not notice. Other scientists, however, have found good reasons to doubt that the annual rings of trees can reveal something else, apart from the occasional regional differences. The value of the study of tree rings to study climate remained undervalued until the 60s of the 20th century.

Douglas became the founder of a discipline as dendrochronology, which is a method of dating wooden objects by examining the characteristics of the annual rings. He began his research in this area in 1894, when he worked at the Lowell Observatory (Lowell Observatory). At this time he was an assistant Percival Lowell (Percival Lowell) and William Henry Pickering (William Henry Pickering), but fell out with them when his experiments led him to doubt the existence of artificial canals on Mars.

AE Douglas was born on July 5, 1867 in Windsor, Vermont (Windsor, Vermont). He studied at Trinity College (Trinity College) in Hartford, Connecticut (Hartford, Connecticut), and graduated with honors in 1889, and then began to work at Harvard Observatory (Harvard Observatory).

Douglas was chief assistant at Harvard expedition Boyden (Boyden expedition) in 1891-1893, as a result of which there was the Harvard Observatory in Arequipa, Peru (Arequipa, Peru).

Upon his return from Peru, he met in Boston (Boston) Percival Lowell and Lowell hired Douglas for a trip to Arizona (Arizona), whose purpose was to determine where in the area is the best place to build the observatory. Douglas Travel Arizona took place in 1894, and, eventually, he stopped in Flagstaff (Flagstaff) in the appropriate city. He chose the site on a hill at some distance from the city and led construction of the dome, which houses the 18-inch telescope. And Douglas, Lowell and used it to observe Mars. Walks anecdote that at the end of life of Douglas admitted that he chose Flagstaff because there were excellent saloons.

After completion of the Lowell Observatory in 1894 by Douglas seven years served as chief assistant Lowell and collected during this time a huge amount of data on Mars that Lowell used in support of his theory of the existence of Martian civilization capable of building artificial canals. Douglas, meanwhile, insisted that the manager used the data obtained it selectively (and therefore unscientific and inaccurate) to prove his theory. In the end, Lowell lost patience and sacked his assistant in 1901.

Douglas remained in Flagstaff until 1906, teaching Spanish, Spanish history and geography at the Pedagogical College of Northern Arizona (Northern Arizona Normal School) - today is Northern Arizona University (Northern Arizona University). In 1902 he even served as a magistrate. It was in Flagstaff Douglas became interested in the study of annual rings of a tree, and thus come to receive data about previous solar cycles and forecasting of future solar cycles.

When Douglas in 1906, he moved to Tucson (Tucson), he began teaching at the University of Arizona (University of Arizona). His most important scientific achievement at the time was the creation of dendrochronology, better known as a discipline on the use of tree rings to determine the age of wooden objects. He eventually created a continuous sequence on the example of the annual rings of yellow pine, stretching as far into the past, that in 1929 was able to determine the age of ancient buildings of Native Americans. This achievement was hailed as one of the most important archaeological discoveries and scientists, and interested.

In addition, during his stay in the University of Arizona, Douglas continued to be actively engaged in astronomy. In 1916 he met Lavinia Steward (Lavinia Steward) and her husband, who are interested in astronomy. When Mr. Steward died, Mrs. Stewart donated 60 thousand dollars for the construction of the University of Arizona observatory. Styuardovskaya observatory was completed in 1923 and is equipped with 36-inch reflecting telescope. When Tucson grew, the observatory moved to Kitt Peak (Kitt Peak) and worked there until now. Douglas remained the director of the observatory until his resignation in 1937, after which he turned all his energies to the study of dendrochronology, founded the Laboratory of annual rings (Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research) at the University of Arizona.

Douglas remained very active man until two years before his death, the disease is not turned him into an invalid. He died on March 20, 1962, at the age of 94 years.