Researcher ORCID Identifier
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2023 Paola A Giron-Carson
We are experiencing a climate crisis that must be confronted with strategic mitigation. Pomona College contributes to the climate crisis through its emissions for which there is a baseline record. However there is no baseline record of the climate mitigation currently performed by the trees on Pomona’s campus through carbon storage. This study seeks to determine a current baseline quantity of carbon stored and sequestrated by Pomona’s trees as well as possible courses of climate mitigation for Pomona College to take. Initial information gathering was conducted through interviews with several stakeholders. This study was conducted using data collected prior to the study which includes the species, location, and diameter at breast height (DBH) of each tree on Pomona’s campus. The carbon stored and sequestered by each individual was determined for 60% of the trees with the [forest service CUFR] Calculator which utilizes region specific allometric equations. The remaining 40% of trees were not included in the calculator and so the remaining species were categorized and a conservative representative included in the calculator was chosen for each as a model. The data was analyzed using statistical and spatial analysis. 10,759 metric tons of carbon were found to be stored by Pomona Colleges campus trees. Spatially, this amounts to 18,875 metric tons of carbon per kilometer squared. The campus trees were found to sequester 340 metric tons of carbon annually, which is 586 metric tons of carbon per kilometer squared. Most campus trees were found to be young which indicates they will continue to store carbon in the future. The Platanus genus and the Quercus genus were found to store the most carbon on Pomona’s campus. 98% and 99% of the trees of these genera, respectively, were found to be native to Southern California. It is recommended that this study be repeated every decade. To increase the lifespan of the trees on Pomona’s campus, and therefore increase their carbon storage potential, it is recommended that a watering regimen that approximately matches the native climate be adapted where possible, that more native trees and habitats are planted on campus, and that pruning be conducted during the winter. This study emphasizes the importance of planting more trees on campus and perhaps in the surrounding communities and provides potential for future expansion of this study to other campuses as well as further avenues of inquiry.
Giron-Carson, Paola A., "QUANTIFYING THE CARBON STORED AND SEQUESTERED BY THE TREES ON POMONA COLLEGE’S CAMPUS" (2023). Scripps Senior Theses. 2058.
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