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Publications - Occasional Papers

Computer Techniques for the Presentation of Palynological and Paleoenvironmental Data

INSTAAR Occasional Paper 16

1979, 140 pp.

[From the Preface] Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado, Occasional Paper No. 16 has been published four years out of sequence due to a number of unavoidable difficulties. It was originally intended as a sequel to No. 15, “Palynological and Paleoclimatic Study of the Late Quaternary Displacements of the Boreal Forest-tundra Ecotone in Keewatin and Mackenzie, N.W.T., Canada,” by Professor Harvey Nichols, since the computerization of data processing and pollen diagram construction that is described in No. 16 was an outgrowth of palynological research that formed the basis of its predecessor. It is, nevertheless, still intended for use as a sequel. Technical problems initially delayed publication; yet as the basic research program progressed, the computer applications continued to evolve. In fact, improvements in the computer programs have been effected by the senior author as recently as December 1978. In addition, a variety of different data sets have exercised most aspects of the computer programs, sometimes uncovering errors or deficiencies in the original treatment. Thus an opportunity has arisen, if somewhat circumstantially, to correct the original programs, develop them further, and to make the end product produced here much more valuable to the potential user. It is also anticipated and hoped that further evolution will occur, both within INSTAAR and through the critical applications of this work by other groups.

This Occasional Paper, though highly specialized, is yet another product of INSTAAR’s interdisciplinary research team concentrating upon applied and purely scientific aspects of environmental research in arctic and alpine regions. Since the linking theme of climatic change runs through the major part of INSTAAR endeavor, palynology and its derivatives are close to its core. It is also hoped that the present work will be applicable to all other environmental studies that apply palynology as a critical tool.

Margaret Eccles has been in association with INSTAAR as computer programmer since 1971. She has made valuable consultative contributions to many different areas of INSTAAR research and must be credited with the major burden of bringing this work to fruition. Margaret Hickey was a member of the INSTAAR research staff from 1970 to 1976, during which time she organized the daily routine of the Palynological Laboratory and provided invaluable input into the original developments of computerized pollen diagram construction and data processing. All of this, however, arose out of the early research of Harvey Nichols, senior INSTAAR palynologist, which resulted in reconstructions of the position of the arctic treeline in Keewatin and Mackenzie, N.W.T., Canada, over the last 10,000 years and which formed the basis of Occasional Paper No. 15.

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