Stockholm university
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Quaternary Climate and Environmental Reconstructions

Natural archives like lake sediments, peat and tree rings are important for climate and environmental reconstructions over time.

This course focuses on methods for biological, physical and chemical analyses of natural archives for reconstructing climate and environmental changes, particularly during the Holocene. You will learn about qualitative as well as quantitative methods. The course covers both general principles of climate- and environmental reconstructions, and some selected archives which we will discuss in detail.

During this course you will get extensive “hands-on” lab expertise on how to analyze different archives, including the methods dendroclimatology, pollen, diatom and plant macrofossil analysis. You will also learn about statistical treatment and interpretation of proxy data.

The course is part (elective course) of the Master's Programme in Polar Landscapes and Quaternary Climate, but it can also be taken as a separate course

Natural peat archive. Photo Britta Sannel.
Natural peat archive. Photo Britta Sannel.
  • Course structure


    1. Theory, 5 credits
    2. Practical analysis, 10 credits

    Teaching format

    Instruction consists of lectures, laboratory work, seminars and exercises.


    For details see syllabus.


    Britta Sannel

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course reports

  • Contact

    Registration is normally done at the beginning of each semester. 

    Student office
    Kerstin Hörnby

    Study counsellor
    Maria Damberg

    Course responsible
    Britta Sannel