SAPEC-2020 is the first official gathering of the Southeast Asian Paleo Environments Consortium, as well as a workshop open to all aspiring early career scientists in paleoclimate fields. Along with two full days of fieldwork in our established Bidoup Nui Ba National Park (BDNP) study sites, Dr. Brendan Buckley (Columbia University) will lead three days of intensive methodology instruction and discussion, ranging from generating data to producing complex models for climate reconstruction, and all the steps in between. For this purpose, we will use samples and data already generated from our published studies in the region, which are the result of a long history of NSF funding.

Pre-workshop: January 4-5, 2020
Main workshop: January 6-12, 2020

International Center for Tropical Highlands Ecosystems Research (ICTHER)
Bidoup Nui Ba National Park (BDNP), Lam Dong Province, Vietnam


Course content



Brendan M. Buckley, Columbia University, US (Dendro)
Edward R. Cook, Columbia University, US (Dendro/Methods)
Justin T. Maxwell, Indiana University, US (Dendro/Ecology)
Grant Harley, University of Idaho, US (Dendro/Speleo)
Tsun-Fung Au (Tom), Indiana University, US (Dendro)
Karen Heeter, University of Idaho, US (Dendro)
Paolo Cherubini, WSL, CH (Dendro/Anatomy)
Holger Gaertner, WSL, CH (Dendro/Anatomy)
Sylvia Passardi, WSL, CH (Dendro/Anatomy)
Chenxi Xu, Chinese Academy of Science, CN (Dendro/Isotopes)
Fan Zexin, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CN (Dendro/Ecology)

Sediments, Corals and Other Proxies

Simon Brassell, Indiana University, US (Seds/ Isotopes)
Yvette Eley, University of Birmingham, UK (Seds/leaf waxes)
Xin Zhou, University of Science & Technology of China, CN (Seds/Isotopes)
Bridget Warren, University of Birmingham, UK (Seds/leaf waxes)
Toby Everard, University of Birmingham, UK (Seds/leaf waxes)
Alan Ziegler, National University of Singapore, SG (Seds/ geomorphology)
Kelsey Doiron, Indiana University, US (Seds/ Isotopes)
Dhrubajyoti Samanta, National University of Singapore (Corals/ Isotopes)
Khairun Nisha bte Md Ramzan, University of Queensland, AU (Seds/ Isotopes)
Anna-Marie Klamt, Yunnan Normal University, CN (Paleolimnology)
Nguyen Van Huong, Vietnam National University, VN (Seds/ Paleolimnology)

Climate Dynamics/Hydrology

Shih-Yu Simon Wang, Utah State University, US (Climate Dynamics/Modeling)
Stefano Galelli, Singapore University of Technology and Design, SG (Hydrology/Methods)
Hung T.T. Nguyen, Singapore University of Technology and Design, SG (Hydrology/Methods)

Other Disciplines

Gretchen Coffman, University of San Francisco, US (Restoration Ecology)
Nguyen Van Thiet, University of Melbourne, AU (Ecology)
Nguyen Thi Oanh, Vietnam National University, VN (Geology)
Elvagris Segovia, National University of Singapore, SG (Environmental Sciences)
Tan Fang Yi, Nanyang Technological University, SG
Christabel Tan, Nanyang Technological University, SG
Dang Bui Ngoc Han, VN
Le Canh Nam, VN (Forestry)
Pham Trong Nhan, Institute of Forest Sciences of Central Highlands, VN (Forestry)
Nguyen Tran Quoc Trung, Southern Institute of Ecology, VN (Ecology)
Nguyen Xuan Hau, National Cheng-Kung University, TW (Ecology)
Juliette Taieb, University of Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne, FR (Archaeology)


Pre-workshop (January 4–5)

Pre-workshop activities include sampling at Cong Troi site, preparing samples, climate dynamics workshop, reproducible science workshop, and informal discussions.

Main program (January 6–12)

Besides instructional presentations, participants will be given ample opportunities to practice the skills hands-on. They will apply the newly learned skills directly to a group project, which will be presented on the last day.

During most evenings, participants will share their own research in conference-style (12 minutes for presentation and 3 minutes Q&A).

Program details

Time Activity
Monday, Jan 6 — Orientation & Introduction to proxies
Morning Arrival, check-in, ice-breaking
Welcome & introduction
Afternoon & evening Introduction to proxies: ring-width, blue-intensity, δ18O, leaf wax, lake sediments, wood anatomy
Group formation
Tuesday, Jan 7 — Field day 1 at Giang Ly plot
Morning & afternoon Field demonstration
  • Dendroecological sampling
  • Leaf wax sampling
  • ODK field data collection
Sample collection
Evening Participants’ short talks
Group project work
Wednesday, Jan 8 — Field day 2 at Hon Giao Dwarf Forest & Giang Ly plot
Morning Sample collection at Hon Giao Dwarf Forest
Lunch at Hon Giao Station with rangers
Afternoon Sample collection at Giang Ly Plot
Evening Participants’ short talks
Group project work
Data analysis and visualization with R (optional)
Thursday, Jan 9 — Methods day 1: Chronology Development
Morning Measurement
  • Demonstration andUpdate hands-on practice with CooRecorder: ring width & BI
  • Wood anatomy analysis
  • Data management with ODK
Hands-on practice + project work
Afternoon Chronology Building
  • Cross-dating
  • Detrending and standardization
  • Demonstration: ARSTAN, COFECHA, and dplR
Hands-on practice + project work
Evening Participants’ short talks
Group project work
Friday, Jan 10 — Methods day 2: Chronology and climate
Morning Climate-proxy relationship
  • Correlation analysis
  • Bootstrapping, confidence interval, statistical significance
Hands-on practice + project work
Afternoon Extracting information from proxies
  • Principal component analysis
  • Input variable selection
Hands-on practice + project work
Evening Participants’ short talks
Hands-on practice + project work
Saturday, Jan 11 — Methods day 3: Reconstruction
Morning Climate reconstruction
  • Point-by-point regression
  • Linear dynamical systems
Hands-on practice + project work
Afternoon Cross validation
Post-processing, time series analysis, and visualization
Hands-on practice and project work
Evening Traditional ethnic dance and music of K’Ho people
Fireside games
Sunday, Jan 12 — Presentation & closing
Morning Group presentations
Afternoon Lunch, closing, return to Da Lat


Payment will be by telegraphic transfer to BDNP’s account. BDNP will bear the transfer fee. After registering, you will receive an email with payment details.


Arrival in Da Lat

Participants can choose one of two options:

Our bus to BDNP will pick up group 1 from Da Lat Airport at 8:30, then will pick up group 2 at the hotel at about 9:00.

During registration, you will be asked for your preferred option.

Departure from Da Lat

On Jan 12, bus will leave BDNP at 1 PM for Da Lat. You should have enough time to take the evening flights back to Ho Chi Minh. Or you can stay longer and explore Da Lat.


Brendan M. Buckley